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Re: IV_17 FLW video

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  • fixitsan2
    ... I was thinking the same, Matt ;-) But let s not all rush out and buy stocks of IV-17 s because past experience tells me that the sellers instantly put the
    Message 1 of 30 , Feb 10 2:54 PM
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      --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Gorbet" <mgonline@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Fantastic! makes me want to do an IV_17 version of [1]"From Me
      > to You". I particularly like the goat at the end of the video.
      > ;)
      >
      > <M>


      I was thinking the same, Matt ;-)

      But let's not all rush out and buy stocks of IV-17's because past experience tells me that the sellers instantly put the prices up when demand goes up. So from now on lets call this the IV-4 Smartsocket given that the IV-4 is supposed to be inferior to the IV-17, and when the interest in (and price of) the IV-17's falls we score a mountain of tubes at rock bottom prices. Maybe.

      The goat was called Breakfast. It had a brother, Lunch !

      I was hoping we could discuss how you select words in 'From Me To You'. Obviously you must be performing some sort of scan for similar letter patterns, but do you select the first match or pick one from a set of suitable candidates. It is very very neat indeed.
    • v_f_d
      ... How about using the DS32KHZ TCXO?
      Message 2 of 30 , Feb 10 4:55 PM
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        --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've spent some time tweaking the RTC to get it running to a few seconds accuracy per day. Better accuracy may be had by fine tuning with the use of a variable cap on one side of the 32kHz crystal. (Or better still some sort of time synch signal might be incorporated)
        >
        > Chris
        >

        How about using the DS32KHZ TCXO?
      • Terry
        ... I decided to pre-emptively address the problem - back when the IV-17 Smart Socket was just getting started, I bought around five hundred IV-17 tubes at
        Message 3 of 30 , Feb 10 9:22 PM
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          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
          > But let's not all rush out and buy stocks of IV-17's because past experience tells me that the sellers instantly put the prices up when demand goes up.

          I decided to pre-emptively address the problem - back when the IV-17 Smart Socket was just getting started, I bought around five hundred IV-17 tubes at prices ranging from $1 to $1.75 each.
        • michail1@aol.com
          So that s why they are $3 each now. heh. Michail In a message dated 2/10/2010 9:22:08 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, ... experience tells me that the sellers
          Message 4 of 30 , Feb 10 10:12 PM
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            So that's why they are $3 each now.  heh.
             
            Michail
             
            In a message dated 2/10/2010 9:22:08 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, terry+yg@... writes:
            --- In smartsockets@ yahoogroups. com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@.. .> wrote:
            > But let's not all rush out and buy stocks of IV-17's because past experience tells me that the sellers instantly put the prices up when demand goes up.

            I decided to pre-emptively address the problem - back when the IV-17 Smart Socket was just getting started, I bought around five hundred IV-17 tubes at prices ranging from $1 to $1.75 each.
          • Matt Gorbet
            ... and you re now going to sell them all to us at that price? On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 05:22 +0000, Terry ... past experience tells me
            Message 5 of 30 , Feb 10 11:48 PM
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              ... and you're now going to sell them all to us at that price?
               
              <M>
               
               
               
              On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 05:22 +0000, "Terry" <terry+yg@...> wrote:
               



              --- In smartsockets@ yahoogroups. com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@.. .> wrote:
              > But let's not all rush out and buy stocks of IV-17's because past experience tells me that the sellers instantly put the prices up when demand goes up.

              I decided to pre-emptively address the problem - back when the IV-17 Smart Socket was just getting started, I bought around five hundred IV-17 tubes at prices ranging from $1 to $1.75 each.

