Author Topic: Blitzortung System RED is on order!  (Read 13501 times)

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Offline miraculon

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Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« on: July 21, 2013, 04:52:04 PM »
I just sent the PayPal funds to Egon. I did not order the ferrite antennas since I am building up the loop antennas.
Need to order the ST board, cases, GPS, etc.

Greg H


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline ayde_bury

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 06:26:46 AM »
Good luck, let us know how things progress.
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Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 07:39:40 PM »
My System Red is at the USPS. Will pickup tomorrow during lunch. Almost have all of the parts needed to commence. Need to go to Lowe's and get a sheet of foam insulation, then I'll be set.  Will not be in a hurry to assemble. Gonna take my time, as it has been several years since I've soldered anything.

John
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 08:07:22 PM »
John,

What did you do for the GPS antenna? I ordered the Sparkfun GPS Antenna https://www.sparkfun.com/products/177. I'll probably make the same PVC housing I did for the other one.

I was also thinking about this: http://www.amazon.com/Tram-Marine-Gps-Antenna/dp/B001DN2KTC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2NAFMC77VIK6&coliid=I1D509N6TBULDB as a possibility.

I am not sure about how much antenna gain is needed to work with the GPS module.

I ordered the STM32F4DISCOVERY board from Mouser.

What did you wind up doing for the boxes? I am thinking about a clear lid for the antenna box so I can see the LEDs.

Greg H


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 08:35:28 PM »
Hi Greg,

I went with the GlobalSat AT-65SMA GPS antenna that Egon recommended. Do you have pics of the housing you made for your GPS antenna? Got the discovery board from Mouser, also. I kept the boxes I had ordered (same BUD boxes you ordered) for the original system. I believe they are large enough.

On mounting the boards in the boxes, I am going to use some extra motherboard standoffs I have from previous computer builds with a cardboard washer in between the standoff and the board.

John
CWOP: D2073, GR2AE, GR3, Cumulus, PWSweather,  CoCoRaHS: AR-SL-23  

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 08:52:48 PM »
My System Red is at the USPS. Will pickup tomorrow during lunch. Almost have all of the parts needed to commence. Need to go to Lowe's and get a sheet of foam insulation, then I'll be set.  Will not be in a hurry to assemble. Gonna take my time, as it has been several years since I've soldered anything.

John
I know how you feel, enough empathy that I'm gonna hold off on the 'big' antenna till I prove I can handle the kit's ferrites. Assuming the SMD placement skills are halfway intact, and the circuitry works.
Retired from electronic tech career 1997. Heated up soldering pen 6 times since then.
Finally found it. (Ya' know, gotta get stuff ready).
Cleaned it, put in a new mini-tip, plugged it in, determined which end got hot, let it cool off, and dugout an old spool of 24 gauge solder and a bit of wick, and the solder sucker, the contact cleaner (just in case) and pencil eraser, 2 spools of 26 gauge magnet wire (about a half-mile's worth) I'd never used, aluminum tape (to have nearby if I build the big antenna), couple sheets of copper shielding, some clips, an anti-static mat and ground strap, a third hand, the magnifying glass, two hi intensity lamps, tweezers and the micro tools. New Batteries in the old Simpson and cleaned and checked it, along with the DVM.
I'm ready.
 

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 10:28:52 PM »
Quote
Do you have pics of the housing you made for your GPS antenna?

http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=18743.msg181195#msg181195

A hint for the surface-mount op amps:

On the amplifier board the SOIC8 op amps shouldn't be too difficult to solder. What I do is to flow solder onto the 8 pads first. Then position the part using tweezers. I solder opposite corners (say 8 & 4) to hold it in place. Then I go around and reflow the remaining leads/pads. SMD parts are meant to be placed into solder paste (microscopic solder balls in resin) and run through a reflow oven. What we are going to be doing is more like a "rework" procedure with a soldering iron. The trick is locating the part since there are no through holes to guide it and you are relying on positioning it and hoping that the surface tension of the solder holds it in place. I have done a number of these parts at work, but SOIC-8 is the smallest that I am comfortable with. (smaller pitch parts would go off to the techs...)

If any of the electronic techs on WxForum have better advice, or a better method please give some pointers.

