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Weather Station Hardware => Blitzortung => Topic started by: W3DRM on August 29, 2013, 08:47:17 PM

Title: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on August 29, 2013, 08:47:17 PM
Below, you will find links to the Blitzortung documentation.

I will update these references as they change. If you find other sources of Blitzortung documentation let me know and I'll post it here in this thread.

THIS THREAD POST LAST EDITED: October 13, 2014 - 5:04pm PDT

* RED System Step-by-Step Build Instructions Documents: - REVISED 10/13/2014 @1704 PDT
CAUTION: Please use this document as a general instruction type of doc rather an absolute way of assembling your RED kits. Be absolutely certain to do a full inventory of all components PRIOR to beginning your assembly.


* E-Field Kit Documentation & Build Instructions: - REVISED: 06/16/2014 @11:11am PDT
NOTE: The first document listed above is the Step-by-Step build document for the E-Field Kit. The other two documents are a listing of all components included in the E-Field Kit as I received them. They have been assembled to make it easier for anyone building these kits to ensure all components were received and to separate them into two packages, one for the Amplifier and one for the Pre-Amplifier PCBs received in the kit. Please let me know if you do use it. Especially, if you find problems, typos or errors with any of these documents.

The E-field assembly document has a special warning regarding the F-connectors. Please read that document BEFORE you connect anything to the F-connectors.



* E-Field & H-Field Kit Post-Build Set-up Documentation - REVISED: 06/19/2014 @11:02am PDT
NOTE: The above document is a copy of the first posting in the "Adding E Field Probe - Startup and Operation - not for construction" thread. It has been duplicated here due to the inability to print its contents out without some of the images being cut-off during the printing process. I have resized the images so they fit on the pages. I'll try to keep it up-to-date as changes are made to it.


Official GREEN and RED System Documentation can be found at the following link: NOTE: Current System RED Documentation is dated May 11, 2014

The following is documentation I have developed and based on the official Blitzortung documents that supports the Blitzortung RED Lightning System. It is in no way, sanctioned or approved by the Blitzortung group.

RED System Build Component List (original listing from Blitzortung):
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/TOA_Blitzortung_RED-2013-08-24-Order-List.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/TOA_Blitzortung_RED-2013-08-24-Order-List.pdf)

RED System Build Component List (modified component list): - ADDED 9/15/2013
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-2013-08-04-Order-List-Amp-PCB.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-2013-08-04-Order-List-Amp-PCB.pdf)
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-2013-08-04-Order-List-Cntlr-PCB.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-2013-08-04-Order-List-Cntlr-PCB.pdf)
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-2013-08-04-Order-List-Additonal-Parts.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-2013-08-04-Order-List-Additonal-Parts.pdf)

RED System Build Checklists & Outline Documents: - UPDATED 9/15/2013
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts-Amplifier-12-v3-7-2013.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts-Amplifier-12-v3-7-2013.pdf)
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts-Controller-10-v3b-8-2013.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts-Controller-10-v3b-8-2013.pdf)
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Assembly-Outline.pdf (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Assembly-Outline.pdf)
http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts.xlsx (http://carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-Kit-Parts.xlsx) *See Note below

*note: The xlsx spreadsheet contains all of the individual worksheets shown in PDF format above.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation
Post by: W3DRM on September 15, 2013, 03:39:03 PM
Added some RED system checklists and other misc documentation to the first post in this thread. Let me know if there are other references that I can add to the list to help those assembling the Blitzortung kits.
Title: Re:
Post by: i_fiorentino on September 15, 2013, 03:42:23 PM
Added some RED system checklists and other misc documentation to the first post in this thread. Let me know if there are other references that I can add to the list to help those assembling the Blitzortung kits.

Wow, excellent!
Thank you so much w3drm ;)
Regards,


Alessandro
Title: Re:
Post by: W3DRM on September 16, 2013, 01:35:50 AM
Added some RED system checklists and other misc documentation to the first post in this thread. Let me know if there are other references that I can add to the list to help those assembling the Blitzortung kits.

Wow, excellent!
Thank you so much w3drm ;)
Regards,


Alessandro

Alessandro,

Glad I can help. I have also posted a new document that hopefully will be a "step-by-step" instruction manual for assembling the RED systems. See the first post in this thread for a link to this new "preliminary" document. As I state in the cover sheet, it is a work in progress and will be developed as I build my own RED system.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation
Post by: tobi on September 16, 2013, 05:15:59 AM
Hi all,

wow, great work you are doing here!

Some comments to the assembly instructions:
- Anti static mats or similar are not so important. I didn't remember any problems which could be caused by ESD so far.
- We do not recommend to use solder paste. We already had some participants which run into problems with that. It's no problem to solder all components (even SMD parts and GPS) with a good fine, powerful soldering iron with normal solder.
- This tool could be useful: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3932532&znt_campaign=Category_CMS&znt_source=CAT&znt_medium=RSCOM&znt_content=CT2032236
- A desoldering pump is also a very usefull tool.

Happy assembling!  8-)

Kind regards

Tobias
Blitzortung.org developer
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation
Post by: W3DRM on September 16, 2013, 12:56:02 PM
Hi all,

wow, great work you are doing here!

Some comments to the assembly instructions:
- Anti static mats or similar are not so important. I didn't remember any problems which could be caused by ESD so far.
- We do not recommend to use solder paste. We already had some participants which run into problems with that. It's no problem to solder all components (even SMD parts and GPS) with a good fine, powerful soldering iron with normal solder.
- This tool could be useful: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3932532&znt_campaign=Category_CMS&znt_source=CAT&znt_medium=RSCOM&znt_content=CT2032236
- A desoldering pump is also a very usefull tool.

Happy assembling!  8-)

Kind regards

Tobias
Blitzortung.org developer

Tobias,

Thank you for the response. I have modified the document and reworded the ESD considerations and also added the diagonal cutters and solder pump to the list of suggested items. I also changed the solder paste to liquid solder flux and specified this is only for the SMDs. I never use solder flux on pcb through-hole components. You just don't need it.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: DaleReid on September 17, 2013, 06:20:43 PM
Don,
Thanks for this work.  It takes time to document, and even more time to format a good looking sheet.

It may be a bit of overkill, but to be disappointed with a non-functioning (somewhat expensive) board is worth being a bit obsessive about it.

One expense many of us don't realize is that to use up one of the rare somewhat hard to get kits when a more dedicated or experienced assembler might have taken my botched assembly and successfully gotten another station on the air is something we normally don't think of in this world of plenty of everything.

Dale
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 18, 2013, 01:10:00 AM
Don,
Thanks for this work.  It takes time to document, and even more time to format a good looking sheet.

It may be a bit of overkill, but to be disappointed with a non-functioning (somewhat expensive) board is worth being a bit obsessive about it.

One expense many of us don't realize is that to use up one of the rare somewhat hard to get kits when a more dedicated or experienced assembler might have taken my botched assembly and successfully gotten another station on the air is something we normally don't think of in this world of plenty of everything.

Dale

Hi Dale,

Well, I know the feeling I had when I first opened the RED kit box. It has been a long time since I built a Heathkit type of device. There it was, a box full of loose parts and a couple of printed circuit boards -  :shock: - now what do I do? Of course, I had read these various forum posts many time over and felt that I was ready for the kit to arrive. I guess you could say there was a fleeting moment of panic as I opened that box for the first time. That was the beginning of my journey to help calm down those fears by putting some documentation in place that would take the new or old assembler through a series of (hopefully) well thought-out steps. The result is the document I am putting together as I build my own RED system. Unfortunately, my build is taking longer than I had initially anticipated due to there being other parts of my life that also demand my time and thus keep me very busy. I hope to have this first phase with the amplifier board done in the next few days or so. Then it will be on to the controller board. So far, I am finding the build to be relatively easy. I just have to take my time. The components are pretty small and the soldering, while not difficult, takes a steady hand.

