Development Blog - Page 4

Simplification of Through-Hole PCB Prototype - April 16th, 2013

Further simplification of the circuit. This time a single resistor was removed with no change in functionality. While not much, this has allowed for a connection pin count to be reduced as well as a reduction in board size. v0.9f of the PCB is now 1.69" x 1.04" - 1.74in2.

Dog Blocker Ultra-Low Power Usage - April 11th, 2013

Dog Blocker ultra low voltageDid a bunch of detailed power usage tests which confirm the ultra-low power usage. While in normal dog monitoring mode, it only uses 59.6μA (microamps), or 0.0596mA (milliamps)! Including the status LED that flashes every 8 seconds and assuming 10 alarms per day, it adds up to an average of only 62.5μA. With standard AA alkaline batteries, this works out to about 5 years of constant usage (realistically, more like 3-4 years once battery self-discharge is factored in).

PCB-Based Dog Blocker Prototype - April 9th, 2013

Early Dog Blocker prototypeWorking prototype from v0.9d PCB. Finally gone is the solderless breadboard with all the wires. Works great and no issues. Here's a video of it in action.

First Batch of Dog Blocker Prototype PCBs - April 6th, 2013

First Dog Blocker PCBsReceived the first batch of prototype PCBs - v0.9d. Very nice and production was fast enough to run through several prototypes without much delay. v0.9e prototype PCB are coming from a fabrication lab in China. They're less expensive, but shipping is slow and we'll see about the quality.

Simplified Dog Blocker Hardware - March 28th, 2013

Simplified the hardware in two areas to keep production costs as reasonable as possible. First, the status/info LED and flasher/alarm LED were combined to one LED with some clever manipulation of port modes. Secondly, a unique way to monitor the voltage was discovered that doesn't require two voltage divider resistors. In all, 3 components were removed which will lower production costs, reduce board size and complexity, higher accuracy, and uses less power. Board size down to 1.75" x 1.12" - 1.96in2 (not bad for a through-hole prototype with no surface mount components).
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