Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hacking an Infoglobe - part 5

In order to better test the interface permanently connected to the Infoglobe and free up the breadboard for other experiments, I finally I decided to build an Infoglobe interface on a small experiment PCB, with the technique of point-to-point connection, i.e.wired.

I considered to prepare a PCB but since is still a prototype, is better to build it "fast and dirty", i.e.  a point-to-point connection on an experimental board.
Also, I didn't want to spend too much for that, so I looked in the junkyard for components and housing.

I found a nice box I bought years ago for who-remember-now project and I started to collect the components.
I decided that a broken piece of experimental board from Radio Shack was enough for the job, so I collected all the components and started to prepare the first Infoglobe Interface for permanent test.

First I prepared the mechanical part, i.e. drilling the housing to connect a DB9 female, an RJ11 outlet and two holes for the pushbuttons.
With the help of some power-tools I was able to do a "just-barely-decent" work.
No, I'm not really good with the mechanical part.

Then I started to figure out how and where to place the micro-controller PCB.
I picked up a new MSP430F2012 PCB and look in the junkyard to see what I could do.

I started with a straight 7+7 DIL (male and female) but the micro was too hight for the box, so I had to use two 90 degrees 7+7 DIL to obtain a decent hight.
Unfortunately that left very few space for the rest of the components !
Well, will be a very populated board !

With the power tools I beautified (well ...) the broken experimental PCB and started to place some components on.
Here the layout of the experimental PCB I'm working on:

A quick note. The current firmware revision of the code, include the reading of the internal temperature of the MSP430F2012 internal sensor, connected to the ADC.This why the two pushbuttons. They select the operating mode.
More details in future articles.

And here some other pictures of the prototype.

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