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IV-17 Smartsocket imminent announcement

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  • fixitsan2
    Sorry, but I have always wanted to make an imminent announcement . Most of you will probably just rather wait for the actual announcement, I usually do. I
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 22, 2011
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      Sorry, but I have always wanted to make an 'imminent announcement'. Most of you will probably just rather wait for the actual announcement, I usually do.

      I hope to bring good news about the IV-17 Smartsocket very soon !
    • michail1@aol.com
      We re waiting. :) Michail In a message dated 1/22/2011 7:14:10 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@aol.com writes: Sorry, but I have always wanted to make
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 22, 2011
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        We're waiting.  :)
         
        Michail
         
        In a message dated 1/22/2011 7:14:10 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@... writes:
        Sorry, but I have always wanted to make an 'imminent announcement'. Most of you will probably just rather wait for the actual announcement, I usually do.

        I hope to bring good news about the IV-17 Smartsocket very soon !

      • fixitsan2
        ... Having taken on a new fulltime job, had a change of personal circumstances and find myself putting other projects first which hold greater interest for me,
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 23, 2011
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          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:
          >
          > We're waiting. :)
          >
          > Michail
          >
          >

          Having taken on a new fulltime job, had a change of personal circumstances and find myself putting other projects first which hold greater interest for me, I fear I will never get to releasing this project, even as the kit I had once hoped to do.

          In the next week or so I will be posting the files and a schematic to the files section of this group so that others can enjoy this project too.

          I have done some work recently which I will explain more about below, but as yet there is no 40Vdc supply driven from the PIC, although there is a PWM output signal available should anyone wish to tinker. For my tests I employed a ready made supply based on the MC34046 which cost only a couple of pounds and is quite small.

          Some of the software changes are as follows...

          - Serial data speed up to 38400 baud

          - Removal of the "$B7" header in front of every instruction

          - Removal of the necessity to end each instruction with a CR or LF (a 2mS delay is now required between each instruction)

          - 'Direct' character placement. EG to display the string "XYZ" starting at tube position 4 just send 'MD,4,XYZ' (M=message, D=direct, 4 = position)

          - 'Dynamic scrolling'. EG, to scroll the word "Smartsocket" between tubes 6 and tube 2 with a 200msec delay between shifts use command "MS,50,2,5,Smartsocket" If you switch around the 2 and the 6 the scroll will work in the reverse direction.

          - Digit transition delays, You can send one instruction to all smartsockets to set up a delay at each tube so that each subsequent change of character takes place after the preset delay has expired.

          - With the exception of the DP's all segment output pins are reconfigurable to suit your own board layout with a simple serial data instruction.

          - A clock which keeps reasonable time, but is not battery backed. (would suit a daily refresh from a GPS or a radio signal for synchronisation)

          - There are about 20 completed transition effects and a lot of others which are unfinished, but implementing the unfinished ones by mistake doesn't cause any problem.


          There are a few other smarts which have been made in order to cut down on the number of instructions required to be sent by the host processor, reducing both memory and processing requirements.

          I have built a second display to go with the first, just to check that each group of four tubes enumerates itself properly, which they seem to do.

          I'm just working on bringing the decimal points back into action after reconfiguring my test hardware, but anyone wishing to build one of these should feel confident that any new features will be uploaded as they are completed.

          As usual I am open to suggestions, does a data speed of 38400 seem too fast ? It is easy to change. The code is written in PicBasic but the ASM file will also be uploaded.

          The hardware required to support groups of four IV-17 or IV-4 tubes
          consists of
          1 X pic18f25k22
          1 X HV5812/A6812 (or equiv)
          1 X watch crystal and caps if you want to use the clock (optional)
          40Vdc supply, 50mA max
          4 X 50 Ohm resistors, 1 for each filament
          2 X MPSA42 and 2 X MPSA92 transistors for decimal point switches
          A few standard resistors and decoupling caps

          As with all Smartsockets I will allow this device to reproduced for profit, with the conditions that I am credited with making the original design and if you make a million you buy me lunch.

          Chris
        • Quixotic Nixotic
          ... OK. I too have been meaning to run with this project but time, work and ill-health have conspired against me. I am trying to run down my day-to-day work so
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 23, 2011
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            On 23 Jan 2011, at 19:16, fixitsan2 wrote:
             

            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:

            >
            > We're waiting. :)
            >
            > Michail
            >

            Having taken on a new fulltime job, had a change of personal circumstances and find myself putting other projects first which hold greater interest for me, I fear I will never get to releasing this project, even as the kit I had once hoped to do.

