PDA

View Full Version : PropController Group Buy Poll



DynamoBen
01-04-2011, 04:26 PM
I'm wondering what the level of interest might be for a group buy of the PropController later on this year.

Design Note: There is one SMT part that must be soldered for the PropController to work, the Propeller chip. The other SMT parts, like the FT232 and USB connector, are optional but keep the build cost low. All of the SMT parts can be hand soldered w/o special tools. This was my first SMT project and I did it with a standard iron, smaller tip, and lit magnifier on a boom.

dirknerkle
01-04-2011, 04:28 PM
I'm interested -- I've done a little research on it but nothing formal. Count me in.

kychristmas
01-04-2011, 04:29 PM
Based on all the cool expirmenting being done, I would be interested. What kind of price are we talking?

DynamoBen
01-04-2011, 04:30 PM
Based on all the cool expirmenting being done, I would be interested. What kind of price are we talking?

It somewhat depends on the size of the buy. I'm guessing somewhere in the $20 range (PCB only) w/o shipping.

Mactayl
01-04-2011, 05:04 PM
I'm ready to try something new, count me in.:p

Livermore-Dad
01-04-2011, 05:10 PM
I'm wondering what the level of interest might be for a group buy of the PropController later on this year.

DOH!!!!!! :)

<jumps up and down>

Tory

budude
01-04-2011, 05:30 PM
What exactly would be included in the group buy? That would help me decide as I have a SpinStudio board already which I realize is different than your board physically but could be used to emulate many of the same projects.

DynamoBen
01-04-2011, 05:51 PM
What exactly would be included in the group buy? That would help me decide as I have a SpinStudio board already which I realize is different than your board physically but could be used to emulate many of the same projects.

In my mind it would be the mainboard only.

Which raises an interesting new question, what about the daugtherboards? There are at least 4 or 5 daugtherboards in the works thought could be done via group buys also.

LRNeener
01-04-2011, 06:40 PM
I would be in for one also, and whatever daugtherboards it may come with.

dirknerkle
01-04-2011, 06:42 PM
It's the mother-in-law boards I'm worried about...:rolleyes:

DynamoBen
01-04-2011, 07:09 PM
It's the mother-in-law boards I'm worried about...:rolleyes:

Its always mother and daughter boards where are the father and brother boards. ;)

pmscientist
01-11-2011, 11:25 PM
In my mind it would be the mainboard only.

Which raises an interesting new question, what about the daugtherboards? There are at least 4 or 5 daugtherboards in the works thought could be done via group buys also.

I'm certainly in for the PropController board, got my SMT practice kit ordered already. In regards to expansion modules, I'm certainly interested in your dimmer daughterboard, jstjohnz' pixel controller daughterboard, and a WizNet module. Out of curiosity, what other daughterboards are being considered?

DynamoBen
01-12-2011, 12:31 AM
Out of curiosity, what other daughterboards are being considered?

Here is what I have on my "want to do" list:

ULN2803 (servo, relay, solenoid control)
switch input (8 channels but chain-able)
RGB pixels (jstjohnz's work)
DMX
Renard/Serial
DC motor speed (L293)
stepper motor
DMX addressing (not sure if this is worth doing)
IPOD remote (I smoked a few I/O pins last time I played with this)

Now there is nothing stopping anyone else from creating some of these and writing the code, in fact I encourage it. If no one steps up I will start plugging away based on what I need. First up for me is the input board, ULN, and RGB pixel.

steve_hirst
01-12-2011, 01:16 AM
I'm in but not sure how much time I'll have for this. There are way too many group buys going at the same time on too many forums.

griffixdc
01-12-2011, 02:12 AM
I'm in but not sure how much time I'll have for this. There are way too many group buys going at the same time on too many forums.

please name the other group buys and the other forums where they are listed :)

steve_hirst
01-13-2011, 02:13 AM
http://diylightanimation.com/index.php is one but there are preorders going on right now(I put those in the same catagory). I was also talking about the other pre group buy threads going on here.

DynamoBen
01-16-2011, 02:25 PM
http://diylightanimation.com/index.php is one but there are preorders going on right now(I put those in the same catagory). I was also talking about the other pre group buy threads going on here.

I'm asking for two reasons, one to see if people are interested in this project and two to see if its worth the effort to do a group buy. I have to assume RJ is doing the same thing.

DynamoBen
03-28-2011, 11:35 AM
So we have just over 30 people who are interested, 10 of which would need the SMT parts soldered for them.

I've sent the board to two developers and both made minor revisions to the board, so I think the mainboard PCB I have is now "ready" for wider use. The open items yet are largely code and additional daughterboards. I need to stress that this is a development platform and not a finished project. What that means is you must either be willing to write the code for this device yourself or find someone who will because as it stands now its mainly a piece of hardware with some drivers. As people create finished projects I'm more than happy to post them to the google project site for others to use. (there are two already up there)

As far as getting this out to you folks I'm still trying to decide if I should do a group buy or just buy a bunch of boards and have people PM me. I'm not in a position at the moment where I can run a parts group buy but would like to get this out to the community and start seeing what people can do with it. Does anyone have have an strong opinion either way?

dmcole
03-28-2011, 04:42 PM
SI'm not in a position at the moment where I can run a parts group buy but would like to get this out to the community and start seeing what people can do with it. Does anyone have have an strong opinion either way?