Greg H


 


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 11:09:22 PM »
Quote
Do you have pics of the housing you made for your GPS antenna?

http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=18743.msg181195#msg181195

A hint for the surface-mount op amps:

On the amplifier board the SOIC8 op amps shouldn't be too difficult to solder. What I do is to flow solder onto the 8 pads first. Then position the part using tweezers. I solder opposite corners (say 8 & 4) to hold it in place. Then I go around and reflow the remaining leads/pads. SMD parts are meant to be placed into solder paste (microscopic solder balls in resin) and run through a reflow oven. What we are going to be doing is more like a "rework" procedure with a soldering iron. The trick is locating the part since there are no through holes to guide it and you are relying on positioning it and hoping that the surface tension of the solder holds it in place. I have done a number of these parts at work, but SOIC-8 is the smallest that I am comfortable with. (smaller pitch parts would go off to the techs...)

If any of the electronic techs on WxForum have better advice, or a better method please give some pointers.

Greg H


 
The major mistakes I learned to avoid were:
1. Too large a solder tip.
2. Excessive solder.
3. Large gauge solder is cumbersome at best, and dangerous to your sanity working with these devices. I used 24-30 gauge.
3. Getting the device pins bent so they don't all lie perfectly flat on the pads. That is crucial to a quick safe job!
The procedure I normally used was just the slightest solder on one pad, place the device, and holding it firmly just enough downward pressure, lightly touch the very sharp pointed tip to the device pin resting on the pad(not the pad!) you tinned and press down, as the solder melts, quickly removing the iron, and holding the device still until set... only takes a split second. That should lock the device in position, then gently solder the remaining pads. That insures none of the devices pins are bent/sprung, making them a bit more difficult to solder easily. If you need to touch up the first pin, do so, but remember, it will require just a smidgen of solder. I used a tiny steel brush to remove any rosin that may remain between the pins.

EDIT: I forget the neat one: A drop of candle wax on the device body/ wooden pencil eraser or match stick is enough to place, hold, and press small devices in place while this is done
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:17:13 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order! :: Loop antennas wired!
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 10:33:41 PM »
I received the Teflon coated 20AWG wire tonight. The improved strength and slipperier wire insulation went much better getting it threaded through the flex conduit. There are 9 turns per loop, for a total of 250uH.

Here are some pictures:

The entire assembly:



Top of the loop with crossing of coils:



Breakout of wires. The white shrink tubing was the "start" winding. I chose Red and Green to match the waveform color codes that Blitzortung uses. (I'll try to match them up) My plan is to mount this box onto the amplifier box with matching holes drilled to fit this box pattern.



Detail of cross brace. It is a four way PVC box. This braces the whole works. I didn't glue two of the braces so I can get it up into the rafters in the garage.



Greg H.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 01:30:04 PM by miraculon »


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2013, 11:45:33 AM »
Greg, it looks great!

Is that plastic-coated steel conduit you are using for the loop shields?

The shield material needs to be non-ferromagnetic (a magnet won't stick to it) or it will shield the magnetic as well as the electrical fields. That's why copper and aluminum are common shielding materials for loops. A magnet won't stick to 'em.

Don

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2013, 11:50:51 AM »
Here's a nice cheap GPS antenna with the required SMA connector. $5.78 delivered.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161055310046?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

It works great indoors with the controller, tracking almost all the satellites.

The little GPS module on the controller actually has a built-in patch antenna on top! Don't count on it working well indoors or so close to the other electronics on the board. An external antenna is a must!

Don

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 11:54:15 AM »
Greg, it looks great!

Is that plastic-coated steel conduit you are using for the loop shields?

The shield material needs to be non-ferromagnetic (a magnet won't stick to it) or it will shield the magnetic as well as the electrical fields. That's why copper and aluminum are common shielding materials for loops. A magnet won't stick to 'em.

Don

I completely understand. I verified that it was 100% non-metallic. I even went to the tool area in Home Depot and placed a strong magnet against it before I purchased the NM conduit. All fittings, etc. are PVC. When I cut it, the cross-section was pure plastic, no metal.
I plan on wrapping it with copper tape before I hoist it up into the garage.
I might hook it up to my o-scope and see what it picks up during noise events and storms while I am waiting for my kit to arrive.

