Device Controller Prototypes


The first product I designed for the client is a controller for one of their small residential devices, which is a small round metallic device that looks like a hockey puck!   It is the one shown in my diagrams.   They have been marketing the product for several years but need it to be easily managed by a client using their cell phone or a computer using a web-browser.

I am including this part of the project to illustrate my willingness and ability to perform tasks that are far outside the scope of my contract with the client.   This situation was not anticipated and could not have been, the electronics engineer left the project unexpectedly and without adequate notice.   In such crisis situations I will always do everything I possibly can to protect the interests of the client, including performing the duties of an electronics engineer by designing this prototype, specifying the hardware components and even purchasing them on behalf of the client, and then building the prototype.  I was able to contract an engineer to verify my design and work before moving on to test my software with it.  The prototype functioned perfectly and the product was moved into the field testing phase after making a modification to the enclosure to make it smaller.



This image is the model I created which was fed to a 3D printer which printed off the outter casing of the enclosure.




This is just a very simple schematic of the necessary wiring.   There is an overlay which provides all the specifications for every connection and wire, which I am not including here for obvious reasons (it's ugly because I am not an electronics engineer!).




Final layout of the components, fit tightly and even used the lid to mount the Raspberry Pi on(!) so that I could get it as small as possible.




This is the finished prototype which I was testing, it's approximately 10" long and 3" wide.   It is running Linux and connects to the customer's wifi because all the software is required to communicate with the client's servers in order to work correctly.   The blue light indicates that it just went through the first-time setup process to connect to the server, and it has sent the initial "hello" greeting to the server and received a positive reply.   This exchange is part of the communication protocol I created that specifies all aspects of the ongoing "conversation" between the device controller (a Raspberry Pi Zero in this case) and the server (or more accurately, the web service I developed for this purpose).




This is the second prototype I designed (which was then created by a new electronics engineer hired for the remainder of the project), shown with the filter and ozone-generator that are used in many products the client makes.   The software that runs on this device is exactly the same software that is on the first prototype, and that will be on all future products.   The top design goal I had when I agreed to do this project was that it must have a single universal software platform otherwise the company could never afford to maintain and support the software much less just get through the development process.




Because this product has a much greater capacity than the others thus far, it requires a much larger power converter (that is the silver/metal part with the round cutouts, at the topmost location).







Copyright © 1999-2021 by David A Invenio - All Rights Reserved - Unauthorized Use or Duplication Prohibited