Ben:

Have you done a quick analysis on how multiples would effect the price? If there aren't meaningful price breaks in the 20-25 quantities range, then there's no real point in doing a group buy, except for convenience.

If there's a big price break (10-20 percent), then maybe that might convince someone else to run a co-op for you (can't be me -- I'm in California, land of 9.5-percent sales tax).

HTH.

\dmc

DynamoBen
03-28-2011, 04:57 PM
Have you done a quick analysis on how multiples would effect the price? If there aren't meaningful price breaks in the 20-25 quantities range, then there's no real point in doing a group buy, except for convenience.

If there's a big price break (10-20 percent), then maybe that might convince someone else to run a co-op for you.

I have and it really depends on who I send the boards to, how long people want to wait, and how many boards are being made. If I use my usual board house there is a $2 difference between a quantity of 5 and 20, so there is no cost advantage with them.

pmscientist
03-28-2011, 11:54 PM
A group buy doesn't seem to provide much, if any, benefit at this time. My vote is for something informal via PM/email/whatever.

Boards are hard to get meaningful breaks on without getting 50-100 boards. Having recently looked at pricing for the other major parts, those don't have much promise either. I didn't see any discount for the WizNet controllers, either 812 or 811 (well, except sparkfun, but they were still a couple bucks over the others). The pricing steps on the Prop chip at Mouser are 7.99/7.48/7.40 for quantities of 1/10/25, a difference more than made up for with shipping the parts twice.

The only thing that might make some sense for a group buy would be connectors, but based on conversations on the thread for jstjohnz' pixel controller, smart buying is just as effective with connectors as a group buy.

Really, the quantity just isn't there. Most group buys seem to get quantities of 100+ on the more expensive parts, the 81 Ren64XCs from the group buy this year means 648 PICs, and the ~1k SSRez units mean 4k triacs and optoisolators. Much easier to get a meaningful discount at those quantities...

DynamoBen
03-30-2011, 10:31 PM
I really want to get these out to the community and see what kinds of cool projects people come up with. So it seems that a private sale makes the most sense. With that said I’m not certain if I have the bandwidth to do it. So, I need to get an idea of how many people are interested and in what quantities.

There are two versions of the PropController board, DMX/RS-485 and Ethernet. I also have a daughterboard design, which is the 32 channel dimmer board (for external SSRs). If you are interested send me an email or PM me and let me know what you are most interested in, and in what quantities. I also need to know if you need the SMT parts pre-soldered.

My back of the napkin price for each PCB is $20ish (depends on quantity), obviously it would be more with the SMT stuff pre-soldered. The parts to populate the PropController are about $50-$60.

Important: The PropController is an open-source, Parallax Propeller based, single-board microcontroller and is not a finished/plug-and-play project. What that means is you will need to write some code and potentially add additional hardware for it to do anything meaningful. At present there is some code and two demo projects available on the Google project site, but the rest is up to you. The PropController is meant to make creating a customized controller more accessible and to promote learning and collaboration in our community. If you ever wanted to learn how to use a microcontroller or wanted to more easily create your own customize controllers, the PropController is for you. As projects emerge and people get familiar with it I hope folks will share what they have done and learned with the community.

DynamoBen
04-01-2011, 12:33 PM
Did my disclaimer scare everyone off? The PropController is the ultimate DIY controller because you make it do what you want, you aren't bound by the code that someone else wrote. Further you don't have to mess around with breadboards and and getting PCBs made, everything you need to get started is already there.

Further the Propeller programming language, called Spin, is a breeze to work with and easy to learn. I've posted a number of drivers to get people started and it's just a matter of "gluing" things together to create something functional. For example if you want WS2081 pixel strings, 32 channels of dimming, and a DMX out all you do is grab each code object and with a simple loop move the intensity values from your Input (either DMX or Ethernet) to an intensity buffer. Check out the demo projects code the google site for details (DMX_128 or Eth_12 (http://code.google.com/p/propcontroller/source/browse/)). In its most basic form it takes minutes (sometimes hours depending how complex the project is) not days to do create something. For the DMX and Ethernet demo projects it took me 15-30mins to glue everything together.

Since the PropController isn't plug and play its a great platform for learning. Frankly I'm hardly scratching the surface of what is possible, so to learn more check out the Parallax site (http://www.parallax.com/tabid/407/Default.aspx).

dirknerkle
04-01-2011, 01:51 PM
I think that in general, any time a project comes along that requires the end-user to "write code" there's a natural deterrent to participating in the project. Not everybody is cut out for it, and there's the general perception that a steep learning curve exists with such projects, and much tinkering before it actually "works." Those who write code for a living (myself included) know that it's relatively rare to get it dead-solid-perfect on the first go-'round and that tinkering with it is a near 100% certainty. That's a huge deterrent for the normal DIY-er because tinkering in the case of microprocessors can mean working with timing issues down to the millisecond or even microsecond, and few DIY-ers have the test equipment to (a) measure such events or (b) understand what they're looking at even if they did. I'll put myself in the latter category -- it takes me a while to think through what I'm looking at on a scope, and why, and what might be causing it, or even to decide if it's a problem or not.

