Author Topic: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.  (Read 10193 times)

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Offline saratogaWX

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SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« on: September 23, 2013, 11:31:18 AM »
Finally had some time to begin the build process.  My wife is away at our daughters helping care for the new twins, and I am on duty for my wife's mother who lives nearby in assisted living.  With nobody else to bother with the electronic mess, it's a good time to begin construction :)

Yesterday, I finished the inventory of parts and divided them into Amp and Controller groups.

I set up the assembly area on the kitchen table with anti-static mat, Panavice, bright light, Hakkon soldering station, and trusty magnifier headband.

Wow, the numbers on some of the parts are really small for old eyes, but at 10x, become clear enough to read.

I'm following along with Don's excellent assembly advice/checklist and starting with the Amplifier assembly.

First the SMD op-amps.  I found that a self-gripping tweezer with angled head worked best for me to hold the little buggers.  What worked best for me was to:

  Flux pen the mounting pads on the board
  apply a bit of solder to the top-right pad
  use the tweezer to position the SMD over the pads
  heat the top-right one to melt the solder and hold the part in alignment
  Solder the other pins
  Resolder the original pin
  inspect using the 10x lens to make sure all the joints were 'hot' and no bridging happened.

Took about 2 hrs to get the hang of that.. thank goodness that only 4 SMD op-amp packages were needed.

Then on to the diodes (done) and about half the resistors before bedtime.  More work on it today.
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
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Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 11:53:01 AM »
Glad to hear you are well on your way Ken!

Magnification will become, if it has not already, your best friend during this project.

Obviously, you have patience and appreciate the tips others have provided.

Joe

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 12:24:33 PM »
Wow, the numbers on some of the parts are really small for old eyes, but at 10x, become clear enough to read.
Egon did not send Eyeballs MK II with your kit either??? He left them out of my order, also. That's at least twice.

Mike
 

Offline W3DRM

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 03:57:55 PM »
Congratulations Ken!!! I have been too busy to do any further on my build the past few days but hope to get back to it tomorrow or Wednesday. Once I get back in the swing of building again, I'll finish up the step-be-step manual.

Good luck with your build!
Don - W3DRM - Minden, Nevada --- Blitzortung ID: 808 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-KRNO2
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 01:58:28 AM »
Alright! Even after 40 years, I can still solder :)  :shock:  \:D/

I completed the RED Amplifier board and fired it up with a 5V for the hardware test and it worked per Egon's First Hardware Check.  \:D/  \:D/  \:D/  8-)



Thanks Don for making the resistor and ceramic capacitor checklist -- it really simplified the assembly!  I used Egon's RED build doc for the rest of the parts.  The 'hard' bits I'd encountered:
1) remembering that the longer leads are + for the LEDs and electrolytic caps .. don't cut the leads early :)
2) soldering the tiny lands for the mini-USB power connector (that was a 10x magnify job)
3) straightning the leads on the 5 ICs and getting them carefully in the sockets

Now on to the RED Controller assembly (likely starting Wednesday .. have to clean up the place for dinner Tuesday with son and family here).
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline miraculon

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 07:54:18 AM »
Looks great. Congrats on getting the amp board done. The trickiest thing on the controller board is the GPS module, once you are past that it should be clear sailing...

Just one item on the capacitors.
Quote
remembering that the longer leads are + for the LEDs and electrolytic caps .. don't cut the leads early

There is a negative band or stripe in the shrink wrap of the electrolytic caps. This is contrary to the old positive markings in the past, but is the standard. In addition to the longer positive lead, the wide stripe is the negative. You can see "-" markings in the band.

Greg H.



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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 01:40:25 PM »
Right you were, Greg.  The GPS was a tricky beast to get installed.  I did the apply solder to one land (after fluxing), the using the one to hold the module in place while I soldered one side, then the other.  Went over the result with the 10x magnifying lens, applied a bit of solder wick to clean up one join, and then was done :)

Thanks for the info on the electrolytic caps .. I'd noticed the band with "-" too.  Back in the day, I think the cans were marked with a big "+" for positive, but my mind may misremember that.  The nice picture of the assembled Controller in Egon's doc was very helpful as it showed the orientation of the caps also .. I have a big color print of both Amp and Controller boards to remind me how it should look as I assemble the boards.

