Monday, May 7, 2012

Details Matter...

...and they seem to cost about $50 each.

The boards for Precision 1.1 arrived on Saturday, part of an ocean of purple boards. I had previously ordered all the electronics for it, so I was all ready to assemble it, except...

  1. In Eagle, I copied the crystal from some other source, and it was still labelled 12MHz like it was from some LPC2148 board. Before, I had manually ordered parts, but this time I used add-digikey.ulp, which dutifully noted that the part was 12MHz and the same case as the Logomatic crystals, so it ordered a 12MHz crystal and I missed it.
  2. I had decided to use 91Ω resistors to try to solve the "extra lights" problem, but after having the clock set up, I decided that brightness was more important than extra lights, so I decided back to use 47Ω resistors like with Precision 1.0
This wasn't that much of a problem, as I had a complete but unusable board from a previous forgotten detail, so I could lift the 47Ω packs and 16MHz crystal from it, without ruining the working front board I already had. This avoids the "one brief shining moment" problem, when you have something that kinda works, but you want to improve it and destroy it in the process. I still have a working Precision 1.0 front board.

Now for today's $50 detail. The primary features of Precision 1.1 are the green wire fixes from last time and a port for the UP501 GPS unit in place of the EM406 port from 1.0. Well, I was planning on using the back board from Precision 1.0 as-is, since it already has $50 of blue and green lights on it. However, it has the old GPS port on it, with certain pins grounded and certain pins connected to VCC - the wrong pins, as it turns out. One of the new 3.3V pins matches one of the old VCC pins, so there is a direct 1.7V short, which I'm surprised didn't completely burn out the FT232. Maybe it did partially burn it out, but there is no way to check right now. The new PPS pin is grounded on the old board, in a flood of polygon that is impossible to isolate. Even though the back board has no electronics on it, it still interferes. This is the $50 detail. Now I have to order a new set of lights. Or... I can lift the lights off of the old board, but that would create a brief shining moment problem. So, it will be new lights.

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