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    LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

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    david f
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    LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  david f on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:19 am



    I sent this for discussion with fellow AMS members Alf and Paul last summer to see what they might come up with. Paul has just contacted me with his encouraging findings. He has used the accelerometer chip in combination with his design oiginally published in the mag. He tackled the tricky SMD soldering without any problems, seemingly. The original note follows and I will put some photos and details from Paul up later today:

    (Note to Brian - maybe time for another magazine article!)

    DIY Level Controller – David Forrest, June 2010
    OVERVIEW
    This is quite a simple circuit really with few components. The main issue is the soldering of an SMD (Surface Mount Device) accelerometer chip.
    The complete prototype unit does work nicely (See the video of my Charlie 2 class sub at high speed at ALFOLD on Facebook.)
    The unit contains the following stages:
    Accelerometer chip – produces a small voltage (~0.1 v) in response to tilting the device.
    Amplifier (op-amp) to boost the level signal from 0.1v to about 0.5 to 4.5 volts.
    PIC microprocessor combines the signal from the receiver with the level signal to give an output to the elevator servo.
    + a voltage regulator to give about 3v for the accel chip supply.
    The PIC takes its reference voltage from the supply so it needs a fairly “clean” voltage from a BEC. (If the supply is noisy you can try capacitors, chokes and ferrite rings or all of them to clean it up.)
    COSTS (I used Farnell for supply)
    Accel chip £3.50
    Voltage reg ~£1.50
    Op amp ~£2
    PIC pre-programmed from AMS £5
    ALTERNATIVE COMPONENTS
    You can get a nice breakout boarded accel chip on ebay for about £10. I haven’t tried it but I enclose the data sheet. Useful if SMD devices are frightening.
    The TLV2451 is one I had available but probably any good quality “rail to rail” op amp designed for battery supply would do.
    Resistor values may need tweaking. To change the gain of the op amp change R6. If the output voltage stays at about 5v change the voltage divider resistors R2, R5. One or two variable resistors are a possibility.
    Capacitors are mainly to decouple the chip supplies so keep them close to the chips.
    I used stripboard (See photo)
    MAIN CHALLENGES
    Soldering the SMD accel chip. I stuck the chip on its back and wired it up with fine copper stands taken from screened cable. (See top LHS of photo – its small!)
    Perhaps you could make up a little board and reflow it. If so how about selling some?
    Do make sure that you connect the “sleep” pin 7 to +3v. That foxed me for a day or two and I had to retrieve the chip from the bin!
    SUMMARY
    A challenging project because of the SMD. I suggest that you get the front end (up to the PIC) working before you buy the PIC)
    Let me know how you get on!

    David


    Partlist exported from C:/Users/David/Desktop/Level Controller/level.sch at 2/4/2011 9:55:46 AM

    Part Value Device Package Description
    ACCEL-PIN-1 LSP10 LSP10 LSP10 SOLDER PAD drill 1.0 mm, distributor Buerklin, 12H555
    ACCEL-PIN-2 LSP10 LSP10 LSP10 SOLDER PAD drill 1.0 mm, distributor Buerklin, 12H555
    ACCEL-PIN-6,7 LSP10 LSP10 LSP10 SOLDER PAD drill 1.0 mm, distributor Buerklin, 12H555
    C1 0.1mF C5/2.5 C5B2.5 CAPACITOR
    C2 0.1mF C5/2.5 C5B2.5 CAPACITOR
    C3 0.1mF C5/2.5 C5B2.5 CAPACITOR
    C4 0.1mF C5/2.5 C5B2.5 CAPACITOR
    C5 0.1mF C5/2.5 C5B2.5 CAPACITOR
    FROM-RECVR LSP10 LSP10 LSP10 SOLDER PAD drill 1.0 mm, distributor Buerklin, 12H555
    IC1-TLV2451 DIL8 DIL08 Dual In Line / Socket
    IC3-PIC12F675 DIL8 DIL08 Dual In Line / Socket
    R1 1.75k R-EU_0309/10 0309/10 RESISTOR, European symbol
    R2 62 R-EU_0309/10 0309/10 RESISTOR, European symbol
    R3 1k R-EU_0309/10 0309/10 RESISTOR, European symbol
    R4 4.7k R-EU_0309/10 0309/10 RESISTOR, European symbol
    R5 62 R-EU_0309/10 0309/10 RESISTOR, European symbol
    R6 200k R-EU_0309/10 0309/10 RESISTOR, European symbol
    TO-ELEVATOR-SERVO LSP10 LSP10 LSP10 SOLDER PAD drill 1.0 mm, distributor Buerklin, 12H555
    V-REG-3V LM317L 317L VOLTAGE REGULATOR


