Two weeks since the last update. Sorry. I did mention I'm not fast. Boards (hardware) is nothing like software. Software is good for rapid turnaround. The edit, compile, link and test cycle is quick. The schematic, layout, connections, fabrication and test cycle is not so quick.
Please remember that this thread is also about the journey. I will attempt to document the successes as well as the failures to provide an idea of what's involved in developing these things. It's not always straight to solution that you might think. This reminds me of my days past in the software debugger. People only saw the final determined cause of failure without seeing all the incorrect paths that had been taken before arriving at the correct path. It was often 5+ paths of failure before the 1 path of success.
So after the initial attempt for portable testing (with the coupled but not fastened together) I had a thought of a way to couple the two boards so they could be removed as a single board rather than two separate boards. This is what I came up. We'll call this the "double" system.
As I was fond of telling people in my old job ... creativity does not happen on demand. Sure enough after a few days or so I found another (I think much better) solution. We'll call this the "single" system.
I finally got those boards in. Last night I populated them and today I went to test them. I decided to use System 11 as the test bed this time instead of WPC but the principle is the same.
The power tap for System 11 is a little more necessary than the power tap for WPC.
The solenoid drive. In this case it's solenoids 9-16. The double system actually doesn't work here. It sits too far below the connector and the interconnect connector interferes with it. The single system works fine so that's another point in favor of the single system.
The special solenoid drive and trigger. The trigger is the double system - just for comparison.
Closing the speaker panel to see how much space there is. Looks like there's JUST enough space with these prototype single boards.
And this is how it will work with the speaker panel in place so that you can see the display as you're running the tests.
And finally this is the system working. The diagnostic board is the old board that I made over a year ago. I have the newer diagnostic "panel" waiting for fabrication.
So I think this system works and will work in WPC. I'm going to test it in WPC as soon as I can just to be sure but I see no obvious reason why it won't work. After that it's on to fabrication.
I have individual boards for each of the connectors that need a connection for diagnostics for solenoids, switches and lamps. It's a LOT of boards but the fact that each connector has a different key means that there needs to be a different board for each connector (for the most part). I will color code the boards based on the base color of the wires that connect to the connector. For example
- switch columns are GRN-XXX so the board will be green.
- switch rows are WHT-XXX so the board will be white.
- lamp columns are YEL-XXX so the board will be yellow.
- lamp rows are RED-XXX so the board be RED.
I have a limited choice of colors so it sometimes won't match but I will try to make a reasonable choice and also take into account overlap (solenoid boards will be RED due to overlap with lamp rows on System 11, special purpose boards will be blue and power boards will be black).