Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nile Project

Started the school tour (9 AM performances!) That show is open now, so another plate is quietly spinning...

Also shipped the next eight M40 grenades. That makes 35 of the things I've sold now. The new
processes didn't work quite as well as I wanted, and I still need to purchase some new tooling, but it got down to under three hours of labor each -- less than two for the machining.

Someone asked for the files on the Holocron and I've gone ahead and indicated I will produce a kit if requested. Perhaps I should start an INT thread at the RPF as well?

That makes the prop priority the Raygun. Although the final ship deadline is a ways off, it would be better business if I got it done a lot sooner -- soon enough for other "space tiki" fanatics to decide they want one, too.

And the AMC7135's I've been waiting on finally showed up. I enquired at a couple local stores for solder paste and checked prices at some online suppliers, but I was able to solder up the first SMD with a regular iron and some nice Kester silver solder I picked up at Al Lasher's Electronics.

There's a few mistakes on the PCB. I expected that. The trimpot sits too close to the ICSP header, and I'd managed to mis-identify the correct external clock pin for programming. Well, that's what jumpers are for.

The main purpose of the board was, after all, to test the AMC7135's. And after I fixed my screw-up with the ICSP wiring, it came through. I had to stop the full-power test because the LED needs a heat-sink if it is to be operated all out, but the AMC7135's appear to be limiting the current quite nicely, AND are responding correctly to the ATtiny. After a couple of hitches I have software PWM running. Seems a wee bit unstable -- so when I make the next version it will have a filter cap across the power lines of the DIP, and perhaps something on the RESET pin as well.

But before I get deep into revamping the PCB, I have software to write.

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