Modifications and embellishments

Continuing the discussion from Pi Stand and Slide Holder for the v7 alpha:

Hi Noli / William
Part of the fun is to try to modify the scope.
I designed an enclosure to house 2 power supplies below the microscope body,
and managed to cram the Pi3, the 3 step motor drivers and the Arduino Nano
inside the body below the microscope, and hide all the wiring inside.
I also made a cover for the LED and rerouted its wiring to inside of the Dovetail.
Because the microscope does not have an intuitive handle to pick it up, I added
2 handles to the top of the dovetail. I modified the cable tidies to enclose the gears.
From the outside I only have the connection to 115AC, ON/OFF switch, HDMI, 2 USBs and the network receptacles. Photos Att.
I will try to make a video of the journey, so you will be able to follow the ups and downs, and learn from my failures… :grinning:
Regards,
Luis







2 Likes

Looking great there @lightandcolour.
How are you printing the illumination dovetail with the handles, does it need support?

Hi William,

I did it without supports with the arc having a rounded 45 angle. (Prusa MK3S)
But I believe that could be done with a couple of sacrificial (0.5mm) posts
instead of supports.
I “butchered” your dovetail design, because it was difficult (for me)
to change your .stl file into the Fusion 360, in order to modify it.
Check the file; all my files are available to anyone that needs them.
Fusion

Regards,
Luis

[

Fusion

Share 2D and 3D design files and project files with anyone.

](Fusion)

3 Likes

I would love to use your files.

Hello Michael,

I’m sending you some pictures and the .stl file of the Power Supply enclosure.

Please feel free to improve it. I will send files of more stuff tomorrow.
I used one power supply for the Pi and another for the step motors and
the LED. I didn’t like all the wiring outside the microscope.
The power socket and the ON/OFF switch was from a scrap computer.
Power Supply Enclosure STL File below pictures.
Let me know if you need more details.
Regards,
Luis





Power Supply Enclosuse V3.stl (524 KB)

This looks pretty cool, USB cables and power supplies are a constant annoyance. I do feel duty bound to point out that mains voltage wiring is potentially dangerous, so anyone replicating this should only do so if they’re confident assessing the safety implications of what they’re doing. It looks very much like @lightandcolour has done a nice job, and this solution is way neater than the “wall wart” power supplies we recommend. However, there are plenty electronics beginners on this forum, and this is one not to try at home unless you know what you’re doing: there’s a reason this is not in the official instructions. At work, I would not be allowed to use this until I’d had it checked by our department electronics technician.

Richard,

You are absolutely right.
I was trying to make the smallest add-on to the body of the
microscope, without changing the overall size. (too much)

You think about your own capabilities, and tend to forget about others,
not only in terms of skills, but also in terms of location.
Here in Canada (and USA) we use 110AC, with a small size of
plugs/outlets; in the UK, you use larger size of connectors.

My solution to avoid the potential Mains voltage wiring connections would be
using an extension cord to connect the two power supplies. Photo Att.

This would require designing a larger Power Supply enclosure, taking into
account an internal space that would contain the two power supplies and the power cord
for most of the international sizes. It looks that the UK uses one of the larger
plugs/sockets.
This would increase the height, weight and footprint of the unit, but also would increase
its stability.

Thank you for your work and dedication.

Best Regards,
Luis Barradas
Inline image

(Attachment IMG_0611.JPG is missing)

2 Likes

It’s worth mentioning that because both supplies are 5v, in principle it should work with only one. The Sangaboard v4 will (eventually) power both the motors and the Pi from one USB input. While I don’t like “wall wart” supplies, it’s handy to have the 5v input exposed, so you can run from a power bank or other 5v source if necessary.

Probably it’s also possible to get a little module that has an IEC mains input and a 5v output, which would fit neatly in a base like the one you’ve made, but without the need for people to do any mains wiring themselves. Of course, that’s probably more expensive and annoying to get hold of than your solution.

Having a base with an integrated battery would probably also be pretty handy for a lot of people, and batteries are also great for providing vibration-busting extra mass…

Richard,

The Sangaboard V4 powering everything would be the optimal solution.
We could then have an external power supply connecting with a standard
barrel plug into the side of the body of the microscope.