            • fixitsan2
              ... You shouldn t have bothered Terry ;-) Although I have never bought IV-17 s at such a price as you, I see that IV-4 s are costing about that now, including
              Message 6 of 30 , Feb 11 12:02 AM
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                --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Terry" <terry+yg@...> wrote:


                > I decided to pre-emptively address the problem - back when the IV-17 Smart Socket was just getting started, I bought around five hundred IV-17 tubes at prices ranging from $1 to $1.75 each.
                >

                You shouldn't have bothered Terry ;-)

                Although I have never bought IV-17's at such a price as you, I see that IV-4's are costing about that now, including shipping, and because the IV-4 is the preferred device you will be stuck with those poor man's copies for a while.
              • fixitsan2
                ... They are nice parts to use, but to my way of thinking that would just be buying another chip when you can do the same thing yourself for free. The design
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 11 5:14 AM
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                  --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "v_f_d" <v_f_d@...> wrote:
                  >

                  >
                  > How about using the DS32KHZ TCXO?
                  >

                  They are nice parts to use, but to my way of thinking that would just be buying another chip when you can do the same thing yourself for free. The design doesn't need to run on microwatts of power for extended periods, it just needs a backup timekeeper for short periods and that requirement can be met by utilising the hardware peripherals which are already present.When the code migrates to the 18F26J50, which features a true onboard RTC, the DS32 would become redundant anyway.

                  I want to maximise the longevity of the design by using the lowest number of long life expectancy parts. The 18F26J50 features the abiity to reassign port names to different physical pins which should also help to futureproof any design.

                  The suggestion to make ICSP reprogramming possible by providing pin headers is going to be an important aspect of the design which I won't forget about.

                  Keep the ideas coming !
                  Chris
                • fixitsan2
                  ... The 18F26k20 is going to be the next version, but, having just looked at what else is possible with Microchip products ( and on the back of their seminars
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 11 5:18 AM
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                    --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:

                    > Anyway, what PIC are we on now and is it the final choice?
                    >
                    > John S
                    >

                    The 18F26k20 is going to be the next version, but, having just looked at what else is possible with Microchip products ( and on the back of their seminars in December) I hope to eventually move the design to an 18F26j50 and make use of the capacitive touch sensing feature and onboard RTC module which that chip also features. The whole unit could then be enclosed in a case that has no ugly knobs or switches.

                    It also has USB 2.0 compatibility, which gets me thinking ...

                    Chris

                    PS, dare I say it, but I am thinking long term that 4 digit sixteen segment LED displays, in kit form, might be attractive to the wider audience.
                  • Quixotic Nixotic
                    ... How about maximising the longevity of the design by using the highest number of long life expectancy parts? John S
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 11 6:25 AM
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                      On 11 Feb 2010, at 13:14, fixitsan2 wrote:
                       

                      I want to maximise the longevity of the design by using the lowest number of long life expectancy parts. 

                      Keep the ideas coming !

                      How about maximising the longevity of the design by using the highest number of long life expectancy parts?
                      John S
                    • fixitsan2
                      ... That ll be the private education shining through ! It seemed obvious when I wrote it, but I intend to use the fewest number of parts, and of the parts I do
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 11 6:52 AM
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                        --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > On 11 Feb 2010, at 13:14, fixitsan2 wrote:

                        > How about maximising the longevity of the design by using the highest
                        > number of long life expectancy parts?
                        >
                        > John S
                        >

                        That'll be the private education shining through !

                        It seemed obvious when I wrote it, but I intend to use the fewest number of parts, and of the parts I do use I want them all to be the.....you know whaty.

                        The devil still lives in the details.
                        chris
                      • michail1@aol.com
                        Thought yet about a 6 digit? Or a pluggable module to add 2 to the 4 to make 6? (If 6 digits for FLWs, then program could slide words into view, etc. - better
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 11 7:04 AM
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                          Thought yet about a 6 digit?
                           
                          Or a pluggable module to add 2 to the 4 to make 6?
                          (If 6 digits for FLWs, then program could slide words into view, etc. - better clock/date design).
                           
                          thought yet of having tubes realize how many are in the string?  :)
                          - Not sure if this was done yet as I am still simply playing with the solder iron with one hand.
                           
