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  #11  
Old 04-07-2018, 10:05 AM
vlittle's Avatar
vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Default The next generation aviation controller

Here's a teaser....



This project uses 4-layer SMT boards and is not as customizable as the Falcon-AVR through-hole design.

In many respects it is simpler, smaller and gives up some interface functionality. The big upside is that the CPU is an Expressif ESP-32 which is vastly more capable than the AVR or MX20 processor used on the original Falcon-AVR.

Oh, it also supports WiFi and Bluetooth natively.

It will be the next generation autoflaps and autotrim controller in both my Rocket and my new build. Another innovation is that it will work in simple trim/flaps control hardware-only mode, without a processor plugged in (or functional)!

It will be totally open source hardware based on EasyEDA (try it!).

No further information will be forthcoming for a while while I am occupied on another major project, but I promise more teasers as I go along.

Cheers!
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Last edited by vlittle : 04-08-2018 at 09:51 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2018, 06:05 PM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
 
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Default

I have no idea how I missed this thread originally, but this is great stuff!
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  #13  
Old 04-08-2018, 07:39 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Default

Here's the prototype schematic. Check back for updates.

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  #14  
Old 04-09-2018, 04:00 PM
hendrik hendrik is offline
 
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Default

Maybe that's a stupid question, but starting at PWR I already fail to understand your circuit at Q3. What's the purpose of Q3? Assuming PWR is positive, that body diode will always conduct. What am I missing?
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2018, 08:14 AM
kbelue kbelue is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hendrik View Post
Maybe that's a stupid question, but starting at PWR I already fail to understand your circuit at Q3. What's the purpose of Q3? Assuming PWR is positive, that body diode will always conduct. What am I missing?
Q3, D5, and R5 are for reverse polarity protection. When power is first applied, Q3 is off so current flows through the Q3 body diode. This allows current to flow through D5 and R5 which applies a voltage to the Q3 gate. Q3 then turns on, allowing current to flow through the FET instead of the body diode. If power is applied with reverse polarity, no current is allowed to flow past Q3.
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2018, 06:44 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbelue View Post
Q3, D5, and R5 are for reverse polarity protection. When power is first applied, Q3 is off so current flows through the Q3 body diode. This allows current to flow through D5 and R5 which applies a voltage to the Q3 gate. Q3 then turns on, allowing current to flow through the FET instead of the body diode. If power is applied with reverse polarity, no current is allowed to flow past Q3.
What Kevin said.
It's an expensive function, but it handles all kinds of electrical issues that cars and airplanes can experience.

When all else fails, there's always the fuse as well.
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  #17  
Old 05-10-2018, 07:32 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlittle View Post
Here's a teaser....



This project uses 4-layer SMT boards and is not as customizable as the Falcon-AVR through-hole design.

In many respects it is simpler, smaller and gives up some interface functionality. The big upside is that the CPU is an Expressif ESP-32 which is vastly more capable than the AVR or MX20 processor used on the original Falcon-AVR.

Oh, it also supports WiFi and Bluetooth natively.

It will be the next generation autoflaps and autotrim controller in both my Rocket and my new build. Another innovation is that it will work in simple trim/flaps control hardware-only mode, without a processor plugged in (or functional)!

It will be totally open source hardware based on EasyEDA (try it!).

No further information will be forthcoming for a while while I am occupied on another major project, but I promise more teasers as I go along.

Cheers!
Update: Here's the PCB assembly. The ESP-32 processor module has been removed to show the board details. There are two trim motor drivers and a pair of relays for driving flaps.

This board works without the processor module as an electronic 'relay deck' for trim and flaps. Plugging in the processor brings auto-trim and auto-flaps capability in firmware.

Not flight tested yet, still learning the quirks of the ESP-32 before porting the Arduino code.

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  #18  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:46 PM
MElstien MElstien is offline
 
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Default Are these board for sale?

Hello, are the boards for sale? If so, what is the price and do you supply the kit or do we need to order from DK or Mouser?

Thank you.
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2018, 07:31 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MElstien View Post
Hello, are the boards for sale? If so, what is the price and do you supply the kit or do we need to order from DK or Mouser?

Thank you.
Well I finished my other project and can slowly ramp up again on this.

My intention with the Falcon-ESP32 project is to provide complete open-source design information so that you can order boards and parts directly from my suppliers.

The only gotcha is that it is that you will need to purchase a minimum quantity to get a decent price. Oh, and one more thing... you need the equipment and skills for surface mount assembly.

Perhaps someone else on VAF wants to undertake this part of the project. I have a small SMT prototype facility, but it's not for production quantities. I have designed SMT boards that run in the millions, but that was when I worked for a living.

I *may* have a small quantity of devices available soon for sofware developers, but no commitments yet.

V
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:30 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Here's another teaser. As I slowly ramp up on this project, which will be timed to coincide with my new aircraft build, I thought I would share some more information.

Since the Falcon-ESP uses a processor board with embedded WiFi and Bluetooth, it's pretty straightforward to configure it using a phone or tablet. This example is just a demonstration, but I use it for debug. Below is a screen grab from my iPad.

Eventually it will evolve to be the configuration console for my next-gen trim/flaps controller. I may even port it to the Falcon-AVR documented in the beginning of this thread.

FMI, contact me by email. My intention is to make the hardware and software 100% open source.

Cheers, V

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Last edited by vlittle : 11-22-2018 at 06:36 PM.
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