Art Controller Assembly Instructions

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This page is part of the documentation for the Art Controller kit.

Assembly procedure[edit]

We'll go line by line through the kit components. This guide assumes that you have had some soldering experience. If not, or it's been a while, you may also want to look at pages 2 and 5-7 of the Bulbdial clock assembly instructions, which go over basic tools and technique. And, if you really are a beginner, there are plenty of good tutorials on line, like this one.

0. The Art Controller kit[edit]

Here are all the components that make up the kit:


You can also go to the Bill of Materials for the full list and quantities. We'll be adding components to the various locations labeled on the circuit board.

1. First step: Install the three 1k ohm resistors[edit]


The 1k resistors will be installed in location R1, R2 and R3, which are shown here:



First, bend the resistor leads as shown:


Insert the first resistor in location R1. (Resistors are not directional and can be installed either way.) Once you've inserted it at the circuit board, push it flush to the surface. Then, bend the leads outward to keep the resistor in place while soldering. Solder both leads.

Make sure you have a good solder joint from the PCB pad to the resistor lead. The solder joint should be shiny without too much excess solder.


On the back side of the board, clip the excess leads short. Then, install the other two 1 k resistors at locations R2 and R3, in the same manner. Again, solder both pins and clip the excess leads short.

2. Install the two diodes[edit]


The diodes will be installed in locations D1 and D2. Again bend the leads as shown:


Install the diodes in positions D1 and D2. Diodes have polarity - be sure to match the stripes on the diode with the stripe on the PCB.


Just as we did with the resistors, bend the leads outward so they stay in place during soldering. Solder. Check for a good solder connection, then clip the excess leads.

3. The ceramic capacitors[edit]


The 0.1 uF capacitors will be installed in locations C2, C3 and C4, as shown here:


These are not directional and can be installed ether way. Just as before, bend the leads outward to hold the capacitor in place, solder and clip the excess leads.

4. The LEDs[edit]


The LEDs will be installed in locations D3 and D4, shown here:



Orientation is important: the long lead goes into the square hole.

Insert the LED. Before soldering, you can bend the leads out at 45 degrees to hold an LED in place while you solder. Solder both leads and clip the leads short on the back side.

Here's what one of the LEDs looks like, soldered into place:


5. The electrolytic capacitors[edit]


The 10 uF, 50 V electrolytic capacitor will go in location C1:


Be careful, because there is a second, similar looking capacitor that you'll install in the next step. This one is labeled "10 uF 50 V."

This type of capacitor has a polarity, and needs to be installed with the correct orientation. It must be installed with the minus sign ("-") on the side of the capacitor oriented towards the minus sign on the PCB.


Also, noting polarity, install the other electrolytic capacitor (100 uF, 10 V) in location C5, as shown here:


As before, pay careful attention to the polarity. Insert, bend the leads outward, solder, and clip.

The board so far:


6. The transistor[edit]


The transistor will be installed in Q1, here:


Match the flat of the transistor to the flat on the PCB. The transistor will not sit all the way flush to the circuit board, but you can still bend the two outer legs to keep in place for soldering. Again, solder and clip the excess leads.

7. The regulator[edit]


Install the regulator installed at location U1:


In this step, you will bend the legs of the regulator back 90 degrees and place in location U1. Before you bend, see where it goes: Make certain that the back (flat, silver side) of the regulator sits flush to the PCB and that the screw hole on the regulator lines up to the one on the circuit board.


Once you've bent the leads and inserted it, install the screw (item 10) and the kep nut-- a hex nut with integral lock washer, (item 11) --to hold the regulator in place. Tighten it well; the circuit board acts as a heat sink for the regulator, which can get very hot otherwise, and the screw ensures good contact to the board. Finally, solder the three pins and clip the excess leads.

The photo above shows what the regulator looks like on the completed board, screwed down into place and soldered.

8. The header and socket[edit]


The 6-pin programming header will be installed in J4, shown here:


While this component is installed from the top side of the board (and with the short pins facing down into the board), we recommend inserting the header (from the top) and then resting the board-- upside down --on the header to hold it in place while you solder.

Rather than soldering all 6 pins at once, first solder 'tack' one leg as shown below:


(The view above shows the header at J4, from the underside of the board, with one of the pins soldered.)

Once you have soldered that one pin, verify that the header sits flush to the board before soldering the other five pins.

The DIP socket is shown here:


Note that it has, at one end, a small "half moon" indentation that marks its polarity. Install it in the location marked ATtiny2313, make sure the half-moon at the socket end lines up with the one on the circuit board.


As with the header, turn the PCB over and tack one end pin of each first and check to see that the socket is flush to the PCB before soldering the remainder of the pins:


9. The DIP switch[edit]


This is the 8-position DIP ("dual inline package") switch. We will install it on the circuit board in the location shown below, covering up the text on the board that says "Jumper across to select delay" :



Orient the DIP switch as shown above, such that the lettering is right-side up when you can read the text above it (Time Delay," "Seconds").

Similar to the header and socket, tack one pin, verify the DIP switch sits flush before soldering the remainder of the pins.

(Aside: Technically, the DIP switch is optional. To hardwire the timing, you can run wires from a given timing position (say, the 4-second position) to the opposite ground pin, to permanently configure the timing. If you are building a lot of Art Controller units, each with fixed timing, you'll save a lot of time by running individual wires rather than installing the full DIP switch.)

10. The terminal blocks[edit]


The green two-pin terminal blocks go in locations J1 and J2 -- with the holes facing outward:



Tack one of the pins to keep the component in place, turn the board over and check that the terminal block is straight and flush with the PCB before soldering the other pins.

(The pins of these terminal blocks are short and stiff. They can't be bent out at 45 degrees to hold them in place while soldering, and generally do not need to be trimmed after soldering.)


In the photo above, of the completed Art Controller, you can see how these two two-pin terminal blocks look when installed correctly.


The blue three-pin terminal block goes here -- also with the holes facing outward:



To install it, repeat the procedure above from the green terminal blocks. The photo above shows how the 3-pin terminal block looks like on the completed board.

11. The relay[edit]

Finally, add the relay (it can only go one way):


And solder in place, here:


(And, that's the last soldering step.)

12. Insert IC[edit]


The final step is to insert the microcontroller into its socket. Note that it may be either an ATtiny2313 or ATtiny4313. Orientation is critical: Make sure that the half-moon indentation at one end of the chip matches that on the socket and PCB. Insert it firmly, as far down into the socket as it will go.


And, you're done!

Next, head back to the main Art Controller kit documentation page.