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Matt_Edwards
02-05-2010, 02:26 AM
Guys there was some talk of a new Layout for a SMT version of the Grinch.

Is there still a need for one?
I am willing a able to give is a bash.

we would need to define what changes are required? any improvements? etc

RPM's current Resistors come to mind.
I would like to put a snap off section so you can operate as a 32 ch board.
Another idea would be to add DIL pins pads so the chips can also be mounted on individual SOIC to DIL adapters. this will allow those not confident to repair SMT to use IC sockets and male Pins


So over to you. is there a need?

g2ktcf
02-05-2010, 02:40 AM
just curious...with most computers now lacking a parallel port...is this really the way to go?

Not judging...just asking.

RPM
02-06-2010, 12:09 AM
Guys there was some talk of a new Layout for a SMT version of the Grinch.

Is there still a need for one?
I am willing a able to give is a bash.

we would need to define what changes are required? any improvements? etc

RPM's current Resistors come to mind.
I would like to put a snap off section so you can operate as a 32 ch board.
Another idea would be to add DIL pins pads so the chips can also be mounted on individual SOIC to DIL adapters. this will allow those not confident to repair SMT to use IC sockets and male Pins


So over to you. is there a need?

My only thoughts at the moment are:

1) Use the larger SOIC package for easier soldering

2) Add the "RSET" current limiting resistors

3) Add at least a 100uF "bulk" filter cap to the board.

4) Maybe add a terminal block or some method other than the smallish .1" DC connectors on the current Grinch design for supplying 5VDC power to the board. These things are a pain to crimp, so adding a TB would make connecting it much easier.

5) Make adding DMX dimming an option ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist

P. Short
02-06-2010, 06:30 PM
Or, for power, perhaps a receptacle so that you can plug in a 5VDC wall-wart, something like the mouser p/n 806-KLDX-0202-A. And, sorry to say, perhaps a provision for a diode to lower the input power voltage. Or, alternatively, provision for an LM317-style adjustable regulator.

Matt_Edwards
02-06-2010, 07:37 PM
receptacle so that you can plug in a 5VDC wall-wart

Yep that is a good suggestion only issue I see is 2.1mm or 2.5mm? the use the same footprint so added to wish list.


provision for an LM317-style adjustable regulator
Added to wish list.


larger SOIC package for easier soldering
Added to wish list.


"RSET" current limiting resistors
Added to wish list.


Add at least a 100uF "bulk" filter cap to the board.
This one goes hand-in-hand with Regulator. Added to wish list.


add a terminal block .. for power
Added to wish list.

Spadinator
02-06-2010, 09:28 PM
I soldered up an old plug in power supply from a zip drive to my grinch board for power and it works fine.

RavingLunatic
02-06-2010, 10:09 PM
I'm not sure if a SMT version will allow the Grinch to remain the beginner's board that it is normally viewed as.

But if you are intent on doing it:

Instead of worrying with a variable voltage regulator, how about just adding in some signal conditioning for the LPT signals so you don't have to lower the operating voltage to the chips?

P. Short
02-06-2010, 10:53 PM
That sounds better than the 317 trick, although it might still be a good idea to have an on-board regulator.

Aurbo99
02-07-2010, 08:15 AM
just curious...with most computers now lacking a parallel port...is this really the way to go?

Not judging...just asking.


Thats a good question!

Never forget your roots.

Many systems these days no longer offer Parallel ports, correct. But there are oodles of systems sitting on GoodWill, S.A. and other trailing edge markets that offer such systems very very cheaply.

Ignoring the LPT port for older, cheaper systems would effectively exclude many potential members along the same lines as requiring a $28,000 CNC machine to learn how to do garage CNC milling.

Many Laptops these days also are devoid of Serial ports and only 1 or 2 USB's, soon to be completely gone as well as bluetooth or other wireless I/O becomes dominant.

Just because "Your" system does not have something does not mean we can forget about those I/O's and consider them obsolete.

Encouraging others into this hobby is a main source of where we gain new ideas and new ways to approach new and old methods.

We "could" evolve into an exclusive group where you require a minimum system level, a specific methodology or technology to interface with, and the minimum income level to support it. Or we can remain an open concept group that welcomes other ideas that don't require a rigid control of what could be accepted as new.

When I started, I came here and found the Grinch and said to myself, "Myself!, I can build that. Its cheap, easy to understand and hook up, give it a go"

Since then, I've move up to Renards, FG's and I've begun creating other devices and alterations to existing hardware. Not everyone will use what I present, but its out there for others to try, modify and improve on.

Many others here have followed similar paths, we owe it to ourselves and others following to maintain as many avenues into this hobby as possible. It has and will continue to create opportunities that go beyond our Blinky-Flashy community.