    Last edited by david forrest on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : better resolution on circuit diagram)

    Tom(ADMIN)
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  Tom(ADMIN) on Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:00 am

    Maybe someone with electronical knowledge could assemble these for sale to members? I can't make any sense of the diagram, let alone understand the assembly instructions, and I'm sure there's many like me who struggle with electronics in any shape or form, and who would be first in the queue to buy one.

    As with everything nowadays, the price would be the controlling factor. I had a word with Ron Perrott recently about buying a fully assembled SALCON, he quoted £35 for one ready to go, so I guess that would be a start price?

    Do we have anyone who would be interested in making them to order?
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    david f
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  david f on Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:16 pm



    This is Paul B's circuit, as promised, note the accelerometer chip ( and its little connections!) on the top RHS.

    He reports that the chip I originally specified has been discontinued and he used a LIS302G from RS and this uses 6v , which is good. He says that the board uses 20mA - twice his original circuit but is very stable and an improvement.

    Good news!

    He now wants to try the PIC chip with it from the AMS.

    We will give more on all this in the (next?) magazine.
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    alf
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    level.com

    Post  alf on Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:20 am

    hi dave thanks for info on mxa2500g/m it looks good to me i will look in to pcb.layout i got pics level 1
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    Wheelerdealer(Ramesh)
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  Wheelerdealer(Ramesh) on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:57 pm

    I am using the excellent new Micro Gyro pitch controllers http://www.microgyros.com/index.html
    Costs from just £17 built and deliveved.
    The bit I like the most is you can make all the adjustment (sensitivity, response time, level set etc) on the fly from the transmitter whilst the sub is in the pool. Works when going astern too.





    Last edited by Wheelerdealer(Ramesh) on Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Tom(ADMIN)
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  Tom(ADMIN) on Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:00 pm

    Hmm..that's interesting Ramesh, the MicroGyros leveller does seem to work well, very impressive piece of hardware. I was going to get a SALCON from Ron Perrott for the LA, but this one seems a far better piece of kit, plus it's half the cost.

    Does it matter where it's installed in the WTC...and does it need to be level on the tech tray? I'm guessing the answer to the last question is 'yes'....?
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    Wheelerdealer(Ramesh)
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  Wheelerdealer(Ramesh) on Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:13 pm

    Richard(Admin) wrote:Hmm..that's interesting Ramesh, the MicroGyros leveller does seem to work well, very impressive piece of hardware. I was going to get a SALCON from Ron Perrott for the LA, but this one seems a far better piece of kit, plus it's half the cost.

    Does it matter where it's installed in the WTC...and does it need to be level on the tech tray? I'm guessing the answer to the last question is 'yes'....?

    No you can instal it anyway you like and just press a button to set the level. If you have a spare channel you can even set the level from the Tx when the sub is in the water and trimmed out correct.

    Tom(ADMIN)
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  Tom(ADMIN) on Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:16 pm

    That's amazing...I think I'll go for the MG one over the SALCON, sounds a much better bet (hope Ron doesn't read this)

    Thanks Ramesh...
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    david f
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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

    Post  david f on Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:20 pm

    If you want a commercial product they are certainly a good way to go. I know a lot of people who use them.

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    Re: LEVEL CONTROLLER DIY

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