Electronics Assembly and Test Begins on Hot Rod ROBO

The first permanent circuit board for my Hot Rod ROBO
The first permanent circuit board for my Hot Rod ROBO

Above you see the first circuit board assembly – actually a power LED was added at the top, some heat sinks were put on the transistors, and and of course the connectors added.  Then I installed the board using this tough-as-nails velcro that my brother gave me.  He got it from a truckstop so you know it’s a rugged product, unlike conventional “thin” velcro (this stuff is thick).  So anyway, I mounted the board, connected everything and had to solve two problems.

The first problem turned out to be a faulty LED.  This could have been from over soldering or from a manufacturing defect – no problem i bought a bag of 100 Red High Brightness LEDs for this project so there are plenty of spares.  This was an unusual case of the fault indicator reaching back into the system and actually causing a fault!  Go figure!

The other issue was a conceptual one on my part, I had just hooked the audio up to the input pin on the processor without doing any signal conditioning at all.  duh!  It need to be biased at least and preferably run through a comparator or opamp with sufficient gain to cause even very low duty cycle and high duty cycle waveforms to be detected.  Adding the signal conditioning on a breadboard temporarily caused the system to operate properly.  This was useful debugging because it reminded me that I must do signal conditioning on the star board.

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