Some stuff has arrived (“,)

Hello everyone

So as I’ve mentioned, I’m currently focusing on getting the shield version of the reflow oven controller going before I’m off to Canada. I’ve collected the PCBs I had made on Friday and I’ve received the displays today. The PCBs looks stunning and the artwork came out really nice. The picture of my wife on the back also came out really well. On Saturday evening I had some time and I reflowed a board to get a test board going. The initial reflowing didn’t go to well as it seems that my reflow curve that I’ve “perfected” isn’t working so well and the “gradual process” isn’t really so gradual.

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Breadboard PSU

So I required a little breadboard PSU to prototype some 3.3V units that I’m working with. I had some LM317 units lying around so I’ve decided to make a little breadboard PSU. I’ve made it to be switchable between 5V and 3.3V by means of switching a jumper between two positions. If you do decide to make this circuit, please don’t remove the jumper whilst powered up since the voltage will then spike to the input voltage whilst the jumper is removed. This is due to the adjustment leg going open loop.  Other than that there shouldn’t be any issues.

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Fine Tuning of Reflow Soldering

Hello everyone

Things seem to be speeding up on this side. I had a bit of time to test the reflow oven again over this weekend after creating some new test boards in the week. So first things first, I had to setup my testing area:

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Reflow Oven Finally in action!!!

I’ve promised that I would share the video showing the reflow process in action. I’ve compiled it yesterday and finished it today so here it is, enjoy. I will be making some more test boards to fine tune the process to get it working perfectly. Once done I will post some more videos detailing how to process runs. Please bear in mind that the video is at 12x normal speed so the reaction is a lot more gradual than what it appears in the video.

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Testing Phase 1 – With limited time

Ok so the cover photo of this post is a bit strange given that the blog is about electronics and I’m from South Africa. The reason for it is that I’m going to move to Canada within the next few months. I’ve applied for a position at our Canadian branch and have gotten the job :). So this leaves me with less time for the project. Luckily we’re almost there. Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy redesigning the circuit boards, again, so that I can get it ready for production. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve started collaborating with one of the blog’s readers, Mark. We’ve just had someone else go over my circuit designs and some errors were spotted which lead to the redesigning of the circuit. This has only been done for the Arduino shield version of the board and not for the stand alone version of the board. I’m going to focus on getting the Arduino shield version ready for production should anyone be interested in it.

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Getting closer to the finish line

Hello Everyone

Time just goes by way to fast, or maybe I just don’t have enough 😉 The past month I’ve been busy with redesigning the PCB to fit into an enclosure. I then designed one to fit the bill. One of the blog’s readers have come in contact with me and has given me loads of insightful tips and guides, Thanks Mark, it’s much appreciated. As such I have again redesigned the PCB to be a single board design instead of multiple boards. This will help to reduce costing. I’ve also come up with an alternative to the shield design. I’ve basically taken a Mega 2560 R3 and redesigned it around my application. The reason for this is that the progam space is the limit of that of the Arduino UNO. With the ATMega2560 it is not even a quarter of the space. So there are much room for additional menus and improvements.

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Finalized Firmware – YEAH (“,)

Hello Everyone

It’s been a month again, wow. In any case, in the past month I was able to complete my firmware and it seems to be working correctly. Below is a video demoing the firmware for you on Youtube. I’ve hooked up the reflow oven shield to the toaster oven and everything seems to be running smoothly. I have also managed to make the shield compatible with the Arduino Mega, so now it is compatible with the Arduino UNO as well as the Arduino Mega. Since the overall compiled sketch size is 31.84 kB, it allows for further expansion of the program if your using a Mega. I am now in the process of redesigning the circuit boards to as to be able to build it into an enclosure. Click on the “Read more” to view a video demo of the firmware.

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