A Better Dispenser Board in the Works February 11 2014, 1 Comment

We've been working on improving many things since the beginning of the year, one of which is the brains of a Dispenser, the Dispenser board. At first glance, you might not see a lot of differences between this board and our previous rev, so I'll walk through some of these changes. Take a gander at what the board looks like in our PCB layout tool.

Dispenser Rev 3We've been listening to feedback and have added several features by user request. Here they are in no particular order:

A push button has been added and can be used to do things like directly drive the motor. This is useful for many hobbyists, and since it's user programmable, it can even be used as the main interface for dispensing, depending on your application. To make the boards more cost effective for some, we've allowed the most expensive component on the board, the liquid level sensor, to be optional. It was soldered on before, but now can be added easily after the fact by anyone. Simply insert the component into the header and screw it down with the 2 screws provided. The motor driving circuitry has been changed to add the capability of driving the motor in both directions. The reverse feature will allow liquids to be emptied back into the bottle if desired, making cleaning a little easier. An added bonus is that the motor can now be stopped more suddenly allowing for even higher accuracy when dispensing small amounts. We have added more protection circuitry so that when a board is plugged into a system, any voltage spikes won't do any harm. And finally, we have added many testpoint pads on the board that will allow us to do more thorough testing during production so that we continue to ensure that every single board is tested before it gets shipped to you or built into a bot. We're getting ready to get these boards on order this week, so that puts us on track to still being able to deliver in April. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.