I will post new versions of the build document as I go through the process and will update the revision dates on the forum in this thread.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: gwwilk on September 18, 2013, 08:59:19 AM
Thanks for doing this, Don.  I wish I had had the benefit of such a guide while I was building my still-not-working Blitzortung Red system. (I have a dead ethernet controller (a replacement is on the way via e-bay) and the amplifier's grounding block soldered on backwards--I'm going to remedy that this morning.)  It appears to be slowly coming along.  I've successfully flashed firmware 4.4, and both boards seem to be working in spite of my efforts to botch the assembly at every turn.

One thing that's very misleading is the 'four hour' build time that I recall from some of the documentation.  This is only going to be the case if you're very experienced at assembling this kit--there are way too many places to go wrong that aren't obvious and aren't mentioned near the assembly parts list.  Lots and lots of time needs to be spent organizing the build, reading how to do it, and checking each step.  Build a few hours a day and take as long as necessary.  If you shoot for four hours on your first build, you'll shoot yourself in the foot big time (speaking from hard-won experience).

The photos of Red builds that are available in several threads in a couple of places [(1) (http://www.usatoa.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=88) (2) (http://www.usatoa.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=70&start=10#p238) and (3) (http://www.usatoa.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=84#p372)] need to somehow be included in the documentation.  I finally saved them and also printed out the threads so I would have them available for reference.

This documentation you're working on should help fill a real need, Don.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 18, 2013, 10:48:00 AM
Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the comments and inputs. I completely agree that 4 hours build time is not the normal length of time it takes to build the RED system. For those who are essentially novices with little or no soldering experience, it will take much more time to build the kit. Basically, IMHO this kit is not one for beginners although a novice can build it, providing they take the time to concentrate at each and every step along the way. This is where a document like I am putting together will help as it gives you focus on what needs to be done next and also shows how to do it. I guess you could say that patience is paramount. Without it, you are almost guaranteed to have problems along the way.

I do plan to insert some images in the document to assist but that will come later in the development.

Thanks again for the inputs. Please feel free to pass on any suggestions or corrections needed.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: miraculon on September 18, 2013, 01:33:13 PM
The checklists are a step in the right direction. These "kits" are really a schematic, BOM (bill-of-material) and a PCB layout & image and a "bag o' parts".

The old Heathkits, Dynakits, etc. had a step-by-step process that was well suited to the novice.

If you are familiar with reading schematics/BOM/PCB artwork (I am) it is no problem. I assembled my PCBs in about the 4hr time-frame.

This is going to be vastly different with novice-level assemblers. Making the documentation more "Heathkit-like" would help a lot.

In addition to stuffing the boards, there is the fabrication of housings, antennas, etc. This is one of those "skill level 5" projects (like the Estes model rockets).

Greg H.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: miraculon on September 18, 2013, 02:09:46 PM
Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the comments and inputs. I completely agree that 4 hours build time is not the normal length of time it takes to build the RED system. For those who are essentially novices with little or no soldering experience, it will take much more time to build the kit. Basically, IMHO this kit is not one for beginners although a novice can build it, providing they take the time to concentrate at each and every step along the way. This is where a document like I am putting together will help as it gives you focus on what needs to be done next and also shows how to do it. I guess you could say that patience is paramount. Without it, you are almost guaranteed to have problems along the way.

I do plan to insert some images in the document to assist but that will come later in the development.

Thanks again for the inputs. Please feel free to pass on any suggestions or corrections needed.


If there was some way to add the "gotchas" into the checklist like the lay-down capacitors (C44, C45, C55, C56) and similar items it would help. The mention about laying down the caps was buried in later verbiage in the RED PDF instructions. I read it, but forgot about it. The round silk-screen symbolization doesn't help either.

It seems that there were a couple of other items that you had to jump around in the documentation to be able to catch.

Maybe a small note on these parts in the checklist would help.

Greg H.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: gwwilk on September 18, 2013, 03:41:18 PM

If there was some way to add the "gotchas" into the checklist like the lay-down capacitors (C44, C45, C55, C56) and similar items it would help. The mention about laying down the caps was buried in later verbiage in the RED PDF instructions. I read it, but forgot about it. The round silk-screen symbolization doesn't help either.

It seems that there were a couple of other items that you had to jump around in the documentation to be able to catch.

Maybe a small note on these parts in the checklist would help.

Greg H.
I fully agree with you, Greg.

A couple of other 'gotcha's are the orientations of the star resistors and the electrolytic capacitors...and don't forget about the terminal blocks that should be facing outward.  These are things that tripped me up.  I'm an old 'Heathkit' builder, not an experienced circuit board jockey.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 19, 2013, 10:34:57 AM
Greg H, Jerry, et al,

This is exactly "why" I am putting together this document. It is meant for those who aren't at the "5" level or are very rusty (like myself). The old Heathkits used much larger discrete components whereas this kit uses very small parts by comparison and are a bit more difficult to see the values on them as well just to handle (especially with stiff old fingers). As for the gotchas, I will put them in the documentation so others will have them at the correct point in the assembly steps when they need them. The amplifier board really doesn't have any critical gotchas except for the orientation of the leads and order of assembly which I'm already doing. The controller board will have more "gotcha's" due to the things you both have already mentioned.

BTW, I finished up my Amplifier board late last night and plugged it in to the 5v. The result was the four flashes of the yellow leds along with the red power led being lit. I could hit the reset button and the sequence would repeat. So, I guess that means that the board is basically working. Won't know for sure though until I feed a signal into it from the antenna but that is down the road.

I hope to get the last part of the written instructions for the Amplifier board done tonight. Will post the updated document once that is done.

Thanks for the inputs...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: miraculon on September 19, 2013, 11:33:34 AM

Quote
BTW, I finished up my Amplifier board late last night and plugged it in to the 5v. The result was the four flashes of the yellow LEDs along with the red power led being lit. I could hit the reset button and the sequence would repeat. So, I guess that means that the board is basically working. Won't know for sure though until I feed a signal into it from the antenna but that is down the road.

If you turn the trim pot, you should see something resembling a binary counter on the LEDs. That would be another check you could make.

Also, at the highest gain, you might be able to see the noise on an AC voltmeter scale up/down with the pot measuring at the test point headers.

Great work on the documentation project, it will be really helpful to those building up kits.

Greg H.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on September 19, 2013, 02:05:27 PM
There is one more gotcha... If someone should want to order the included "5v" USB power supply... don't. IF you had it included and are still building, don't bother using it. Unless they've changed it, it will be a European 50 Hz 220 V. Should you be tempted to modify the plug, you'll only get about 3.5 - 4V out of it...  :lol:

Also you'll save a bunch on shipping not ordering the CAT 5 cables, but getting them elsewhere... make sure they're shielded. I used these CAT6 ($11 / 25")http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPMZOW/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPMZOW/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) but changed later to a 50' ($16) for the amp http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPL4YE/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPL4YE/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Should you break your 8mm 2 pin controller ground terminal block, as I eventually did, they can be attained various places...  (It's easy to 'twist them' after mounting and screwing the tension, breaking the pin into the board) I used a tiny drop of hot glue under my replacement, just for reinforcement. Additionally, make sure you have the base flush tightly to the board. I ordered these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0079SJP7U/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0079SJP7U/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) since the price was right and no shipping, and I wasn't in a hurry. Took about 10 days.

Electric Guitar copper foil http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KJ0ZD0/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KJ0ZD0/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) makes great shielding for the ferrites (or anything else), and being copper, you can solder to it.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 19, 2013, 07:21:21 PM

Quote
BTW, I finished up my Amplifier board late last night and plugged it in to the 5v. The result was the four flashes of the yellow LEDs along with the red power led being lit. I could hit the reset button and the sequence would repeat. So, I guess that means that the board is basically working. Won't know for sure though until I feed a signal into it from the antenna but that is down the road.

If you turn the trim pot, you should see something resembling a binary counter on the LEDs. That would be another check you could make.

