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Announcement: Motherboard for the ľAmp

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lrhorer:
A few months ago, I came up with an idea for a modification  to the uAmp board that would allow a more flexible deployment, especially in the case where the start and end points of a pixel string are at the same place.  Examples are meteor tubes, starbursts, Ferris wheels, animal sculptures, etc.  The modification also allows for powering the local display with some voltage other than the main power feed.  There are a number of pixel devices that are only available in 5V or 24V varieties.  I had a discussion with corey872, but we were unable to come to an agreement, so I am offering this motherboard co-op for those who may be interested in this modification.  It offers plug-in support for the uAmp and for a buck converter.  Here is the main discussion:  http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php/topic,6845.0.html  The board is honestly a little bigger than I would like, but one reason for that is the uAmp takes up more space than the minimal components required to provide its electronic functionality.  The other reason is the configuration pins take up a fair amount of space.  In small quantities, the boards themselves run $3.53.  In quantities of 50 or more they run $2.12.  If we can put together an order of 100 or more, the price should come down significantly.

lrhorer:
Here are the features of the motherboard:


* Solder points with strain reliefs for the input connector, the output connector, and the local display element.
* Plug-in points for optional local power converter.  (Example converter: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3A-Mini-DC-DC-Step-Down-Converter-Module-Adjustable-3V-5V-16V-Power-For-RC-Plane-/262130707028?hash=item3d08352a54 )
* Optional power insertion point.  The board can be used to insert additional power for extensive or widely separated displays.  Power is supplied to both input and output.
* Optional uAmp.  The uAmp can be removed if it is unnecessary for both the local display element and the next display element.
* Optional uAmp feed locations.  The uAmp can be inserted either prior to the local display or after the local display by simply changing a shorting jumper.
* Optional local display duplication.  By moving a shorting jumper, the output can be changed to feed from the last pixel of the local display or from the board input.  This allows the first pixel of the next display element to have precisely the same starting address as the first pixel of the local display element.  Handy for duplicate display elements.
* Optional fixed configuration.  By soldering in the shorting jumpers instead of purchasing sockets, the boards can be given a fixed configuration, saving the cost of the sockets.  Preferable if one encloses the board in heat-shrink tubing.Motherboard with uAmp installed and no buck converter


Motherboard with uAmp and buck converter installed


Brief demonstration video: http://fletchergeek.com/images/uAmp%20Demo%20Video.mp4 
Changing to any one of the six configuartion options is as simple as moving a jumper.  The milky Pex tube uses 12V pixels.  The clear acrylic tube uses 5V pixels.  Both use the same 12V main supply, with the buck converter installed on motherboard of the acrylic tube.

Here are the configuration options:

P26 - P25  Local display fed by board input
P26 - P27  Local display fed by output of uAmp
P29 - P28  uAmp input fed by board input
P29 - P30  uAmp input fed by last pixel of local display
P32 - P31  Board output fed by last pixel of local display
P32 - P31   Board output fed by uAmp

lrhorer:
Reserved

lrhorer:
Reserved

lrhorer:
Please make note of any interest in a purchase of these boards in this thread.

Kit #1:  Bare PC board with no sockets or buck converter

Kit #2:  PC Board with 5 Sockets (for optional Buck converter or uAmp)

Kit #3:  PC Board with 9 sockets (for configuration matrix)

Kit #4:  PC Board with 14 sockets (for configuration matrix and optional Buck converter or uAmp)

Kit #5:  PC Board with 19 sockets

Kit #6:  Optional 5VDC 1.8A (3A with additional cooling) buck converter.

This is an example of the sockets I used.  http://www.newark.com/samtec/sl-101-g-10/socket-strip-2-54mm-through-hole/dp/11P6557  They are rather expensive, but I am sure I can find some cheaper ones if there is a desire to purchase a large quantity.  I chose these because they are low profile.

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