Monthly Archives: September 2014

Then there was three…

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Remember the new PV modules I barely mentioned previously? Well, it turns out that two was much better than one. Now we shall see how three in parallel will compare. This time I’ve stuck to nonpermanent adhesive (ha ha) so it can easily be remodeled. Lesson learned from a previous module multiplexing experiment.

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Filed under Battery power, DIY, Solar Stage, Soldering

Testing under way, full sun ahead!

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Board with test terminals in constant current phase of CC/CV charge.

After building a Solar Stage with integrated terminals on the PV and battery for connecting an ammeter, I am now collecting data relating to the solar boost output and constant current/constant voltage charge cycle.
Data will be posted once recorded and graphed.
So far, the more sensitive PV modules connected in parallel provide charging current before noon from inside a north west facing window.

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Filed under Battery power, Solar Stage, Soldering

Testing rig

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To allow for current measurement, a Solar Stage has been assembled with clips on both power interfaces (PV module and battery) for connecting an ammeter in series.
Of course, the sun disappears shortly after it’s ready to go. More to follow.

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Filed under Battery power, DIY, Solar Stage, Soldering

Flashy board: assembled

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The Flashy, fully assembled. The schematic & board layout will be posted soon.

When designing PCBs, and especially when creating your own footprints, a crucial stage of the QA process is laying out your devices & ICs on a printout of your board.

Had I done this, I would have avoided the width error made in the footprint for the flash IC. While the error is not fayal, as the chip still makes good contact further up the gull wings, it is not within spec and could fail entirely under certain conditions.

However, it is not always possible. In my case I did not yet have the chip prior to sending the board design to Shenzhen. Remember to triple check any custom devices/footprints in your PCB CAD software of choice.

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Filed under DIY, ICs, Soldering

Flashy board

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The Flashy Board filled the remaining space on the Solar Stage PCB order.

After a nice summer break, I’m easing back into HC! projects with the Flashy Board.

The board holds both a push/push microSD socket along with an SPI flash IC. This build will include an 8Mbit chip.

More photos to follow.

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Filed under DIY, ICs, Soldering