Author Topic: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT  (Read 31095 times)

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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2013, 01:36:47 PM »
Okay, this is embarrassing - this morning I was looking for a printout of an old Blitzortung related post that contained numerous hints for kit assembly and now I can't find it. It must have gotten tossed accidentally. So, I started searching the forums for the same thread and can't seem to find it. Does anyone know where I can find the thread that contains numerous hints to building the RED kit? I thought it might have been something that miraculon had put together but so far, I'm unable to locate it. I want to make certain I have all of these hints and other "tips" included in my build document.

I have looked on this forum, the usatoa and Blitzortung forums with no luck.

Thanks,

I can't seem to make a direct URL link, since anything I try takes you to the login screen.
Here is something that might be of interest. The author/subject/date should help you find it.
Is this possibly the one you are thinking of?

In the USAToa forum, under "Hardware Discussions" > "Building a System"

FloridaKen    
 
Post subject: System Red Building -- Hints and tips

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:50 am


Greg H.

BINGO! That was the thread I was looking for - thanks! It has a bunch of hints and tips that make things easier when assembling the kits.

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Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2013, 12:17:09 PM »
Quote
II INVENTORY YOUR KIT
The Blitzortung System RED Kit will arrive in a box that contains several plastic bags. The Amplifier and
Controller parts are mixed together so it is a good idea to begin separating the parts as you do your
inventory.
a) Start the inventory with the resistors. Using the component check-list
(http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts-Amplifier-12-v3.pdf),
identify and mark each resistor on the paper tape. It is suggested that you use a digital multi-meter (DMM) to
ensure the correct value of each resistor being identified. The resistors used are very small and
the color bands are difficult to see.

Quote
b. Diodes 1N4148
The cathoe cathode(-) of the diode is marked with a black or white ring on the body of the diode
itself. This side is marked white on the PCB along with the component number ie (D1,
D2, etc). Bend the leads on each diode by holding each lead next to the glass body with
a pair of needle-nose pliers. This will eliminate stressing the diode which may possibly
crack it. Insert each diode all the way in until it touches the PCB. Slightly spread the
leads on the back-side of the PCB so the diode does not fall-out. Do not solder until all
four diodes have been inserted.

Thought that I would look over the document and help with some proofreading. Great effort so far!

Small typo on the "cathode" above.

I thought that it might be good to mention something about writing on the resistor paper tapes.
Otherwise somebody will go to the carnival and find the guy that writes your name on the rice grains to do it.  :lol:

Greg H.




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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2013, 12:28:08 PM »
...somebody will go to the carnival and find the guy that writes your name on the rice grains to do it.  :lol:

Greg H.

...and the carnival guy is color-blind.

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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2013, 02:10:54 PM »
I couldn't find a Rapidograph pen with a fine-enough tip to mark each resistor, so I fudged a bit and wrote (with fine tip Sharpie) on the paper tape (Both top and bottom) instead :)

I'm loving your checklist, Don .. keep up the great work!

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2013, 04:06:24 PM »
Boy, you guys are tough! :lol: Good catch on the typo and suggestion regarding the marking of the resistors. Yes, that would be difficult.

Rapidograph, wow, I haven't seen one of them for many years. They are great writing and drawing instruments!

I actually wrote the values and id numbers on the paper bands that held the parts. In cases where there wasn't any paper or cardboard, I simply used pieces of painter's tape for identification.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hope to be back to building and working on the step-by-step directions tomorrow or Wednesday. Have been out of town and not around to do anything that I really wanted to get done...
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/25/2013 1903 PDT
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2013, 01:12:23 AM »
If anyone knows of the correct names and/or part numbers for all of the miscellaneous mechanical parts for the RED Amplifier or Controller PCBs, i.e., the various connectors, test pins, ic sockets, etc, please let me know so I can add them to the parts listing. The Blitzortung order list doesn't have enough detail for me to figure out which part is which.

I'm also thinking we could build a parts list with the name of the US supplier we can get them from. Several of us have had problems finding resistors and capacitors that match the design requirements here in the USA.

NOTE: The step-by-step manual was last updated on September 25th. I hope to have it finished with the basic steps sometime next week. I've had too many interruptions this past week to get much done on it or my own RED system build... You can find the latest version on the first post in this thread.

Good building to all,
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/29/2013 1822 PDT
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2013, 10:03:03 PM »
NOTE: The step-by-step documentation has been completed for all steps through final assembly and testing. However, it still needs to be verified for accuracy and content. I am still working on the flashing and that section but due my own system problems am unable to verify the exact steps for flashing and final setup.

If anyone finds any mistakes, omissions, or things needing to be tweaked, PLEASE post it here in this thread. That is the only way this document will become a reliable tool for new and old users of the Blitzortung systems.

Thanks for the inputs I have received so far. I will continue to make updates as needed.