In short, a lot of the kinds of issues that are interactive with program code require some pretty technical electronic training to understand them, and that's not something every DIY-er has. Thus, when the rubber hits the road and people are asked to make a commitment, many folks fall off on the "safe" side of the fence. It's a natural human reaction to uncertainty.





Note to reader: these are just the opinions of an old guy who's in pre-geezer mode and not the opinions of management or the owners of this station. :lol:

DynamoBen
04-01-2011, 02:03 PM
In short, a lot of the kinds of issues that are interactive with program code require some pretty technical electronic training to understand them, and that's not something every DIY-er has. Thus, when the rubber hits the road and people are asked to make a commitment, many folks fall off on the "safe" side of the fence. It's a natural human reaction to uncertainty.

I think in this case much of the technical issues have been done worked out by me to make this a ton more approachable. Basically I'm trying to make the road as bump free as possible. I really want this project to be open-source and part of that means community involvement. As more people get involved I expect completed projects to start coming forward. In fact I've already mentioned that there are already two complete fully functional projects available, one of which I used for Halloween this year. (I'm talking about the 128 channel DMX dimmer, I will be using the ethernet version this year)

So developers, wanna be developers, tinkerers, makers, and the curious, consider the PropController and make cool stuff for the community. Until then I will keep plugging away.

budude
04-01-2011, 02:41 PM
I have nearly completed a Prop version of the Ren48LSD board with the same dimensions as the PropController main board. With existing Bit Angle Modulation (aka BAM - for DC applications only) code and dimming curves that Ben has provided it will dim super smooth. I just need to find some time away from work to breadboard things out to ensure it works properly before finalizing the board layout. It will probably be a couple months away yet.

I'm probably going to be replacing my two LOR boxes and Lynx FreeStyle with this setup since I can run AC stuff as well from the same controller.

pmscientist
04-01-2011, 07:49 PM
I think in this case much of the technical issues have been done worked out by me to make this a ton more approachable.

That seems worth highlighting. Seems like you have the code together. It might be worth wrapping the core, dimmer and pixel code together in a Spin binary so all people need to do is upload it and connect the hardware. Maybe even something as simple as zipping all the relevant files together would be enough to garner more immediate interest. There are clearly people willing to take on new platforms, but many may not have the time or desire to deal with code beyond programming a chip. One advantage of this platform is that the Spin+PropPlug (or FTDI, etc. even) is less expensive than any PIC programmer I've seen, and easier to use too.

pmscientist
04-01-2011, 07:50 PM
That sounds pretty neat budude. I like the use of BAM too, nice alternative to PWM for LEDs. Also possible to run Renard/E1.31/DMX/all of the above from a single platform.

DynamoBen
04-01-2011, 08:20 PM
It might be worth wrapping the core, dimmer and pixel code together in a Spin binary so all people need to do is upload it and connect the hardware. Maybe even something as simple as zipping all the relevant files together would be enough to garner more immediate interest.

I will zip up the two projects that are available and post them to the google site, I will also post the single EEProm file. The only problem with this method is as code is updated, these files need to be updated, but if it helps someone then so be it.

canuckcam
04-01-2011, 11:25 PM
I think the Google Code site should become a portal for information relating the PropController, right now it's spread throughout several threads on the board.

But to be honest, as a n00b, I'm still confused as to what PropController is and does. I understand it's a daughterboard - but a daughterboard for what, and what other elements do I need in order to build a "solution"?

Let's take myself as an example. I'm looking for an E1.31 (WiFi) to a simple RGB LED strip controller. So do I need to build the Ethernet PropController, then a separate daughterboard for the LED drivers? I see the 32channel dimmer board schematic. I literally only need three - R/G/B... I'm looking to use it for undercabinet lighting in the kitchen so a compact solution would be awesome as the board will be stuck underneath the cabinet (or perhaps inside?)

Ben, I know you've done A LOT of work on this and I'm thankful for your time to explain in the threads what you've done. Think of this as an engineer vs marketing dept discussion. :) I come from a lot of testing the end-user experience!

DynamoBen
04-01-2011, 11:40 PM
I think the Google Code site should become a portal for information relating the PropController, right now it's spread throughout several threads on the board.

That's the plan. At this point I can't think of anything that is here that isn't there. With that said I do need to continue to add content there.


But to be honest, as a n00b, I'm still confused as to what PropController is and does. I understand it's a daughterboard - but a daughterboard for what, and what other elements do I need in order to build a "solution"?

The PropController is mainly a hardware solution. The PropController is basically a motherboard. If you know what the Arduino is, think of this as the Propeller version but is customized for lighting.


I'm looking for an E1.31 to a simple RGB LED strip controller. So do I need to build the Ethernet PropController, then a separate daughterboard for the LED drivers?

That is one way to accomplish this.


I see the 32channel dimmer board schematic. I literally only need three - R/G/B... I'm looking to use it for undercabinet lighting in the kitchen so a compact solution would be awesome as the board will be stuck underneath the cabinet (or perhaps inside?)

In this case it might be easier to skip the daugtherboard and just wire the LEDs directly to the I/O pins. You have 24 to choose from.


Think of this as an engineer vs marketing dept discussion. :) I come from a lot of testing the end-user experience!

