Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HomeBrew Prop-UI

While building my courage to troubleshoot the Smoke Released from my Propeller (see previous post) I have been designing a User Interface Board (UI) for the Prop. The idea is to avoid many of the point-to-point wire connections and provide as much of the user interface on one board.

The UI will be programmed to set: Transmit/Receive Frequency, CW Speed, Beacon Type/Timing, and a host of other function that have not been thought of yet. It is a general purpose UI for controlling the functions of the Prop. Note: Jeff and I have used the Prop for Beacon Transmit functions, but we have not successfully use it for a LO and BFO for a receiver yet (only due to lack of time and effort). There maybe concerns with phase noise, and Prop generated QRM, when used in a receive function.

The connection to the Prop Protoboard will be a single eight pin header.
  1. SCL (I2C)
  2. SDA (I2C)
  3. 5 Volts
  4. Ground
  5. Clock Interrupt
  6. Reset
  7. Sound
  8. Switch Interrupt 
Currently the board will contain:
  • LCD Display (A Parallel LCD but the board will provide the I2C converter)
  • LCD I2C (another connector for an alternate display from another manufacture)
  • Real Time Clock (RTC)
  • Battery Clip for RTC Backup
  • Eight LED's
  • Two Rotary Encoders with Push Buttons
  • Two Push Buttons
  • Piezo Speaker
  • 3.3Volt Regulator

Top Side - LCD
Back Side - Quad Pot, RTC, and Two I2C Expander
The knobs, Push Buttons and LED's are not shown in the 3D images ( I still need to build (or find) their 3D models).

The UI will fit on the Propeller USB Protoboard along with the Standard KeyBoard, Video Connector, and Mouse (KVM). The I2C expanders that are used on the Prop-UI will minimize the required I/O pins from the Prop, allowing the KVM to be used when desired.

Note: there are many Display Boards available on the Internet, but nothing that provides a low pin count connection to the Prop, which include the peripherals that I am including for the UI.

The UI board will be about 2.5 x 3.1 inches, which is much bigger that most of my projects.

If all goes well, this project will be sent to the PCB manufacture by Friday, then a two week wait for the first three boards to return.


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