May 052013
 

So, I promised lots of updates, but so far, I haven’t delivered! I’ve had some setbacks, as expected, but I’ve made incredible progress on so many fronts. Btw, if you’re not the geeky type, this post may not be for you, but just so you know: things are looking awesome!

But first, let me show you what my board currently looks like:

Current state of the kuroBox layout.

Current state of the kuroBox layout.

Yep, it looks like an absolute mess! But there are lots of very good reasons for this. I’ve abandoned a poor design choice I made early on. I was hoping to be able to use a SoC (System On a Chip) to offload writing to SD card. My idea was to buy a chip that would do the hard work of writing reliably to an SD card for me, so I wouldn’t have to learn about all that stuff, and could concentrate on the important things. It turns out that the datasheet for the SoC was … incomplete, and that it was actually quite crap. But it’s totally my fault, I didn’t do complete due diligence and I suffered a setback. That’s what all those red wires are for – I’m bypassing that SoC and going to the SD card directly. Good news is that I now have 4x more bandwidth to burn through, my board is cheaper to make (because of a lot less components), and I’ve learnt a lot!

Along the way, I’ve proven many of the¬†independent¬†systems, LTC, the graphics, RTC time keeping, RS232 interface, overcurrent protection, etc.

And this is what my current design looks like:

kuroBox_v11

kuroBox_v11

It kinda looks messier than before, but there’s only one main chip in there (a mighty 32bit, 168MHz processor with FPU), and wiring it up is a lot better. There’s also much more space for expansion for future projects. It’s currently at the fab house.

On another front, I think I’ve finalised the design for the enclosure:

Exploded view of boards, enclosure and connectors.

Exploded view of boards, enclosure and connectors.

It’s quite simple, just the lid with windows for the screen and buttons, and 4 LEMO connectors on the side, for power, LTC and 2 external serial ports. Once I get the PCB’s back from the fab house, I’ll do a 3d printed fitting and form test of the enclosure, and, once happy, I’ll send them off to get machined out of aluminium, and then black anodised. It’s going to look amazing!

So yes, stay tuned!