                          Michail
                           
                          In a message dated 2/11/2010 6:53:43 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@... writes:
                           



                          --- In smartsockets@ yahoogroups. com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@.. .> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > On 11 Feb 2010, at 13:14, fixitsan2 wrote:

                          > How about maximising the longevity of the design by using the highest
                          > number of long life expectancy parts?
                          >
                          > John S
                          >

                          That'll be the private education shining through !

                          It seemed obvious when I wrote it, but I intend to use the fewest number of parts, and of the parts I do use I want them all to be the.....you know whaty.

                          The devil still lives in the details.
                          chris

                        • michail1@aol.com
                          Ummm, isn t the IV-17 supposed to be better? In a message dated 2/11/2010 12:03:10 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@aol.com writes: You shouldn t have
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 11 7:08 AM
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                            Ummm, isn't the IV-17 supposed to be better?
                             
                             
                            In a message dated 2/11/2010 12:03:10 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@... writes:
                            You shouldn't have bothered Terry ;-)

                            Although I have never bought IV-17's at such a price as you, I see that IV-4's are costing about that now, including shipping, and because the IV-4 is the preferred device you will be stuck with those poor man's copies for a while.
                          • fixitsan2
                            ... Yes, six digits is possible with the current design, but the brightness might suffer a bit which would mean a change to the hardware design to accomodate
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 11 7:19 AM
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                              --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:
                              >
                              > Thought yet about a 6 digit?
                              >
                              > Or a pluggable module to add 2 to the 4 to make 6?
                              > (If 6 digits for FLWs, then program could slide words into view, etc. -
                              > better clock/date design).
                              >
                              > thought yet of having tubes realize how many are in the string? :)
                              > - Not sure if this was done yet as I am still simply playing with the
                              > solder iron with one hand.
                              >
                              > Michail

                              Yes, six digits is possible with the current design, but the brightness might suffer a bit which would mean a change to the hardware design to accomodate two HV5812 drivers and then make a 2x3 mux system. It's probably a small price to pay, at the end of the day.
                              Then again, 2 four digit modules give even more scope for playing. I welcome any personal thoughts anyone has on this. Perhaps an 8-digit(two drivers+one pic), 6-digit and a 4-digit display is the way forwards ?

                              As for letting each one know how many are in the string, I think logic would dictate that each board could measure the length of a complete command string and deduce how many other displays follow it. It might need to be managed with a simple serial command. It might be just as easy to have the master transmit a command which instructs all of the sockets how many are in a string. Almost certainly the person programming the master would take into account the number of sockets they are targeting, so this is information which is already known. Allowing the sockets to work with random array lengths demands that the programmer of the master transmitter has also written *their* code to take into account an unkown number of sockets, and I am not sure if that is ever going to be the case.

                              Now that I am using pics with plenty of ram each socket could also keep track of all the other sockets' data, and synchronised effects then become possible. I already have a prototype of a 'group' effect system, where the pre-assigned group's end tubes 'turn around', or reverse, an effect transition as it moves across all the digits; each smartsocket uses tightly controlled timing to figure out when it should initiate it's own transition so that it synchronises with all the others. This is one reason why I have introduced the 'Delay' command recently, to act as a stopgap solution until the group effect is working perfectly.


                              Chris
                            • fixitsan2
                              ... Umm no ! Taking into account all the data previously written, the IV-4 s ought to be used up first ;-)
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 11 7:21 AM
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                                --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:
                                >
                                > Ummm, isn't the IV-17 supposed to be better?
                                >
                                >

                                Umm no ! Taking into account all the data previously written, the IV-4's ought to be used up first ;-)
                              • michail1@aol.com
                                No IV-14 here. Only bought 16x IV17. I even started a new ebay account, because I now need to have this stuff shipped to my work. She hates nixie clocks
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 11 8:38 AM
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                                  No IV-14 here.  Only bought 16x IV17.   I even started a new ebay account, because I now need to have this stuff shipped to my work.  She hates nixie clocks (unless it is already assembled on the counter of which she is then fine with it).
                                   
