--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, michail1@... wrote:
> Question - on the newer version - How is the real time clock setup?
> Meaning, do I need 1 new version with 4 old version?
> - Clock running in the middle while the other 4 are daisy changed (2 per
> And, or is only new versions needed in order to have a single clock running
> across the 5 boards, (movement across the 20 tubes) etc?
> Basically, I don't want a 4 tube clock. Nice to use 6 or 8 in this case.
> Also, don't want to miss out on old version if I need them with a single
> new version in line of the daisy, etc.
> I would like at least, 1x 20 tube chain, 2x 8 tube chain, 1x 4 tube setup.
> (8 boards) - Is this considered a group buy? heh.
> Ideal is to tie in a arduino to run text (random jokes or the like on the
> big one) - Wifi sheild to use inet/internal webserver to pass texts to it.
The real time clock is really probably only relevant to 4 tube units. I've assumed that if you're driving 8 tubes or more you will be using a seperate master device and will have some timekeeping standard running on that.
The reason for that decision was that a 4 tube unit can respond to an instruction to display the time on it's own 4 tubes, but then what do the remaining tubes do ? They will also respond to the same command making it all quite confusing ! (Imagine HH:MM:HH:MM n an 8 tube display !) I have intended to make a really clever time scroll routine which adapts itself to any length of array, but there aren't enough hours in a day !
What I'm calling 'real time clock' function of the later boards is just the implementation of a 32.768kHz crystal on the Timer 1 oscillator pins. There is also the provision for a dual schottky diode on the pic's 5V line. Pin1 is connected to the main 5V supply line via a 10k resistor and there is a CR2032 battery holder underneath. What this means is that real time clock code can be added and a loss of power could be detected as 0V on pin1, then, that can be used to put the pic into it's lowest power consumption mode using only a few microamps from the coin cell to maintain timer 1 and therefore the time.
My intention is not to sell Smartsocket kits, but instead kits of what I am calling 'IV-17 explorer boards', with no software, but all the hardware for other hobbyists to write their own code to make just the right device for themselves. The circuit hardware for the 4 tube mux is the only thing which cannot be changed.
If somebody wanted to make it a smartsocket device I will sell the preprogrammed pic seperately. This is why I have gone back to using a DIP pic on the later boards opposed to the SOIC pic of the pre-production type - if someone gets bored with the smartsocket idea they can just unplug my pic and pop a blank one in place of it, to start playing around with their own ideas.
Okay. For larger displays what you're going to need is either your own 35V (40V max) supply for the whole lot, or expect to need 1 ready made supply which I can provide, for powering each 2 units (8 tubes). As a rough idea for power demand, budget for at least 330mA at 5V per unit of 4 tubes too.(less if you're using your own 35v supply - the heaters are thirsty things !)
In terms of compatability between versions, the preproduction boards and the later versions are compatible with one another, the boards are pin for pin compatible in fact.
The later boards only have the advantage of being ready to program as a 4 tube or FLW by anyone who fancies doing that, because the crystal, battery and schottky diodes are all on the PCB, ready for tinkering with (If anyone wanted to go on to sell or share their programmed pics I wouldn't attempt to stop them and in fact I would encourage it !)
I hope this has cleared up a few of the missing details. If you would like to put your name on all of the pre-production boards just drop me a line.
I'll post the Smartsocket user manual into the files section in the next few minutes and hopefully start putting the 'IV-17 explorer board' manual together this week.
(I'm going to have to calm down a bit, I've started thinking about making clock pics, FLW pics, barometer pics.... !)