[eagle] Re: CAN-Do-Too! ??????????

Stephen Moraco kc0ftq at amsat.org
Mon Jul 9 09:31:12 PDT 2007

Chuck, Lyle,

   Good to hear from you.  I'm excited to see a plan forming!

   You probably expect this but I want to confirm... you have
   my support for the firmware, User's Guide authoring, control
   software development, etc.


On 7/9/07, Chuck Green <greencl at mindspring.com> wrote:
> Hi Guys,
> Juan has done a lot of outstanding work which resulted in some
> substantial critiquing of the CAN-Do!  (Affectionately called a
> "widget.")  It is unfortunate that it has taken several years since the
> CAN-Do! was designed and then 100 units built before an application of
> sufficient sensitivity used it to discover it's shortcomings.  History
> can provide lessons that I hope we can learn from, but it seldom
> provides solutions to the problems encountered.  Lyle and I have
> exchanged a few thoughts privately and it seems it may now be time to
> consider solutions to the problems found.
> The only practical way to accomplish this is to develop the next
> generation CAN interface device.  Dare I call it the CAN-Do-Too!  ?
> All technical specifications should remain the same.  What this really
> means is that a next-generation controller must run *exactly* the same
> firmware currently running the CAN-Do! .
> All specifications added or redefined should be carefully defined and be
> measurable.
> General specifications that we worked from before were that the widget
> should use as little power as possible and consume as little of a
> module's volume as possible.  The first of these should remain the same,
> "use as little power as possible."
> But the second should be changed to "consume as little of the connector
> panel space as possible" even if it means consuming a little more of the
> module volume.  This means the widget PCB and components should not
> extend beyond the dimensions of the DA-15P connector in either
> dimension.  A possible compromise to this would be to let the PCB run
> past one end of the DA-15P but not more than the DA-15P is forced away
> from the side of the box by the box design.
> The power supply could be completely redesigned.  Or the inductor of the
> existing supply could be exchanged for one that is a toroid (the
> existing one is not).  If someone wants to step up and design a new
> power supply, great!  If not, then we would simply change the inductor.
> I'd sure like to see someone take this on.  With so many of these in the
> satellite, only a few milliwatts is important.  And the noise issue Juan
> uncovered is *very* important.
> It may be that some, or maybe all, of the widget should be enclosed in a
> metal box.  It may be that just changing the inductor would allow a new
> widget to meet the yet-to-be-defined noise specifications.
> The input power filter for module power should be separate from the
> widget power supply input filter.  The module power filter is a filter
> that will not meet all module requirements, but would likely meet the
> requirements of a digital module.  Some modules, such as receivers, may
> need additional power conditioning.  But in any case, the widget power
> supply should not add to the module power supply noise.
> There should be a simple way to disconnect the filter capacitors on the
> widget from the data lines when the widget is in Byte mode.  Most people
> are not aware of this problem which was uncovered by another module
> builder.  It only effects those using the CAN-Do! in Byte mode.
> Using a synchronizing signal does not seem practical to us.  It would
> complicate the design of the widget power supply so that it would
> function with or without the presence of the synchronizing signal (we
> don't want to introduce a single-point-of-failure).  It would
> dramatically increase the satellite wiring harness complexity, something
> the widget was intended to a simplify.  And it would inhibit the widget
> power supply from going into various power-saving modes.
> Recruit some new people into this project.  Lyle simply doesn't have any
> time for doing new designs right now.  We need a power supply designer
> as stated above.  And my time is limited.  I'm willing to lay out the
> new design and build a few prototypes, but I need others to do parts
> procurement and volume building of widgets.  I'll prepare flight units
> if desired.  We've talked about having someone skilled in parts
> procurement before but I don't know of anything having come of it.  The
> bottom line, if this is going to happen, Lyle and I need others to be
> involved.
> If you think this is a good idea, or bad, please express yourself.  And
> if you have other comments to add to the above, or would like to
> modify/expand on above comments, please do so.
> Looking forward to your comments,
> Chuck and Lyle
> _______________________________________________
> Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
> Eagle at amsat.org
> http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/eagle


kc0ftq at amsat.org
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