                                  You don't need to tell me.  YOU try to explain to her that it's NOT a Nixie!   heh
                                   
                                  Michail Wilson
                                   
                                   
                                  In a message dated 2/11/2010 7:22:14 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@... writes:
                                   



                                  --- In smartsockets@ yahoogroups. com, michail1@... wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Ummm, isn't the IV-17 supposed to be better?
                                  >
                                  >

                                  Umm no ! Taking into account all the data previously written, the IV-4's ought to be used up first ;-)

                                • fixitsan2
                                  ... ...but if you ask them what the difference is between diamond and cubic zirconia you re in for a long night s lesson aren t you !
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 11 9:15 AM
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                                    --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:
                                    >

                                    >
                                    > You don't need to tell me. YOU try to explain to her that it's NOT a
                                    > Nixie! heh
                                    >
                                    > Michail Wilson

                                    ...but if you ask them what the difference is between diamond and cubic zirconia you're in for a long night's lesson aren't you !
                                  • fixitsan2
                                    ... Despite me previous joking, now that I have read my original message with a fresh pair of eyes you were quite correct to make that point. I don t know what
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Feb 12 12:03 AM
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                                      > > How about maximising the longevity of the design by using the highest
                                      > > number of long life expectancy parts?
                                      > >
                                      > > John S
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      > That'll be the private education shining through !
                                      >

                                      Despite me previous joking, now that I have read my original message with a fresh pair of eyes you were quite correct to make that point.
                                      I don't know what I was thinking, but at the time I must have thought that I did !
                                    • Quixotic Nixotic
                                      ... I just thought it was funny Chris. I know we like retro technology, but you were taking it a bit far with your built in obsolescence approach. I am sure we
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Feb 12 1:39 AM
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                                        On 12 Feb 2010, at 08:03, fixitsan2 wrote:
                                        > Despite me previous joking, now that I have read my original
                                        > message with a fresh pair of eyes you were quite correct to make
                                        > that point.
                                        > I don't know what I was thinking, but at the time I must have
                                        > thought that I did !
                                        >

                                        I just thought it was funny Chris. I know we like retro technology,
                                        but you were taking it a bit far with your built in obsolescence
                                        approach. I am sure we all knew what you intended.

                                        You are doing all the hard work, I am certainly not going to criticise!

                                        Loved the video, cannot wait for your final oeuvre to materialise.

                                        I am going to buy some of those cheap VFD supplies from the US. Can I
                                        send you a couple when I get them? Nicko wants some too, so I'll be
                                        buying a batch.

                                        Are you going to make a PIC-driven supply?

                                        Regards, John
                                      • fixitsan2
                                        ... I ve got a small box of 50 IV-17 s (wishing I had bought those IV-4 s when I had the money though ;-) ) and might look to acquire some more but money is
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Feb 12 3:02 AM
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                                          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I just thought it was funny Chris. I know we like retro technology,
                                          > but you were taking it a bit far with your built in obsolescence
                                          > approach. I am sure we all knew what you intended.
                                          >
                                          > You are doing all the hard work, I am certainly not going to criticise!
                                          >
                                          > Loved the video, cannot wait for your final oeuvre to materialise.
                                          >
                                          > I am going to buy some of those cheap VFD supplies from the US. Can I
                                          > send you a couple when I get them? Nicko wants some too, so I'll be
                                          > buying a batch.
                                          >
                                          > Are you going to make a PIC-driven supply?
                                          >
                                          > Regards, John
                                          >


                                          I've got a small box of 50 IV-17's (wishing I had bought those IV-4's when I had the money though ;-) ) and might look to acquire some more but money is too tight just now.

                                          I found that I had a pic 18f26j50 already in my parts box and started working on porting the code last night. Didn't get very far due to me having the flu and getting tied up with lots of different available oscillator and PLL settings but it is just a matter of time. (he said very hopefully !)

