After several months of work and testing, I can finally announce the imminent release of a new product: the Control Box Competition for SRT80 actuators!
What are the advantages over the DIY version? Here they are!
The Competition uses DB25 male-male cables to connect the control box to the drivers: this means no soldering (on the DIY version, GX12 connectors have to be soldered) and therefore significant time and reliability savings.
Up to 5 actuators :
The PCB incorporates 5 DB25 ports for 5 actuators. The DIY version already allows 5 actuators to be connected, but the wiring work becomes really complicated. This is plug and play from A to Z.
Advanced features :
The use of DB25 and a custom PCB means that all pins can be used and much more information from the drivers can be processed than on the DIY version:
- End-stop detection: on the first 4 actuators, power is cut off as soon as the driver detects that the actuator is at end-stop. This feature differs from automatic calibration in that it acts only as a safety device, but still helps to avoid tragedy.
- Auto-Calibration: the 5th DB25 is already wired for automatic calibration. So you can use this port for Traction Loss or Surge, for example.
Code already integrated
The Control Box is delivered with an Arduino Leonardo already configured to control 4 and 5 actuators: only the FlyPT profile needs to be modified to go from 4 to 5 actuators. Once again: Plug and Play!
Integrated E-Stop port
As I’ve often said, emergency stops aren’t generally useful for actuators, since actuators are perfectly reliable once they’ve been installed, and because anyway, at the speed at which they operate, there’s never enough time to reach the emergency stop button in time. That said, the Control Box Competition does incorporate a screw-in terminal block for the E-Stop, which remains optional.
Advanced protection against Emi
The use of a 4-layer PCB allows the implementation of procedures to counter EMI (electro-magnetic interference). The use of end-to-end shielded DB25 connectors also enhances protection. Other technical subtleties are implemented to guarantee clean electrical signals.
Designed to be completely Plug And Play compared to the SRT80, the Competition box control also allows you to connect OpenSFX actuators: in fact, the PCB and the Leonardo Arduino use the same wiring!
There are several status LEDs:
- USB Power
- FlyPT Connection
- Drivers status
All this allows you to check system status at a glance.
The Price ?
The Control Box Competition will retail for €160 on Etsy!