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Old 12-08-2011, 10:39 PM   #171
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Homer: I considered making and selling them too but I don't think it would be possible to cover the vendor fees with a small margin on a PWM.

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Old 12-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #172
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Walker, which schematic is the one that will work with the parts you listed for mouser? I'm really keen on making one now that a parts list is readily available. Maybe even two!

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Old 12-09-2011, 01:17 PM   #173
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Walker, which schematic is the one that will work with the parts you listed for mouser? I'm really keen on making one now that a parts list is readily available. Maybe even two!
This is how I build them:


The parts list I gave is not 100% complete in the sense that it does not include a board to put all of the parts on. The one in my panel was built by soldering all of that stuff down to one of these:

Dual General-Purpose IC PC Board - RadioShack.com

But that honestly was a bit of a pain. Tiny connections and wires. I have built several more since then, and I went the cheater route and used a solderless breadboard to assemble them, which is really handy. (If that link is dead, just search ebay for "solderless breadboard" and you will find more.)

The solderless breadboard allows you to quickly assemble them and you can just cut off a short piece of that board since the circuit only needs a few rows of the thing. You can quickly switch components out if you want/need to.

Here's one that is 90% assembled on a solderless breadboard. The only thing not attached is the pot and DC power source which is 5 more wires that need to plug into the board.


edit: if you are looking at this pic to build your own, I had the black capacitor in backwards. There is a grey stripe on the thing to denote which side is the 'negative' side. I have that side pointing up in this above photo, and it should be pointed down. The circuit will NOT work properly if you assemble it like I did here. Turn the large cap around so that the grey stripe is pointing down.


Almost forgot. I drew this pic to help someone assemble one of their own on a solderless breadboard:



The little circles represent the holes in the breadboard and that diagram shows everything connected (power source, pot, all components). It's basically the exact thing I show built above on the breadboard, just with different colored wires.

One thing you may want to add to this is a LED that you can install next to the knob on the panel face. Connect it to the same points that the SSR control signals are connected to. The LED will serve as a visual indicator of the pulse you are generating.

The comment about the fan is on there because the guy I drew this for wanted to add a small CPU cooling fan to his control panel to blow air across his SSR's heatsink, so I was just instructing him to tap the fan into this same DC power source (make sure you use a DC power source that matches the fan in that case.... most cell phone chargers these days are 5V but the CPU cooling fans are often 12V. It'll spin with 5V, but not very fast and won't push enough air to cool well.)
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #174
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Wow - I was just perusing that schematic online last night and here it is. This is getting easier all the time!

B

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Old 12-09-2011, 01:51 PM   #175
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...
The parts list I gave is not 100% complete in the sense that it does not include a board to put all of the parts on. ...

But that honestly was a bit of a pain. Tiny connections and wires. I have built several more since then, and I went the cheater route and used a solderless breadboard to assemble them, which is really handy. (If that link is dead, just search ebay for "solderless breadboard" and you will find more.)
Awesome thanks so much Walker! I have a solderless breadboard that i bought for another project (some USB hacking ) that I could use for testing.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:35 PM   #176
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Homer: I considered making and selling them too but I don't think it would be possible to cover the vendor fees with a small margin on a PWM.
Yes, that is true. I was not planning on joining as a vendor, but to offer them to friends on the site at no profit.

Of course, I wouldn't want to take sales away from any stirplate vendor on here.

With the few people I know IRL it was worth it to make them myself anyway, and for Pete's sake just BUILDING them is a lot of fun.

Etched a board last night and it worked SWEET! But I did find out I have to massage the layout some more and I found some VERY small "noise" in the print, which came out as small flecks of copper on the board where they shouldn't be, so I'll have to clean up the image I used while I'm tweaking the traces.

I was very surprised at how fine the etching process could make traces.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #177
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... Here's the total bill of components for the PWMs like I have built , $2.05 per build.

http://www.mouser.com:80/ProjectManager/ProjectDetail.aspx?AccessID=42dabdadd1
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... But that honestly was a bit of a pain. Tiny connections and wires. I have built several more since then, and I went the cheater route and used a solderless breadboard to assemble them, which is really handy. (If that link is dead, just search ebay for "solderless breadboard" and you will find more.)

This definitely seems more up my alley since there is no soldering to be done.

Just to make sure I understand this right, if I order Walker's project from Mouser and a solderless breadboard, that is all I need to build this board? After that, all I would need is a DC power source and SSR and that would control the heating element?
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:28 PM   #178
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Homer, did you post your process for etching the boards already?

Walker, I ordered 4 kits Just because it makes more sense with shipping.

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Old 12-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #179
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This definitely seems more up my alley since there is no soldering to be done.
Well.... there is still some soldering. The potentiometer looks sort of like this:



So you need to solder wires onto those little lugs. (And actually.... the pot on my parts list has FIVE lugs... two of them act as a power switch, but you don't need to use that .... see next post if you want to use the power switch part of the pot).

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Just to make sure I understand this right, if I order Walker's project from Mouser and a solderless breadboard, that is all I need to build this board? After that, all I would need is a DC power source and SSR and that would control the heating element?
The solderless breadboard, the components on that mouser 'project' I linked to, a DC power supply, and an SSR. Those things gives you the ability to adjust the amount of on/off time of a heating element.

There's a lot more to complete a full project: a box to put it all in, power cables, heating element, mounting kit for an element, etc, etc.... but the board, mouser components, SSR and DC power are all you need to build a basic control circuit.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:42 PM   #180
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here's a re-draw showing how the exact poteniometer I used can be wired in and make use of the built in power-switch on the pot:


That one in my project at mouser will "click" when you turn it all the way down, and that will cut off the DC power source (+) wire. It basically diconnects the blue wire and the red wire. The circuit powers down and no voltage can reach the SSR control.

It's optional. You can totally ignore the built in power switch on the potentiometer, but it was there, so I used it.

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