            In the next week or so I will be posting the files and a schematic to the files section of this group so that others can enjoy this project too.

            OK. I too have been meaning to run with this project but time, work and ill-health have conspired against me. I am trying to run down my day-to-day work so I can concentrate more on what I like to do, which is dicker around with electronics. So maybe with a little help from you I can keep this thing alive somehow?

            I have done some work recently which I will explain more about below, but as yet there is no 40Vdc supply driven from the PIC, although there is a PWM output signal available should anyone wish to tinker. For my tests I employed a ready made supply based on the MC34046 which cost only a couple of pounds and is quite small.

            Is this the one from Sure? Or another one?

            Best wishes with the new job and whatever the future holds in store for you.

            John S
          • fixitsan2
            ... Hi John ! ... I am sure someone with your experience will have a field day with it. Sorry to hear about your health, you still seem to have working fingers
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 23, 2011
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              --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:

              Hi John !

              > OK. I too have been meaning to run with this project but time, work
              > and ill-health have conspired against me. I am trying to run down my
              > day-to-day work so I can concentrate more on what I like to do, which
              > is dicker around with electronics. So maybe with a little help from
              > you I can keep this thing alive somehow?

              I am sure someone with your experience will have a field day with it.

              Sorry to hear about your health, you still seem to have working fingers and eyes so I too hope you get the time to do your favourite stuff.

              > > I have done some work recently which I will explain more about
              > > below, but as yet there is no 40Vdc supply driven from the PIC,
              > > although there is a PWM output signal available should anyone wish
              > > to tinker. For my tests I employed a ready made supply based on the
              > > MC34046 which cost only a couple of pounds and is quite small.
              > >
              > Is this the one from Sure? Or another one?
              >

              Yes it was the Sure unit. By desoldering one resistor and upgrading the 25V output cap to a 63V part the unit can be wound up to 45V output. I bought 25 off them months ago. I spoke with them this week and they say it is no longer for sale, only the step down version is available and that is on a clearance offer(I've already looked at changing the stepdown to a stepup unit but it is so involved that a whole new supply will be cheaper and easier to make)


              Chris




              > Best wishes with the new job and whatever the future holds in store
              > for you.
              >
              > John S
              >
            • guus.assmann@wolmail.nl
              Is the schematic diagram of these smartsockets available as well? Sure would help when trying to buils one. BR/ Guus
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 26, 2011
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                Is the schematic diagram of these smartsockets available as well?
                Sure would help when trying to buils one.

                BR/
                Guus
              • fixitsan2
                ... I ve put all of the relevant detail in the file I uploaded, called README.TXT It is in the IV-17 smartsocket section of the files section, together with
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 26, 2011
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                  --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "guus.assmann@..." <guus.assmann@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Is the schematic diagram of these smartsockets available as well?
                  > Sure would help when trying to buils one.
                  >
                  > BR/
                  > Guus
                  >
                  I've put all of the relevant detail in the file I uploaded, called 'README.TXT'
                  It is in the IV-17 smartsocket section of the files section, together with the preliminary manual, a schematic of the circuit is in the manual. *Please* read the readme first though :)
                • michail1@aol.com
                  Has anyone started mass production of the boards/kits yet? TaylorE? Michail In a message dated 1/26/2011 2:45:43 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 27, 2011
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                    Has anyone started mass production of the boards/kits yet?   TaylorE?
                     
                    Michail
                     
                    In a message dated 1/26/2011 2:45:43 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, fixitsan@... writes:
                    I've put all of the relevant detail in the file I uploaded, called 'README.TXT'
                    It is in the IV-17 smartsocket section of the files section, together with the preliminary manual, a schematic of the circuit is in the manual. *Please* read the readme first though :)

                  • Quixotic Nixotic
                    ... I don t think anyone has built a clock yet, apart from Chris s prototype. Or am I wrong? John S
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 27, 2011
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                      On 27 Jan 2011, at 14:41, michail1@... wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Has anyone started mass production of the boards/kits yet? TaylorE?
                      >
                      > Michail

                      I don't think anyone has built a clock yet, apart from Chris's
                      prototype. Or am I wrong?

                      John S
                    • michail1@aol.com
                      John, I was kidding. It was more of a hint. :) Now waiting for it to be on tayloredge now. Michail In a message dated 1/27/2011 6:48:18 A.M. Pacific Standard
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 27, 2011
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                        John,
                         
                        I was kidding.   It was more of a hint. :)
                         
                        Now waiting for it to be on tayloredge now.
                         