                                          The power supply will be driven from the pic, once I also figure out how to remap the PWM output to the pin I need. The problem seemed to be that PICbasic doesn't remap the pwm module output to the pin I would like, but that might have been tired eyes again. So far I have a IRF740 FET, with a 330uH coil and a fast diode, attached very crudely, but which is producing 40V at 65kHz with about 85% duty cycle.

                                          I think I need to open a discussion about driving FETs, the new pic is a 3.3V part and in theory ought to be capable of driving the fet properly but I need to get back to finish porting the code before I know the answer, hoping to do a lot more work tonight. Nicko helped with advice in the past about attaching a diode to block negative transients, and using a resistor in series with the fet gate too so that has got to be the starting point.

                                          The new pic, 18f26j50, can run at up to 96MHz which is good in the sense that multiplexing effects over 6 tubes is quite easy, and I am starting to think that a 6 tube display might be the better option in the long run, but I'll get the code up and running first before making that sort of modification.

                                          At some point I will need to go back to the B7971 and ZM1350 code and add the latest command addition, as well as all the new transition effects. A 4 tube B7971 or ZM1350 Smartsocket looks possible now with this faster processor. (The problem has always been that there was too much muxing flicker but that could be ironed out with a faster IC)

                                          Chris

                                          Chris
                                        • Quixotic Nixotic
                                          ... Does this group do pictures? I remember your diagram about driving FETs from PICs. But they were 5v jobbies. Will copy this email to Nicko, in case he
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Feb 12 3:30 AM
                                          On 12 Feb 2010, at 11:02, fixitsan2 wrote:

                                          > I think I need to open a discussion about driving FETs, the new pic
                                          > is a 3.3V part and in theory ought to be capable of driving the fet
                                          > properly but I need to get back to finish porting the code before I
                                          > know the answer, hoping to do a lot more work tonight. Nicko helped
                                          > with advice in the past about attaching a diode to block negative
                                          > transients, and using a resistor in series with the fet gate too so
                                          > that has got to be the starting point.


                                          Does this group do pictures?
                                        • Nick de Smith
                                          Well, I occasionally read this group, but I don t get emails. If the PIC is a 3.3V part, it won t drive the FET properly - Vgs(th) hits 3V ok, but the IRF840
                                          Message 21 of 30 , Feb 12 8:26 AM
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                                            Well, I occasionally read this group, but I don't get emails.

                                            If the PIC is a 3.3V part, it won't drive the FET properly - Vgs(th) hits 3V
                                            ok, but the IRF840 datasheet is very clear that it will switch very little
                                            if any current - look at fig 7. in the Fairchild datasheet (it's the Id vs.
                                            Vds curves for different Vgs) - basically it only hits its stride with a Vgs
                                            between 5V & 6V - 4.5V would probably be ok, depending on load. Putting it
                                            another way, they don't even show curves for Vgs < 4V. Why? Because the 4V
                                            curve shows the FET not conducting...

                                            What you really want is a logic level FET with a Vds of about 250. Rare.
                                            Very rare. Mind you, I haven't looked around for one for a while, so maybe
                                            there is one out there now...

                                            Cheers

                                            Nick
                                            nick@...



                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: Quixotic Nixotic [mailto:nixotic1@...]
                                            > Sent: 12 February 2010 11:31
                                            > To: smartsockets@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Subject: Re: [smartsockets] Re: IV_17 FLW video
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > On 12 Feb 2010, at 11:02, fixitsan2 wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > I think I need to open a discussion about driving FETs, the new pic
                                            > > is a 3.3V part and in theory ought to be capable of driving
                                            > the fet
                                            > > properly but I need to get back to finish porting the code
                                            > before I
                                            > > know the answer, hoping to do a lot more work tonight.
                                            > Nicko helped
                                            > > with advice in the past about attaching a diode to block negative
                                            > > transients, and using a resistor in series with the fet
                                            > gate too so
                                            > > that has got to be the starting point.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Does this group do pictures?
                                            >
                                            >
                                          • John Rehwinkel
                                            ... This is quite true. You d need yet another power supply just to provide gate drive to the FET. There are chips that do this (with their own charge-pump
                                            Message 22 of 30 , Feb 12 9:14 AM
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                                              > If the PIC is a 3.3V part, it won't drive the FET properly