I too am a software tester, and happen to be a VP of Marketing for a non-profit outside of work. With that said its hard to explain all of this in a way that makes sense, since its such a new idea for this community. I've been checking out the Arduino and Make controller marketing info to get some ideas about how to better explain all of this.

DynamoBen
04-02-2011, 12:33 AM
I've done a bit of updating to the project description which can be found here (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?12334-NEW-PropController-Project&p=125162#post125162). Let me know if this helps.

chilloutdocdoc
04-02-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm game :)

Livermore-Dad
04-03-2011, 12:29 AM
Hey I'm game, sorry been away lots of real life stuff happening.

Not caught up but do we still need to SMD solder? If not I'm in. Tell me what I need to do, without reading the entire thread (once you fall this behind, sometimes it's easier to be spoon fed, sorry Ben)

Thanks
Tory

DynamoBen
04-03-2011, 02:26 PM
Hey I'm game, sorry been away lots of real life stuff happening.

Not caught up but do we still need to SMD solder? If not I'm in. Tell me what I need to do, without reading the entire thread (once you fall this behind, sometimes it's easier to be spoon fed, sorry Ben)

Sorry it's still surface mount. With that said I can do it for you (although its not that bad), PM or email me if you want to be added to the list.

DynamoBen
04-10-2011, 02:44 PM
At present I've only got two people who have shown interest in getting boards pmscientist and chilloutdocdoc. Anyone else? I would like get a total by the end of this coming week. PM or email me the quantity and type of boards you are interested in before then.

dirknerkle
04-10-2011, 08:21 PM
I committed long ago and while I'm not a dmx guy and I've got my own projects going on, count me in for a main board. I'm even brave enough to solder it myself, too.

DynamoBen
04-10-2011, 08:47 PM
I committed long ago and while I'm not a dmx guy and I've got my own projects going on, count me in for a main board. I'm even brave enough to solder it myself, too.

Excellent the more the merrier, I'm excited to see what people build with it.

yvaliente
04-10-2011, 10:23 PM
Ben,
I will take a DMX board.
Yuri Valiente

DynamoBen
04-10-2011, 11:23 PM
Ben,
I will take a DMX board.
Yuri Valiente

Got you on the list.

pmscientist
chilloutdocdoc
RPM
dirknerkle
yvaliente

yvaliente
04-11-2011, 12:10 AM
I was wondering if you would please Reference mouser.com parts to your BOM. I started looking and some of the parts are hard to pin point the right type.

Thank you ahead of time.

DynamoBen
04-11-2011, 12:38 AM
I was wondering if you would please Reference mouser.com parts to your BOM. I started looking and some of the parts are hard to pin point the right type.

Thank you ahead of time.

Which parts are you struggling with? At present the only cross reference I have is to Digikey.

yvaliente
04-11-2011, 12:58 PM
I don't mind using Digikey, if i have any issues, i will ask you.

DynamoBen
04-11-2011, 04:44 PM
The private BOM that I have is out dated and I'm not certain its still correct. I will try to get it update with current P/Ns and posted either to the main PropController thread in spreadsheet format or via the DigiKey site.

DynamoBen
04-12-2011, 12:33 AM
I will try to get it update with current P/Ns and posted either to the main PropController thread in spreadsheet format or via the DigiKey site.

I've updated the BOMs and added in Digikey part numbers and descriptions of each item. Let me know if you need this in some other format.

chilloutdocdoc
04-12-2011, 10:07 AM
I was wondering if you would please Reference mouser.com parts to your BOM. I started looking and some of the parts are hard to pin point the right type.

Thank you ahead of time.

At first glance, mouser doesn't stock the Propeller Chip, and the price looks to be pretty much a wash. I'm going to get my parts from Digi-Key, Tayda Electronics, and my Personal Stock

pmscientist
04-13-2011, 11:21 PM
Mouser does stock the Prop, they're just out of the SMD version at the moment. They've got the DIP version in stock though ;) DigiKey is just as good, and quicker at the moment. Tayda is excellent too, I highly recommend them. Excellent prices and quick ship times, though they don't carry virtually everything like Digikey or Mouser do.

Edit: Digikey is out of the DIP version. If you're building both Ben's and jstjohnz' controllers, no one stop shopping at the moment...

DynamoBen
04-16-2011, 11:50 AM
Here is the final tally. This weekend I need to get a quote from the board house. Once I have a quote and an idea what shipping will cost I will PM each of you with the final total.

BTW please PM me if you are outside of the US I will need to make special arrangements for shipping.

pmscientist
2 - Ethernet
2 - Dimmer

chilloutdocdoc
1 - Ethernet

RPM
1 - Ethernet
1 - DMX

dirknerkle
1 - Ethernet
1 - DMX
2 - Dimmer

tng5737
1 - Ethernet
1 - DMX
SMT Soldered

yvaliente
1 - DMX
1 - Ethernet

stenersonj
1 - Ethernet
1 - DMX
SMT Soldered

DynamoBen
04-19-2011, 12:08 AM
Micro update: I have a quote from one board house in hand but am waiting to hear back from my "usual" place to see if they can give me a similar deal (insert arm twisting).

budude
04-19-2011, 12:27 AM
If it's not too late, please put me down for three dimmer boards... This will allow me to to sell my LOR and Lynx gear for all my AC needs.

