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darkforcesjedi
10-01-2008, 05:53 PM
Has anyone made a version of this controller with the SSRs on the same board?

How do you get a design from your brain onto a PCB? I want to make a version of the Grinch with one of the drivers and 16 relays and assemble the whole thing into a box with plug outlets and all. Of course, you'd be able to connect such devices serially just like the original Grinch controller.

I'm confident that I could design such a circuit based on existing designs here. I'm aware that it would need a heavy duty (20 amp) AC power cord. (Actually I'd probably just have a male plug sticking out of it and use a regular 20 amp extension cord to plug it in.)

Maybe it's a bad idea. I just thought it'd be convenient for things like single trees composed of many channels or a bunch of smaller trees all in a row.

I envision a rectangular box with 4 plugs on each side, a stake on the bottom to stick it in the ground, and 2 cables (power and data) coming out of the bottom. I suppose the same would be possible with a cut off version of the Grinch and the SSR's on separate boards, but conected internally.

rstehle
10-01-2008, 06:21 PM
Could you use a Ren 16 (or 24) instead? Already has all the things you refer to, and you can dim it........

darkforcesjedi
10-01-2008, 10:51 PM
I actually want to daisychain it with the grinch.

P. Short
10-01-2008, 11:16 PM
That certainly sounds feasible.

It might be a good idea to add a plug so that a wall-wart could be used to supply power to the board, and maybe a regulator with filter to expand the number of different wall-warts that could be used.

Another thing that might be useful would be add an inverter/buffer chip to the front-end of the design, similar to what David Fansler did in the upper left corner here:

http://www.dv-fansler.com/Computer%20Lights/Images/Olson-DVF-595.pdf

This provides some flexibility in dealing with parallel ports that have voltage problems (you could use an HCT04 or HCT14 to reduce/eliminate the problem).

These are just a few suggestions. If you feel that these make things too complicated, or that I'm trying to hijack your design, just leave these things off. They are mostly gilding on the lily.

pete
10-02-2008, 10:43 AM
Dark,
I use expressPCB to draw up PCB. You can download it from the link below. And if you surf around you can find some easy directions on home etching.

http://www.expresspcb.com/ExpressPCBHtm/Free_cad_software.htm

Pete

cobraman44
10-02-2008, 01:29 PM
Here is what I did for my megatree. I used a 595 and 8 port SSR boards from simpleio. They do not sell them anymore but everything is located here.
http://www.simpleio.com/design.asp

You could use that to make your own. I just put it all in one plastic container with it's own power source. I have had no issues at all with it.

Here is where pics are. Just look at the megatree pics. http://www.trumbullchristmas.com/Construction.aspx

darkforcesjedi
10-02-2008, 05:59 PM
Looks like what I want has been done before in an 8-channel version. (See bottom of page 2)
http://computerchristmas.com/christmas/link-how_to/HowToId-84/LowLimit-5

My problem is I know nothing about circuits so I'm bound to mess this up!

jpb
10-02-2008, 11:20 PM
Last year I made a couple of 595 controllers on strip board with on board SSRs. I drew them up in PCB Express to plan them out but unfortunately I don't have the file with me at work but I can dig it out over the weekend if you are interested. I could also post a photo.

Jon

darkforcesjedi
10-03-2008, 07:18 PM
That would be really helpful I think.

jpb
10-04-2008, 08:05 AM
This is a picture of the 594 contoller with onboard SSRs that I used last year and the express PCB file that shows the layout. If you google express pcb you will find a link to the free software.

I had two like this and one with remote SSRs. The short black wires you can see leaving the board when to a terminal block where I hooked the lights in. One advantage these SSRs have is that each cct can run at it's voltage. With the SSROZ the power in to the TRIACS is commoned so all the lights on that board must run at the same voltage.

Jon

darkforcesjedi
10-04-2008, 08:37 PM
Okay, I tried my darnedest to plagiarize the Grinch and SSROZ boards and combine them into one Frankenboard.

Besides the fact that the trace with the 120V before it splits into parallel branches will burst into flames, do you see anything wrong with it? Additional thoughts? I think it'd be better with 2 parallel 120VAC in's and 2 fuses.

Since I can't see the traces on my Grinch board to figure out how to hook up the LED Driver, I used this as a reference (http://beta.octopart.com/Allegro__A6279EA-T__0.pdf -- the manual for my LED Drivers).


NOTE: Please don't download and try to assemble this board. When I come up with something that I am confident will work, I'll post it. These attachments are a work in progress by a total n00b!

klanger
10-05-2008, 02:45 AM
Here's one of a few different designs I worked on last year.

Deleted, incomplete detail

darkforcesjedi
10-05-2008, 12:23 PM
In the above design, you have a single resistor from the 5V in to all the dips. Isn't this resistor going to experience 16 times the current? All the other diagrams I've seen have a separate resistor going to each optocoupler.

P. Short
10-05-2008, 12:45 PM
The +5V trace for the optocouplers should not be run right by the 110V side of the optos, try and keep the low voltage traces/parts as far away from the 110V side as possible.

darkforcesjedi
10-05-2008, 01:24 PM
I realize that part. I just wanted someone to look over it and make sure the components had the right connections, then I'll improve the layout.

Did I connect everything to the right places? If so, I'll reorganize the layout and post again.

klanger
10-06-2008, 08:16 AM
In the above design, you have a single resistor from the 5V in to all the dips. Isn't this resistor going to experience 16 times the current? All the other diagrams I've seen have a separate resistor going to each optocoupler.