                                              This is quite true. You'd need yet another power supply just to provide gate drive to the FET. There are chips that do this (with their own charge-pump power supply), as there are many applications for switching FETs driven by circuits running from 3.3V.

                                              - John
                                            • fixitsan2
                                              ... I appreciate your comments Nick. I am wondering how John T gets his supplies running at 2V, is it by making use of a gate driver IC/charge pump ?
                                              Message 23 of 30 , Feb 12 11:17 AM
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                                                --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Nick de Smith" <nick@...> wrote:
                                                >

                                                >
                                                > What you really want is a logic level FET with a Vds of about 250. Rare.
                                                > Very rare. Mind you, I haven't looked around for one for a while, so maybe
                                                > there is one out there now...
                                                >
                                                > Cheers
                                                >
                                                > Nick

                                                I appreciate your comments Nick. I am wondering how John T gets his supplies running at 2V, is it by making use of a gate driver IC/charge pump ?
                                              • Nick
                                                ... Nope - he uses a flyback boost converter so he has an output transformer with two windings which steps up the voltage - the input side is driven with low
                                                Message 24 of 30 , Feb 13 2:25 AM
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                                                  --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
                                                  > --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Nick de Smith" <nick@> wrote:
                                                  > > What you really want is a logic level FET with a Vds of about 250. Rare.
                                                  > > Very rare. Mind you, I haven't looked around for one for a while, so maybe
                                                  > > there is one out there now...
                                                  > I appreciate your comments Nick. I am wondering how John T gets his supplies running at 2V, is it by making use of a gate driver IC/charge pump ?
                                                  >
                                                  Nope - he uses a flyback boost converter so he has an output transformer with two windings which steps up the voltage - the input side is driven with low voltage but relatively high current, so he can use a low voltage logic level FET. I suspect you will also have to take this approach.

                                                  Ronald Dekker has an EXCELLENT page on this:
                                                  http://www.dos4ever.com/flyback/flyback.html

                                                  Cheers

                                                  Nick
                                                • Nick
                                                  ... For this application I suspect that using a flyback converter would be cheaper & easier. Cheers Nick
                                                  Message 25 of 30 , Feb 13 2:30 AM
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                                                    --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, John Rehwinkel <jrehwin@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > > If the PIC is a 3.3V part, it won't drive the FET properly
                                                    >
                                                    > This is quite true. You'd need yet another power supply just to provide gate drive to the FET. There are chips that do this (with their own charge-pump power supply), as there are many applications for switching FETs driven by circuits running from 3.3V

                                                    For this application I suspect that using a flyback converter would be cheaper & easier.

                                                    Cheers

                                                    Nick
                                                  • fixitsan2
                                                    ... I think I have solved it myself. What I didn t point out was that the circuit is still supplied with 5V, which is then regulated down to 3.3V to drive the
                                                    Message 26 of 30 , Feb 13 9:02 AM
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                                                      --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Nick" <nick@...> wrote:
                                                      >

                                                      > For this application I suspect that using a flyback converter would be cheaper & easier.
                                                      >
                                                      > Cheers
                                                      >
                                                      > Nick
                                                      >


                                                      I think I have solved it myself. What I didn't point out was that the circuit is still supplied with 5V, which is then regulated down to 3.3V to drive the PIC, so I can still make use of the 5V for switching the FET. I am thinking that using a pullup to keep the gate high and an NPN transistor driven by the pic to set the gate low. That's only going to invert the signal.
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