Sorry its taken so long to post an update. I’m very busy at the moment with my PhD and I’m about to move house again.
Although I do have a couple of updates to post, I simply don’t have the time to write any detailed posts, but heres an outline of things to come:
I’ve decided to scrap the current word clock circuit. The I²C communications to the real time clock (RTC) only seem to work provided I don’t add any other functions to the microcontroller and I have a feeling that when it comes to getting the master/slave protocol to work with the other microcontroller, I’ll have even more trouble. I’ve decided to redesign the circuit, based around 64 pin surface mount PIC with a built in RTC. This will vastly simplify the design, although it does mean learning surface mount soldering.
In addition, I’ve got all the parts for my CNC z-axis (stepper motors, linear bearings etc), I just have to build it. I’ve also designed and built the stepper motor driver. I just need to find time to test this and blog about it. I’ll try and post a video of the motors moving when its done.
I’ve not forgotten about this blog, or my projects, I just need a few spare days to catch up on my to do list.
I’m still waiting for that replacement LCD to arrive from china, i’ve ordered another from a UK seller.
I’ve not been sitting around twiddling my thumbs though; a while ago i saw a schematic for a stepper motor driver on instructables. It seemed a little over complicated to me and i figured i could easily build one using one of the PIC microcontrollers that i have, so i set about designing a cheap 3 channel stepper driver using just a 40 pin PIC and some mosfets. The advantage here is that i can give it a number of interface options such as a parallel interface, an RS232 interface or an I²C interface. There may also be options to include an LCD for status display.
The stepper driver circuit had reminded me of another one of my projects and i got the itch to start it. This is my CNC project. Its an MDF construction and the plan is that it will eventually be able to build a better version of itself. I’ve already started construction so I should soon be posting my designs.