Re: Dimming Grinches for Dummies
Ok, as promised here's a pic. Ignore the mess of cables and wires , that's what I get for starting all organised then rushing at the last minute. Anyway . . . .
Going along the lines of what Mr Short has said, maybe a thought would be to go for another type of Renard board instead of 2 more Grinches. I'd say still go for Ren-C's to dim what you have rather than just ditch your hard work and money spent this year. Even ditching the Ginches for something like Ren 64 is probably not a great idea since Allegro ICs are hard to get and MBIs are expensive. If you're wanting to go with 2 more Grinches because that's what you're comfortable with, that's perfectly valid too and I say go with it. Who's to say you won't have a multitude of problems trying to get different boards going. You have the luxury of time, it's all just food for thought.
There is nothing scary really about adding a Ren-C to dim. You're starting with a tried and working system (i.e. your Grinches and SSRs) so that will make any kind of troubleshooting fairly easy. The boards of course available from the lovely wjohn, and happy news the parts you can get from a local Jaycar store (I'll have a dig around for the BOM) for around about $15. The trickiest part is the ZC signal (zero crossing) - the simplest way I can explain it is that it's just an electrical signal that the Ren-C uses to know how to dim (I think that's right - correct me if I'm wrong). And the most confusing part is that there is a few ways to do it. I'll explain how I did it, and someone else can chime in with any of the other ways.
Because you said you're only using incandescents, you only need to make 1 teeny little connector cable between Grinch and Ren-C. Power comes from the Grinch with a little jumper placed in the 2 pins near the power in. And all you need to do is ditch the parallel port adaptor and get a serial adaptor.
I think that summarises the Ren-C, well in terms of the physical set up. Hopefully that makes the Wiki a little less intimidating too. See what you think.
Ugh, this year will be too busy. I'd like to buy a vowel and more time please.