Also, at the highest gain, you might be able to see the noise on an AC voltmeter scale up/down with the pot measuring at the test point headers.

Great work on the documentation project, it will be really helpful to those building up kits.

Greg H.

Thanks Greg H,

I did rotate the pot and the leds changed states. Only used my fingernail so didn't notice of they tended to be counting up or down. Will look at that later when I get a chance.

Won't have a chance to update my document tonight as I have a meeting to go to that I had forgot about and will be busy all day tomorrow. Should have time this weekend though. Dang, why do other priorities get in the way so much???  ](*,)
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/17/2013 0938PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 19, 2013, 07:25:18 PM
There is one more gotcha... If someone should want to order the included "5v" USB power supply... don't. IF you had it included and are still building, don't bother using it. Unless they've changed it, it will be a European 50 Hz 220 V. Should you be tempted to modify the plug, you'll only get about 3.5 - 4V out of it...  :lol:

Also you'll save a bunch on shipping not ordering the CAT 5 cables, but getting them elsewhere... make sure they're shielded. I used these CAT6 ($11 / 25")http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPMZOW/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPMZOW/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) but changed later to a 50' ($16) for the amp http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPL4YE/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NPL4YE/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Should you break your 8mm 2 pin controller ground terminal block, as I eventually did, they can be attained various places...  (It's easy to 'twist them' after mounting and screwing the tension, breaking the pin into the board) I used a tiny drop of hot glue under my replacement, just for reinforcement. Additionally, make sure you have the base flush tightly to the board. I ordered these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0079SJP7U/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0079SJP7U/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) since the price was right and no shipping, and I wasn't in a hurry. Took about 10 days.

Electric Guitar copper foil http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KJ0ZD0/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KJ0ZD0/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) makes great shielding for the ferrites (or anything else), and being copper, you can solder to it.

Cutty,

Yes, Egon warned me about the 5v supply they are offering. I was not aware that it was a 220V version and may not work correctly here in the US. I purchased both the 5v PS and the GPS antenna from the US. I haven't gotten the Shielded Cat-5 cables just yet as I am not sure exactly where I am going to put the antenna and controller board. I'll probably just pick up a couple shorter cables until I find a good location for the antenna.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: miraculon on September 19, 2013, 07:44:59 PM
When I built up the Eastern Voltage Research Lightning Detector 1.0 kit, I thought the instructions were pretty good. Heathkit-like, with a check list for each part insertion and special notes. It might be inspirational.

http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/datasheets/lightningdet10_manualrev1.pdf (http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/datasheets/lightningdet10_manualrev1.pdf)

Greg H.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 19, 2013, 07:57:03 PM
When I built up the Eastern Voltage Research Lightning Detector 1.0 kit, I thought the instructions were pretty good. Heathkit-like, with a check list for each part insertion and special notes. It might be inspirational.

http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/datasheets/lightningdet10_manualrev1.pdf (http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/datasheets/lightningdet10_manualrev1.pdf)

Greg H.

Thanks Greg. That is a great document. I may just make some changes to mine so it has similar content and look. Very easy to follow too.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 20, 2013, 10:55:17 AM
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,
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on September 20, 2013, 11:40:53 AM
I had a few moments, couldn't find exactly what you were referring to...either  ](*,)
They're really spread out through threads.
Perhaps we need to start a couple of special threads..,.
designate a specific member  for each area to start and 'monitor' the thread
e,g
1 prep including mindset! Especially for those below level 5 :-P
2 different approaches to sorting parts and methods of placement
3 amp assy
4 controller assy
5 Operation
Then, as we post our experiences and suggestions in an area, without worrying about duplicating stuff to enable 'free flow' thinking. Then that 'thread owner' could do a 'running' collation, combining them
into a 'most recent post' in that thread.... as a marker, and also adding them back into the 1st post, then see if we can 'close' it after a certain deadline you might choose
????
Mike
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 21, 2013, 12:51:33 AM
Mike,

Great ideas! I would add to that list some kind of "pre-prep" or "order" details. As Egon has suggested, those of us in the USA and probably those in other locations around the world who are a long way from Germany should consider ordering only the basic items (kit #4, as Egon refers to it - which is sans the cables, 5V USB PS, STM32F4DISCOVERY board, and GPS antenna). That reduces the cost for shipping considerably. It may also reduce the overall cost as some items may be able to be purchased more cheaply locally than from Egon. There is also the issue of using a 5V USB power supply for the local power in use. Here in the US all power is 110V 60Hz, while it varies elsewhere around the world. Some areas may not work correctly on other power systems. A list of those items along with where to buy them would be most helpful to anyone just beginning on the Blitzortung journey.

It is my opinion we should also be very careful how we name our threads so we can easily distinguish which particular kit is being referred to. If you look at the Blitzortung.org internal forum, you will find tons of information but much of it pertains to the older GREEN kit and not the RED kit we are building today. I am sure there will be new versions of the RED kit that will need to have their own individual threads. Thus, we need to develop a strategy or naming convention so future threads will be easy to identify and save everyone time when they are looking for specific kit information. One way would be to have the forum administrators add child boards under the main Blitzortung forum for each of the various versions. The only problem with that is that it requires more work of the administrators.

So, let's start talking about this now BEFORE we begin to develop threads as you have suggested. Both Ken (saratogaWX) and Chris (SLOweather) are active adminstrators so hopefully they can chime in with their thoughts on this subject.

Another thing I have noticed is that the WXFORUM.NET forum seems to be much more active than the USATOA.COM forum, for whatever reason. So, the WXFORUM will probably be the best place to have these special Blitzortung threads.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on September 21, 2013, 06:16:27 AM
Mike,
 The only problem with that is that it requires more work of the administrators.

So, let's start talking about this now BEFORE we begin to develop threads as you have suggested. Both Ken (saratogaWX) and Chris (SLOweather) are active adminstrators so hopefully they can chime in with their thoughts on this subject.

Another thing I have noticed is that the WXFORUM.NET forum seems to be much more active than the USATOA.COM forum, for whatever reason. So, the WXFORUM will probably be the best place to have these special Blitzortung threads.


Whoa!  Maybe our brainstorm sounds good, , but let's chill a moment..., and evaluate/brainstorm this "off board" with PMs, or other personal, to/from all interested.
 :arrow: Also one of the reasons TOA forum is less active is many of us tend to naturally come here out of long habit, for convenience, familiarity perhaps, but we must not ignore TOA and the main BT forums! They are the project, so to speak.   :!: And many of us here in the US, for example, are the 'new kids' on the block...  :!: The BZT team is busy enough without trying to follow 3 or 4 forums and many of our more experienced European and other WW friends may very well not monitor WxForum... (yet !).
Being somewhat familiar with SMF, there are several ways this could be handled, and my first thought of such 'brainstorming' threads views them as 'temporary' anyway, if you follow me.
hmmm.,.. as I typed this I had another idea. Watch for PM.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: miraculon on September 21, 2013, 11:48:09 AM
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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: miraculon 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: saratogaWX 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
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/19/2013 1429 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/25/2013 1903 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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,
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/29/2013 1822 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/30/2013 1049 PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor 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
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/30/2013 1049 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 9/30/2013 1049 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor 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
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
Post by: W3DRM on October 07, 2013, 01:04:56 AM
If you haven't noticed -

Two blitzortung updates:

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
Post by: Jumpin Joe 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.

Joe
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 10/3/2013 2105 PDT
Post by: gwwilk 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...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 12/12/2013 2058 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 12/12/2013 2058 PDT
Post by: miraculon 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
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 12/12/2013 2058 PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
Post by: DaleReid 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


Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
Post by: robo 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
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED 02/24/2014 12:05 pm PDT
Post by: DaleReid 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
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 5, 2014 9:42 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 19, 2014 9:46 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM 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..
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 19, 2014 9:46 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on May 23, 2014, 12:39:25 AM
Here is a link to my latest step-by-step instructions for the new E-Field Kit. I have also included links to the docs for inventorying the new kit.