DynamoBen
04-19-2011, 01:11 AM
If it's not too late, please put me down for three dimmer boards... This will allow me to to sell my LOR and Lynx gear for all my AC needs.

Done. You are replacing your other gear with a single PropController?

mschell
04-19-2011, 10:17 PM
Ben,

Is it correct to say that with one Ethernet or DMX main board and a single dimmer daughterboard, you can run 32 AC channels of lights?

If so, and if it's not too late, please add 2 Ethernet main boards and 2 dimmer boards to your list for me. I have some other AC controllers that I'd love to replace with E1.31 controllers.

I think Brian (budude) is looking for 3 full setups, with main boards and dimmer boards, not just daughter boards, if that's how it works...

budude
04-19-2011, 10:27 PM
Ben,

Is it correct to say that with one Ethernet or DMX main board and a single dimmer daughterboard, you can run 32 AC channels of lights?

If so, and if it's not too late, please add 2 Ethernet main boards and 2 dimmer boards to your list for me. I have some other AC controllers that I'd love to replace with E1.31 controllers.

I think Brian (budude) is looking for 3 full setups, with main boards and dimmer boards, not just daughter boards, if that's how it works...

You can run 4 dimmer boards from either one of the Enet or DMX main boards (I have one of each) for a total of 128 channels - I already have one dimmer board built and will probably use 2-3 boards depending on if I get my LSD daughterboard running in time - otherwise it will be all AC dimmers...

DynamoBen
04-19-2011, 10:43 PM
Ben,

Is it correct to say that with one Ethernet or DMX main board and a single dimmer daughterboard, you can run 32 AC channels of lights?

See budude's comments above.


If so, and if it's not too late, please add 2 Ethernet main boards and 2 dimmer boards to your list for me. I have some other AC controllers that I'd love to replace with E1.31 controllers.

There is still time to add you to the list, confirm quantities based on budude's comments.

For the group I'm still shopping for the best PCB deal, should have it locked down this week.

DynamoBen
04-20-2011, 11:15 PM
Update: My usual board house was way too expensive, they wanted almost $30 per board! I have since gotten a quote from a different board house, one I've not used before but was suggested by RPM. I have a couple of minor artwork tweaks to accommodate a new MAC IC then I will be ready to place the order. I plan to PM each of your in the coming days with totals, thanks for hanging in there!

mschell
04-21-2011, 09:25 AM
Now that it's becoming a little clearer, I'm still interested in 2 Ethernet boards and 2 dimmer boards. I tend to spread out my controllers and don't have a spot that currently would need 128 channels all in one spot.

And, budude, I definitely have an interest in some LSD daughter boards, or may be looking to design a higher power DC dimmer for longer LED strips.

Will you be posting the Eagle or Gerbers for the PCBs (if you haven't already)? I'm headed down the road to try to carve PCBs with my desktop CNC machine someday.

budude
04-21-2011, 10:54 AM
And, budude, I definitely have an interest in some LSD daughter boards, or may be looking to design a higher power DC dimmer for longer LED strips.

Will you be posting the Eagle or Gerbers for the PCBs (if you haven't already)? I'm headed down the road to try to carve PCBs with my desktop CNC machine someday.

d'oh - now I have to actually finish it - thanks a lot! :p

I have the components laid out and the outputs done - just don't have all the logic bits traced out. It will still have 48 channels as the original LSD. I use DipTrace (hate Eagle!) so the original files would not be too useful so I can post the Gerbers when ready. The logic parts will be SMD but should be easy to solder.

DynamoBen
04-21-2011, 01:03 PM
Now that it's becoming a little clearer, I'm still interested in 2 Ethernet boards and 2 dimmer boards. I tend to spread out my controllers and don't have a spot that currently would need 128 channels all in one spot.

Got you on the list.


And, budude, I definitely have an interest in some LSD daughter boards, or may be looking to design a higher power DC dimmer for longer LED strips.

I have a strong start on the code, once hardware exists we can do some tweaks and testing and it should be good to go.

DynamoBen
04-24-2011, 01:49 PM
I have a couple of minor artwork tweaks to accommodate a new MAC IC then I will be ready to place the order. I plan to PM each of your in the coming days with totals, thanks for hanging in there!

Mini Update: I've updated all the artwork.My Easter weekend has been much busier than I thought so I haven't PM'd anyone yet, don't worry I will and sorry for the delay. Current plan is to submit artwork to the board house next week,they claim the order should be on my door step 10 days after I place the order. I'm planning on over buying in case someone wants boards in the coming months. Also I won't accept payment from anyone until I receive the boards and ensure that they look good, since this will be my first order with this board house.

DynamoBen
04-24-2011, 01:49 PM
I have a couple of minor artwork tweaks to accommodate a new MAC IC then I will be ready to place the order. I plan to PM each of your in the coming days with totals, thanks for hanging in there!