Once I get my system RED running, I'll finish up with a new layout for this step-by-step manual so it looks a bit more polished but for now I'm concentrating my efforts on any errors found.
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/30/2013 1049 PDT
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2013, 05:24:56 PM »
Don, here's some voltage measurements of the Red Amp devices under normal operation... .
Maybe you can use them.
Mike

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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/30/2013 1049 PDT
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2013, 10:32:23 PM »
Thanks Mike. I'll go over them and see how they compare to my Red Amp values.

I can't do it tonight due to "other" commitments.

Additional thought - tables like this may come in handy if they were placed in an addendum or appendix of the step-by-step document. That way, build as well as troubleshooting info would be in a single place and easy to find.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:34:52 PM by W3DRM »
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/30/2013 1049 PDT
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2013, 09:53:47 PM »
Don, here's some voltage measurements of the Red Amp devices under normal operation... .
Maybe you can use them.
Mike

Mike,

Finally got the time go compare my readings against what you sent me. I have found some significant differences. I am wondering if we have different versions of our Amplifier boards. Mine is labeled PCB Ver. 3 * 7/2013. The schematic on the current (8/23) Blitzortung manual, matches what I have as far pinout for the various components. I see there has been some discussion relative to a different IC being used for IC's 1, 3, 5, & 7. I received the MCP6S91 chips with my RED system. Others have gotten the MCP6S21 chips. They are both identical except for temperature ratings.

I have attached both an XLSX file showing our differences and a PDF of the same. NOTE: Can't upload a XLS file so have renamed it with a .TXT extension. Just rename it to .XLSX (actually, just remove the .TXT) and it should be fine.

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2013, 12:16:14 AM »
BUMP - an update to the Blitzortung RED Kit Step-by-Step Assembly Document has been posted.

See the first posting in this thread for links to this updated version as well as other Blitzortung related documents.

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2013, 07:01:24 AM »
Don, here's some voltage measurements of the Red Amp devices under normal operation... .
Maybe you can use them.
Mike

Mike,

Finally got the time go compare my readings against what you sent me. I have found some significant differences. I am wondering if we have different versions of our Amplifier boards. Mine is labeled PCB Ver. 3 * 7/2013. The schematic on the current (8/23) Blitzortung manual, matches what I have as far pinout for the various components. I see there has been some discussion relative to a different IC being used for IC's 1, 3, 5, & 7. I received the MCP6S91 chips with my RED system. Others have gotten the MCP6S21 chips. They are both identical except for temperature ratings.

I have attached both an XLSX file showing our differences and a PDF of the same. NOTE: Can't upload a XLS file so have renamed it with a .TXT extension. Just rename it to .XLSX (actually, just remove the .TXT) and it should be fine.


Good catch...! I reversed 11 and 12 on the controller when I created the document  :oops: and missed it during proof. 17,18,19 will gradually increase on the DC scale because of signal... I just put in a dash... depending on meter... You are also correct about pins 6 and 7 on IC 1 and IC 3 ... they should measure the same as controller pins 17 and 19... sheesh, no wonder I don't do electronics for a living anymore... musta been a really bad day for me.
Mike

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2013, 08:41:24 PM »
Interesting. We had some bad PTH (Plated Through Holes) problems at work a few years ago. They failed during a very tough thermal cycling test though, not room temperature. I suppose that the board vendor might have made some bad ones. Making sure that there is a meniscus on both sides for all joints is a good idea. (probably not easy on the sockets). If there is no "top side" trace and just a pad, it doesn't matter. Only pads/through holes with top side traces will need this extra touch up. There are a number of PTH without component leads, but they have smaller drill holes. I really hope that those are not bad, that could be a real problem to fix. (scraping solder mask and soldering a small gauge wire, etc.)

Greg H.

Testing the PTH is easy PROVIDING you do it before you start inserting the components. Perhaps that would be a good thing to do when we get new boards to install.

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2013, 01:04:56 AM »
If you haven't noticed -

Two blitzortung updates:

  • 1- Blitzortung.org has released a newly revised System RED Document dated October 5, 2013
  • 2- System RED Firmware update 4.5 released October 5, 2013
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2013, 09:29:12 AM »
Don,

Thanks for letting us know about the firmware update.  I have it on autopilot and did not see the notice on the display screen.

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2013, 11:31:54 AM »
My new Amplifier Board 'PCB 12 Ver. 3c 8/2013' has been revised so that all of the chips except the Ethernet controller are SMD's.  There is only one DIP socket in the kit.  When I reached the point where I was supposed to install the DIP sockets for the op-amps, I was confused until I saw that I had already mounted these SMD chips directly to the PCB.  Fortunately these chips were left after the first 4 SMD's were installed via the instructions, and I just soldered them on knowing they were all alike before I realized that the instructions called for DIP socket installation in these locations.  I even made a note in the documentation that you 'omitted IC's 1, 3, 5, and 7' in the SMD section.  Then I couldn't find the DIP sockets nor could I locate anywhere on the board to mount them!  It was then that I finally saw how this board differed from my original red amplifier build and these instructions.  #-o

The build instructions for the amplifier board are excellent regarding parts inventory and construction checklist, however the order might need some attention.  From previous experience I installed everything as listed up to the electrolytic capacitors.  Instead I next went to inductors L1-L4, the mini-USB connector, the reset button, the RN1 resistor network, the potentiometer P1, the Ethernet controller DIP socket, the LED's, the Out-A and Out-B test pins, the inductor L5, the antenna connector, penultimately the electrolytic capacitors C15, C30, C33, and C34, and lastly the RJ45 Ethernet connector.  This assembly order requires minimal to no support of components from below while soldering them from the bottom of the board.

