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SteppIR Interface Photos

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Here are some photos of the SteppIR Interface Project, along with additional information about construction. Scroll down to see all the pictures.
 
 

Sub Board

Sub Board
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Sub board wiring makes it easy to install and remove the main processor board. Wires from all chassis connectors, LEDs and switches go to two 10-pin connectors on sub board. The two white blocks are miniature PC board relays for switching amp key lines.
 
 

Main Processor Board

Main Processor Board
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Main processor is built on a PIC prototype board. Top half is pre-wired PIC circuitry. Bottom half interfaces to rig RS-232, band decoder, switches and LEDs. RS-232 signals are fed through MAX232. +12VDC decoder signals fed through 22K-ohm resistors to protect +5VDC PIC inputs.
 

Main Board Wiring

Main Board Wiring
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The prototype board has printed circuit traces for the PIC and its support components. All the under-board wiring is for the custom interface circuitry. Keeping the wires under the board makes for a neat appearance on top. The board has pre-printed traces for ICs, which is helpful.
 

Main Board Installed

Main Board Installed
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Main board connects to sub board via two 10-pin ribbon cables. +12VDC is supplied to power switch by station's main antenna interface via band decoder connector. Power connector makes board removal easy, and allows alternate power source when board is removed for troubleshooting.
 

Front Panel

Front Panel
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I recycled a box from another project and the panels had to be repainted. The paint job doesn't look as bad in the dim light of my station! A drill press helped to get the holes for the LEDs and switches straight, but the labels need more work.
 
 
 

Rear Panel

Rear Panel
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Takes a lot of connectors to do this -- ten in all. It's difficult to get DB-9 holes straight without a $400 Greenly punch. Another company sells one for about $200. I took a clue from their site and made my own drilling templates by xeroxing some connectors. I used a nibbling tool to cut out the rectangles.
 

Side Panel

Side Panel
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Had to cut out some vent holes to be able to access the PIC programming port on the side of the main board. This was a good idea, as the program needed some troubleshooting after construction. As a bonus, the on-board power LED is visible.
 
 

Macro Mode

Macro Mode
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Here's a shot of the main board to experiment with macro mode on my new digital camera. To cut down glare, I turned off the flash. Had to brace the camera on the table to keep the shot from blurring completly. Probably need a tripod and timed shutter release to avoid blurring.
 

Digital Macro

Digital Macro
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Experimenting with digital macro mode on my new camera. As with the previous shot, the flash was off and the camera was braced on the table, and the shot would benefit from a tripod and timed shutter release. Despite the blur, the level of detail is amazing.