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Thread: A couple of custom boards...

  1. #21
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    the LED/PWM driver chips are a pretty good idea. I just found that (at least for a first pass) I could get decent servo control from software based on the internal microsecond time function. It doesn't scale well to larger numbers of servos, but for 2-4 servos with not much else going on in the Arduino, it seems to serve well enough. Might not survive a good stress test, though. We'll see.

    I could definitely see using an LED driver for LED outputs enabling some really cool effects for not much cost/real-estate.

    Besides, I don't have a wave solder setup (yet), and a TSSOP is pushing the limits of my hand soldering skills. I have enough trouble with SOICs and 0603 resistors
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


  2. #22
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    Here's a few photos of the MEGA LocoNet board. The RJ11 connector is supposed to be topside, but I bought the wrong one. Fortunately it fit on the back side after I clipped the locating posts off. It'll do for testing.


    New LocoNet board for Arduino MEGA by Mark, on Flickr


    New LocoNet board for Arduino MEGA by Mark, on Flickr


    New LocoNet board for Arduino MEGA by Mark, on Flickr

    The board is pretty plug-and-play... you just drop it on the back connector of the MEGA, and plug in a LocoNet cable. The next revision will also provide a level-shifted copy of the Railsync signal to an extra IO, in case it is wanted/needed.

    There is a button and an LED that can be used for an address (or other stuff) programming sequence if I want it to work stand-alone, but it's pretty easy to just plug in a USB cable and set the address over the serial interface, so I might not even use the button.

    And it has the "traditional" two LocoNet ports, but I didn't want to hook up (waste) the second port until I had tested the circuit.

    I went ahead and did a version for UNO that looks more like a traditional shield and provides a breadboard area to take up the extra/wasted space. Haven't had it fabbed yet, but the circuit is the same, so I expect it to work too.

    I'm actually talking to Digitrax about licensing so I can possibly sell a few of these to interested parties.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    I'm actually talking to Digitrax about licensing so I can possibly sell a few of these to interested parties.
    Please let us know (if you can, legally) about the costs/requirements for the LocoNet license stuff....I'd like to consider that also.

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    http://www.digitrax.com/support/loconet/home/

    Scroll down towards the bottom - "Developers Edition"

    The basic process is you sign an NDA with Digitrax, they share the Developer version of the LocoNet spec, and provide tech support. Once you have something you're ready to market, you submit it for testing, and they negotiate the licensing at that time... I don't know if it's a standard scale or not (haven't gotten that far), but they seem to indicate they are flexible and reasonable with small volume, hobby-style endeavours.

    That's actually all I know right now... I haven't even executed the NDA yet... not really decided whether i'm going to.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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