The controller board now has GPS module and all diodes installed .. then I had to break down the assembly area and clean the house for this afternoon's family dinner/visit.  I'll resume construction on Wednesday ..
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2013, 11:11:53 AM »
The amp board looks great Ken. Well done!  =D>

Don't forget to lay down the two transistors (T40 & T41) and the four 100uF electrolytic capacitors (C44, C48, C55 & C56) so they will be clear of the Discovery board when it is installed. The picture in Egon's document shows them pretty clearly for reference.

Don - W3DRM - Minden, Nevada --- Blitzortung ID: 808 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-KRNO2
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2013, 09:03:59 PM »
Thanks Don :)

Today (Wednesday) was to have been a quiet build-it day, but it was interrupted by a broken molar and a trip to the oral surgeon for an extraction and implant .. now being on pain meds, the concentration is somewhat dimmed, so the assembly is proceeding at a slow pace with triple checking before soldering.  About half the resistors are now installed .. hope to finish up the controller board tomorrow.
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline dfroula

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 09:46:31 PM »
Soldering while on Vicodin is definitely contraindicated!  :grin:

I went through exactly the same thing today! 4 hours in the dentists's chair...... :shock:

Hope you're feeling better than I am!

Best,

Don

Thanks Don :)

Today (Wednesday) was to have been a quiet build-it day, but it was interrupted by a broken molar and a trip to the oral surgeon for an extraction and implant .. now being on pain meds, the concentration is somewhat dimmed, so the assembly is proceeding at a slow pace with triple checking before soldering.  About half the resistors are now installed .. hope to finish up the controller board tomorrow.

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 10:10:45 PM »
... a broken molar and a trip to the oral surgeon for an extraction and implant .. now being on pain meds, the concentration is somewhat dimmed, ...
Soldering while on Vicodin is definitely contraindicated!  :grin:
I went through exactly the same thing today! 4 hours in the dentists's chair...... :shock:
Gentlemen!  Relax! Jaw clenching and teeth crunching are not in the build instructions!  :roll:

Dikes (side cutters) are the preferred tool for clipping leads...  :lol:

Mike
 

Offline W3DRM

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 10:15:47 PM »
Sorry to hear of all the tooth problems. I agree, dikes are the preferred method of trimming the leads.  :-P

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I just uploaded another version of my step-by-step instructions. I hope to have the rest of it done in the couple of days as I have to work tomorrow.

My best to both of you and hope you recover quickly.

Don - W3DRM - Minden, Nevada --- Blitzortung ID: 808 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-KRNO2
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Offline dfroula

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2013, 08:55:49 AM »
The dentist did ask bout the 24AWG slot in my front teeth. So much easier than digging around the tool box for those wire strippers....auto-adjusting too!   :lol:

D.

... a broken molar and a trip to the oral surgeon for an extraction and implant .. now being on pain meds, the concentration is somewhat dimmed, ...
Soldering while on Vicodin is definitely contraindicated!  :grin:
I went through exactly the same thing today! 4 hours in the dentists's chair...... :shock:
Gentlemen!  Relax! Jaw clenching and teeth crunching are not in the build instructions!  :roll:

Dikes (side cutters) are the preferred tool for clipping leads...  :lol:

Mike
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 08:57:20 AM by dfroula »

Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2013, 10:09:59 AM »
The dentist did ask bout the 24AWG slot in my front teeth. So much easier than digging around the tool box for those wire strippers....auto-adjusting too!   :lol:

D.

... a broken molar and a trip to the oral surgeon for an extraction and implant .. now being on pain meds, the concentration is somewhat dimmed, ...
Soldering while on Vicodin is definitely contraindicated!  :grin:
I went through exactly the same thing today! 4 hours in the dentists's chair...... :shock:
Gentlemen!  Relax! Jaw clenching and teeth crunching are not in the build instructions!  :roll:

Dikes (side cutters) are the preferred tool for clipping leads...  :lol:

Mike

I agree they do work as the best strippers.... dentist love you using them too!  Guarantees you as a future client or repeat customer.....  :lol:

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2013, 01:59:45 PM »
I agree about the teeth being convenient wire strippers .. I have a small 24gauge notch in my front teeth which was caused by that too...