These links are also posted in the first post in this thread. All updates made to the files will noted in the first post of the thread.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 19, 2014 9:46 pm PDT
Post by: Jumpin Joe on May 23, 2014, 06:49:08 AM
Here is a link to my latest step-by-step instructions for the new E-Field Kit. I have also included links to the docs for inventorying the new kit.
  • http://www.carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/Blitzortung-E-Field-Assembly-Instructions.pdf (http://www.carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/Blitzortung-E-Field-Assembly-Instructions.pdf)
  • http://www.carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-E-Field-Amp-13-Ver-1b-Kit-Parts.pdf (http://www.carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-E-Field-Amp-13-Ver-1b-Kit-Parts.pdf)
  • http://www.carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-E-Field-Pre-Amp-14-Ver-1b-Kit-Parts.pdf (http://www.carsonvalleyweather.com/blitzortung/docs/System-RED-E-Field-Pre-Amp-14-Ver-1b-Kit-Parts.pdf)

These links are also posted in the first post in this thread. All updates made to the files will noted in the first post of the thread.

Perfect timing for me Don. My E-Field kit was shipped about a week ago, should be here any day now.

Thanks for all of your hard work.

Joe
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 22, 2014 9:18 pm PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on May 24, 2014, 02:53:45 PM
IMPORTANT:
CAREFUL
with your Female F Connectors!  2 of us early builders have had them come apart! The 'connector' appears to press into the housing, and it appears it takes little effort to separate them! Now you'll have a poor or intermittent ground on the coax!... or a dead preamp.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 22, 2014 9:18 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on May 24, 2014, 04:24:49 PM
IMPORTANT:
CAREFUL
with your Female F Connectors!  2 of us early builders have had them come apart! The 'connector' appears to press into the housing, and it appears it takes little effort to separate them! Now you'll have a poor or intermittent ground on the coax!... or a dead preamp.

Thanks Mike! I have updated the E-field Kit Instructions to include a note about this issue. You'll find it on page 10 of the latest revision of the document.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 12:51 pm PDT
Post by: DaleReid on May 24, 2014, 04:37:00 PM
Don,
I was reading your notes and getting ready to heat the iron after all the cemetery visiting is done, and last night I found on page 7, under 2) Diodes on the last line before the D1 check box the statement to NOT solder until all FOUR diodes have been inserted.  Is this really TWO diodes, D1 and D2?

Picky, but if it really is two and it says four it makes people like me go a little crazy looking for the other two diodes!

Dale
PS, your effort with this document is really invaluable to get ready and laid out.
The ONLY thing that would be helpful is on the page listing the components is to have the resister values followed by the color code, since for initial sort that might help.  Yes, I do hit them with a tester but with meg sized loads my meter chokes.  (and not on the inductors, either!)  The color pictures of the separated components do help a lot, but I can't zoom in enough to check the color bands.

And the simple answer is to just meter every one, I realize.  Thanks for listening. Dale
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 12:51 pm PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on May 24, 2014, 05:07:05 PM
Yes, only two signal diodes...

What? Your Resistors have colored bands?  You lucky dog... . 

We all nearly went blind and stark raving crazy on the first Red kits... so we're used to basic b&w .
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 12:51 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on May 24, 2014, 05:32:17 PM
Don,
I was reading your notes and getting ready to heat the iron after all the cemetery visiting is done, and last night I found on page 7, under 2) Diodes on the last line before the D1 check box the statement to NOT solder until all FOUR diodes have been inserted.  Is this really TWO diodes, D1 and D2?

Picky, but if it really is two and it says four it makes people like me go a little crazy looking for the other two diodes!

Dale
PS, your effort with this document is really invaluable to get ready and laid out.
The ONLY thing that would be helpful is on the page listing the components is to have the resister values followed by the color code, since for initial sort that might help.  Yes, I do hit them with a tester but with meg sized loads my meter chokes.  (and not on the inductors, either!)  The color pictures of the separated components do help a lot, but I can't zoom in enough to check the color bands.

And the simple answer is to just meter every one, I realize.  Thanks for listening. Dale

Hi Dale,

Good catch!  =D> That's what I get for copy-n-pasting from the old RED doc.  :oops:

A new version has been uploaded with the wording changed to reflect only two diodes...

Also, I have thought about placing an image of each of the various resistors like is in the BO manual itself. I just haven't had the time to do the individual images. When doing that, I would also add in the actual color-code names so everyone had a better shot at getting it correct. Not sure my old eyes are good enough to really see the different colors even under magnification.

Personally, I just use my DMM. It's an old Radio Shack 22-813. Have had it for many years but it is quite accurate. I am thinking about getting a good OptiVisor magnifier. I find it difficult to hold things in one hand and work a soldering-iron and solder in another. I do have a helper jig but it doesn't do a very good job at holding a PCB.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: DaleReid on May 24, 2014, 06:13:52 PM
My thoughts exactly, but for the first pass, sort into boards technique you discussed, having a first shot and a verification might be good IF it isn't too time consuming.  Yes, I have two optivisor thingies, since at my age the accomodation to shift focus is getting pretty well zapped.

I will get another meter to try, the one I had wasn't up to the task of these ranges, which I didn't seem to ahve any problem with when the first set of boards went together.

But this is fun, and I have to just double check my selection before soldering.  Right after I wash my hands ten times.....

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: Jumpin Joe on May 24, 2014, 06:38:03 PM
My E-Field Kit arrived today.... but, it will have to wait several days. Have to get the knee fixed first.....

Joe
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: DaleReid on May 24, 2014, 07:31:28 PM
Joe,
Good luck on both fronts.

The storms in the mid portion of the country and the south are keeping the stations on their toes.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: Jumpin Joe on May 24, 2014, 08:21:04 PM
Thanks on both fronts Dale.

Can't wait to hear that your E-Field is up and running..... Oh the memories of building RED with older eyes. ](*,)
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on May 24, 2014, 11:30:41 PM
Based on a few comments from a new builder (92Merc), I really need to update my RED Step-by-Step building document. My time at the moment is really limited for any such work but I hope to be able to get it going sometime late next week. I'll probably do it prior to building my own E-field system as I have just ordered one of the magnifiers suggested by 92Merc. That isn't due until the end of May so it will give me time to start putting things together for the updated RED build document.

I'll be using some of your inputs and images that you posted and/or sent to me. If anyone has additional comments/suggestions, please let me know so I can include all of the latest updates in the document.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: Jumpin Joe on May 29, 2014, 03:10:05 PM
Don, while I sit and wait to be able to assemble my kit thought I would read the assembly instructions you have been so gracious to put together.

I noticed two things you may want to look at. On page 3, third paragraph..... Please all necessary....  I think you meant.  Please take all necessary.....

On both parts inventory sheets the GS-28P-S-ICATMEGA8 is listed and I believe it is only supposed to be on the Amplifier list.

I hope this helps,
Joe
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on May 29, 2014, 04:51:02 PM
Don, while I sit and wait to be able to assemble my kit thought I would read the assembly instructions you have been so gracious to put together.

I noticed two things you may want to look at. On page 3, third paragraph..... Please all necessary....  I think you meant.  Please take all necessary.....

Good catch Joe! Will make the change.

Quote
On both parts inventory sheets the GS-28P-S-ICATMEGA8 is listed and I believe it is only supposed to be on the Amplifier list.

Another good catch. Will make the changes and post them here in this thread. Probably won't be able to get to it until tomorrow morning as we have company this afternoon and evening.

Thanks for the inputs and as always inputs and suggestions are always welcome by anyone.

Quote
I hope this helps,
Joe
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on May 29, 2014, 05:57:16 PM
Ya better keep your eye on Jumpin' Joe, or Limpin' Joe, or soon to be, according to him, 'Joggin' Joe'...
He's laid up a bit after that knee surgery, and has nothing to do but nit-pik, He's so bored he sent
me the grossest 'selfie' you can imagine.   But after his complaint about my last pic of him,
I refuse to share it on this forum.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on May 29, 2014, 07:27:33 PM
Don, while I sit and wait to be able to assemble my kit thought I would read the assembly instructions you have been so gracious to put together.