Mini Update: I've updated all the artwork. My Easter weekend has been much busier than I thought so I haven't PM'd anyone yet, don't worry I will and sorry for the delay. Current plan is to submit artwork to the board house next week,they claim the order should be on my door step 10 days after I place the order. I'm planning on over buying in case someone wants boards in the coming months. Also I won't accept payment from anyone until I receive the boards and ensure that they look good, since this will be my first order with this board house.

blacklightblue
04-24-2011, 11:36 PM
I am interested in a dmx and ethernet whats the guestimated cost on these? Also checkout dorkbotpdx.org on circuitboard orders if your interested (they are purple!). I would love to get one now maybe one later. if cheap enough both.

-Gordo

DynamoBen
04-24-2011, 11:52 PM
I am interested in a dmx and ethernet whats the guestimated cost on these? Also checkout dorkbotpdx.org on circuitboard orders if your interested (they are purple!). I would love to get one now maybe one later. if cheap enough both.


I will include you in the forthcoming PMs on price and what not.

Matt_Edwards
04-25-2011, 05:30 PM
Ben,
sign me up for 4 boards and Wiznet modules

DynamoBen
04-25-2011, 05:59 PM
Ben,
sign me up for 4 boards and Wiznet modules

I guess its a good thing that I'm over ordering. It won't be an over order for long. ;)

Matt_Edwards
04-25-2011, 06:13 PM
Sorry I have been monitoring the Group Buy section waiting for an official Group buy.

DynamoBen
04-25-2011, 06:17 PM
Sorry I have been monitoring the Group Buy section waiting for an official Group buy.

Sorry, there wasn't enough interest but I wanted to get this out to folks.

DynamoBen
04-25-2011, 09:56 PM
Price Update: As mentioned I'm using a different board house (thanks RPM) and it's a lot cheaper than the other quotes I got. So here is the pricing.

DMX or Ethernet PropController PCB only: $9.00
32 Channel Dimmer Daughterboard PCB only: $8.00

USPS First Class Mail: $4.00
If you are outside the US, we need to talk about how you want the boards shipped.

chilloutdocdoc
04-25-2011, 10:09 PM
Price Update: As mentioned I'm using a different board house (thanks RPM) and it's a lot cheaper than the other quotes I got. So here is the pricing.

DMX or Ethernet PropController PCB only: $9.00
32 Channel Dimmer Daughterboard PCB only: $8.00

USPS First Class Mail: $4.00
If you are outside the US, we need to talk about how you want the boards shipped.

Can I Up my order then? Instead of 1 Ethernet can i get

2X Ethernet
1X DMX

DynamoBen
04-25-2011, 10:16 PM
Can I Up my order then? Instead of 1 Ethernet can i get

2X Ethernet
1X DMX

I figured a couple of folks might want more. ;)

yvaliente
04-25-2011, 10:17 PM
wow did not see that coming, i would also like to add 1 more of the DMX and 2 daughters, if possible?

DynamoBen
04-25-2011, 10:17 PM
Can I Up my order then? Instead of 1 Ethernet can i get

2X Ethernet
1X DMX

I figured a couple of folks might want more. ;)

DynamoBen
04-25-2011, 10:20 PM
wow did not see that coming, i would also like to add 1 more of the DMX and 2 daughters, if possible?

I didn't either. Needless to say I'm using them in the future, assuming this order goes well.

1 Etherent, 2 DMX, and 2 Dimmer boards.

blacklightblue
04-26-2011, 10:18 AM
I'll take 2 dmx, 1 ethernet and 2 daughterbds.

Please and Thank you!
-Gordo

DynamoBen
04-26-2011, 11:05 AM
I'll take 2 dmx, 1 ethernet and 2 daughterbds.

Please and Thank you!
-Gordo

Updated.

DynamoBen
04-26-2011, 11:06 AM
Update: Tentative plan is to place the order Wed night. Which would put them on my doorsteps some time around May 11th.

DynamoBen
04-26-2011, 10:12 PM
Current List



Username Eth DMX Dimmer
pmscientist 2 0 2
chilloutdocdoc 2 1 0
RPM 1 1 0
dirknerkle 1 1 2
tng5737 1 1 1
Buddude 0 0 3
stenersonj 1 1 0
mschell 2 0 2
matt_edwards 4 0 0
blacklightblue 1 2 1
yvaliente 1 2 2

erm213
04-27-2011, 08:40 AM
If its not too late, put me in for a DMX and a Dimmer please.

Thanks,

Erik

DynamoBen
04-27-2011, 11:43 AM
If its not too late, put me in for a DMX and a Dimmer please.


Order goes in tonight, added you to the list.

DynamoBen
04-27-2011, 10:35 PM
Update: Final drawings and quantities have been submitted. Once they confirm everything with me via email they will begin making the boards (5 days to make the boards, 5 days of shipping to me). I ordered 10 extra boards for each design just in case folks want them in the future, and so I have a set of the new boards with the additional MAC address IC.

blacklightblue
04-28-2011, 04:36 AM
Add one more daughter to mine. the count is off.

Thanks!

DynamoBen
04-28-2011, 10:50 AM
Add one more daughter to mine. the count is off.

Thanks!

Moved it from 1 to 2

DynamoBen
05-10-2011, 03:02 PM
Update: Boards are in! I took a quick look and overall they look good. I did notice a couple of boards had very minor cosmetic solder mask scratches and I've found at least one that was modded with a knife which could be related to the eTesting they did. I will closely examine the entire order tonight, once that is done I will open the flood gates for payment.

chilloutdocdoc
05-10-2011, 03:24 PM
Sweet, No BOM Changes? I haven't put together my parts list yet, will do it tonight :)

DynamoBen
05-10-2011, 03:31 PM
Sweet, No BOM Changes?

