Project – Hobbybotics Motor Controller V1.0

I designed a basic motor controller that is robust, cost effective and able to handle high current. I wanted to take advantage of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to allow speed control but keep direction control as simple as possible.  Thus, I use a pair of SPDT relays for direction and a single MOSFET for PWM.  I also use optoisolation to separate digital logic from the back EMF of the motor and relay coils.  Go here to see it.

Project – Hobbyduino Mini Boot-loader ISP Shield

The Hobbyduino Mini allows for shields (or plugs as I call them) to be attached in somewhat the same way as the Arduino.  As such, I would like to present one of the first shields developed for the Hobbyduino Mini called the Hobbyduino Mini boot-loader ISP Plug.  This plug (or shield if you like) can be used to burn the Arduino boot-loader onto blank ATMega328 or ATMega168 chips.  In essence, this plug is a minimalist AVR ISP programmer.  Go here for the project.

Project – Hobbyduino Mini V3.0

A little while ago a fellow robot builder that goes by the signature of ignoblegnome (IG) did a review for me on my version of a minimalist Arduino clone designed to be used for prototyping and finished projects.  The board design allows the Hobbyduino Mini to be used on a breadboard by soldering pin headers to the I/O sockets or in a finished project by attaching wires.  IG also passed along some great suggestions for future versions.  I took the suggestions he made and modified the original design. Go here and check out the 3rd revision of the Hobbyduino Mini.

Project – Hobbybotics Photo Interrupter V1.0

The Hobbybotics Photo Interrupter is based on the Panasonic CNZ1120.  A photo interrupter sensor is composed of an infrared emitter on one side and a shielded infrared detector on the other.  By emitting a beam of infrared light from one side to the other, the sensor can detect when an object passes between them, breaking the beam.  Such sensors are used as optical limit switches for CNC applications or position sensors in robotics, for example.  Being a version 1 design, I made a few mistakes when I created the PCB.  Originally, I added a LED for on-board visual indication however, I routed the trace wrong.  No big deal as I corrected it by not installing one on the PCB.  Easy enough fix and it should be obvious if the circuit is working correctly, right?  The second error, while not really an error in the end, is I swapped the PCB footprint pins when I created the CNZ1120 photo interrupter part in ExpressPCB.  This turned out to be a better fit in the end as it allowed me to place the component on the opposite side of the board away from the other components.  I did update the schematic and board files to reflect the corrections.  So, go here and check out the project and, if you decide to build from my project files, remember that I have made corrections.

Gallery – Hobbybotics Photo Interrupter V1.0

I uploaded pictures to the gallery of version 1 of the Hobbybotics Photo Interrupter based on the CNZ1120. I screwed up a bit when I designed this board as I created the footprint for the CNZ1120 photo interrupter backwards. It still worked out in the end and I actually like it this way as it allows me to place the interrupter on one side of the board with the rest on the components on the opposite side.  I also screwed up a bit in the schematic with the placement of the LED.  This little mistake was fixed by simply removing the LED and associated resistor from the final board.  In the end, it still works!

View it here.