Sunday, August 30, 2015

Adafruit SFX Mini Flash Sound Board with TDA2030A Amplifier Module

I have put together the Adafruit Mini Flash SFX Sound Board along with the TDA2030A Amplifier module onto a piece of Protoboard. Took me a little while to solder out the pins and Speaker connection screw terminal block so I could solder the pins onto the back of the board and add some more pins for where the speaker connections go. I relocated the original screw terminal block from the Amplifier board to just the right of the module on the Protoboard and then connected the two with some jumper wires.

Right now I am powering the Adafruit SFX board with a USB cable but I have some LM7805 power regulators on order so I can just wire in 12V and split a portion of that off to power the Adafruit board with the 5V output from the LN7805.

I also started to make my Optocoupler board for the Sound Effects that will be generated from the Space Matt buttons. Some of the sound effects will be generated from the Switch Pods and I will not need the DTMF request wire that I have worked into this board as the Switch Pods already send a DTMF tone request. But I figure just incase I ever re-purpose these little boards for something different in the future it might be a good idea to have the ability already on the little boards. Here is a diagram of how I have the Optocoupler board wired (above left). Some other buttons I may need to get a little tricky with using that 555 timer board to request the Monitor Activation Sound when I turn on the lower console buttons for either the GPS or LCD screen as they are latching buttons and the Adafruit SFX board just needs momentary connections to activate any of the sounds on the pins.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Adafruit mini SFX Board With TDA2030A Amplifier Module

Thanks to Andrea lannaccone one of my Face Book Knight Rider Community friends for finding out what the pinouts (right) were for this very cool little TDA2030A Amplifier Module Board that I can use with the Adafruit mini SFX sound board for playing various sound effects with some of K.I.T.T.'s many buttons.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Birth of a PCB

In many ways I am leaning to both appreciate and hate Proto-Board. I can see where it has it's uses but it sure is kind of hard to work with for a newbie like me on more complex circuits, lol and this is hardly what most would probably call a complex circuit. ;) This kind of thing always looks better on a nice printed PCB board and it makes putting the components onto the board a lot easier too, I realized this when I made the simple two LED flasher circuit that came in the electronics starter kit I bought on eBay as it had a simple small printed PCB board and soldering in the parts following along with the instructions was child's play compared to this ugly mess you see here (above left).

One has to admit that the printed PCB boards are so much nicer, cleaner and professional looking, even knowing where to solder your components onto the board is much easier to determine with all the tracks on the board clearly traced onto the board.

I have to give very special thanks Andrea lannaccone one of my Knight Rider friends on Face Book for doing this very awesome printed PCB for me. Andrea walked me through the simple process of how he creates these very nice printed PCB's.

The drawing of the circuit diagram can be done in applications like EAGLE, (left). Once you have your circuit figured out you then print your design onto a transparency.

Andrea shows the transparency here (left) with the 555 timer I.C. just dropped into it's correct orientation just to check for accuracy in the circuit design. Sometimes two transparencies may be required if there are any areas that may not be completely solid black or may have holes where the printer miss printed, can happen with transparent film from what I understand.

Next the transparency is placed over top of the Copper coated PCB board, some people use a picture frame with glass to hold the film firmly against the PCB. Andrea uses a product called "Presensibilzed" which is a PCB board with a special Photo resist ink printed over top of the copper coating on the PCB. The transparency will mask the areas of the board that are to be kept.

The PCB is them blasted with Black Light in a dark room for a certain amount of time. 
Next you have to wash off the excess Photoresist with a solution of water and Caustic Soda.
 The next stage is the Etching Bath which will remove all of the areas affected by the Black Light (lower left).

What comes out of the etching solution after all the unwanted Copper has been etched away is your final beautifully printed PCB board (lower right). From this point all that is needed to be done is drill in your holes with a fine drill bit for your components, solder them carefully into place and then you are done, out side of giving it a test run ;)

Ugly Test Proto-Board For Door LEDs

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Knight Rider Door Lock LEDs Module Test

I finished putting together the Door Lock LED Modules for my K.I.T.T. Here you can see a test of the Locked (top right) and unlocked (top left) sequences. Now I just need to put together the control board. Right now I only have one Piezo Buzzer and one 555 timer I.C. chip, I have more on order so I'll be able to do the 2nd control board. I also need to study the doors I took off of the parts car to see if I can determine the best way to install these and hook them up to my door locks. I think my door locks are currently manual locks so I'm not sure how to go about changing them to power door locks and how this will work with those, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. ;)