Never forget your roots

P. Short
02-07-2010, 01:04 PM
The question is whether the Grinch using SMD parts is going to be a suitable candidate for an entry-level system. As such, it has to be perceived as easy and straightforward to build and use. For someone with some experience it is easy, but I don't think that a newbie would necessarily view it as safe. Especially since there will always be a number of people from the year before who have had problems, especially with soldering and the difficulty of swapping/removing parts.

My candidate for an entry-level board would be a simplified version of Macrosill's 595 coop board, still using DIP parts (or perhaps even that board). The simplification could consist of the removal of the LEDs, and reducing it down to eight channels.

Matt_Edwards
02-07-2010, 05:35 PM
Let me state up front, I have no need for a SMT Grinch.
I asked if there was a need for a SMT Grinch based on the current scenario where the DIL chips are getting harder to get. I am only doing this PWB if there is a need in the community.

When I first joined this board, the Grinch was given priority over the 595 for two reasons: cost and size. (at least that was my perception) It was latter that I learnt that the 595 board was effectively equivalent to the Grinch. I also think the 595 allows better insight on how the controller works compared to a magic chip that does everything.

The bottom line will be if the simplified version of Macrosill's 595 coop board becomes the next entry board and the current Grinch family dies, that is fine by me. ;)

BTW I would be happy to redo a simplified version of Macrosill's 595 coop board instead. I have got a lot out of the group and am happy to give something back.:smile:

P. Short
02-07-2010, 07:42 PM
At the moment I'm a bit ambivalent about the need for a new board here. The MBI parts are still available in the DIP format at kingelectronics.com at a reasonable price. I'm not sure if these are readily accessible from Australia or New Zealand, and there is the remaining issue of the input voltage from parallel ports.

Matt_Edwards
02-08-2010, 10:23 PM
OK so it sounds like an SMT version will not take off.

For AU users if johnW also stocks the coop board, we probably should just point newbies that way.

aussiephil
02-09-2010, 02:11 AM
ambivilant myself as i have built neither, looked at both and decided neither.

The reason for the post is.

An easy entry level board is needed.

Aurbo is right that there is plenty of older machines still with a parallel port.

SOIC size SMT is really easy to solder, maybe easier than a dip socket, same spacing, larger pads, we should not be afraid of it, we should encourage.

With clear construction manuals with CLEAR photos mistakes are reduced vastly, reducing the need for things like sockets.

SMD is much harder if you do have to remove a part though.

Why not do a simple entry level SMD board that can be used as a stepping stone to more complex SMD based projects.

SMD opens up quite a few possibilities that are just not possible with DIP parts.

Matt - i vote "just do it"

Aussiephil

Sparkey
03-05-2010, 12:27 PM
My only thoughts at the moment are:

1) Use the larger SOIC package for easier soldering

2) Add the "RSET" current limiting resistors

3) Add at least a 100uF "bulk" filter cap to the board.

4) Maybe add a terminal block or some method other than the smallish .1" DC connectors on the current Grinch design for supplying 5VDC power to the board. These things are a pain to crimp, so adding a TB would make connecting it much easier.

5) Make adding DMX dimming an option ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist


My 2 cents:

I think you need to keep the GRINCH alive.
And in it's present form as much as possible.

I started with a KIT74 (a whopping 8 ch) to see if all this stuff worked.
That hooked me.

I wanted to grow so I had to scrap that entire setup and I decided to
go with the GRINCH. I tried the whole route including trying to etch
my own boards. (what a specticular failure!)

Thanks to WJOHN (great work - big thanks) I got all the boards I needed.

Now when people see see my system they go OOOOOO and AHHHHHH and want to jump
right in. I suggest the GRINCH as it has enough channels to play with for a
starter controller and if you want more you can daisy chain them together.

If you go smaller than 64 ch I feel people with have the same frustration factor
as I did with a KIT74. Dang, I spent all this time and money but now I can't
grow. I tell people, who suggest to me "I'll never use that many channels",
my story and say build the thing and just use what you need then. But you will
have the opportunity to grow if you change your mind.

I became a supporting member here because of:
-all the GREAT people
-all the GREAT help and advice
-all the encourgment, even when I blew up my first system (see home etching!)
-all the GREAT projects
and now I recommend this site to anyone who asks "How do I do that?".

I've learned a lot from this starter and got a lot of confidence. Now I'm
moving into Halloween (see the 3 axis skulls!) and I'm not worried about if
it don't work right the very first time. I've learned that this whole forum
is a learning place and to learn from my mistakes.

The GRINCH started all this for me. (No, I'm not putting out a line of B.S.
I'm having fun with a hobby now.)

