Biofuel reactor control board

Armandas has posted his masters project

The design is based around a PIC18F66K22 microcontroller. The board has a switching power supply supporting an input voltages of up to 34V, five thermocouple channels, HD44780 LCD interface, a battery backed RTC and a microSD card slot.

The control unit interfaces with an electrical system (designed by my colleague) to control solenoid valves, motors and heating elements.

The programming was done in C and there is support for all the hardware except the RTC and microSD card.

We imagine this could be re-purposed for other control projects.

Via the Project logs

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6 Comments

    1. is the argh because of the non-free software, or because you actually dislike Altium Designer:)

  1. This is a beautiful project. These guys should start a company. The documentation is first rate and better than a lot of commercial products. The manual/documentation is incredible. The non-free software is no big deal but could be precompiled libraries. Maybe DP should talk to them.

    I have used Altium and found it to be a little cartoonish. We switched back to OrCAD. I believe SFE also uses Altium. I like Eagle CAD better.

    1. Last time I checked (years ago), SFE was using Eagle (that’s why they originally released the Eagle parts library); I’d be curious as to why they switched.

      I use Eagle at home and Altium at work. I have very mixed feelings about Altium Designer. I can say its has gotten better over the past few years. I’ve found that when it’s working it works well, but there’s also no telling when I’ll have to reformat the entire dev box to get it up and running again. The ability to pass *.step models between the ME’s and EE’s can be a big help when designing in pcb’s that will be in close quarters.

      The last time I used Orcad was back in 2004. I only did one design with it – I don’t remember much about it.

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