                        Michail
                         
                        In a message dated 1/27/2011 6:48:18 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, nixotic1@... writes:
                        I don't think anyone has built a clock yet, apart from Chris's
                        prototype. Or am I wrong?

                        John S

                      • fixitsan2
                        Just to say that the board layout in the IV-17 section was produced by John, and pertains to a previous version of the proposed device which produced a PWM
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jan 28, 2011
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                          Just to say that the board layout in the IV-17 section was produced by John, and pertains to a previous version of the proposed device which produced a PWM output. I will see what i can do to slip the PWM control code back in to the design. At worst I will try to add something which allows seperate control of the frequency and period via two pots, as proposed previously.

                          Since I started this project a couple of years ago it seems that the driver IC might not be readily available, although I think Mouser stock plenty. The driver IC used can be substituted by any similar device with _at_least_ 20 outputs. If you have to use a 27 output device (MAX6932 ?) then you will just have a few unused pins and everything else will work as normal.

                          The commands in the manual need to be updated to reflect the removal of the "$B7" header, as well as a few other functional differences and I am working towards bringing that up to date as soon as possible. I'm also going to do a little more work with the time display because at the moment it only uses 4 tubes and I am thinking that something which gives a bit more freedom for displays with >4 tubes would be better.

                          As it stands, the device accomodates at least 8 numeric fonts, an upper case and lower case English alphabet, a few punctuation marks and at least 15 transition effects so there is already more functionality than previous smartsockets. The number of UDC's have been reduced to 100, but that could increase with a bit more effort.

                          The next micro in this series which is due for release soon, the PIC18F26k22 has twice the RAM memory and more eeprom so a few more features could easily be added when that one comes along.

                          For the filament supply I have had absolutely no issues using dc via a limiting resistor on the +5V supply. There is no visible gradation in brightness across the tube, perhaps because the filament wires are not exactly linear but are folded. In one display of mine I have probably put several hundred hours onto a pair of IV-17 and IV-4 tubes sharing the same display and neither of them show much difference in terms of brightness either between tube types or inside individual tubes.

                          Please keep me posted if you start to build one of these and you find any errors, ommissions or anything which seems to be unstable and I will do my best to attend to it quickly.

                          Chris





                          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:
                          >
                          > John,
                          >
                          > I was kidding. It was more of a hint. :)
                          >
                          > Now waiting for it to be on tayloredge now.
                          >
                          > Michail
                          > 7
                          >
                          > In a message dated 1/27/2011 6:48:18 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
                          > nixotic1@... writes:
                          >
                          > I don't think anyone has built a clock yet, apart from Chris's
                          > prototype. Or am I wrong?
                          >
                          > John S
                          >
                        • shklaw75
                          Chris, great work on getting the IV-4/IV-17 Smartsockets to this working point. I can t wait to get one (or more) of these working! I have a few other projects
                          Message 12 of 13 , Feb 2, 2011
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                            Chris, great work on getting the IV-4/IV-17 Smartsockets to this working point. I can't wait to get one (or more) of these working!

                            I have a few other projects on the go at the moment, but hopefully when I have some more time, I can put some together and also update the Text to Smartsockets program to work with the new commands.

                            Keep up the good work.
                            Cheers.
                            Simon


                            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Please keep me posted if you start to build one of these and you find any errors, ommissions or anything which seems to be unstable and I will do my best to attend to it quickly.
                            >
                            > Chris
                          • fixitsan2
                            Cheers Simon. If anyone is interested, when I was looking to build kits up for this project i wrote a few emails to tube suppliers which frequenetly advertise
                            Message 13 of 13 , Feb 2, 2011
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                              Cheers Simon.

                              If anyone is interested, when I was looking to build kits up for this project i wrote a few emails to tube suppliers which frequenetly advertise these tubes on ebay.
                              I estimate there are at least 1000 tubes in the regular seller's stocks, so unless someone does a production run of an electronic Scrabble game there should be a good few to go around.

                              Chris





                              --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "shklaw75" <shklaw75@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Chris, great work on getting the IV-4/IV-17 Smartsockets to this working point. I can't wait to get one (or more) of these working!
                              >
                              > I have a few other projects on the go at the moment, but hopefully when I have some more time, I can put some together and also update the Text to Smartsockets program to work with the new commands.
                              >
                              > Keep up the good work.
                              > Cheers.
                              > Simon
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Please keep me posted if you start to build one of these and you find any errors, ommissions or anything which seems to be unstable and I will do my best to attend to it quickly.
                              > >
                              > > Chris
                              >
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