My Electronics

With my former employers departure to sunnier climes, one of my ‘leaving presents’ was all the prototypes I developed for them since I joined the company. Digital electronics is one of my interests, and has been for a long time, but this job was the first time I’d actually had to design something to earn my crust. I had great fun doing it and am really proud of what I achieved, so heres some snaps of my handywork.

I was originally tasked with developing the hardware and software for a cash handling machine. This particular one was kind of like an ATM on steroids. The first two sets of pics are from that machine.

Cassette Controller
The cash in the machine was going to be contained in pre-loaded cassettes… this controller was the brain behind a cassette.

Cassette Controller Cassette Controller Mainboard

General Purpose IO Board
As well as our own hardware, we needed to talk to a variety of other bits and pieces, like coin and note validators. This board was designed to handle that kind of job. The solder pads on the lower half allow the configuration of the inputs (Pulled High/Low, Debounced/Straight Through) and the interrupts (the 4 interrupt lines of the PIC could be connected to anyone of 8 inputs either as is or inverted). The board also had plenty of scope for memory (maximum of 3 x 32K FRAM on the SPI bus).

General Purpose IO Board

Dance Floor
This is inspired by the First East Disco Dance Floor, and was intended as a commercial product. The final control board design has an ethernet enabled PIC on it, so we could in theory have a dance floor that was 256×256 cells (IP addressing and network bandwidth allowing). This prototype had an RS-232 link to a PC and some real basic software, but the hardware worked a treat. The LED matrix is 8×8, each cell has a red, green and blue LED… thats a total of 200 wires connecting the matrix to the controllers (and I had to crimp each one :-? ).

Dancefloor Cell Dancefloor LED Matrix
Dancefloor Ratsnest Dancefloor Red Controller

On a more serious note though, I have facilities to handle small scale prototyping and firmware development for a large number of PIC microcontrollers, so if you have a requirement for some custom digital electronics or a custom PIC based controller, please feel free to drop me a mail to discuss your requirements.

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