A test run of the generic heating / cooling controller with 10k NTC thermistor sensor

The generic heating / cooling controller (hcctl) is a flexible bang-bang thermostat controller based on an ATTiny25.

hcctl101

The test load is a pot containing 1l of water and a 1200W immersion element controlled by the SSR above (on-off control). The controller board is a ‘fully optioned’ test framework, hcctl is the left hand DIP8 and the other is a TC427 H bridge (not needed for this SSR which can be driven directly from the ATTiny25 output pin) for buffered output and alarm. Continue reading A test run of the generic heating / cooling controller with 10k NTC thermistor sensor

2.4:1 balun design failure

A lost soul searching for enlightenment on impedance transformation sought advice on a transformer at 2.4 : 1 BALUN.

Inevitably one of the online experts counselled:

Assuming your quad is a single-band HF antenna, a conventional transformer using #2 powdered iron would be my choice for the balun function. The reactance of the secondary winding would need to be at least 600 ohms.

So, let’s put the online expert’s advice to a practical test.

Fleshing out the proposed solution

I have at hand a T200-2 core, so lets calculate the secondary turns to satisfy the proposed solution.

Screenshot - 27_05_2015 , 07_05_11

Above is calculation from a popular online calculator. For 14MHz, the secondary should be at least 23.8t. We will use 24t. Continue reading 2.4:1 balun design failure

Thermal observations on Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid

The Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid is used in my HF Balun Project.

This article reports some thermal measurements and analysis made in relation to the project some years ago, but possibly of interest.

HfBalunAbove is the Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid in an implementation of my HF Balun Project using XLPE wire for the winding. The core is a NiZn ferrite toroid of 63x26x19mm (larger than FT240 size). Continue reading Thermal observations on Neosid 28-053-31 ferrite toroid

Interpreting temperature rise in ferrite cored RF transformers and inductors

 

FT240-43-11t

We often see statements by hams where they draw inference from observed temperature rise of a ferrite core at RF. Lets consider the following statement.

The FT-240-43 balun MUST be quite efficient as it barely increased in temperature over a 5 minute over at 100W on SSB.

For the purpose of this explanation, lets assume barely increased in temperature means 5° increase in temperature from cold. Under these conditions, we can reasonably assume that almost all of the heat input to the core is consumed in raising the core temperature. Continue reading Interpreting temperature rise in ferrite cored RF transformers and inductors

A walk through of a practical application of AIMuhf/AIM900A #2

I mentioned at A walk through of a practical application of AIMuhf/AIM900 that I wasn’t all together happy with feed point R at resonance, at 40Ω it was perhaps a touch high for a 2m quarter wave ground plane on a largish vehicle roof.

AIMuhfRepeated measurement of the DC resistance from the coax plug sheild to car body yielded unstable resistance ranging from 1 to 10Ω. If stable low DC resistance is not achieved, this feed line won’t work properly for RF. Continue reading A walk through of a practical application of AIMuhf/AIM900A #2

Report on Hobbyking 40A ESC 4A UBEC 9261000003 / BC3540-14 brushless drive #2

Report on Hobbyking 40A ESC 4A UBEC 9261000003 / BC3540-14 brushless drive reported a set of measurements on a test on elements of a drive system which is the basis for one of my flying quads.

This article reports some interesting characteristics derived from the measurements.

Test configuration:

  • Gemfan 11×4.7″ SF propeller;
  • BC3530-14 1000Kv motor;
  • Hobbyking 40A ESC 4A UBEC 9261000003 (BEMF caps removed);
  • SimonK commit 02bd8e4ca36a06722efe51bc7cd5130d72a184b8 bs.hex with 2000ns dead time; and
  • 4Ah 4S Lipo battery.

Keep in mind that the application for this drive is a multirotor, and hover speed is around 3800RPM, so efficiency in that region is critical to battery endurance. Continue reading Report on Hobbyking 40A ESC 4A UBEC 9261000003 / BC3540-14 brushless drive #2

A walk through of a practical application of AIMuhf/AIM900

This article describes the use of the Array Solutions AIMuhf/AIM900 to test a mobile antenna installation, a quarter wave whip for 2m with about 4m of RG58 cable which has been previously installed and tuned.AIMuhf

 

The exercise is motivated by a perception that the antenna is not working as well as it should.

Screenshot - 16_05_2015 , 14_38_07

Above is a scan of the VSWR. It indicates problems, there should be a main VSWR dip around the high end of the 2m band (147MHz), but instead the minimum is nearer 160MHz. Clearly there is an antenna connected to the far end of the line in some form (ie the inner conductor is not simply broken), but there could be a high resistance in the inner conductor or shield connection (the latter is common issue with this type of antenna base). Continue reading A walk through of a practical application of AIMuhf/AIM900

A test run of the generic heating / cooling controller with Pt100 sensor

The generic heating / cooling controller (hcctl) is a flexible bang-bang thermostat controller based on an ATTiny25.

hcctl101

The test load is a pot containing 1l of water and a 1200W immersion element controlled by the SSR above (on-off control). The controller board is a ‘fully optioned’ test framework, hcctl is the left hand DIP8 and the other is a TC427 H bridge (not needed for this SSR which can be driven directly from the ATTiny25 output pin) for buffered output and alarm. Continue reading A test run of the generic heating / cooling controller with Pt100 sensor

SPI input for the generic heating / cooling controller

The generic heating / cooling controller (hcctl) is a flexible bang-bang thermostat controller based on an ATTiny25.

The project has been expanded to accept a simple SPI temperature sensor. The test case uses a MAX31855 Cold-Junction Compensated Thermocouple-to-Digital Converter for K type thermocouples. The MAX31855 is around US$5 at Digikey for singles, but the tests were conducted using Adafruit MAX31855.

MAX31855

Thermocouples bring two challenges for hcctl:

  • low noise amplification of very low sensor voltage;
  • compensation of the ‘cold junction’ temperature; and
  • high resolution ADC.

The MAX31855 provides a solution to all of these challenges in a single inexpensive chip. Continue reading SPI input for the generic heating / cooling controller

Adafruit MAX31855 checkout

Intending to enhance my generic heating / cooling controller to read SPI temperature sensors, I purchased an Adafruit MAX31855 module on eBay from a local supplier for about A$26 posted.

The module you might have guessed uses a MAX31855, a Cold-Junction Compensated Thermocouple-to-Digital Converter for K type thermocouple with an SPI interface. The Adafruit module includes a regulator and level translators to use it in a 5V system.

This article describes a simple checkout using a BusPirate V4. Conveniently, the MAX31855 module can be powered from the BusPirate. The thermocouple input is provided by a thermocouple calibrator.

TcCalTest

After a short wait to allow both devices to stabilise at ambient temperature, a test was run. The BusPirate session is as follows. Continue reading Adafruit MAX31855 checkout