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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  07:10:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

quote:
Originally posted by LVRALPH
[brYou act like I know what your talking about. I have no idea what a serial port is, much less a serial cable. I'm gonna have to get educated on this subject.

Looks like the only computer I will be able to do this on is a laptop. The spare computer downstairs has no internet capacity and I have no way of getting java or JMRI on it. That will require some kind of USB to serial adapter and software...I think.



You are kidding, right? I think your being modest Ralph! I've been to your house and seen your collection of electronic projects and how you hooked your layout up to your laptop, so stop fooling us!

As far as the computer downstairs goes, have you considered WIFI? It's easy to do!



No I'm not Mark, Thanks for the modest comment. I'm not afraid of electronics and hooking up things as long as someone shows me how and if it does not work how to fix it.

I really have no idea what a serial cable is or a serial port. There is a male D shaped 9 pin outlet on the back. Maybe thats it. I am getting ready to post the question on the C/MRI groups section asking them where I can get one!

As for the wi fi I have that in my house. Since it's so simple it sounds like you just volunteered to come over and set it up. I have an extra wireless router!
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  07:15:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RSCo

Thanks for taking the time to post the step-by-step Ralph.

Oh - I think an RS 232 is actually the technically term for a serial cable/connector.




Jim, thanks. But like I said you could stick one in front of me and I would not recognize it. Kind of like sticking an RS-2, RS-11, and RS 36 in front of the non model railroader and asking them to identify each.

I know what a parallel cable is. Only because I have hooked up many a printer in my life and they told me what it was when I bought it.

Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/01/2010 07:47:34 AM
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  07:46:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Capacitors


The next thing will talk about are capacitors. There are all kind and sizes of these buggers. From the small ceramic and tantalum ones we use here to big Coke can sized electrolytic capacitors.

What do they do? Beats me. They are measured in microfarads. When Hueber hears that word, he runs and hides behind a sheet of plywood or my wifes skirt, which ever is closer. Strange behavior for a man that runs into burning buildings for a living.

Well I have learned that they can store and hold a charge. I learned that back when I was building capacitor discharge machines for my twin coil switch machines. Outside of that I really have no idea. I don't know what the ones in this circuit do, but they are there.

Important safety notes. If you are dealing with a circuit and it has some of these larger size can shaped capacitors be carefull. They can hold a charge for a while, and if your not carefull, you can short them out and receive a nasty shock. Also, if they are hooked up backwards they can explode! Explains Huebers odd behavior and confidence in my wiring skills.

We want to identify the proper ones and hook em up correctly. There are 10 capacitors in this circuit. Four ceramic ones and 6 tantalum ones of 2 different values. Because only 1 tantalum was different from the other 4 it made it easy to identify.

Most capacitors will have the + or - pin identified. Most capacitors will have one lead longer than the rest indicating the + side. Ceramic disk capacitors that are not polarity sensative usually have their leads the same length.

Identifying these small ones can be a chore. An Optivisor is a great help to read the markings on the small head along with looking for the polarity marker.

We have 2 different values of tantalum capacitors in this circuit. The + is plainly marked. Since only 1 of the tantalum parts is a different value it was easy to separate out. The others are the plain disk capacitors.




Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/01/2010 07:58:01 AM
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simon1966
Fireman

USA
2861 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  08:00:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit simon1966's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ralph, I have just enjoyed reading through the thread, looks like you are making progress and learning a lot as well?

I have made a MRR power supply from and old PC as well using the following link http://web2.murraystate.edu/andy.batts/ps/powersupply.htm

The one major difference it seems is that in my conversion there was a need to add a load to keep the switch-mode supply running. Evidently yours did not need it, but I suspect that others that try to replicate this might have issues if their power supply does. So I place this link as additional information if others are also trying the conversion. It is not my web site, but one that I have found to be helpful and the result worked very well.

Good luck with the rest of the project.
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  09:55:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Simon. I have that link in my favorites file. I shoud have posted it. Thanks for doing that. I'm learning thats for sure, but that is what makes this hobby so much fun! Challenges!

HOW BOUT THEM RAMS!


