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IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:35 pm

...

Bump.

Does the board look good, are there improvements I could make? I don't want to screw up my PCB...
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:46 pm

Alright, I tried doing a toner transfer, ended up messy the first few times, I think I finally have it down.

However, the parallel traces are killing me - I went into eagle and redesigned the board 4 times, I need some opinions on which board is best for a toner-transfer, because I'm sick and tired of ironing, peeling paper off of, being disappointed with, and scrubbing my board with acetone.

Here are the 5 boards, please take a look at them, make improvements if you want. I have pictures of the boards in order, as well.
Attachments
Picture 2.png
Board # 2
Picture 2.png (14.17 KiB) Viewed 3021 times
Picture 1.png
Board #1
Picture 1.png (12.82 KiB) Viewed 3021 times
board.zip
DL of all boards
(15.66 KiB) Downloaded 107 times
Last edited by Snipeye on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:47 pm

And here are 3, 4 and 5. 3 Attachment limit...
Attachments
Picture 5.png
Board #5
Picture 5.png (12.9 KiB) Viewed 3021 times
Picture 4.png
Board #4
Picture 4.png (11.45 KiB) Viewed 3021 times
Picture 3.png
Board #3
Picture 3.png (12.61 KiB) Viewed 3021 times
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by adshea on Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:31 pm

Just a tip, use thicker traces (25mil or more) when you've got the space for it (you do there). It'll save you trouble both in manufacturing, and in rework.

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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by richms on Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:42 am

And avoid the unradiused 90° corners if you can, in my brief try of toner transfer, that was always where the toner came up and the point of the corner would get eaten away.

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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:44 pm

OK, I ordered the parts, they finally got here today, so i got ready to etch my PCB - the toner transfer from a while ago was still mostly on, so I touched it up with sharpie. I went and bought some Muriatic Acid, it said it was 20% hydrochloric acid and 34% BAUM or something. I still don't know what BAUM is, but the 20% hydrochloric acid meant about 7 molar, which should work (or so I thought).

I mixed it half-half with some hydrogen peroxide, because it wasn't as concentrated as the muriatic acid used in the copper-chloride instructable, and put my board in. I agitated it for about 10 minutes, after which the solution was the color in the picture.

I thought maybe I was lucky, and the board was indeed etched, though it didn't look like it, and measured it with a multimeter - nope. No lucky for me. I noticed that it looked like something had actually been deposited on the copper - where the contacts had been, it had scraped away, and I saw copper beneath. A picture of the 'etched' pcb and a normal copper-clad board, nothing done to it.


My question: What did I do wrong? May have multiple answers - I still want to etch the board, but I'm reasonably sure that this solution is not going to work.
Attachments
boards.jpg
Boards
boards.jpg (386.12 KiB) Viewed 2992 times
solution.JPG
"Etchant" Color
solution.JPG (545.31 KiB) Viewed 2992 times
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:22 pm

Looked more closely at the lable, should have done that earlier...
anyway, the 'baum' is actually 'Baume', which is a measurment of some sort - it's 20º baume, and about 31% hydrochloric acid, or 10ish Molars. However, I even tried leaving a board in overnight, and it still just deposited something on it - no clue what, yet.

I'll try an exact 2/1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide/acid, and report back. Maybe the exact recipe will do the trick.
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:07 pm

Epic triple post!

Anyway, I come to report success: With the 'correct' ratio, and a DIY agitator (robotix ftw!), and scrubbing the pad with a copper steel-wool esque pad 'till it gleamed brighter than the sun, it's etched. On to drilling... this'll be fun.
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:12 pm

Well, I built it, and it's working from at least 40 feet, probably further but I haven't tested it more yet. Submitting everything to makezine, we'll see what happens. Thanks for all the help! If you want to read the blog post before it's submitted, it's here:

http://other.openwebster.com/irrepeater/irboost.html
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by teresap989 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:01 pm

uoip wrote:Try a web search on "infrared repeater". If you include terms like "smarthome" or "pyramid", you may find various sources of items. There are lots of commercial devices. I also found this site describing a home-brew solution, and it has some nice technical details: http://www.cedarnet.org/smartware/Hardware/IR_Repeater/

My general rule of thumb is that, if an electronic product is widely available commercially and if it comes pretty close to meeting my needs out of the box, then my build/buy decision starts leaning pretty strongly toward "buy". I'm unlikely to be able to build something that's much better or cheaper than what's commercially available, even if what's commercially available is somewhat overpriced and somewhat mediocre quality. So personally, I'd probably buy something, but don't let that discourage you from attempting the educational and potentially fun satisfying experience of designing and building your own device.

Such a very amazing link!
Thanks you for the post.



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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by oPossum on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:58 am

Snipeye wrote:Well, I built it, and it's working from at least 40 feet, probably further but I haven't tested it more yet. Submitting everything to makezine, we'll see what happens.


Great work! What was the range of the iHome remote without boosting?

All of the resistors can be 1/4 or 1/8 watt - not much power dissipation in them.

Looks like Make didn't publish. Try Hack-a-day.
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:29 pm

Does make usually publish quickly? The email said they would inform me if they decided to use or not use it...

I'll give hack a day a shot. The iHome remote had a range of 30 feet already, but the camera remote originally had maybe 10 feet, so 4x there is excellent. Once again, thanks for all the help!
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by oPossum on Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:28 pm

I have submitted three things to the Make blog. Two where rejected and the other was posted within a day. They seem to like visual stuff more than technical stuff.

Here is a PCB layout with thick short traces...

Image

Eagle files
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:05 pm

Alright, that board looks nice, and actually gave me an idea about improving the device. Rather than using the schematic provided with that board, could I use this instead, with a 1/2W 220ohm resistor?
Picture 2.png
Picture 2.png (8.76 KiB) Viewed 2907 times


If that's the case, would this work:
Picture 3.png
Picture 3.png (9.26 KiB) Viewed 2907 times


Or do I start over-taxing parts, then? In the second schematic, it's a 1W 220 resistor.
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Re: IR (Almost) Universal Signal Repeater

by Snipeye on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:09 pm

Sorry for a double post...

Anyway, I've designed a board (the size of a AA, success!) that will work if the bottom, 4 LED design works. I've calculated out costs, and for 100 kits, it costs 295$ in parts, but I haven't figured out PCB costs yet...

I'm thinking I could sell these for $10 ea, but I don't know if I'll be able to sell 100 of them, and I don't want to end up wasting a bunch of money if nobody will buy... ideally, I'd like to hook up with an already-existing OSH company, and just have them sell the kits while I receive royalties or something... any clue how/if that would work?
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