I noticed two things you may want to look at. On page 3, third paragraph..... Please all necessary....  I think you meant.  Please take all necessary.....

On both parts inventory sheets the GS-28P-S-ICATMEGA8 is listed and I believe it is only supposed to be on the Amplifier list.

I hope this helps,
Joe

Updates have been made to both documents - links to all documents are in the first post of this thread.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 24, 2014 14:20 pm PDT
Post by: DaleReid on May 29, 2014, 07:46:06 PM
As long as it isn't him 'mooning' someone, I guess it will all be in good taste.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 29, 2014 4:26 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 03, 2014, 01:41:19 PM
Uh-oh, I made a mistake in the E-Field Amp PCB 13 assembly instructions (page 11).  :oops:

I erroneously listed IC2 as being a LMH6642. It should have been a MCP6292. This error has been corrected. Please download the new version of the documentation if you are going to assemble the E-Field kit.

I want to thank miraculon (Greg H) for finding this error and passing it on to me. That's what I call teamwork!  =D>

Links to all of the documents can be found in the first post in this thread.
Title: This helps
Post by: JonathanW on June 04, 2014, 10:30:50 AM
For those looking to build a System Red, you probably have soldering capability and tools already.  But if you don't have an extensive set of tools already, here are a few that I think are invaluable...

Magnifying lamp (example)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31TZ8A6uKML._AA160_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Efficient-LED-Magnifier-Lamp-Adjustable/dp/B001064VTE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401890079&sr=8-1&keywords=magnifying+lamp+arm)

The System Red has 18 surface-mount components (one GPS module on the controller board, plus 8 and 9 variable-gain opamps on the H-field and E-field amplifiers).  None are of the "truly tiny" variety, but if you have less than 20/10 vision, a decent magnifying lamp will help a LOT.

Even if you have tools like inspection microscopes/cameras, for everyday rapid soldering, it's hard to beat a magnifying lamp.


Tweezers
(http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents/gfx/small/5669ap7s.png?ver=31651452) (http://www.mcmaster.com/#8384a45/=s9frw6)

Frequently overlooked, components are always getting smaller, and a good pair of fine tweezers are essential.


Panavise
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31L-wTcgAVL._AA160_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/PanaVise-315-Circuit-Board-Holder/dp/B000B5Y99C/ref=sr_1_3?srs=2530091011&ie=UTF8&qid=1401890765&sr=8-3&keywords=circuit)

There are several ways to hold circuit boards while soldering them, including the friction "hope it doesn't move" method.  For me, the Panavise has been very helpful.


A decent temperature-controlled soldering station
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HAP1vwuXL.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Xytronic-168-3C-Soldering-Station/dp/B0090Q30B6)

For a long time, I did my soldering with cheap models I could find at Radio Shack, and while simple pencil irons will do a passable job, it's hard to beat quick-heating, variable-temperature, exchangeable-tip soldering stations--especially when you have to solder everything from tiny surface-mount components to the mounting lugs on connectors.  It still doesn't have to cost a lot - Weller is the "name brand" everyone knows, but there are others that will do an excellent job and cost less.

The above link is to the model I have, which I originally bought through All Electronics at a significant discount.  It's done a great job for me.  AE still sells replacement tips.


Multimeter
(http://allelcdn.upshotcommerce.com//mas_assets/cache/image/2/2/4/6/8774.Jpg) (http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/dvm-850bl/3-1/2-digit-lcd-multimeter-w/backlight/1.html)

The venerable multimeter is a soldering bench must-have, useful for everything from quickly identifying which resistors are which, to checking for soldering shorts and gaps, etc.  It doesn't have to be expensive (mine is an old Radio Shack special) to be helpful.

A few other tools I've found helpful:

ADDING: LCR meter, e.g. DE-5000 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-229-iet-de-5000-lcr-meter/):

(http://www.ietlabs.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/d/e/de-5000_2.jpg) (http://www.ietlabs.com/de5000-lcr-meter.html)

(Can be had for far less through reputable Japanese sellers on Ebay)

What other tools have you found useful?
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 29, 2014 4:26 pm PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on June 04, 2014, 10:45:32 AM
er... I built mine with:
40 year old Weller WP-25 w/Cone point tip
24 ga 60:40 solder left over from pro days
pair of small dikes...
anti-static mat I had leftover from pro days..,
(in a pinch use cotton towel sprayed with mixture of laundry soap and water,.. let dry)
Q-tip and silicone grease/heatsink compound
(slight dab on tip, holds SMD's in place, till you heat the pin and it sticks to the  board pad you've tinned, finish other pads. Wipe off grease. )
a hand magnifier
a bright desk lamp.
oh... an ancient Simpson 260.
Can't imagine why the thing works...

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 29, 2014 4:26 pm PDT
Post by: JonathanW on June 04, 2014, 10:50:01 AM
er... I built mine with:
40 year old Weller WP-25 w/Cone point tip
24 ga 60:40 solder left over from pro days
pair of small dikes...
anti-static mat I had leftover from pro days..,
(in a pinch use cotton towel sprayed with mixture of laundry soap and water,.. let dry)
Q-tip and silicone grease/heatsink compound
(slight dab on tip, holds SMD's in place, till you heat the pin and it sticks to the  board pad you've tinned, finish other pads. Wipe off grease. )
a hand magnifier
a bright desk lamp.
oh... an ancient Simpson 260.
Can't imagine why the thing works...

...which goes to show that tools are only part of the answer! ;)  Can't beat skill.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 29, 2014 4:26 pm PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on June 04, 2014, 10:56:16 AM
...which goes to show that tools are only part of the answer! ;)  Can't beat skill.
... and good fortune...  =D>
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED May 29, 2014 4:26 pm PDT
Post by: SLOweather on June 04, 2014, 11:35:15 AM
Quote
What other tools have you found useful?

Binocular magnifier for assembly. They can be had in differing powers or with interchangeable lenses. I like the 5x ones.

(http://www.maxiaids.com/ProdImages/OPTDA10.jpg)

and a 10x loupe for close inspection of solder joints. I prefer the type that you hold with your eye.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31nwKjv9wKL.jpg)
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 11, 2014 9:25 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 12, 2014, 01:07:43 AM
I have finally finished compiling a new version of the RED System build instruction and inventory documents. I decided to leave the original documents there just in case someone may run across an unbuilt older kit.

Be aware that these are written for the following versions of the RED Amp and Controller boards ONLY. If there are other versions out there, I don't have the necessary documents to develop a similar document for them.

If anyone has a later version than the one I show above, please let me know so I can update my documentation.

The new document links can be found in the first post of this thread, as always...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 12, 2014 8:24 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 12, 2014, 11:30:08 PM
Made some minor updates to most of the documents I have put together. I've added images of the resistors and some inductors to make it easier for identification. No major changes tonight.

Let me know if you find any errors or typos.

Thanks,
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 11:11 am PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 16, 2014, 02:20:41 PM
Made changes to the E-Field Step-by-Step document and the Pre-Amp PCB 14 component listing.

The Step-by-Step now has a testing section at the end. Next, will be some additional references to initial set-up procedures that are scattered around the WXFORUM.

As always, please let me know if you find any errors or things needing to added or corrected.

For those just joining the group, you will find all of the documentation links located in the first post of this thread.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 11:11 am PDT
Post by: DaleReid on June 16, 2014, 03:10:32 PM
Thanks Don.

As I've said before, the time you put into this document is a challenge, and the quality is great.  I needed a bit of hand holding to get off dead center and your efforts made a huge difference in getting going.