I’m designing a battery operated Power Supply version, using off-the-shelf
Power Bank. (5.1VDC) The power connections to be done in the Power Supply enclosure,
to enable swapping the enclosures from AC module to Battery module.
An external “wall wart” would power the Sangaboard V4, or recharge the
Battery module.
To simplify the interchanging of power modules, the microscope body will
have two “hinge” recessed cavities, where any of the Power Module(s) would engage,
locking in position at the opposite side with two horizontal bolts.

As soon as the Sangaboard V4 is available, I would appreciate if you could you provide
me with its dimensions, (L x W x H) perforations and wiring locations. A non-functional
board would be optimal, to work on the prototype and assess wiring connections and
spacing requirements.

Best Regards,
Luis B.

Sorry for the email duplication - Photo Att.

Richard,

You are absolutely right.
I was trying to make the smallest add-on to the body of the
microscope, without changing the overall size. (too much)

You think about your own capabilities, and tend to forget about others,
not only in terms of skills, but also in terms of location.
Here in Canada (and USA) we use 110AC, with a small size of
plugs/outlets; in the UK, you use larger size of connectors.

My solution to avoid the potential Mains voltage wiring connections would be
using an extension cord to connect the two power supplies. Photo Att.

This would require designing a larger Power Supply enclosure, taking into
account an internal space that would contain the two power supplies and the power cord
for most of the international sizes. It looks that the UK uses one of the larger
plugs/sockets.
This would increase the height, weight and footprint of the unit, but also would increase
its stability.

Thank you for your work and dedication.

Best Regards,
Luis Barradas

The extension cord solution is impressively neat - in the UK our extension cords are enormous, so this would easily triple the size of your power supply base!

The Sangaboard dimensions are unlikely to change, it’s most conveniently viewed here:

We have had many issues with getting it assembled, so I’ve no idea when we will actually have them…

Hi Richard,

To circumvent the UK (and other places) bulk extension cord, maybe
an alternate solution could be using the smallest power supplies with
US/Canada prongs, (since they are the smallest) with the extension
cord shown in the last email, (cost CAN$4.00) and replace the end
(US/Can) plug with the one used in the country of choice.

Alternatively, for the electrically capable of doing what I did, an extension
cord with a PC plug to UK/Europe/Japan/etc. plug would solve the problem.
Since most of the power supplies accept 120/220 VAC, this might be
a viable solution, that would not require a large “Power Supply Enclosure”,
and only would require wiring a plug at the end of the extension cord.

While assumptions are always a dangerous route, I’m going to take the risk,
and anticipate that a person capable of accomplish the multitasking of building
the microscope would be able to accomplish this wiring task. (If properly instructed)

The Sangaboard V4 is a really optimal solution, but the miniatured size of the
components reduce the amount of people capable of installing them on the board.
No doubt that you have difficulties having them assembled…
It will require magnification and solid soldering skills; on the other hand, for a
Factory small production batch, the price per unit would be difficult to bare.

I’m sorry for the time that I’m taking from you.
I hope my ramblings are somehow useful.
Best Regards,
Luis B.

No apologies necessary, it’s nice to see people making improvements :slight_smile: Power supplies with removable mains leads are definitely my favourite, because then you don’t end up with those nasty adapters (which are invariable on the spectrum from unreliable to unsafe, at least when they have a massive UK plug hanging off them). I have a couple of multi-USB power supplies, and really like them - that way, you have one power supply that can run both the motors and the Pi, just using two USB leads. In fact, you can get away with powering two microscopes off some of the more powerful ones!

This isn’t precisely the one I’ve got, but it shows what I mean:

I’m aware that some amount of caution is warranted with these things - the cheap ones can be a fire hazard and I’ve not tried this one so can’t vouch for it - but it would seem like a really nice solution: no exposed mains wiring, and exactly the right output for the microscope (and some spare power for peripherals if you want it).

I did look briefly for an encapsulated 5V power supply with an IEC connector like you suggest - but drew a blank. I guess those little transformers don’t need an earth, and so tend to use figure-of-eight cables instead, which are also pretty standard.