Don, my oral surgeon only took 1.5 hrs on the one tooth.. one root had to be removed a chunk at a time due to a bulge at the bottom.  They had a 3D CAT scanner for the X-Ray before and after .. he'd used it to size/place the implant base with great precision.  I'm still doing soft foods, but the healing is progressing -- likely the last day for the pain meds today.

Despite the slight pain-med fog, I did successfully complete the RED controller build last night, and the initial hardware test worked!

This morning, I flashed 4.3 firmware, and used the web interface to flash 4.4 firmware.  I did a test setup with all components connected, and have the station connected as ID 802 to user 713 on Blitzortung.org, but it's not showing up yet in the lists (and I don't know why).



Two issues:
1) Station 802 isn't showing up in the Blitzortung list quite yet, nor on lightningmap.org -- is there anything else I need to do?

2) The Amber display is illuminated, but showing no data even after reset and pressing of the blue button on the STM board.  Is there some test I could do to determine if the display is defective or I've miswired something?

Best regards,
Ken

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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2013, 03:10:42 PM »
Just did a debug log for the GPS and found this:
Quote
2013-09-26 18:52:21   6700 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: 1PPS deviation too high 5522. Reset counter!
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: 75829582 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: 78255678 | GPGGA,185223.000,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,1,7,1.17,126.3,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: 79528286 | GPGSA,A,3,12,17,10,04,25,24,02,,,,,,1.44,1.17,0.84
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: 81135524 | GPRMC,185223.000,A,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,0.15,7.47,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: 13-09-26 18:52:23 lat:37.274776 lon:-122.022934 alt:126.3 sat:7 inview:0 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 18:52:22   6701 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 18:52:23   6702 | GPS: 1PPS deviation too high 78826. Reset counter!2
2013-09-26 18:52:25   6704 | GPS: 75256772 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 18:52:25   6704 | GPS: 77938994 | GPGGA,185226.000,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,1,7,1.17,126.3,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 18:52:25   6704 | GPS: 79210644 | GPGSA,A,3,12,17,10,04,25,24,02,,,,,,1.44,1.17,0.84
2013-09-26 18:52:25   6704 | GPS: 80821028 | GPGSV,3,1,10,02,70,164,20,12,56,324,34,04,55,063,38,24,51,232,22
2013-09-26 18:52:25   6704 | GPS: 82371926 | GPGSV,3,2,10,10,19,113,24,17,18,063,28,25,17,309,24,29,06,258,
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 83278600 | GPGSV,3,3,10,05,05,160,,14,01,311,
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 1PPS deviation too high 120964. Reset counter!
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS:   704650 | GPRMC,185226.000,A,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,0.11,7.47,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 13-09-26 18:52:26 lat:37.274776 lon:-122.022934 alt:126.3 sat:7 inview:10 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 74913272 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 77350852 | GPGGA,185227.000,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,1,7,1.17,126.3,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 78623456 | GPGSA,A,3,12,17,10,04,25,24,02,,,,,,1.44,1.17,0.84
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 80228232 | GPRMC,185227.000,A,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,0.15,7.47,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: 13-09-26 18:52:27 lat:37.274776 lon:-122.022934 alt:126.3 sat:7 inview:0 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 18:52:26   6705 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: 1PPS deviation too high 134242. Reset counter!
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: 76325402 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: 78713484 | GPGGA,185228.000,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,1,7,1.17,126.3,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: 79986088 | GPGSA,A,3,12,17,10,04,25,24,02,,,,,,1.44,1.17,0.84
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: 81590864 | GPRMC,185228.000,A,3716.4865,N,12201.3762,W,0.25,7.47,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: 13-09-26 18:52:28 lat:37.274776 lon:-122.022934 alt:126.3 sat:7 inview:0 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 18:52:27   6706 | GPS: ===========================================
and the GPS info on the status page shows



I've tried resetting/cold start the GPS, and moving the antenna to a different location, but no luck.
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
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Offline carseman

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2013, 03:42:19 PM »
Ken,
As a guess , it may be worth checking the 1pps output pin from the GPS module for dry joint/bridging. It is 3rd pin up from the bottom on the external gps socket side of the module.

