View Full Version : Getting Started!!

12-11-2008, 03:55 PM
Got my Grinch board and 5 ssr boards last night. Now all I need to do is get the components and solder it all together!!!

12-11-2008, 05:23 PM
That's a good place to start. Take your time and make sure your solder joints are good and that your power to the grinch is correct. I hope you plan to use sockets for the chips. When testing the Grinch start out with just one chip in the first socket, just in case you don't wire it correctly. In this case a mistake will only fry one chip and not four.

Good Luck

12-11-2008, 09:53 PM
Thanks for the heads up.** I did plan to use sockets for all tha ICs on the Grinch and the SSR's.

12-11-2008, 11:57 PM
Got my Grinch board and 5 ssr boards last night. Now all I need to do is get the components and solder it all together!!!

Yup, that's all you need to do.

12-14-2008, 12:31 AM
Ok..hit a snag.....apparently the board I got is the double sided one and I am completely lost. I looked at the home etching thread and is the first board listed a single sided one?

Also the 24 pin chips I have are the MBI 5027GN's I believe they are the correct versions.

12-14-2008, 12:40 PM
If you are using the Grinch from WJohn then yes it is a double sided board. Use the instructions from the WIKI http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=GRINCH_Controller_Assembly_Instruc tions to assembly the board. The instructions also list all the part numbers.

I don't think you hit a snag, its just nerves. Go for it, just go slow.

12-14-2008, 12:47 PM
Maybe it is nerves.....I have never seen a double sided board. I got the board from a friend who teaches electronics and his students made the boards for their own projects. The WIKI you pointed put is great info. Is there a lay out for the double sided one that shows the component location and the solder through pins? Mine being home made lacks the labels that show the top and bottom.

Oh by the way the board has the "in" and "out" on opposite ends of the board with A through O stamped on it.

12-14-2008, 05:33 PM
All components on the board are on the top of the board. All pins should be plated through, which could be an issue with a homemade board. It may make sense to solder all components' leads both on the top and the bottom of the board to ensure continuity from topside to bottom side.

Layout isn't too difficult (after all, there aren't that many parts on the board). Placement of the RJ-45 connectors should be self-evident. The four capacitors go between the chips (polarity doesn't matter). I don't have my board in front of me, but from the artwork on page 1 of the construction notes .pdf, the notch of the IC sockets points toward the input/output RJ-45 jacks.

12-14-2008, 10:26 PM
I understand the layout on the Wiki instruction but my board looks nothing like it. My chips are aligned side by side and not end to end. I have made arrangements with my friend to etch a single sided board on wednesday. I have ordered my parts from mouser to complete the board and one 4 channel ssr to get me started. Thanks for all the great advise so far. It is greatlt appreciated.

12-15-2008, 01:03 AM
Oh, if your friend etched a board with a different physical layout, you'll have to get the parts placement from him. There's no way for us to know where he put each part.

On the other hand, the circuit really is quite simple. It should be fairly easy to reverse-engineer the parts placement by looking at which traces go where.

12-15-2008, 01:14 AM
Yup, that's all you need to do.

Woops. Can you post a picture of the board? If I am understanding it is a home etch double sided? Seen the files for a 595 this way but not a Grinch.

12-17-2008, 11:39 AM
[QUOTE=NogginBoink;51137]Oh, if your friend etched a board with a different physical layout, you'll have to get the parts placement from him. There's no way for us to know where he put each part.QUOTE]

That is why I will be etching a new single sided board from the pattern posted here. That way I have the same thins other people are using and I can get better help with out trying to explain myself.

12-27-2008, 05:22 PM
I got the board assembled and need to clean it up. How do you clean off excess flux from the board?

Muskogee Gene
01-05-2009, 12:16 AM
To clean flux, I just use an old toothbrush lightly moistened and scrub. I use water-soluble flux so it wipes right off after being loosened with the moist brush. I hold the board vertical with edge down so any water will run off and not puddle and do my best to not get the components wet. I haven't had any issues doing it this way.

01-05-2009, 04:13 AM
I used to work for a guy manufacturing circuit boards. The last step of the manufacturing process was to put them through a standard residential dishwasher. (No soap.)

Gotta have pretty circuit boards when you're sending them to customers, I guess. :)

01-05-2009, 08:55 PM
I got my board cleaned up and checked all the connections. It looks good so far. The pain in the but was doing all the connections with wire from one end of the board to the other!!! I am on a business trip in Austin Texas for two weeks so progress will be stopped for now.:D

Is there a way to add an LED power indicator to a board that was not laid out for one, for example...the board listed in the home etched thread?

01-19-2009, 03:40 PM
Ok back home and back in business. I am making my Grinch cable today. The cable I have is about a foot in length between the computer and the board. I am going to re-ask this but is there any way to add a power led to a board that is not etched for one?

01-21-2009, 12:06 AM
IT WORKS!!!!! I did the jumper test with power on and all four channels work properly. I got the data cable done and it functions properly, now I just need to find a test sequence for it and hook it up to the computer!!!

01-21-2009, 04:20 PM
Hooked everything up today and ran a test sequence in ver 1.1 and it worked perfectly. It would not work under ver 2.0. Don't know why but I'll go with the success!!

03-09-2009, 09:12 AM
Update.....got all channels working properly, and I am starting to write sequences for a 16 channel set up next Chistmas. I also need to make all the cables and extension chords.

03-09-2009, 09:23 AM
Glad to hear things are going well. You might consider posting a blog of your efforts.


03-09-2009, 10:07 PM

Blinky Flashy is good =)

A blog would be interesting to read.

03-09-2009, 10:32 PM
I have never writen a Blog so maybe this is a good time to start.