Using a US/Canadian multi-socket with a local plug on the end also looks like a really sensible solution, assuming you can get hold of those bits wherever it is you’re building the thing. As you say, I’d hope most people building a microscope are also capable of wiring a plug - though some of the people building microscopes might be quite young, and while they probably are capable of wiring a plug, I wouldn’t suggest they do so without a responsible person checking it first :slight_smile:

Hello Richard,

Following your lead, I ordered a triple USB outlet from Amazon;
I will redesign the power supply enclosure to house the triple
power supply and the extension cord.
120/240VAC 50/60Hz
Outlet 1 - 3A
Outlet 2 - 2,4A
Outlet 3 - 2.4A
Maximum with all three outlets active - 8A
According to reviews, no abnormal warming detected.

The price of the power supply is pretty acceptable; (CAN$18.99 - £11.40)
The extension cord from Amazon CAN$12.70 - £8.05 (pack of two)
is also inexpensive.
Since the power supply doesn’t have a Ground prong, the extension cord
can also be smaller. Links at the end of our emails.

The extension cord plug can then be replaced (or not) to meet the required
outlet. (or adaptors can be used)
In this case, the microscope would have a permanent “tail” attached,
but no internal wiring/soldering would be needed.

The reason I’m adopting your more elegant solution resides in the fact that
the power to the Pi and the motors (and the LED) can be plugged/unplugged
easily, allowing to exchange the AC Power enclosure unit to a Battery operated
Power enclosure, for field operation by the adventurer ones.

I’m still trying to find a suitable power pack, that would fit inside the enclosure
without major original modifications. I’m planning to make two indents in the
body of the stand, to “hinge” on any of the Power enclosures, to be “locked”
in the opposite side with one bolt.
Thank you for your attention.
I’ll keep you posted.

Best Regards,
Luis B.

| r.w.bowman
27 June |

  • | - |

No apologies necessary, it’s nice to see people making improvements :slight_smile:Power supplies with removable mains leads are definitely my favourite, because then you don’t end up with those nasty adapters (which are invariable on the spectrum from unreliable to unsafe, at least when they have a massive UK plug hanging off them). I have a couple of multi-USB power supplies, and really like them - that way, you have one power supply that can run both the motors and the Pi, just using two USB leads. In fact, you can get away with powering two microscopes off some of the more powerful ones!

This isn’t precisely the one I’ve got, but it shows what I mean:

amazon.co.uk

ORICO USB Charger 5-Port USB Plug Wall Charger (40W/8A) with Detachable UK Mains…

Charge 5 devices simultaneously with just one mains socketWith this Orico 5-port USB smart charger, you can provide 5 USB charging ports for multiple devices from just a single mains socket.Super-fast USB charging portsOffering up to an impressive…

£18.49

I’m aware that some amount of caution is warranted with these things - the cheap ones can be a fire hazard and I’ve not tried this one so can’t vouch for it - but it would seem like a really nice solution: no exposed mains wiring, and exactly the right output for the microscope (and some spare power for peripherals if you want it).

I did look briefly for an encapsulated 5V power supply with an IEC connector like you suggest - but drew a blank. I guess those little transformers don’t need an earth, and so tend to use figure-of-eight cables instead, which are also pretty standard.

Using a US/Canadian multi-socket with a local plug on the end also looks like a really sensible solution, assuming you can get hold of those bits wherever it is you’re building the thing. As you say, I’d hope most people building a microscope are also capable of wiring a plug - though some of the people building microscopes might be quite young, and while they probably are capable of wiring a plug, I wouldn’t suggest they do so without a responsible person checking it first :slight_smile:

(Attachment Wall Charger Fast Adapter,QC 3.0 USB Fast Wall Charger 3 Ports Tablet iPad Phone Fast Charger Adapter Quick Charge 3.0 Travel.url is missing)

(Attachment Amazon Basics Indoor 2 Prong Extension Power Cord Strip - Flat Plug, 6 Foot, Pack of 2, White, Extension Cords - Amazon Canad.url is missing)