Traverser Control Dev Board

Here is my latest development(dev) board for the traverser control system for Comstock Road.

Prototype embedded systems are often embodied as a development(dev) board. This is, electronically, a complete system laid out on a printed circuit board instead of in whatever form factor the final product is expected to be in. The dev board is used by embedded software developers to create the firmware. Laying things out on a board makes it much easier to attach measuring instruments such as multimeters, oscilloscopes and logic analyzers to see what is actually happening in parts of the system.

Unlike the industry standard, my dev board is a literal pine plank with components attached to it but it serves the same purpose. All the parts are there and wired up, just not installed in the layout. Given how chilly the basement is right now and how far it is from my computer, this is a non-trivial advantage! Attaching everything to a board also allows me to move it around easily with reduced risk of damage.

Clockwise from the bottom right, the components are:

  • NEMA 23 stepper motor
  • Big Easy motor driver board with a barrel jack for power
  • 4×20 LCD display board
  • 2 limit switches
  • Arduino Uno with a screw terminal shield on top of it
  • Breadboard (so far just used as a ground bus)
  • Front panel with pushbuttons I built

Wire management could be better but it is clear enough to me in person. Now I just have to create the actual code.

2 thoughts on “Traverser Control Dev Board”

  1. Super cool. I’m definitely keen to see this and I quite like the appearance of this, presented like this.

    Will the traverser read position data from the adjacent tracks or will be move a predetermined distance?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. The plan is for predetermined distances. The stepper motor should give me excessive amounts of accuracy (200 steps per revolution without using the microstep mode).

      A purely visual guided manual mode first that can then be relabeled as”programming mode”. There is an EEPROM so I can persist everything.

      Liked by 1 person

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