The board successfully powered up alone on the first try, but I have yet to test it otherwise because we're currently in the midst of local thunderstorm activity with numerous nearby strikes.  I think I'll plug it antennaeless into the Controller's second amplifier socket and see what happens...
Regards, Jerry Wilkins
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 12/12/2013 2058 PDT
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2013, 12:04:09 AM »
BUMP - an update to the official Blitzortung RED Kit Documentation has been posted on the Blitzortung website.

See the first posting in this thread for links to this updated version as well as other Blitzortung related documents.
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 12/12/2013 2058 PDT
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2013, 10:17:54 PM »
BUMP - an update to the official Blitzortung RED Kit Documentation has been posted on the Blitzortung website.

See the first posting in this thread for links to this updated version as well as other Blitzortung related documents.

The TOA_Blitzortung_RED.pdf document is really comprehensive now. It also includes the antenna sections and all the updates. It is worthwhile downloading this new version of the document. The new date on the document is December 11, 2013

Greg




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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 12/12/2013 2058 PDT
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2014, 03:12:48 PM »
BUMP - an update to the official Blitzortung RED Kit Documentation has been posted on the Blitzortung website.

See the first posting in this thread for links to this updated version as well as other Blitzortung related documents.
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Offline DaleReid

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2014, 07:59:12 PM »
Don,
Being the OCD that I am, I've been assembling and checking off using your fine document as a guide. However, having gotten to the point that says 'final checkout' I see I have three electrolytics left, two transistors and am scratching my head about the document.  There are holes for these components but going over my printed out sheets (numbered) and the live .pdf I just opened, I don't see where you address the installation of these.  I will, of course, follow the RED kit info from the main source and do the install (as if most of these kits weren't built up by just following the list, but your doc makes it so much less stressful that something isn't done right).

Is there some demon hiding a page from your instructions about the last three electrolytics that need to lay down, and the transistors?

Driving me nuts.  Dale


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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2014, 10:58:46 PM »
Is there some demon hiding a page from your instructions about the last three electrolytics that need to lay down, and the transistors?

Dale,

please take notice of the revision number of the PCBs. Ensure that you always use the most recent documentation from blitzortung.org that fits the revision mumber of your PCBs.

Regards,
Robo

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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2014, 12:53:50 AM »
Dale, sorry but, my document is out of date and needs to be updated so it covers the latest version of the boards. I just haven't had the time to do anything with it.

As has been suggested, be certain to use the latest official documentation from Blitzortung.org before assembling the kit. Their documentation should also include the latest build-list of components. There have been a few minor changes made with the last couple of board updates.
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2014, 07:56:10 AM »
Don,
I know the feeling of not having time, as proof I got my kit last fall and had winter to do it, but only got to it this last week after I wound the antenna and got the bug.

I cannot tell you how helpful it was.  Truly a great addition to this effort.  There are some who probably would have etched their own board, burned their own chips and cast their own ferrites, but for those like me wanting to do this project and yet not have that previously mentioned skill set, your document truly made it enjoyable and comfortable building it.

I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work you put into it.  There were just a few spots (like the transistors and the last four electrolytics) that gave me any pause, and by then had gained enough confidence that I plowed ahead.

Kudos to you.  I hope you realize how much you've contributed to the whole Blitz effort.

And the version you had matched the kit I received, so it was perfect.

Now I have my little beauty blinking away on the dining room table, seeing all sorts of satellites and bellyaching there is no amplifier board connected, so the excitement of getting that attached and running today is really building.

Once again, enormous thanks.  Dale
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 5, 2014 9:42 pm PDT
« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2014, 12:48:19 AM »
A newly revised Blitzortung document has been released. It is dated May 5, 2014. This is the second change in two days. The new doc includes more detailed information about the E-field kits and their operation.

You can find the link to the official Blitzortung website in the first post in this thread.
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Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 19, 2014 9:46 pm PDT
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2014, 01:12:38 AM »
I have posted some initial information on the E-Field Kit now being shipped. There is an Inventory Sheet for both of the boards that you can use to ensure you have received all of the required components.

See the first post in this thread for links to this new documentation. Additional documents will be posted once I have created the step-by-step document for this new E-Field kit.

Please let me know if you find any typos or errors in these documents..
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 01:14:55 AM by W3DRM »
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