Nope.

chilloutdocdoc
05-10-2011, 06:01 PM
Alright! Tayda and DigiKey will be getting orders tonight or tomorrow, This board is coming out to be a lot cheaper than I expected. Looking like $40+wiznet+pcb for the ethernet version.

dirknerkle
05-10-2011, 06:09 PM
I will closely examine the entire order tonight, once that is done I will open the flood gates for payment.

You mean we have to pay for them???


:lol:

chilloutdocdoc
05-10-2011, 08:42 PM
You mean we have to pay for them???


:lol:


And you have to pay for mine too :)

Matt_Edwards
05-10-2011, 09:58 PM
well if you are offering.......;-)
Seriously,
DB i am looking forward to playing down under.

pmscientist
05-10-2011, 11:13 PM
Can't wait to get soldering!

DynamoBen
05-10-2011, 11:55 PM
The boards all look good and are ready to not be on my table any more. So I'm PM'ing each of you my email address, if you know your total then pay via email and I will get it shipped off to you soon. If you don't know your total just PM me and I will fill you in.

Pricing is here (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?14565-PropController-Group-Buy-Poll&p=158132#post158132).

Reminder: Don't forget to include your username and quantities in your payment.

DynamoBen
05-11-2011, 12:05 AM
Here they are ready to go, the best part is they are blue.

10277

chilloutdocdoc
05-11-2011, 09:42 AM
Payment sent, oh I can't wait to get these babies in!

erm213
05-11-2011, 09:46 AM
Money has been sent!

Erik

mschell
05-11-2011, 01:34 PM
Payment sent

yvaliente
05-11-2011, 06:17 PM
payment sent

pmscientist
05-11-2011, 10:36 PM
Those look sharp! Payment's on it's way.

DynamoBen
05-12-2011, 11:02 AM
I have the first set of boards packaged up and ready to send out today. I plan to package the balance tonight and ship them tomorrow.

This is the first time I've done anything like this and so far its been fun. Thanks everyone for being trail blazers, I'm excited to see what people create with this project.

BTW I have a cache of extra boards if folks are interested in the future.

DynamoBen
05-13-2011, 02:24 PM
Update: It's official, if you paid the board(s) are on their way to you. I suspect you should see them early to mid next week, if not sooner.

A tip: As you assemble the boards I would suggest populating the power supply first and ensuring it's functional, then all the SMT parts (USB connector first), then the balance of the components. As you know there are no assembly instructions for this project yet, so if someone if you're skilled at doing this sort of thing and would like to contribute I would welcome that.

chilloutdocdoc
05-13-2011, 02:38 PM
Update: It's official, if you paid the board(s) are on their way to you. I suspect you should see them early to mid next week, if not sooner.

A tip: As you assemble the boards I would suggest populating the power supply first and ensuring it's functional, then all the SMT parts (USB connector first), then the balance of the components. As you know there are no assembly instructions for this project yet, so if someone if you're skilled at doing this sort of thing and would like to contribute I would welcome that.


I'd be more than willing to do one (Ethernet). I'll have to look at the cost to populate my DMX version, but I'll probably wind up ordering the parts anyway.

Is there a reason you're suggesting the PSU first? Is it only because this is a prototype run? I typically work from shortest to tallest. SMT first.

DynamoBen
05-13-2011, 02:46 PM
Is there a reason you're suggesting the PSU first? Is it only because this is a prototype run? I typically work from shortest to tallest. SMT first.

It's more about ensuring that there isn't something wrong with the vRegs which could smoke your expensive SMT parts.

mschell
05-14-2011, 05:06 PM
Got my boards today!

Thanks,

DynamoBen
05-14-2011, 05:07 PM
Got my boards today!

Thanks,

Sweet, that was quick!

yvaliente
05-14-2011, 07:04 PM
my boards came in

RPM
05-16-2011, 03:56 AM
Got my boards in yesterday... built the Ethernet one today.

No issues with the build except I initially installed the 5V and 3.3V regulators reversed :roll:

Now on to getting my E1.31->DMX bridge firmware finished :)

Matt_Edwards
05-16-2011, 07:14 AM
Got my boards in yesterday... built the Ethernet one today.

No issues with the build except I initially installed the 5V and 3.3V regulators reversed :roll:

Now on to getting my E1.31->DMX bridge firmware finished :)

Can't wait to try mine.

DynamoBen
05-16-2011, 11:34 AM
Got my boards in yesterday... built the Ethernet one today.

No issues with the build except I initially installed the 5V and 3.3V regulators reversed :roll:

Now on to getting my E1.31->DMX bridge firmware finished :)

Glad to hear that things went well!

chilloutdocdoc
05-16-2011, 02:11 PM
Just got my 3 boards in, they look beautiful! Just a question, how far can we put dimming daughter cards from the controller?

DynamoBen
05-16-2011, 02:23 PM
Just got my 3 boards in, they look beautiful! Just a question, how far can we put dimming daughter cards from the controller?