Dale
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 11:11 am PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 16, 2014, 08:13:17 PM
Thanks Dale! Just trying to make it easier for everyone (including myself)  :grin:

And now, since I have been unable to print-out the E-Field & H-Field post build setup instructions to read off-line, I have captured the first post in that thread and made a PDF with the images resized so they fit on a sheet of paper. A new document has been uploaded to my website. Here are the particulars as they appear on the main RED system thread on the forum:


* E-Field & H-Field Kit Post-Build Set-up Documentation - NEW: 06/16/2014 @4:446m PDT
NOTE: The above document is a copy of the first posting in the "Adding E Field Probe - Startup and Operation - not for construction" thread. It has been duplicated here due to the inability to print its contents out without some of the images being cut-off during the printing process. I have rescaled the images so they fit on the pages. I'll try to keep it up-to-date as changes are made to it.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 5:46 pm PDT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on June 16, 2014, 08:31:14 PM
Well Done Don!...
I told Don F a bit earlier I needed to do something with that posting, and you've saved me some trouble!  Even got the vid links to work, except for the last one. Good Job...

BTW, Don F and I've been discussing that 'threshold' setting thing, and are working on a simpler explanation, that he's about got down pat... so that part of the document is certainly scheduled for a modification of some type... and a couple of other things...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 5:46 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 16, 2014, 10:55:20 PM
Well Done Don!...
I told Don F a bit earlier I needed to do something with that posting, and you've saved me some trouble!  Even got the vid links to work, except for the last one. Good Job...

BTW, Don F and I've been discussing that 'threshold' setting thing, and are working on a simpler explanation, that he's about got down pat... so that part of the document is certainly scheduled for a modification of some type... and a couple of other things...

Thanks Mike! I've saved the post in both html and .docx formats so it shouldn't be too difficult to make changes. I didn't know the exact colors you used in your post so I guessed at them. I've attached the files I created. The html is essentially a copy of what you have posted but with some enhancements of the text and coloring. I imported that into MS Word and then resized the images so they would fit on the pages.

I'll take a look to see which video didn't work. I thought they were all linked correctly but obviously not. Won't be able to do any more on this, or anything else until Wednesday. We have a out-of=town funeral to attend for a very good friend who died of prostate cancer on Saturday.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 5:46 pm PDT
Post by: corwyyn on June 17, 2014, 06:39:12 AM
Don thanks for putting these documents together, they really made a difference in getting my system built! 

I did note one item in the latest RED build document (Amp 12v3c Controller 10v4).  In the section on installing the GPS unit there is a sentence that reads as follows:
"Next we will place the4 GPS surface mount device..."

Not sure how the 4 got in there but I guess numbers go where they want to go.  Also on the installation of the electrolytic capacitors, if you could possibly make the note about them needing to be laid down a little more prominent it would be nice.  Maybe make the note all bold so that it stands out.  I was going to suggest a different color for it but if someone else does like me and prints the pages out in black and white then the color difference won't be seen.

No rush on any of this, I know you have other stuff taking precedence. 
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 16, 2014 5:46 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 17, 2014, 11:34:52 AM
Don thanks for putting these documents together, they really made a difference in getting my system built! 

I did note one item in the latest RED build document (Amp 12v3c Controller 10v4).  In the section on installing the GPS unit there is a sentence that reads as follows:
"Next we will place the4 GPS surface mount device..."

Not sure how the 4 got in there but I guess numbers go where they want to go.  Also on the installation of the electrolytic capacitors, if you could possibly make the note about them needing to be laid down a little more prominent it would be nice.  Maybe make the note all bold so that it stands out.  I was going to suggest a different color for it but if someone else does like me and prints the pages out in black and white then the color difference won't be seen.

No rush on any of this, I know you have other stuff taking precedence.

Good morning Kevin,

Thanks for the input. I'll make the changes on Wednesday after I get back home. Good suggestion on the caps. When I made my RED, I forgot to lay down the first one and had to get a new one since the leads had been cut too short to use over again.

As for the "4" in the text, just a fat-finger moment, I guess. No matter how many times I read these docs over and check them for typos, I seem to miss some of the most obvious items...  ](*,)
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 18, 2014 4:59 pm PDT
Post by: dfroula on June 19, 2014, 10:55:29 AM
Don,

You might consider adding to the "E-Field & H-Field Kit Post-Build Set-up Documentation" the jpegs I posted showing a summary of the threshold operation after the recommended settings are applied. They are referenced, but not included, in your stand-alone document.

They may be found in this posting: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=22710.msg220855#msg220855

Thanks!

Don
WD9DMP
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 18, 2014 4:59 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 19, 2014, 11:07:42 AM
Don,

You might consider adding to the "E-Field & H-Field Kit Post-Build Set-up Documentation" the jpegs I posted showing a summary of the threshold operation after the recommended settings are applied. They are referenced, but not included, in your stand-alone document.

They may be found in this posting: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=22710.msg220855#msg220855

Thanks!

Don
WD9DMP

Now, this is scary - is it ESP or just a coincidence?... I was just getting things together for modifying the main RED System assembly document and was thinking about adding your jpegs to the E-field document too. I'm also going to add an E-field reference link to the RED assembly doc. That will help tie everything together but still keep separate documents for the RED system assembly and E-field kits. Doing that will hopefully make it easier to keep both docs updated.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 19, 2014 10:06 am PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 19, 2014, 01:20:49 PM
The RED system build document has been updated to correct some typos and additional text to clarify and emphasize the need to lie some of the components down so they don't interfere with the boards to be placed above them.
Now, on to making a few suggested changes to the E-Field assembly document...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED June 18, 2014 4:59 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on June 19, 2014, 02:17:06 PM
Don,

You might consider adding to the "E-Field & H-Field Kit Post-Build Set-up Documentation" the jpegs I posted showing a summary of the threshold operation after the recommended settings are applied. They are referenced, but not included, in your stand-alone document.

They may be found in this posting: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=22710.msg220855#msg220855

Thanks!

Don
WD9DMP

DonF,

The new jpegs have been added to the setup document PDF.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on July 06, 2014, 10:51:35 PM
I found an error in the latest RED Step-by-Step document on page 28.

I show a step to "Connect the 5V USB Power Supply cable to the Discovery board. It is NOT necessary to remove the Discovery board from the controller board for this procedure.". This step is not only incorrect, it is unnecessary. The 5 volt power supply has already been connected to the controller board (not the Discovery board) in an earlier step.

A new version of the Step-by-Step doc has been uploaded.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: roguk on July 16, 2014, 02:41:48 PM
I've just used these documents to help build my system and they certainly made the job easier and saved a lot of time.

Thanks for putting them together!
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation - REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: emulsifide on July 19, 2014, 10:17:04 PM
Just a quick head's up. For the moment, Egon shipped the latest controller and amplifier kits without 47 ohm resistors because he ran out of them. Instead, there's enough 49.9 ohm resistors included to use in place of them.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: corwyyn on September 05, 2014, 07:38:09 AM
Holy temporal anomalies Batman!  I was just reading thru the E-field assembly document and when I got to the end I noticed the following:

Revision History:
o June 13, 2014
 Updated cover page Blitzortung image to current people version.
o June 16, 2013
 Miscellaneous document corrections
 Initial writing of the testing portion of the document.
Had to double-check the calendar to make sure I didn't get bumped into an alternate timeline (and no I did not see Eddie or his sofa while I was running thru the space-time continuum  ;) ).
Title: Magnifying lamp retrofit
Post by: JonathanW on September 11, 2014, 08:32:47 PM
So, a month or so ago, the light in my swingarm magnifying lamp went out.  After some troubleshooting, it became fairly clear that the electronic ballast had gone out, I decided to change the lamp type to LED.

I decided to use a string LED lamp assembly from All Electronics:
SUPER-BRIGHT 12V 3-LED MODULE, COOL-WHITE (http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/ls-223cw/super-bright-12v-3-led-module-cool-white/1.html?extra=a%3A2%3A{i%3A0%3Bs%3A40%3A%2203823345592a403b2f4a37a59384e7ab28f02be1%22%3Bi%3A1%3BN%3B})

For the power supply (replacing the electronic ballast), I decided to crack open a computer power supply:
12VDC 2.9A POWER SUPPLY, USED (http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/ps-129u/12vdc-2.9a-power-supply-used/1.html?extra=a%3A2%3A{i%3A0%3Bs%3A40%3A%2203823345592a403b2f4a37a59384e7ab28f02be1%22%3Bi%3A1%3BN%3B})

I did have to replace one filter capacitor, due to damage during opening, but it wasn't a big deal.