Chris

Offline dfroula

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2013, 03:49:18 PM »
From your photograph, it appears the amplifier is not getting control signals from the controller. None of the yellow LEDs should be illuminated while under the controller boards control. The green LED on the amp should be illuminated if the amp is communicating to the controller.

Don

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 04:20:19 PM »
Re: Display- You're using Amber display, right?  Make sure jumper 1 is open.
Ok.. just thoughts:
Set for manual control under settings, main?
(Settings, all) 'enable potentiometer' is NOT checked?
(settings, all) display 'Contrast' is not turned off?'
You've just done the firmware, also? Unplug your power supply, count 10 and restart then reconnect.
GPS baud rate for highest?
There's no way the Ethernet and amplifier CAT5s are reversed, I suppose...
 

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2013, 06:09:44 PM »
Ken,
As a guess , it may be worth checking the 1pps output pin from the GPS module for dry joint/bridging. It is 3rd pin up from the bottom on the external gps socket side of the module.

Chris
Thanks Chris,

It was very hard to see, but it was a open solder connection on that pin.. go figure.  Took a bit of work with a 10x magnifier to see and fix it.  Now the GPS log is reporting
Quote
2013-09-26 21:51:16    599 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 21:51:17    600 | GPS: 22224902 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 21:51:17    600 | GPS: 23768218 | GPGGA,215117.000,3716.4799,N,12201.3775,W,1,7,1.07,114.9,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 21:51:17    600 | GPS: 24230220 | GPGSA,A,3,29,12,02,10,05,31,25,,,,,,1.35,1.07,0.83
2013-09-26 21:51:17    600 | GPS: 24830098 | GPRMC,215117.000,A,3716.4799,N,12201.3775,W,0.11,22.26,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 21:51:17    600 | GPS: 13-09-26 21:51:17 lat:37.274666 lon:-122.022957 alt:114.9 sat:7 inview:0 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 21:51:17    600 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 21:51:18    601 | GPS: 21547526 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 21:51:18    601 | GPS: 23105174 | GPGGA,215118.000,3716.4798,N,12201.3774,W,1,7,1.06,114.9,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 21:51:18    601 | GPS: 23567220 | GPGSA,A,3,29,12,02,10,05,31,25,,,,,,1.35,1.06,0.83
2013-09-26 21:51:18    601 | GPS: 24167050 | GPRMC,215118.000,A,3716.4798,N,12201.3774,W,0.12,22.26,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 21:51:18    601 | GPS: 13-09-26 21:51:18 lat:37.274662 lon:-122.022957 alt:114.9 sat:7 inview:0 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 21:51:18    601 | GPS: ===========================================
2013-09-26 21:51:19    602 | GPS: 21881200 | PGTOP,11,3
2013-09-26 21:51:19    602 | GPS: 23422104 | GPGGA,215119.000,3716.4797,N,12201.3774,W,1,7,1.07,114.9,M,-25.9,M,,
2013-09-26 21:51:19    602 | GPS: 23860360 | GPGSA,A,3,29,12,02,10,05,31,25,,,,,,1.35,1.07,0.83
2013-09-26 21:51:19    602 | GPS: 24460188 | GPRMC,215119.000,A,3716.4797,N,12201.3774,W,0.11,22.26,260913,,,A
2013-09-26 21:51:19    602 | GPS: 13-09-26 21:51:19 lat:37.274662 lon:-122.022957 alt:114.9 sat:7 inview:0 fix:3 integr:A pdop:1.4 status:A
2013-09-26 21:51:19    602 | GPS: ===========================================
and the status display shows



so all seems well with the GPS now :D   Saratoga (802) station is online with Blitzortung.org station list.  \:D/  \:D/  \:D/  8-)



The amber display is now working after I found one unsoldered pin on the connector strip  #-o  .. to make sure, I resoldered them all for the display.  :oops:

From your photograph, it appears the amplifier is not getting control signals from the controller. None of the yellow LEDs should be illuminated while under the controller boards control. The green LED on the amp should be illuminated if the amp is communicating to the controller.

