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CuPID Remote Enhanced : Flexible IO Mote

Introduction

So recently, we’ve been down the road of creating a versatile harem of remotes. Of particular interest is our small form factor unit, which eschews any front-panel indicators or controls for low power and size.

We want this unit to be small, flexible, attractive, and powerful. We want to be able to have it battery or wall-powered. For inputs, we want 1Wire, digital, analog, and anything we can do on Arduino digital pins. For outputs, logic-level digital, as well as open-drain transistor outputs would be nice. We also want to monitor battery power, which we typically do with a voltage divider, as we did before.

Previously, we showed we can package this all up in a little box we like in our CuPID remote:

CuPID Remote

Since we’ve nailed down our design, we decided to get it onto a board, clean up the box, and make it pretty.

The Board

Let’s introduce the board:

Our CuPID Remote board: flexible and capable, and fits just right. Really, just barely.
Our CuPID Remote board: flexible and capable, and fits just right. Really, just barely.

The Fit

It’s tight. I mean, really tight. If we do nothing, we can wedge the board in there, and we wouldn’t even need to screw it down. The round corners above are gently filed, giving a free fit. Here’s how it fits:

It fits, but barely. But with so little room, we need to make it all count.
It fits, but barely. But with so little room, we need to make it all count.

We’ve left room at the top and bottom, where we’ll drill and fit cable entries. They need a bit of room for the sealing nut and for the cable bend.

Putting it together

So here, we’ll put together one configuration of this remote: a USB-powered, remote sensor node. This one will go into a system with a powered sensor, so our power output screw terminal will come in handy. Here’s our parts layout:

Our parts layout. We don't need to use the female headers, but it's nice to be able to pull the RF unit out if we want.
Our parts layout. We don’t need to use the female headers, but it’s nice to be able to pull the RF unit out if we want.

After some soldering, we get this:

Our assembled board, and how it fits. Looks good!
Our assembled board, and how it fits. Looks good!

Finally, we put our holes in our enclosure, and feed in some USB power into our terminal blocks. We’re ready for whatever sensor we decide to use.

Our completed USB mote, ready for sensor.
Our completed USB mote, ready for sensor.

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