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The Raven


Throughout the past year much has changed with this board design. I have expanded and improved the system greatly, and production is closer than ever. The power supply changes are the most obvious. The old supply had four independently-regulated voltages and that has not changed, however the values and components have changed dramatically. As the system expanded, I realized the need for much more current from the 2V and 6V supplies. To that end, I have upgraded the type of each supply to a switcher. Inductors have been added for smoother operation while under load, and the traces have been expanded to increase current. There is no longer a need for a 9V supply, so that has been tossed in favor of 3.3V for powering some of the smaller boards. Several auxiliary functions have been added and the original microprocessor is gone. Since both the drive and steering motor controllers can be connected directly to the RC receiver there is no need for computer processing. For the task of data collection, there is now a logger with flash memory.

With the increased number of funcions, more switches have been added. Independent switching allows for operation of only necessary sections in order to save power. As things stand, there will be lots of batteries just to drive and steer.

The photo below is the top copper layer only. The board is quite complex now so showing more than one layer at a time is necessary. In addition to that, I would like to keep my work a bit of a mystery since I have so much time into it. This has been quite the journey but it is my own.

As can be seen above, the main supply had to be expanded greatly and has become a large plane to ensure there will be enough current for the demand. I have added a solid state relay controlled by the main pwer switch since the potential amperage has exceeded the capability of my lovely toggle switches. There is also a 10A thermal circuit breaker on the incoming line. That goes without saying.

I did realize at some point that everything was grossly undersized and that prompted such an expansion of the supplies. I have not been terribly worried about the 3.3v and 5v systems because they are logic supplies and the power consumption will be minimal. The 2v is powering as many as 16 20mA LEDs so that rail became perfect for the inner power plane (as discussed previously). The lousy thing is had I planned better in the beginning, the 12v should have been carried by the inner plane and not the 2v. To redesign the system at this point would take a tremendous amoiunt of time. Plus, I really do not want to start over.

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Content Updated: Sunday, September 04, 2016 at 10:25 pdt

Maltese Cross

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