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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  10:20:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Integrated circuits


We have some of them in this card. They are easy to identify and have from 4 to 40+ pins on them. They are polarity sensitive and pin # 1 which is usually marked with a dot or indent must go in the proper part of the circuit. The name or type of IC is usually written or stamped on the top.

Some are static sensitive and can be easily destroyed. I always ground myself to some metal object on my bench to discharge any static electricity no matter what IC I handle. Play it safe.

IC's have a piece of hardware that gets soldered into the board, and the IC then gets plugged into that. Here is a picture.






Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/03/2010 08:06:21 AM
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  10:26:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hardware


There is some miscellaneous hardware to deal with here. There are some Waldron female plugs and mating male pins that have to be installed. The female plugs receive a special connector that you crimp with a special tool to the wire. It then snaps in tho the female housing. Very easy.






Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/01/2010 10:29:52 AM
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  10:33:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LED'S


Finally there are two LED's for test lights on the board. They are polarity sensitive and must be hooked correctly or they will not light.

There is an anode and cathode. As I recall the cathode must be connected to the negative side of the circuit for it to work. I think the anode is the longer lead, but I'm not sure. I will check.










Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/01/2010 10:35:16 AM
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2010 :  08:34:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Finally the PC board that comes with the kit is is shown here. It is by far usually the most expensive part of the kits. Be very carefull not to damage it. If you install the wrong part, tank the part and save the board!

How can you destroy it? Too much heat! Soldering guns are a no no here. You need some kind of good pencil type iron or soldering station to do the job. It's a good tool that will serve you for years.

Here is a link that will give you all the info you need. Practice on an old test board and get the feel for it. I did! It is not hard, but requires attention to detail...just like everything else in the hobby.

http://www.aaroncake.net/electronics/solder.htm



Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/02/2010 3:48:02 PM
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
3388 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2010 :  11:56:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ralph, a 9-pin D male on a laptop is (almost certainly) an RS-232 serial port. If you want to test, hook it up to an old modem (unless you and everyone you know has thrown theirs out), fire up Hyperterminal and see if you can talk to it.
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2010 :  3:49:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James, thanks. I suspected it was. Now I need to find a pinout for that port.

Uhh. what is hyperterminal? and how do you fire it up!

Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/06/2011 10:43:44 AM
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
3388 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2010 :  4:42:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This matches my memory: http://pinouts.ru/SerialPorts/Serial9_pinout.shtml It's been years since I've encountered hardware that cares about anything except TxData, RxData and Ground (do be careful that both ends of a serial line have the same idea of 'ground', I lost an LSI-11 serial card once due to a customer's crappy extension cord).
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2010 :  7:32:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Outstanding! Thats just what I needed!
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LVRALPH
Fireman

5509 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2010 :  07:29:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started populating or stuffing the board. That's electronic speak for installing the various components.

First I soldered the 4-40 nuts to the board. These are very tough to solder because the nut absorbs a lot of heat and it makes it tough to get a good joint. Having a soldering station helps here.

I installed everything in the order the instructions said. Second, I separated out the resistors into their 4 values. I then installed them one at a time and made the solder joint on the back, checking each joint after I make it under bright light and optivisor.

The big thing that makes these things not work is poor solder joints, followed by wrong component. I made sure I had a nice shiney tent of solder with no bridge to another trace on the board. Bruce desiged the boards with the average person in mind so they are pretty easy to solder.

I am using something that Bruce used to recommend but no longer does for flux. It is a water soluable flux. I like it becuase of less harmfull fumes, no acids, etc. Bruce does not like it because after cleaning and scrubbing the board a residue still remained. I guess it's a trade off.

Then using the clipped off resistor leads I installed the 5 jumper wires. Here is where I stand.






Edited by - LVRALPH on 05/06/2011 10:45:32 AM
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lv4142003
Engine Wiper

USA
168 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2010 :  12:37:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've just purchased Rosetta Stone and they don't offer this language. Will this series be offered in a CD package in ENGLISH when this is over. Hueber (at Home Depot buying MORE plywood to stand behind.)
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