On the parallel port. You can buy add on cards.
But better yet I tell people, buy an old computer to use as a dedicated
control center. Old systems are dirt cheap and this way you don't
tie up your home use desk top unit.

All the best to everyone,
Sparkey

P.S.
Please add this it really is a great idea.

4) Maybe add a terminal block or some method other than the smallish .1" DC connectors on the current Grinch design for supplying 5VDC power to the board. These things are a pain to crimp, so adding a TB would make connecting it much easier.

sjwilson122
03-05-2010, 10:11 PM
Ok, I had to jump in here and put in my 2 cents worth. Although I was not a total "noob" when I became interested in computer controlled christmas lights, I have to say that while researching all the boards the Grinch looked the least intimidating. When I looked at some of the other options like the Ren 24, Firegod, Lynx and Helix my feelings just from looking at these were "holy cr** those are complicated." I was also concerned about needing a programmer for the PIC chips as I had never done it before. When I looked at the grinch my thoughts were, what could be simpler, one board with 4 chips and four small caps that fed several other small boards that could easily be "planted" in a standard duplex box and no programmer for PIC chips was needed. I already had most of the parts to build them. All I needed was the boards and a few parts and I had a controller. I also discovered from reading that the grinch could be made to dim with the addition of the ren-c. I figured I would get my feet wet with the grinch and add dimming when I felt comfortable as I learned how and why the grinch worked.

With most of my training in old school analog, the step to digital was apprehensive to say the least. But I did it with the grinch. I even added the ren-c my first year. To say my family and I were excited that first time we got "blinky-flashy" would be a understatement. After gaining the knowledge with the grinch and ren-c I gained the courage to make a "mini" grinch for my son. Just 16 channels and only on/off. He used it at school for their classroom Christmas decorating contest (yes our school system still alows it). That sparked a big interest in the kids at school and both my son and I have been asked to come into the classroom and show and explain how we do this.

This Christmas we did not put up our outdoor display as we were expecting to move around the holidays. My son and daughter were very disappointed about it. My 14 year old son took it upon himself to dig out his "mini" grinch and decorated the the inside of the house. It was easy enough for him to hook up, program in vixen and get it running all on his own. I have to admit I cried when I came home from work and saw what he had done. It made me realize how special and important it was to him and my daughter.

I sit here and think to myself what would have happened if the grinch did not exist when I started? Would I have undertaken the task of building one of the other boards that "looked" intimidating? I don't know. I went with it because it "looked" like the easiest way to go for me being a "noob", let's not forget that first impressions can mean alot. I now know the others aren't that difficult and have added several ren-24s and am going wireless.


My point to all this is (and maybe it is my own personnal nostalgia skewing my thoughts), I am not a computer guru, electronics engineer or electronics wiz of any type. I am just your average guy who loves Christmas. I wonder how many people will feel intimidated by some of the other boards and their complexity, like I was, and shy away from taking the blinky flashy plunge without a very simple, very basic way to start. I would like to see the grinch or something like it kept alive.

kx5h
03-10-2010, 10:35 AM
Hi Matt,

I have enjoyed making one 595 and a dozen Grinches, or is it Grinchi - still not sure about that one. But anyhow, for me, the Grinch has been a fantastic entry level controller to blinky-flashy. Also, being a single side PCB design, it is not too difficult for home etching. I etched all of mine with no difficulty. I'm not against using controllers with microprocessors on them. However, I do find them a bit daunting. The Grinch has allowed me to “get into” blinky-flashy with out having to be PIC savvy. I would like to see a Grinch PCB design with SMT - and, maybe, through in a Eimac 3-500z for some of us older folks (kidding of course). As for me and my vote, I go along with Aussiephil - "do it." And as always, I really appreciate all the time, work, and effort folks like you put in this hobby so folks like me can really enjoy - Thank you!

WireWrap
03-17-2010, 11:42 AM
...
- and, maybe, through in a Eimac 3-500z for some of us older folks (kidding of course).
...


Make it a 4-1000 or two & we'll have some real glowey-flashy!!


:)

Matt_Edwards
04-28-2010, 06:32 PM
Boards came in last night. they look good and better still all component fit! (See first Photo)
Main Changes:
1) 32ch implemented
2) Boards work back to back so 64ch is easy (see second Photo for sample arrangement)
3) Use the larger SOIC package for easier soldering
4) Add the "RSET" current limiting resistors
5) Add at least a 100uF "bulk" filter cap to the board.
6) 5VDC power is via terminal block Actually my TB component Pads take TBs and Molex Crimps terminals so both work.
Testing has to wait until the weekend

Spadinator
04-28-2010, 06:40 PM
That looks SWEET!!! I WANT ONE!!!

dirknerkle
04-28-2010, 07:53 PM
Very nice, Matt!

RPM
04-28-2010, 11:28 PM
Very nice indeed!

kx5h
04-29-2010, 07:12 AM
Bravo, Matt, Bravo!

Aurbo99
04-29-2010, 10:04 AM
Boards came in last night. they look good and better still all component fit! (See first Photo)
Main Changes:
1) 32ch implemented
2) Boards work back to back so 64ch is easy (see second Photo for sample arrangement)
3) Use the larger SOIC package for easier soldering
4) Add the "RSET" current limiting resistors
5) Add at least a 100uF "bulk" filter cap to the board.
6) 5VDC power is via terminal block Actually my TB component Pads take TBs and Molex Crimps terminals so both work.
Testing has to wait until the weekend


Matt

Those edge connectors is a perfect modification for Frank's Ledtriks panels.

Got a stock number for a 8 pin version?

rice66
04-29-2010, 10:07 AM
I really have to say nice layout, just the thing that makes DYI a first rate place to learn things. Having said that, I have had in my chip sets a tube of 595's I mistakenly ordered when I was making my first 64ch simple 595. so, I have 16 595's smt(cause I looked at the mouser catalog incorrectly and ordered smt vs dip (dumb) but hey, I have them , would use them in a couple of boards and give them to a couple of local people who are on the fence about jumping in. Put me down for a couple if there is enough interest. To restate I can see the progression as stated earlier:
lpt parallel ... gone by the wayside not offered anymore
serial ports....going by the wayside in favor of usb ports
usb ports .... everything will be wireless (bluetooth) or some other future technology.

Bottom line, flashy blinky works with all of the above technologies.
For future beginners , dedicating an older computer is ideal as stated earlier , they are cheap to obtain.
Future designs, by our younger savvy engineers here, probably will be based around a bluetooth connection with laptops and desktops. at that juncture, wireless bluetooth chips probably will be a dime a dozen, and someone on this board will work up a pcb with China connections and have everything incorporated on a single "cheap" controller which will be bluetooth compatible
Just my .000002 worth (adjusted to current day inflation values) (thanks Washington)

Rice66

Matt_Edwards
04-30-2010, 05:06 PM
Matt

Those edge connectors is a prefect modification for Frank's Ledtriks panels.

Got a stock number for a 8 pin version?

They are the Molex KK range (8 pin version is 38-00-1338 (http://docs-asia.origin.electrocomponents.com/webdocs/0031/0900766b800317c7.pdf) or 22-16-2080 (http://docs-asia.origin.electrocomponents.com/webdocs/0d5c/0900766b80d5c0c1.pdf))
They are pretty flimsy without the hooks and and if you use the hooks, you need to make sure the holes are .21" from the edge.

RPM
05-01-2010, 02:08 AM
They are the Molex KK range (8 pin version is 38-00-1338 (http://docs-asia.origin.electrocomponents.com/webdocs/0031/0900766b800317c7.pdf) or 22-16-2080 (http://docs-asia.origin.electrocomponents.com/webdocs/0d5c/0900766b80d5c0c1.pdf))
They are pretty flimsy without the hooks and and if you use the hooks, you need to make sure the holes are .21" from the edge.

I had considered using these connectors at one time, but they aren't cheap at over $2.00 a set.

The mouser numbers for this and the pin header is:

http://mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=22-16-2080virtualkey53810000virtualkey538-22-16-2080

and

http://mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=22-05-2081virtualkey53810000virtualkey538-22-05-2081

As Matt mentioned, they are meant to mount with the tabs hooking under the edge of the PCB, so this means they won't be flush with the edge of the board unless the board is specifically designed with notches to set the connector back from the board edge.

Even so, I'm glad to see it being used in a DIY design.

Great work, Matt

Robert

Matt_Edwards
05-01-2010, 03:30 AM
My preferred solution - strickly for DIY is to buy similar to these ones (http://www.futurlec.com/Connectors/FHEADS5.shtml) from Futurlec and gently bent the Pin at right Angles. You can then apply a drop of super glue the fix the connector side to the board.

they mate beautifully with these AMP Pin headers (http://au.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Tyco-Electronics-AMP/9-103765-0/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMukXCIZ6E1E4EsXdoCKtY%2fde9YKvOUWRkU% 3d)

Matt_Edwards
05-27-2010, 09:54 AM
I finally got to turn on the first SMT Grinch. Sorry for the poor quality video but it is my Mobile phonehttp://vimeo.com/12079649

christmas-light
05-27-2010, 11:31 AM
Nice, it is looking good :D

fathead45
06-16-2010, 11:30 PM
jw what the cost of the board and parts will be??