Anyway, the results were very solid; the lamp is actually brighter than it was with a 22W circular fluorescent bulb:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tqf0y62H2_c/VBI92I2g4_I/AAAAAAAAAuU/aanGzWTcZjc/w959-h541-no/Lamp1.jpg)
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-U36E52fa-II/VBI92GFXf_I/AAAAAAAAAuY/9QOHIu6tMaA/w959-h541-no/Lamp2.jpg)

Not exactly a Blitzortung build post, but at least my bench is once again good to go for SMD components :)
Title: Re: Magnifying lamp retrofit
Post by: Einar on September 22, 2014, 01:29:04 PM
Not exactly a Blitzortung build post, but at least my bench is once again good to go for SMD components :)
I wish I had a lamp like that.
It would be great help when hands shaking, eyes as old as myself, and discovered I got MSOP MCP6S91 instead of SOIC.  ](*,)
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 22, 2014, 02:18:19 PM
Not to be overly critical but, not only do you have solder bridges, you have W A Y too much solder on those pins... I would suggest using liquid solder flux to eliminate that problem in the future.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: Einar on September 22, 2014, 02:36:09 PM
Click the picture and it will open in full resolution.
The "whiskers" on the outer pins are not all solder, but wrapping wire connecting the bent up pins.

And yes, I use liquid flux, lots of it. Without it, there would just be one big blob on each side of the chip!
That is a small chip, and soldered like that a passing gnat would try to mate with it!
It's a pain to solder, but what do you do when Mouser, Farnell, ...<long list> have the proper one on backorder?
I'll replace them as soon as the proper ones are available.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED July 2, 2014 4:05 pm PDT
Post by: W3DRM on September 22, 2014, 03:56:11 PM
Ah, got it. I didn't see the wires until after you mentioned it. Clever temporary fix. And yes, it's always tough when you need a component but no one has it in stock. Just like many who are waiting for the RED kits to be available again...  :???:
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 29, 2014 9:50 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on September 30, 2014, 01:08:48 AM
At last, I have updated the RED Kit Build documentation for the H-Field Amp & Controller boards. Briefly, the updates were as follows:
Please let me know if you find any other issues that I may have forgotten about or missed.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 29, 2014 9:50 pm PT
Post by: miraculon on September 30, 2014, 08:59:43 AM
One tidbit of information that seems elusive, yet important to the station builder is the dimensions of the boards. Once the boards are stuffed and tested, the next step is to package it into some kind of enclosure. Although packaging per se probably isn't appropriate for this document, the dimensions of the board would help someone planning the "next step" after the assembly of the boards.

I know that I wanted to know this when I was waiting for the kit and that I have seen this question pop up on the BO forum from time to time.

Greg H.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 29, 2014 9:50 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on September 30, 2014, 11:43:27 AM
One tidbit of information that seems elusive, yet important to the station builder is the dimensions of the boards. Once the boards are stuffed and tested, the next step is to package it into some kind of enclosure. Although packaging per se probably isn't appropriate for this document, the dimensions of the board would help someone planning the "next step" after the assembly of the boards.

I know that I wanted to know this when I was waiting for the kit and that I have seen this question pop up on the BO forum from time to time.

Greg H.

Good idea Greg. I should probably also add some information on the BUD boxes that have been used to mount the PCBs. Will work on that and incorporate it in the documentation.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 29, 2014 9:50 pm PT
Post by: corwyyn on September 30, 2014, 01:09:20 PM
Don let me know if you want me to add the dimensions to my images.  I know the latest BO documentation has the dimensions for the amp 13 and preamp 14 boards, the controller and amp 12 diagrams don't include them but a decent set of calipers will yield those in short order (and I have a set with digital readout).

Also let me know if you would like a set of bare-board renders, I'd have to add some of the pads that I didn't bother with since the components hid them but it wouldn't take too long to add them in.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 29, 2014 9:50 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on September 30, 2014, 01:36:55 PM
Don let me know if you want me to add the dimensions to my images.  I know the latest BO documentation has the dimensions for the amp 13 and preamp 14 boards, the controller and amp 12 diagrams don't include them but a decent set of calipers will yield those in short order (and I have a set with digital readout).

Also let me know if you would like a set of bare-board renders, I'd have to add some of the pads that I didn't bother with since the components hid them but it wouldn't take too long to add them in.

This is scary - last night while I was finalizing my documents with your new photo renditions, I was thinking it would be nice to have shots of the bare boards too. So, YES, if you can do that, I will gladly add them to my documents.

Board dimensions would also be a "nice-to-have" piece of information added to the images. Perhaps only show them on the bare boards so we don't add unnecessary clutter to the populated boards. An estimate of populated board height would also be good to have.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 29, 2014 9:50 pm PT
Post by: corwyyn on September 30, 2014, 02:01:26 PM
OK I'll see what I can put together.  Might be the weekend before I get them done but it shouldn't be too hard to do.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 30, 2014 1:20 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on September 30, 2014, 04:33:15 PM
Oopps - a user has found a typo in the RED build document...  :oops:

I have updated the RED Kit Build documentation for the H-Field Amp & Controller boards. The update was to correct a typo for the installation of C41 in the ceramic capacitor section of the document. It had indicated it was a resistor. The error has been corrected. This error has been in the documentation for a very long time and was just spotted.

As always, if you find anything needing to be updated or corrected, please let me know via a post in this thread.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 30, 2014 1:20 pm PT
Post by: SLOweather on October 01, 2014, 04:13:08 PM
As always, if you find anything needing to be updated or corrected, please let me know via a post in this thread.

As mentioned above, I'd like more info on enclosures and mounting. I know it's making more work for you (I've printed out all of your PDFS so I can start building.) but adding pictures of representative enclosures would be useful too.

Chris
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 30, 2014 1:20 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on October 01, 2014, 11:25:42 PM
As always, if you find anything needing to be updated or corrected, please let me know via a post in this thread.

As mentioned above, I'd like more info on enclosures and mounting. I know it's making more work for you (I've printed out all of your PDFS so I can start building.) but adding pictures of representative enclosures would be useful too.

Chris

Hi Chris,

I have already posted some photos of my external (outside) enclosure that some have referred to as my "out house". However, I have also used some BUD boxes to hold the inside PCB's. They are the standard BUD boxes with clear plastic covers. I added some external Radio Shack push-button switches for there RESET and DISPLAY controls on the Controller board. I have not added any audio jacks for the test points, so far. I may do that in the future. I have a separate BUD box for the Controller PCB and the E-field Amplifier PCB. They are connected currently via a 1-foot shielded Cat-5e Ethernet cable. Eventually, I want to mount the two boxes on a separate board that I will mount on the wall of my office. This will let me show-off my Blitzortung setup. I am in the process of moving all of me ham gear out of my garage and into my office. Once that is done, I will finish the Blitzortung setup.

A ink to my current external enclosure photos follows:
I have not taken any photos of my BUD box installations but will do so as soon as I finalize the move of everything to my office. I will also add those photos to the build documentation as an example of how I put it all together. I probably should have done that before this but, as we all discover, sometimes life gets in the way of progress...

More later and thanks for the suggestion.

Best of luck with your Blitzortung build and don't hesitate to post any questions you may have.

NOTE: I have updated the RED build documents as of yesterday to make some corrections with components and other misc details. Be sure you have the latest version of the build doc before you begin. The main change was the inclusion of some kits being distributed with 49.9-ohm resistors rather than the 47-ohm units as shown in the original parts inventory sheets. Either resistor can be used as it is not in a critical portion of the circuit. It has caused some grief to those trying to follow the instructions though. There were also a few typo corrections that didn't have any impact on the build process.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 30, 2014 1:20 pm PT
Post by: SLOweather on October 13, 2014, 03:19:47 PM
Leave it to me to make weird mistakes. But from them come valuable suggestions for the documentation.

