Tag Archives: board design

Small Drone Design Prototype

We have chartered a new goal to create development boards of the designs created by circuit tree to showcase Circuit Tree Design capability. To keep the task fairly simple the development board requirements are listed below:
1. Create a drone board which can fly while being controlled from mobile bluetooth. The frame of the board would be a PCB where the Motors would mount.
2. The drone board should be powered by a battery and should have battery charging capability.
3. The Main elements of the drone board would be a small micro-controller, bluetooth radio, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, jtag port for debug, 4 pwm’s, led and reset switch.
4. The battery of this board when in air should last for minimum 15 minutes.
5. As a first bringup goal the drone board should be able to fly till small altitude.

We start by estimating the weight of the drone board with battery to find if it can meet the goal no 4.  We analysed and decided to select the motors for the project listed below:
1. https://www.banggood.com/2-x-7mm-Hollow-Cup-Motor-For-Hubsan-H107L-Upgraded-Version-p-80923.html?p=OY2106728901201408U4
2. https://www.banggood.com/4X-Racerstar-615-6x15mm-59000RPM-Coreless-Motor-for-Eachine-E010-E010C-Blade-Inductrix-Tiny-Whoop-p-1115474.html?rmmds=detail-bottom-alsobought

Next we start the electronic design. We chose circuit tree design to first look at the list of controllers which can be used for the drone design. Based on the component avaibility results we narrowed down to stm32l052k6t6 from st micro electronics. Quickly the components were selected as shown below and a block diagram generated.

Board requirement catpure screen

Board requirement capture screen

Board block diagram of the components selected

Board block diagram of the components selected

We did wait for schematics to generate within 2.5 minutes and within that time did scan the Bill of material file generated from the tool. There are certain discrete components which circuit Tree could not select which is left to the designers to update.

Also in the schematic we have a dummy connector added for Timer pins. The connector is important as it helps in allocating the micro-controller pins for the Timer/PWM. The intent of using Timer is to allow mosfets to be added to these pins to eventually allow motors to be driven.

Next we click on the layout viewer to select a dxf file and check if the placement dxf outline is correct. Next we fire the background process to generate placement.

Board components prior to start of auto placement algorithm

Board components prior to start of auto placement algorithm

Within next 3 minutes the placement of the board is generated and it looks as shown below:

Finished Board component placement

Finished Board component placement

The algorithm shows that the components can be fit in the given board dxf file. It is time to define the board boundary restriction so that the algorithm can rerun and produce more symmetrical placement around 4 weeks.

We would keep updating the blog as we get the results.

Here is the Git hub link for design files for the drone design.


 

Update1: Sept 16th 2017

Muneeb started working on the eagle downloaded design to add motors pads and mosfets to the design.  He is one of smart engineers we have on circuit tree who took the design and first started to review the design and compare the output of circuit tree with the stm-cube tool output. Once we was happy with the output it was time to change the connector page to add the motors pads and mosfets as shown below. The only change he had to do in the downloaded eagle schematic file was to change the grid to default.

Here is the copy of the page he edited:

Updating dummy connector page with motors and mosfet.

Updating dummy connector page with motors pads and mosfet.

The next check for him was to check if the eagle ERC was displaying any errors. No errors were found but number of warnings were observed stating two similar named nets are connected to one another. After a check it was time to see if the the circuit tree board file can get newly added components(mosfets and motor pads) in the placement. He further customised the placement file to meet his requirement.

Board revised placement

Board revised placement

 


Update2: Oct 10th 2017

We have released the board file for fabrication and assembly. Eagerly waiting for the first circuit tree design to come to life.

drone pcb design with ground pour.

drone pcb design with ground pour.

Released schematic and Board file is available in our github repository .

Stay tuned to know how we progress ahead with this design. We cannot control our excitement.


 

Update no 3: Oct 20th 2017:

We just got the pcb fabricated from china. There is a minor issue with respect to the via tenting which the pcb vendor did not make despite being in the requirement. Components have been ordered and now the pcb assembly starts.

Top Side of the drone PCB

Top Side of the drone PCB

Bottom Side of the PCB

Bottom Side of the PCB

Looking for a healthy board bringup without any wires.