Not terribly far, but I don't have an exact number. It's basically a clocked serial connection with a refresh rate of ~510Hz.

erm213
05-16-2011, 08:19 PM
Got my boards today. Thanks Ben.

Erik

DynamoBen
05-16-2011, 08:51 PM
I have to say impressed by the speed everyone got boards.

pmscientist
05-16-2011, 10:11 PM
Wow, who knew USPS was so quick. Mine came in as well!

DynamoBen
05-17-2011, 01:45 PM
The big "trick" with SMT soldering is getting over the mental hurdle, once you realize it's not that hard to do its pretty straight forward. I had to learn SMT soldering specifically for this project, so I'm a novice like everyone else. My soldering station setup is pretty simple I use a boom arm magnifying glass with light, a smaller chisel tip on my iron, a flux pen, narrow gauge solder, and some solder wick. That's it!

This is a great intro video:
http://store.curiousinventor.com/guides/Surface_Mount_Soldering/101/

This is the technique I've used as of late:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUyetZ5RtPs

chilloutdocdoc
05-17-2011, 08:56 PM
SMT is fairly easy once you get the hang of it, just be sure to keep a REALLY clean tip, and i don't recommend the Flood and Wick method you see on some sites, can leave a very dry connection without a lot of solder.

pmscientist
05-18-2011, 09:50 PM
Haven't tried drag soldering, but the link curious inventor link Ben posted is a great tutorial. I picked up a couple SMD kits to practice with, which turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought they would.

As far as equipment goes, I found that a small enough, but not too small tip is important. In my experience, the 'right' tip size may differ from person to person. I picked up a 0.8mm (1/32") tip based on the recommendation in the tutorial, which worked ok, but I decided to pick up 0.5mm tip to see if that helped. I ended up preferring the 0.5mm tip. Good, thin (0.020" or smaller) solder is also important, especially if you're using lead-free solder.

For lead-free solder, look for something with Tin (Sn), Silver (Ag), and Copper (Cu). That alloy is easier to work with than those with just Tin and Copper.

DynamoBen
05-18-2011, 11:53 PM
For lead-free solder, look for something with Tin (Sn), Silver (Ag), and Copper (Cu). That alloy is easier to work with than those with just Tin and Copper.

For the record I have found lead-free to be too much work for too little effect, besides I don't like tin whiskers. ;)

yvaliente
05-19-2011, 11:47 AM
Ben,
I been looking for the Dimming Module BOM, where can i find that information at?

DynamoBen
05-19-2011, 11:53 AM
Ben,
I been looking for the Dimming Module BOM, where can i find that information at?

There isn't one because there are so few parts, just grab the schematic that should be enough to get what you need.

yvaliente
05-19-2011, 01:29 PM
Ben, is this correct. please Correct me or add to it. thanks

Amount LOC Part number
5 U1-U5 74HCT125
5 U1-U5 M74HC940945
5 C1-C5 0.1uf
1 J2 .100" STR TIN WM8072-ND
1 J1 VERT TIN WM4206-ND
8 J3-J10 CONN 8-8 MOD JACK 380-1021-ND

DynamoBen
05-19-2011, 10:47 PM
Below is the BOM I have.

The digikey part numbers you have look good the only difference is I used the A31428-ND for the RJ45, not sure if that matters. I see the one you selected is a right angle connector, its just a matter of preference.



Quantity RefDes Value
5 C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 0.1uF
1 J1 IDC1X8M
1 J2 JUMPER
1 J3-J10 RJ45
4 U1, U2, U3, U4 74HC4094
1 U5 74HCT125

pmscientist
05-21-2011, 01:44 PM
A couple parts questions. I noticed that the PropController BOM specifies 100V for the 0.1 and 0.01uf caps (C4,9,13,14 and 8). Is 100V necessary or are caps rated for 50V ok? For the 47uf caps (C2 and 3), the BOM specifies ceramic caps, which get a bit pricey at that capacity. The schematic shows electrolytic caps, which I what I typically use in those spots. Do you see any problems using 47uf/16V electrolytic caps instead?

chilloutdocdoc
05-21-2011, 01:48 PM
A couple parts questions. I noticed that the PropController BOM specifies 100V for the 0.1 and 0.01uf caps (C4,9,13,14 and 8). Is 100V necessary or are caps rated for 50V ok? For the 47uf caps (C2 and 3), the BOM specifies ceramic caps, which get a bit pricey at that capacity. The schematic shows electrolytic caps, which I what I typically use in those spots. Do you see any problems using 47uf/16V electrolytic caps instead?

I'm sure using a 50v cap is ok, that's what I'm doing, as for the ceramic vs electrolyte, wait for Ben

DynamoBen
05-21-2011, 01:51 PM
A couple parts questions. I noticed that the PropController BOM specifies 100V for the 0.1 and 0.01uf caps (C4,9,13,14 and 8). Is 100V necessary or are caps rated for 50V ok? For the 47uf caps (C2 and 3), the BOM specifies ceramic caps, which get a bit pricey at that capacity. The schematic shows electrolytic caps, which I what I typically use in those spots. Do you see any problems using 47uf/16V electrolytic caps instead?

The BOM just contains what I choose at the time, both of the subs you suggested should be fine.