First of all, one thing the Blitzer people didn't do, that everyone buying the kits really MUST do. Label each outer bag, and then open each inner bag, one at a time and label the inner bags with the board they go with. Even put a piece of tape on the board with its type.

Don, I think it would really benefit your already excellent instructions if you put a picture of the silkscreen side of the board at the beginning of its respective instructions.

Nope, I won't tell you my mistakes... [GHWBush mode]Not gonna do it... (http://[GHWBush mode))[/GHWBush mode]

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Sept 30, 2014 1:20 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on October 13, 2014, 08:07:51 PM
Leave it to me to make weird mistakes. But from them come valuable suggestions for the documentation.

First of all, one thing the Blitzer people didn't do, that everyone buying the kits really MUST do. Label each outer bag, and then open each inner bag, one at a time and label the inner bags with the board they go with. Even put a piece of tape on the board with its type.

Don, I think it would really benefit your already excellent instructions if you put a picture of the silkscreen side of the board at the beginning of its respective instructions.

Nope, I won't tell you my mistakes... [GHWBush mode]Not gonna do it... (http://[GHWBush mode))[/GHWBush mode]

Good suggestion Chris! I have added a copy of the unassembled (unpopulated) Amp and Controller boards so they are shown at the beginning of each board build sequence.

If I don't get any complaints or further suggestions for changes, I'll do the same for the E-field boards.

One comment though - when I received my initial RED system (H-field Amp and Controller), everything was included in a single bag. Only the IC's, crystal and a few misc components were found in separate bags. Even the strips of components (resistors, inductors and ceramic capacitors) for both boards were together. I had to count and separate each component individually. Perhaps they changed the way they packaged shipments as they went along and separated items. I can remember opening the original box and finding a huge pile of components starting at me. My first thought was wow, what do I do now?! That was the moment I began thinking about needing some kind of assembly instructions for those who had never done anything like this previously.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: jrm30655 on January 13, 2015, 11:08:01 PM
I've built several red systems and this is what I would recommend:

1. Go on youtube and enter "SMD soldering".  There are several good videos and the SMDs cause the most problems.

2. Clean the boards both sides before starting.  IPA can be used, I use something called "switch contact cleaner".  Make sure it is dry before starting.

3. Separate out all the parts by type and count to make sure the count is right and they are all the same.

4. Mount the SMDs first.  I use liquid flux and solder paste for these and use a hot air soldering machine to solder them.  If you use regular solder and an iron, I'd cut toothpicks in half and super glue them to the top of the chip so I can hold it in place.  Trying to hold them with tweezers or anything else is beyond me.  People that can do that must have nerves of steel.

5. WalMart sells "readers" that make great magnifying glasses for about $5.  Trying to hold a chip in place, solder it and hold a magnifying glass requires three hands

6. Before doing anything else, clean the joints with IPA to get rid of the flux, wipe down well with a wipe and inspect the joints.   Of the boards I've repaired 90% are because of those solder joints.  At this point, repair is pretty easy.  Once the other parts are in place getting a soldering iron in there is a bitch.  I have a 20X jewelers loupe that I inspect with.

7. There's a chart in the manual of the parts and the quantity.  I lay all the parts out just like the chart and work my way down.

8. I check all the resistors with a multimeter and make sure they are the right value and separate them by value.

9. I start with the smallest parts in size and work up to the largest.

10. I use standard 60/40 electronic solder

11. When I get everything assembled, I use my hot air system from the back side and slowly go over the whole board.  It is effectively reflowing the whole thing.

12. As a final step, I spray the board with IPA until it is good and wet and wipe it dry to remove any flux residue.

If you have to remove an SMD, hot air is the only way to go.  Many places that work on computers have one and will let you use it.  I've tried everything in the world and nothing else works without some damage to either the SMD or the board.

The SMDs used are really durable.  I've seen them put in backwards, off a pin and burnt to a crisp and still work.

I work with the board on a white towel.  It helps to hold the board in place and see dropped parts.

I've done trouble shooting on several red systems and 90% were SMD problems.  Bad solder joints, bad location or in backwards.  If you can get the SMDs in good, the rest is simple.







 
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: miraculon on January 14, 2015, 08:03:40 AM
Good advice and most of it agrees with the experience of other builders here on WXForum.

A word of caution however on this one:

Quote
4. Mount the SMDs first.  I use liquid flux and solder paste for these and use a hot air soldering machine to solder them.  If you use regular solder and an iron, I'd cut toothpicks in half and super glue them to the top of the chip so I can hold it in place.  Trying to hold them with tweezers or anything else is beyond me.  People that can do that must have nerves of steel.

I had a lot of trouble with "free hand" placement of the solder paste on the SOIC8 pads. It mashed out under the part and I had a lot of trouble with solder shorts. There are vias under some of the parts and there was a solder (or paste) short from the leads to the via. I was able to repair it by hot-air removing the part, cleaning up all the solder with wick and then resoldering it  with regular solder.

I have since bought a "mini-stencil" with a single SOIC8 pad geometry cutout. I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet, but I think that this should work better. Production SMD board manufacturing uses stencils to apply the solder paste and it is well controlled.

Greg H.
 
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: jrm30655 on January 14, 2015, 08:46:06 AM
I get solder paste in a hypodermic needle from an outfit in China.  The trick is to use very little.  Also, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator but used at room temperature.

Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: SLOweather on January 14, 2015, 01:51:26 PM

2. Clean the boards both sides before starting.  IPA can be used, I use something called "switch contact cleaner".  Make sure it is dry before starting.


IPA= IsoPropyl Alcohol, not India Pale Ale, which was the first thing that popped into my head. :)
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: W3DRM on January 14, 2015, 02:02:22 PM

2. Clean the boards both sides before starting.  IPA can be used, I use something called "switch contact cleaner".  Make sure it is dry before starting.


IPA= IsoPropyl Alcohol, not India Pale Ale, which was the first thing that popped into my head. :)


I've used DNA (DeNatured Alcohol) for years. IPA and DNA have different chemical makeup. My dad used it for cleaning solder joints on old vacuum tube radios and transmitters. That's probably why I continued with DNA...
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: jrm30655 on January 14, 2015, 02:16:49 PM
I live in Mexico and you can get IPA in 70% and 90%.  I use the 90% if I can find it.

I've seen some fluxes that claim to be water soluble but haven't tried any yet.

Living in MX presents some interesting challenges.  Almost all my supplies comes from the US or China.  Imagine what the customs people think when they see a needle full of solder paste ot flux.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: corwyyn on January 14, 2015, 05:24:19 PM
I live in Mexico and you can get IPA in 70% and 90%.  I use the 90% if I can find it.
I went down to my local Fry's electronics and purchased a 32oz bottle of 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol for my electronics projects.  I think the bottle was $7 or $8 but I figured it would be around a while, still have about 90% in the bottle after everything I've done so far.
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: Silversword on January 15, 2015, 11:34:34 AM
Hi All,

Anyone has a comment for the use of Acetone for cleaning flux after all the components have been soldered before mounting the board in a container.

I have been doing that for a while.  Cleaning off the flux after soldering is a good way to check for good/bad soldering.

--Stan Y.
   Maui, Hawaii
 
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: jrm30655 on January 15, 2015, 04:54:21 PM
Acetone seems pretty harsh.  It might remove markings on the parts. 
Title: Re: Blitzortung Documentation & Build Instructions -REVISED Oct 13, 2014 5:04 pm PT
Post by: Cutty Sark Sailor on May 23, 2015, 10:30:43 AM
 :twisted: This topic needs to be bumped.  Especially with the new "Blue" system on the horizon... So, here... "BUMP", dang it...