Documentation Review

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1 year 4 months ago #9598 by MikeS
Replied by MikeS on topic Arrrgh.
Your avatar suits you.

Forgive me for thinking a comment which says "don't stay in this mode forever" which is right before a loop might mean that the code won't stay in that loop forever.

I pity anyone who doesn't know hardware and/or code, and how you might "help" them.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ty_Eeberfest

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #9604 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic Arrrgh.
Please check the construction manual again, I made an update.

Please go to the last page of the doc, and you should see V0003, if this is not the case, please clear your browser cache.
Last edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Ian. Reason: made it clear which manual we are talking about with a link

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #9605 by MikeS
Replied by MikeS on topic manual review
Under the connector descriptions, I suggest the pins for each header be described into their actual order, starting with pin 1. For example, the pins on the POWER connector are described in the order GND, VIN, VCC, HV, but appear on the connector in the order VCC, VIN, GND, HV.

Under "Cathodes" it says
Terminal “0” drives the cathode “0” and so on.
. First, it's not clear if you're referring to the header pin number (header pins start at 1) or the signal name labels on the diagram. In any case, it's wrong. The diagram shows the order as 1-9,0. In reality, they're laid out as 0-9. A similar issue exists on the tube wiring schematic shown on page 28. There, the order is shown as 0,9-1. So, three different places, none correct.

The schematic in the construction manual is for the "Arduino Nixie Clock with IN-14, rev 1" and is different than the schematic which can be downloaded separately. I dont' know if there's any difference in the actual circuitry.

In the "“LED” Circuit and Front Panel" section, you should break this out better. Only some of the listed components get installed on the board, others would get installed on a user provided board.

I suggest that you advise very early on in the instructions that if a WiFi module is going to be used, its components be installed first. It's much easier soldering SMT when there aren't other components to get in the way. Also, in the WiFi section, it says
Some of the components are mounted on the back of the board! Q7, Q8, R26
and R27 are on the reverse side of the board:
That's not correct. Also
If you install the RTC instead of the the WiFi circuit, there is no reason to install the WiFi circuitry.
I disagree. I'll be using both, for flexibility. I plan on building one to go in a camper ("caravan", for you), where it would usually run on the RTC, but I sometimes run a WiFi hotspot, and then it would get back in accurate sync. Plus, even if not using the WiFi for time sync, it makes it _much_ easier to change settings.

You never really show how the RTC should be oriented, but leave it to the user to match up to pins shown far earlier in the manual.

Page 24 - Anodes are STILL WRONG. I'm assuming your plan is to simply "document away" the pin order, so the pins illogically go LSD (least significant digit, seconds)-MSD, while the tubes are MSD-LSD. As I mentioned earlier, the code should be changed so the anode #defines actually work to change the order.

Same with Cathodes - you say
Cathode “0” is next to the tiny “o” printed on the board next to the connector.
And while that's correct, someone looking at the diagram on page 4 is going to be very confused, because that's not what it says. Both the diagram and the tube schematic need to be changed.
Last edit: 1 year 4 months ago by MikeS.

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1 year 4 months ago #9609 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic manual review
Hi Mike,

thanks for that. I've taken the suggestions that can be done (most of them), but there are some things that are not possible. The focus for me is to get the manual right, not to change anything else, be it the code or the boards.

I also realise that you were not getting the most up to date manual in any case: I guess the upload failed for the V0002, where some of the issues were already sorted out (specifically about using the RTC and the WiFi together).

I cycle through board revisions quite quickly, so such comments are useful for the next revision, but will be confusing for people if I just change them now for this revision. Many other people have made display boards, and it's not fair to change the layout on them. In short: docs need to be corrected, but code and boards won't be changed. I also supply some OEMs, and they are not going to be happy if I just change things around.

I also have a total overhaul of the production process planned, to streamline things a little on the picking and packing. For example the components for the ClassicRev5, ClassicRev6 and ModularRev3 low voltage circuit are in common, and so I'm going to re-design the picking process to allow those models all to have a common set of components, which can be prepared up front, simplifying the picking and packing.

I'm going to re-cut the manuals when we get to that point.

Anyway, many thanks for the detailed list. I appreciate it.

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1 year 4 months ago #9610 by MikeS
Replied by MikeS on topic manual review
I had the v0002 doc, which now makes it clear that RTC/WiFi can work together. My comment above is different.

The code can be changed as I mentioned above (using bit shifts <<) without affecting the current operation/layout, it simply makes it so the anode pin #defines work without having to change the bit fields which are currently hardcoded.

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1 year 4 months ago #9612 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic manual review
Ah, OK, got you. Moving from Arduino digitalWrite to port manipulation got me an extra 5 impressions per second, bringing the clock up over 100 per second. I don't think the shifts cost much, be we do them about 600 times per second, so that's a little times a lot, which ends up being a lot. I'll give it a try and see what the performance hit looks like using shifts.

The other reason for subtle pin change from the original V2 code was that the K155ID1 is now controlled entirely by PORTB, while the anodes are now all on PORTD, that didn't used to be the case. This also gave a small performance boost, because before we were manipulating two ports per anode change (both PORTB and PORTD).

I could most likely achieve both of the aims (single pin define AND direct port handling) with a bit of extra #define magic.

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