 

Update no 4: Oct 30th 2017:

Here are the set of assembled boards designed through circuit tree.   Board bringup’s are always interesting milestone for a hardware design engineer as we spark new life into a element.

Quick checks done so far:

  1. Component placement checked
  2. Power short check shows no issue so far.
  3. Weight of the board.
  4. Note there are no overlapping components.

So far so good. It is late in the evening will do the bringup tomorrow with a detailed test plan.

Assembled Drone Boards designed by circuit treeAssembled Drone Boards designed by circuit tree


Update no 5: Nov 2nd 2017

Picture of the board assembled with motors and power test. Board was first tested for open short test. The board was powered with usb cable and then the main board voltage was found to be 3.29v. Great work so far.

drone_with_motors

drone_with_motors

 


Update no 6: Nov 4th 2017

The moment we have been all waiting for is here. Here is a quick update on the board bringup:

  1. Powered the board through the usb cable connected to a laptop. All voltages are good.
  2. Connected the st micro to ST-LINK/V2 through a custom adapter cable as the connector on the board was incompatible with the pitch of the programmer.
  3. Detected the stm32l052 device on the programmer console.
  4. Programmed a code to drive the motors through the mosfet.
  5. Next connected the battery on the board after switching on the board.
  6. Result is as shown in the video. The right side of the drone had more lift compared to left side.

Really happy and satisfied with the result.

The next steps would be to connect the board through bluetooth to power on and off the board using laptop bluetooth control. Also we would interface with all the board sensors to get the real time data.

The good news is that the most of the hardware functionality is working as expected. Circuit tree application has designed a board which is reliable in short span of design time. In hardware design lots of items have to tick right and circuit tree has just shown the capability.

The next update would be in few weeks when we have created the software.

 


 

Update no 7: Dec 10th 2017

Here is another update to the drone testing. In the video below you will notice that Bluetooth and a application layer is running on the drone which allows turn on and off of the left side and right side motors. You will also notice that we had to connect a wire on the board to connect the stmicro with the bluetooth transceiver. This wire was added to allow the software to reset the transceiver as needed. This is the option which would integrate in the application.

This is a good learning we have had. In the next update we would share the application software used for the development which would be free to use.

Thank you for reading through the long post.


 

 

Ten quick reasons to use circuit tree in your next embedded PCB board design

1. Save Design Time and Cost by quickly creating automatic schematic and pcb placement design with any of the 1000 processors or micro-controllers. We dont store any circuit board designs and all design are auto generated on the fly. Get the most intelligent component placement recommendation for the board.

Circuit-tree-designs3


 

2. Wide range of processors and micro-controller parts from Texas-intrument, Nvidia, St micro, Atmel or NXP.

supported_semiconductor_vendors


 

3. Export your design creations to popular Cadence orcad , Mentor pads, Eagle and Altium for further customisations. Designs remain yours forever.

pcb-vendors2


 

4. Quick Product cost estimate. Get real time cost from octopart and PCB house for the pcb cost.

bill of material excel sheet generated from octopart

bill of material excel sheet generated from octopart


 

5. Support for variety of board form factors such as Computer on Module, System on Module and Various form factor boards.

various-periphearl


 

6. Large peripheral library along with growing list of components. Change components on the fly for the design and get a new design created in 60 seconds.


 

7. Assured quality. We go the extra mile to ensure that the designs generated are correct.

 


 

8. We value your Privacy. We don’t sell personal information to another site.


 

9. Growing Artificial Design Engine that grows with every user interaction and part addition in library. artificial-intelligence-in-embedded-pcb-design


 

10. Site has been created by engineers for engineers.


 

Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a circuit board design software application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded circuit board designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

Here is a introduction video to circuit tree:

To start building your circuit board design now click on Access Tool. For help/guidance needed with embedded hardware design write to us at info@circuit-tree.com


 

Board Design with TMS320DM8148 processor

We start to create a board design similar to TMDXEVM8148 board which is distributed by Texas Instruments. Some of the feature set of the board are listed below:

  1. Dual 32bit DDR3 controller of TMS320DM8148 interfaced to a DDR3 Memory of 1GB
  2. 256MB NAND Flash Memory placed in 48 pin TSOP socket
  3. 256-Kb I2C Serial EEPROM to store the board ID information
  4. 32Mb SPI Flash provided on the EVM for optional booting
  5. On Board Audio Codec AIC31066 “Ultra low power microcontroller MSP430 used for power monitoring using the current shunt & power monitor devices INA220
  6. Expansion connectors supporting plug-in application boards
  7. Two USB-OTG ports with integrated 2.0 PHY
  8. Supports analog video output such as, Composite video and S-video
  9. 1080p HDMI Video Output with ESD Protection
  10. On board Audio Input (Line in and Mic) and Audio Output (Line Out and Headphone)
  11. 4-bit SD/MMC interface
  12. Two Gigabit Ethernet port with onboard Ethernet PHY’s using RGMII ports
  13. Dedicated UART port for Debug and MSP430
  14. IR Receiver interface
  15. JTAG for DM814x and MSP430
  16. PCIeX1 lane support on PCIe-x4 connector
  17. SATA 3Gbps direct Interface to HDD with on board HDD power connector
  18. DC supply 12V +/- 5%, 5A Max through Power adapter
  19. On Board Clocks for DM814x and for SATA/PCIe
  20. Reset and power on/off switches for controlling the DM814x EVM
  21. Boot switches for various boot configuration selection
  22. Expansion IO Boards
    1. 512 MBit NOR Flash memory
    2. 3 axis smart digital output accelerometer
    3. 256-Kb I2C CMOS Serial EEPROM to store the board ID information
    4. WLAN Daughter card provides IEEE802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth v3, including Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity
    5. SPDIF interface through TOSLINK & RCA jack Analog SD IN (S-Video & composite video) digitized using TVP5147M1 decoder
    6. Analog HD IN (RGB & VGA) using triple high-performance analog-to-digital (A/D) converter TVP7002
    7. Digital HD Video capture using DVI Receiver (SiI1161)
    8. LCD connector for interfacing LCD adapter board Serial camera interface through CSI
    9. 12- Bit parallel camera interface
    10. UART
    11. Dual DCAN Bus interface

Circuit tree has been able to take in these complex board requirements and has been able to generate a complete schematic. The generated eagle schematic is available on the link.

Thanks for reading the post.


Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a online EDA application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded hardware designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

Short introduction to Circuit Tree:

Continue reading

Evaluation of circuit tree with a stm32f407 microcontroller board

Here is another capability test we wanted to conduct with the latest set of features. These tests help us check the limits to which we can test our engine check in addition to check the usability of the application.

We choose a stm32f407 reference design from STMicroelectronics for comparison as it is a complex board and our guess is that it has taken several week to design the board.

We quickly pulled in the design which we have created in our example library and selected components such as usb3317 from the usb library as our ulpi transceiver. We let circuit tree design remaining combinations for us. This is the what our design looked like in requirement editor.

STM32f407_Board_Requirement

Circuit tree quickly generated the design for us by doing all the complex tasks behind the scenes.

Let us compare the results. The table below shows what circuit tree could achieve in comparison with the board and what it could not.

Comparison chart

Comparison chart of features supported by the two boards

I am glad to report following findings:
1. Circuit tree did not connect two peripherals in parallel. For instance MicroSD connector and RS232 connectors. It also did not do create connections where audio port is shares pin with MicroSd port ON ST boards. Here are the list of pins allocated by the circuit tree versus the application board.
2. Some of the features we don’t support at the moment but we have capability to do so and extending our capability every day.
3. Finding processor pins for the peripherals, component selection for peripherals, power clock reset, optimisation, decision circuit configuration , schematic generation and check is all done in a shortest span of time. We like to keep things simple and easily understandable for our users which is reflected in our final output.
4. The application schematic generated can still be downloaded in a popular PCB design tool and used for further customisation.
5. The best part is that I can quickly go back to the requirement editor and change
a). The ethernet transceiver to Microchip lan8710 and
b). The CAN transceiver to TI SN65HVD230D and
c). Change zigbee module to Zigbee Internation XB24C module.
d). change input voltage to 9V.

The design file [containing Eagle and Altium] Schematic and the bill of material  is ready by the time i write this. You can check it out through the link below:

stm32f407_design_database

TIP: You could also go back to the board requirement menu ,delete the processor and add any other processor and still generate the design.


 

Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a online EDA application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded hardware designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

Here is a introduction video to circuit tree: