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Arduino compatible controller for SkyView (Read 1269 times)
Apr 19th, 2017 at 3:32pm

Vern-X   Offline
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Arduino-compatible aviation controller.

Here’s a sneak preview of my new Arduino-compatible motion controller.  It was developed as an auto-trim controller for the Dynon SkyView system, before Dynon released their own.  This version has been flying for more than three years, with a earlier design stretching back 10 years (AoA display for the D10A).

The device was based on a Microchip PIC microcontroller and the program was written in assembly language!  Recently, I decided to convert the design to an Atmel/Microchip ATMega processor so that it could be made Arduino compatible and released into the wild for hardware and software developers to play with.  At the same time, I couldn’t resist adding new features, so I put a pair of relays on board as well!

What differentiates this design from the standard Arduino boards and shields is that it contains the motor drive circuitry and is application hardened, with extensive power and I/O protection.  This adds a fair bit of cost and complexity, but it makes it a field (or flight) deployable design.  It fits into a standard Hammond case for easy mounting.

I chose through-hole components to ensure that the board can be assembled with common soldering tools and is easy to maintain and modify. 

My intention is to release this design on github once Beta trials are completed.  To this end, I am looking for two or three Beta developers who are interested in building up their own circuit board assembly and coding it using Arduino or Atmel Studio IDEs.  I would provide the blank pcbs for a nominal charge, plus a Digikey parts list for you to order components.  It’s not a kit, so you’ll need some electronics hardware assembly experience.

Check out the attached document and let me know if you want to participate.  Contact me at vx.technology<the at sign> gmail.com for more information.

Thanks,

Vern
« Last Edit: Apr 20th, 2017 at 8:50am by Vern-X »  

Falcon-AVR.pdf (1150 KB | 132 )
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Reply #1 - Apr 20th, 2017 at 4:37am

Weasel   Offline
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I love flying!

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Wow Vern.   That's pretty nifty.

I like the documentation!
 
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Reply #2 - Apr 20th, 2017 at 8:13am

Vern-X   Offline
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Weasel wrote on Apr 20th, 2017 at 4:37am:
Wow Vern.   That's pretty nifty.

I like the documentation!


Thanks.  The documentation is actually the most important and time consuming part of the project.  A lesson I have tried to teach to many, but with limited success!  Vern
 
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Reply #3 - Apr 20th, 2017 at 4:30pm

jakej   Offline
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Australia

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Way to go Vern, I use your products where I can  Wink
 
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Reply #4 - Apr 21st, 2017 at 2:35am

Vern-X   Offline
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Sorry Folks, I found a bug in the Arduino PWM circuit that forced a documentation change on my part.

Best to use the link here to get the most recent version: http://vx-aviation.com/documents/

Thanks,
Vern
 
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Reply #5 - Apr 22nd, 2017 at 8:41am

Vern-X   Offline
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Posts: 419
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I've already gotton feedback on the design from another pilot who wants an Arduino controller for his yacht (too many toys!) that does all the same stuff, but at a slower speed.  He needs one more analog input, so I am putting a jumper option on the PCB to allow for this, to get a total of six analog channels (volts, oil pressure, temperature for two engines, plus tach signals).

I've always thought the SV system could be adapted to marine applications. Ironically, it's cheaper than most of the equivalent marine equipment...  hint to Dynon.

Vern
 
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Reply #6 - May 30th, 2017 at 1:05pm

Vern-X   Offline
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I've completed the Beta trials for my Arduino Compatible aviation controller (Falcon-AVR).  One application involved 1600 lines of C code to implement an auto-trim and flaps controller, which is now flying, and the second was for an instrument display in a yacht.

In the process, I decided to move to 9-28 Volt operation, add ports on the board to support WiFi, Bluetooth LE, I2C, and FTDI serial to USB.  I also decided to use 4-layer boards to reduce electrical noise and ease the layout.

I am now ready to place an order for final design boards and I am organizing a group buy.  They will appeal to hardware engineers who are comfortable buying parts from Digikey and assembling their own pcbs.  It also allows assembly options (14 vs 28 Volts, input attenuation and so on).

Here's the link to the documentation: http://vx-aviation.com/documents/Falcon-AVR/

I'm doing this for cost recovery only.  Please contact me via PM if you wish to participate in the group buy.  I already have several orders.
 

Falcon-AVR.JPG (149 KB | 30 )
Falcon-AVR.JPG
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Reply #7 - Jun 7th, 2017 at 5:44am

krw5927   Offline
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Vern, any estimate of parts cost on the through-hole components?
 
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Reply #8 - Jun 7th, 2017 at 12:59pm

Vern-X   Offline
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krw5927 wrote on Jun 7th, 2017 at 5:44am:
Vern, any estimate of parts cost on the through-hole components?


Here's a breakdown of the options:

28 Volt, field configuration (includes case, primary input protection, etc.) $68
14 Volt, field configuration (includes case, primary input protection, etc.) $57
28 Volt, lab configuration (no case, only secondary input protection) $52
14 Volt, lab configuration (no case, only secondary input protection) $40

I would recommend starting with the lab configurations, then adding components as required by the application to get to a customized field configuration.

The costs were derived from Digikey's low volume pricing. Careful shoppers and those who buy in quantities can probably reduce the cost by 50%.  Digikey is convenient, but $$.

V
 
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Reply #9 - Jul 7th, 2017 at 8:35am

Vern-X   Offline
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14 Volt 'production' version, fully functional.  This version adds an FTDI serial-to-USB connector, connectors for WiFi or Bluetooth or display modules, 1 amp 5V power supply and a 3 Volt power supply to make it 100% Uno signal compatible.

Used a 4-layer board to simplify the addition of more features and support higher currents on the relay circuits.

More news to come!


...
« Last Edit: Jul 7th, 2017 at 5:57pm by Vern-X »  
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