Greg H


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 11:58:40 AM »
Here's a nice cheap GPS antenna with the required SMA connector. $5.78 delivered.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161055310046?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

It works great indoors with the controller, tracking almost all the satellites.

The little GPS module on the controller actually has a built-in patch antenna on top! Don't count on it working well indoors or so close to the other electronics on the board. An external antenna is a must!

Don

Thanks for the tip. This might be less hassle than the Sparkfun one that I ordered. Knowing that it works is a plus... =D>

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 08:34:26 PM »
The STM32F4-Discovery board came today from Mouser. Enjoying the blinky LEDs while I wait for my RED kit from Germany...

Greg H.



Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2013, 10:15:31 AM »
Since it seems that the kits have been short the RN1 resistor network, I decided to order some from Mouser.
Has everyone building system REDs been missing RN1?

652-4607X-1LF-1K
MFG Part No:4607X-101-102LF
4607X-101-102LF
Bourns Resistor Networks & Arrays


I think that this part will work.

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2013, 10:45:33 AM »
ALL of my parts were there, including the amplifier board resistor network that the later shipments seem to be missing. Not one extra or missing piece! My kit was one of the first four shipments to the US.

It seems that they are also leaving out the RJ45 connector for the second amp on recent shipments, as it is rarely used.

Egon mentioned on the European board that he has run out of some parts and is not shipping any more kits for now.

Don

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2013, 10:52:10 AM »
That should work fine, if the pin spacing is correct. Pin 1 is connected to one side of all the resistors in the pack. The other pins are the other side of each resistor. The component is used to feed 5VDC through a 1K resistor to each of the LEDs on the amp board. The other side is connected to a port on the microcontroller that pulls a pin to ground to light the LED.

Don

Since it seems that the kits have been short the RN1 resistor network, I decided to order some from Mouser.
Has everyone building system REDs been missing RN1?

652-4607X-1LF-1K
MFG Part No:4607X-101-102LF
4607X-101-102LF
Bourns Resistor Networks & Arrays


I think that this part will work.

Greg H.


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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2013, 10:56:12 AM »
I know this works.
 

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2013, 11:10:36 AM »
I don't think this is quite right. It will work, but with the effects noted below.

Pin 1 should not have a resistor, but a wire connected to all of the pins on the top of the other resistors. That's how the SIP is wired internally.

The extra resistor at pin 1 will have the effect of changing the brightness of all of the LEDs, depending on how many are lit at the time. This is because the 1K resistor has current for ALL of the LEDs running through it, if wired as in the image. The voltage drop across the first resistor will vary, depending upon how many LEDs are lit. The overall brightness of all the LEDs will also be cut way down.

You need to replace that resistor at pin 1 with a wire.

Don

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2013, 11:22:35 AM »
Here's the internal wiring of the SIP. Note there is NO resistor on pin 1, but a common connection to the top of the other resistors:


Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2013, 11:23:33 AM »
Quote
You need to replace that resistor at pin 1 with a wire.

A zero ohm jumper could also be used. They (Mouser, et al) sell them in the same size as a quarter watt resistor. It is probably just as easy to bend the lead over into a loop for the 1st resistor, then "sky joint" the other ones to the top lead.

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 11:26:35 AM »
 saw this schematic, and must have grossly misinterpreted it. However, those LEDs don't change brightness!
 

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2013, 11:37:33 AM »
The current drawn by the LEDs is so low, it probably doesn't increase the voltage drop across that first resistor enough to notice. If it works, I'd leave it. Those yellow LEDs are never on during normal operation. The danger of damaging the pad on the board might be too great, depending on your soldering iron and skill set.

You might try disconnecting the amp from the controller, pressing the amp reset button, and turning the pot to light the yellow LEDs in binary sequence. You'll be able to see any brightness variation then.

Normally, the power and green LED are on all the time, so no variation due to that resistor would be seen.

Offline dfroula

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2013, 11:39:58 AM »
Yeah, the schematic is hard to read!

Offline miraculon

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Re: Blitzortung System RED is on order!
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2013, 07:39:30 PM »
Kit came today. I seem to have the RN1 as well.

I also received the box for the controller. (same one as Blitzortung Green and the Eastern Voltage detector builds)

I decided to get this Tram 1655 for a GPS antenna.



Greg H.



Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

 

anything