Don
Don, I checked the solder joins for the Amplifier and Controller cable connectors and swapped out the cable.. it's still in 'manual' setting mode (using the pot) and the green light is not illuminated (yellow lights are) on the Amplifier board.  I don't know where else to look...

THANKS for your help guys..  I guess Cutty Sark Sailor was right about disrecommending assembly while using pain-meds

Best regards,
Ken
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline miraculon

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2013, 06:47:02 PM »
Quote
2) The Amber display is illuminated, but showing no data even after reset and pressing of the blue button on the STM board.  Is there some test I could do to determine if the display is defective or I've miswired something?

Ken,

What does the GUI report for the 5V supply voltage? There is an issue with higher voltages and the display. I believe that it has something to do with the ST board running at 3.3V and the display running at 5V. The datasheet is ambiguous about whether the thresholds are 2V or ratiometric off of 5V. I think that some lines might be ratiometic and are not reaching the correct thresholds. Tobi has suggested lower voltages.

I bought a USB supply that runs a little lower, around 4.7V and I have had no display problems since I started using it. (I had some scrambled display problems before)

If you could try a mini-USB supply that runs a little lower it might be worth a try, especially if it is now >5V.

Greg H.





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Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2013, 06:51:07 PM »
Congratulations Ken!

I had a few joints that the old eyes thought they had right. Second time they did.

Enjoy!

Joe

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2013, 07:58:25 PM »
Congrats Ken!!!  Good to see you on the station list. On the power supply, I am using an Apple iPhone charger that is plugged into my APC UPS to help level out the input voltage. The charger normally puts out between 4.92-4.99 Volts on a consistent basis. I have not had any display issues at all using this setup.

About the only issue I've had is the DHCP issue where in the webpage won't load after a certain time frame. The only way I have been able to fix that is to unplug the controller for 10 seconds and plug it back in. I know Egon and Tobi are aware of this, and hopefully will rectify this with a firmware update.

John
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Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2013, 08:18:36 PM »
Congrats Ken!!!  Good to see you on the station list. On the power supply, I am using an Apple iPhone charger that is plugged into my APC UPS to help level out the input voltage. The charger normally puts out between 4.92-4.99 Volts on a consistent basis. I have not had any display issues at all using this setup.

About the only issue I've had is the DHCP issue where in the webpage won't load after a certain time frame. The only way I have been able to fix that is to unplug the controller for 10 seconds and plug it back in. I know Egon and Tobi are aware of this, and hopefully will rectify this with a firmware update.

John

John, I am experiencing the issue. I thought the server was experiencing unusually heavy traffic. Man, that sounds the announcement on virtually every company you call.  :lol:

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Re: SaratogaWX Blitzortung build diary.
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2013, 09:54:44 PM »
My USB supply is the one from Adafruit for the Arduino (same as W3DRM/Don purchased) and puts out 5.2 volts.  The system seems to be happy with 3.0V to the processor, and the display is working just fine now that I'd resoldered a bit (and found the one unsoldered lead) :oops:

I found the secret to enable remote control of the Amplifier gain in the German section of wetter-board.de for Blitzortung entitled "Anleitung System - RED : Manuelle Einstellung der Verstärkung (GAIN -Einstellung)"

Paraphrasing what was in there, the Settings panel Remote Control has to be changed from Automatic Mode to Manual Mode.
Then the Amplifier panel will show the gain parameters when the "Enable Potentiometer" check box is UN-ticked.
That turns on the Green LED on the Amplifier and turns out the Yellow LEDs.

Sometimes it helps to be able to suss-out German language instructions :)

Now if I could just understand what 'Idle' status means (or rather, why my test setup doesn't remain 'Running' in the station status on Blitzortung).

Best regards,
Ken
 
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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