Seems your right, something I missed, was something I never tried to build or use. I'll remove the link

awhaley
10-07-2008, 11:01 AM
If I were trying to accomplish what you are.... I think I might do it in two boards, that could be hard wired and mounted together... the reason being that 'breaking out' the outputs from the driver chip to get to the right pins of the ssr circuits gets messy and convoluted. I might build a one chip, 16 channel grinch on this

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102845&cp=2032058.2032230.2032265&parentPage=family

and then use stripboard for the ssr board, because it lends itself so well to that. You could solder 8 inch jumpers between the two boards for all the data lines (and for +5v) and mount it all in a cute enclosure.

This is VERY similar to what I just built (I should post pics soon for everyone) but I built a full grinch on that style of proto board... then sent the first 16 lines to the onboard ssrs, and brought the remaining data lines to a connector strip on top for hooking up remote ssrs.

As an interesting 'in case you see one cheap'... I built the whole thing inside an old mac scsi hard drive enclosure... which gave me a 5v power supply on board, plenty of room for both boards and 8 duplex outlets on top, PLUS a centronics port on the back (and mine CAME with an 18" 25 pin parallel to centronics cable...) So the whole thing goes together and looks great sitting on top of the tower. :)

Merry Christmas!

Art

darkforcesjedi
10-07-2008, 06:15 PM
My other concern is how to take the hot, neutral, and ground from a single cord and distribute to 16 outlets. I'd need 8 grounds, 8 neutrals, and preferably 8, but at least 4 hot leads. I was thinking I'd solder some terminals to a piece of stripboard (using an excessive quantity of solder)

dmcole
10-07-2008, 08:25 PM
(I should post pics soon for everyone)

Yes, please.


As an interesting 'in case you see one cheap'... I built the whole thing inside an old mac scsi hard drive enclosure... which gave me a 5v power supply on board, plenty of room for both boards and 8 duplex outlets on top, PLUS a centronics port on the back (and mine CAME with an 18" 25 pin parallel to centronics cable...) So the whole thing goes together and looks great sitting on top of the tower. :)

Merry Christmas!

I thought I had posted a picture of it, but I put my one-watt Vastelec in a LaCie Mac hard drive enclosure ... the LEDs light up when it's transmitting.

Merry Christmas to you too!

\dmc

awhaley
10-08-2008, 02:14 PM
Lol. Let me get it back together dmc, and I'll get around to snapping pics! :)

And Dark... As far as connecting the AC power... it's the first year on my display, so I MAY hate myself later, but I started with an idea I stole from Lithgow Lights

http://www.lithgowlights.com/2008powerboards.html

He bent one of the MT leads on the TRIAC up and soldered and shrink-wrapped it. I extended the idea, and didn't clip the other lead, so it extends 1/4 inch below the board, and I soldered the OTHER end and shrinkwrapped it below the board. So the hot leg gets distributed underneath the board,and each lead that bends up gets attached to an output. Does this make sense? I'll attach a crummy diagram. (As an aside, I ALSO bent up pin 5 on the optos, so the trace under the optos was the only place on the stripboard I had to cut the copper... with one pin bent up on the triac and one on the opto, every thing works out....)

As far as laying out your power distribution... You are planning to bring 8 circuits INTO the box? As in plugging 8 plugs into different outlets on a distro panel, or into outlets that are on different breakers strung throughout your house? I think you'll be far happier if you bring one feed into the box that has the capacity to handle the sum of all the loads you might ever put on it. Then you can put a fuse for this value inline with the feed. With that done, spreading the power around is pretty easy. :

The ground from the feed gets bussed to the ground screw on each outlet directly - never needs to touch a pcb.

Same with the neutral - they run directly from the neutral wire coming in to each of the outlets. This wire WILL be carrying the full load of the box, so if you wire the neutrals to your outlets in series, you have to use a wire that can carry the full load. (By series here, I mean one wire jumping from neutral screw to neutral screw so they're bussed to a common wire... NOT in series as in a series circuit where it goes THROUGH each outlet and comes out the hot side or something... that would be nuts!) But if you wire them all in parallel back to the neutral feed, they only need to carry the load for that outlet.

Only the hots need to see your PCB... and the way I did it I break them out in parallel from a hot 'lug' in the panel to the MT2 on the bottom of the pcb, then go from the MT1 straight to the hot screw on the duplex outlet.

If all of this is confusing, ask me to clarify.... if all of this sounds like Swahili, you may want to seek help laying out the panel... When in doubt, take extra precautions with the AC stuff!

Art

daviddth
10-08-2008, 06:46 PM
but I started with an idea I stole from Lithgow Lights

http://www.lithgowlights.com/2008powerboards.html


Hey, I resemble that remark ;)

Glad someone used my idea to help with their display. Heck, mine was simply a really shrunk down stripboard 595 & SSR design (minus the 595 of course) from CC - I just decided to elliminate all the extra space between the parts so they fitted in the powerboards easier.

Dave

coolspot
10-09-2008, 02:53 AM
Hey, I resemble that remark ;)

Glad someone used my idea to help with their display. Heck, mine was simply a really shrunk down stripboard 595 & SSR design (minus the 595 of course) from CC - I just decided to elliminate all the extra space between the parts so they fitted in the powerboards easier.

Dave

do you know how funny that is i did that and i didn't know that you had except i ran my wires out to a normal ssr

wjohn
10-09-2008, 02:49 PM
I always wonder about the Cost/benefits of a version of the GRINCH with on boards SSRs.

the GRINCH was always positioned as a "Cheap" controller, hence the lack of LED channel indicators (aka the 595 controller) or any other than critical parts. At them moment, the BOM for the GRINCH is 4 ICs, the rest of the parts are optional (to a point).

The REN16/LYNX/REN24 have onboard SSR functionality. Of course, a strip board controller, based on the Allegro chip (GRINCH) is a good option and there are lots of options on how to build this. I do caution anyone to consider the risk/reward of 110VAC anywhere near a protoboard where design rules might be 'compromised'