Monday, August 17, 2015

How To Cook LEDs

This is what happens when you are not paying attention to what you are doing lol, I should not laugh really but this kinda thing can happen if you are not careful. Now I should point out that this was more for experimentation rather than actual use. The LEDs I want to use for my Door Lock LEDs are the smaller 3mm ones. This was more to have a little practice at working with Proto-Board and soldering of parts onto the boards. Well what happened was that I soldered everything onto the board alright but when I attached my wires I attached them to the wrong sides of the 1K Resistors, the side I soldered them onto was already attached to my LEDs Positive and one side of the 1K Resistors leaving the other side un connected which is where my wires should have been soldered too. A common mistake for newbies such as myself I am sure.

lol Remember when I said I would share my failures? Well here you go ;) I'm thankful that parts are cheap and it was nothing major just a little experimentation module for the Door LEDs mock up to play with on the bread board. ;)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Knight Rider Door LEDs Bread Board In The Dark

Door lock LEDs Bread board Experiment 04

Door LEDs Bread Board Experiment 03

Here is a rework of the 555 Timer I.C. diagram other than that it's pretty much currently wired exactly the same as before, just playing about with the LEDs light up sequence. I have no doubt it will get a little more complicated if or I should say when we add the chaser sequence and perhaps a different way that the tone is played or delivered.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Door Lock LEDs Bread Board Experiment 02

Door Lock LEDs Bread Board Experiment 01

Right now it works a little twitchy but with some tweaking I think it can be made to work pretty awesome, here is the diagram I'm using for this, it's just a slight variation of the 555 timer I.C. diagram from my other post.

NOTE: I had to make a change in the diagram as there were some errors, this is the right one. We will be adding a Potentiometer into this scenario to make the time adjustable. ;)

We added jumpers into the wiring scheme to allow for playing around with the different combinations.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Upper Console DPDT Latching Rockers DTMF Tone Request

Here is a little something we are working on to add a little more flash to the Upper Console. The momentary switches are simple enough to have request a random DTMF tone from the Voice Box, but for latching switches this is a lot more complicated. So what we have here is a circuit scenario that makes use of a few simple components to achieve just that. This scenario makes use of the 555 timer IC chip to send a short one second pulse to the Voice Box's DTMF tone generator which is roughly about the same as a momentary button. In this diagram I have 2 mapped out for simplicity but essentially you would continue the pattern for each DPDT Rocker Switch. The LED indicator lights board is optional but I like it. On the indicator board I have green LEDs and red LEDs that would each light up for about a second when each corresponding Rocker Switch has been turned on, also a short signal is sent to the Voice Box to request the random DTMF tone.


There are a few errors in the 555 Timer circuit above, also this new one has been simplified a little eliminating one Capacitor and swapping out a Resistor for a Variable resistor. Out side of that just swap out the Piezo Buzzer for your LED connection. :)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bread Board Experiments

Yesterday I was experimenting around a little with the Darlington Driver 50V / 500mA Transistor array chip model number ULN2803A. I wired up a simple circuit on my Bread Board with 2 mini Songle 12V 10 Amp relays, some resistors, micro tactile buttons, wires, a single red LED and the project 2 LED flasher circuit that came with the starter kit I got.

Now this is really simple setup using the Darlington Transistor
array chip in that my micro buttons (in this case) are switching on a stepped down 9V current through the resistors to simulate a low current input to the Darlington array chip. This is ideal since I intend on using an Arduino to control input signals to the chip, and Aduino uses a low 5V output, same as a USB device. On the other side (Outputs) of the Darlington array chip I have the necessary voltage needed to trigger the magnetic coils of the mini Songle 12V Relays and as you no doubt already know that on the switch side of the relay I can have anything I want to activate up to 10 Amps, which is a lot of current. I can use higher rated Relays if I need to power anything that requires more than 10 Amps.

So in the experiment yesterday I have it so when you press once of the micro buttons the single red LED turns on through the switch of one relay and when you press the other button the small 2 LED flasher circuit turns on through the switch of the other relay. Now keeping in mind that for a low power input of 5V (USB) I would not need the resistors in front of the input pins on the Darlington array chip, this makes for a very small space saving potential PCB board to control stuff from my dash software I have been developing in Unity 3D. I'm planing on using the Arduino because so far it's what I have found that communicates well with Unity 3D both as a means of controlling from the Arduino and sending information too the Arduino.