TinyTimer-KS boards arrive

I’m excited.  The TinyTimer boards showed up today from OSHPark.  Hope to have one assembled and get it into testing.  These are the latest prototype revision.

TinyTimer-Kickstarter Prototype
TinyTimer-Kickstarter Prototype

Net Hatchling – a ENC28J60 DIP Breakout board



I put a new project together this weekend.  It is called Net-Hatchling.  It’s a break-out board for the ENC28J60.  The ENC28J60 is a micro-chip ethernet controller.  It’s relatively inexpensive and available in a DIP format.  There are essentially two alternatives for ethernet in the Arduino world, this chip and a Wiznet5100.  Wiznet 5100 is only available in a SOIC format which is not hobbyist friendly.

The idea for net-hatchling is that it packages a power supply, the ethernet controller, and an ethernet jack.  I’m using USB for a power source again and then regulating it to 3.3v.  Fair warning the ENC28J60 is a 3.3v chip that is 5v tolerant.  This means you can talk to it with a 5v arduino, but you can’t listen to it without some level converters… unless you run the Arduino at 3.3v which is supported.

After I get the prototype boards in I will offer this as a kit via Tindie.  I want to make sure there aren’t any mistakes before I offer it for sale.  There are cheaper ways to get a ENC28J60 ethernet for arduino, but I’m not aware of any kits that use the DIP variant.

There are some libraries for this and so it should be a pretty easy off the shelf widget… and it’s alot cheaper then an ethernet shield.

Please let me know if this is something you find interesting.

Many thanks to Sparkfun for their Eagle Library.  I used their open-source part library and customized a version for the DIP package.

This design is based off of several published open source schematics and datasheet examples including the ENC28J60 datasheet from MicroChip. ENC28J60 Datasheet

Net Hatchling

TinyTimer-Classic Prototype Boards

I touched up TinyTimer-Classic this evening and ordered some prototype boards from #oshpark.  I added a standard 6 pin ISP header, and reset button.  I changed it over to the standard relay I’ve been using as well.  Once it comes in I will do a confirmation build, write instructions, and publish it.  Should be a bunch of activity coming up in the next few weeks.


New Prototype boards ordered for TinyTimer Duo

I spent some time this evening revising TinyTimer Duo.  I made both relays capable of handling AC loads.  I also added a second input, and switched the chip in the design to an Atmega328p-PU which is the same as what is in some types of Arduino boards.  This makes it fully compatible.  The inputs are on the A/D lines which makes them useful for more than just simple switches.  Each input sources 5v and is protected by a resistor.

Here is what the prototype board looks like.  It’s approximately 4×2.  It’s a little more spacious then some of my other designs.

prototype board

TinyTimer another revision and new boards

I sat down this evening to work on the instructions and the prototype.  I realized I had omitted a resistor on the run/program switch.  I also decided to reduce the number of buttons and change the way the LED displays work.  For those who have been following the project, the original goal was two knobs, two LED displays and a dip switch for the interval.  I decided to eliminate the dip switches and found that the knobs were unreliable.  I replaced the knobs and dip switches with a series of menu buttons.  I also outlined the external voltage area to remind users that this could be high voltage.  I added some mounting holes as well.  I also marked pin 1 of several pin headers.

I was working through how those would function and realized that I had made it more complicated than it needed to be.  Programming is something you will do occassionally.  Why tie up so many pins on the processor?  Why use a more expensive, larger LED when a smaller one would do?  I opted for 2 buttons and a switch for programming.  Select the mode, run or program.  The buttons are next and inc.  Inc as in increment or up.  Each digit only has 9 options.  This makes it work like a dial on a lock, but minimizes the hardware involved.  Next moves from one digit to the next.   I relocated the two LEDs so I can make them pull double duty.  The Green and Red LED’s are for indicating where in the cycle the timer is at.  Green is for run, Red is for wait.  During progrmaming, Green will represent the on cycle, Red will represent the wait cycle.  The single digit will indicate which mode 1 through 4 (hmm maybe 1 through 9) and the 4 digit LED display will represent the duration 0000 through 9999.

I actually like interval 1 through 9.  That would eliminate programming for some users…..and work like this:

  1. Milliseconds
  2. Seconds
  3. Minutes
  4. Hours
  5. Days

okay, do we really need anything bigger than days on this?  Days could get really silly… so I’ll just stop there.  Besides, 9999 days ought to cover you.

So without further delay, here is what the boards look like now:

TinyTimer Prototype Design


Should be in within 2 weeks.

TinyTimer Prototype board arrived

Great news, the prototype  boards arrived in the mail yesterday for TinyTimer-Kickstarter edition.  I’m hoping to work on assembly and testing this week.  I’ve been doing some construction on my house and my office is a bit of a mess.  I did a quick test fit of the LED module and Max7219CNG chip and both fit great.  There is always a risk when using a new part that the footprint will not match the part.  I try to avoid that by printing the board layout on paper and laying the part over it.  That helps spot major issues, but it’s not fool proof.

Prototype board for TinyTimer.
Prototype board for TinyTimer.