Making a Vendiverse VMC Board

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Overview

You can find all necessary information and steps for making a Vendiverse VMC Board in this page. In order to make Vendiverse VMC Board easy to build and assembly, components and modules are selected carefully for easy access. All components and modules are quite common on electronic hobbyist stores or can be ordered online easily.

Before You Begin

Before you begin, it is highly recommended that you have the following tools ready on your workbench.

  • Soldering Iron
  • Soldering Flux
  • Soldering Pipe (Lead-Free Recommended)
  • Wire cutter
  • Cable pliers
  • Solder tip cleaner
  • AVR Programmer of your choice

If you are a beginner in electronic assembly, it is highly recommended that you make some soldering tests on PCB prototype boards.

Required Components

Electronic Modules

A Vendiverse VMC Board requires electronic modules that you can easily find on electronic hobbyist stores or online stores. These modules are:

Required Electronic Modules
Module Quantity Remarks
DC to DC Buck Converter 1 Amazon Store Link
Orange Pi Zero 1 OPZ has two flavours with 256MB and 512MB Ram. You may use 256MB Ram version. If you want to use TFT LCD output with high resolution video decoding, you may prefer 512MB Ram module. Amazon Store Link
DS1307 Real Time Clock 1 Amazon Store Link

Electronic Components

Additionally, you will need electronic components listed below:

Required Electronic Components
Component Quantity Remarks
Atmega8 DIP 2 All Atmega8 AVRs with DIP Packages are suitable. (You may also use Atmega328P-PU instead of Atmega8, however Atmega328 costs more.)
Atmega328 DIP 1 All Atmega328 AVRs with DIP Packages are suitable. (Atmega328P-PU recommended)
1N4007 Diode 4
74HC595 DIP 1
CD4021 DIP 1
LED 4 Four different colors of LEDS are recommended (Red, Green, Yellow, Blue) as these are status and error leds for peripherals and if each LED is distinct in color, it will better inform users.
5V Relay 4 Pins should be in T-73 configuration and minimum 20ohms Coil Resistance
2N2222 Transistor 4
1K ohms 0.6W Resistor 4
470 Ohms 0.6W Resistor 11
10K ohms 0.6W Resistor 2
10x10mm Tactile Button 1 For administrative menu button
BD139 Transistor 3 Used to control RGB Led Stripes
16Mhz Crystall 3 For AVR Clocks
22pF Capacitor 6 For AVR Clocks (Ceramic preferred)

Connectors and Headers

It is up to you to choose connectors and headers that best fits your environment and needs. Vendiverse has various connector and header holes for each peripheral. Most of the connector and header pins are located on the board edges for easy connection.

Beside the connectors of your choice, you will need two connector to connect Orange PI Zero to the PCB. These are:

Required Connectors and Cables
Connector Quantity Remarks
2x13 PIN IDC Flat Cable 15cm Cable should have female connectors on both ends
1x13 PIN Flat Cable 8cm Cable should have female connectors on both ends
2x13 IDC Male Header 1 Alternatively, you can use standart Pin Header that can fit in IDC female header
1x13 Male Header 1 Alternatively, you can use standart Pin Header that can fit in IDC female header
Optional Connectors and Cables
Connector Quantity Remarks
8 PIN 0.1 inch Terminal 2 Required to connect 4x4 Keypad
4 PIN 0.1 inch Terminal 3 Used to connect 2 DHT11 Temperature Sensors, 1 Characted LCD Display
5 PIN 0.1 inch Terminal 1 Used to connect AV Output to TFT Screen and speakers (also 1 microphone input available)
3 PIN 0.1 inch Terminal 2 Used to connect product delivery sensor and door switch
3 PIN 0.2 inch Terminal 4 Used for relay output (Cooler, Fan and Lighting)
4 PIN 0.2 inch Terminal 2 Used for RGB Led Stripe Output and Power Supply Input
5 PIN 0.156 inch Terminal 1 Used to connect MDB devices
4 PIN 0.156 inch Terminal 1 Used for Auxillary Power Supply Input
8 PIN RJ45 Female Connector 1 Used for connecting Tray modules

Acquiring PCB

If you have access to a PCB producer, you can download the schematic of Vendiverse VMC Printed Circuit Board and send the Gerber / Excellon files included in schematic folder to a PCB producer and order your PCBs. If you are not able to find a PCB producer online or in your city, you may also order PCB from Eliverse Market Place.

Download Vendiverse PCB Gerber/Excellon Files

Vendiverse VMC PCB is a double layer (top & bottom) PCB board that you can also easily produce using old-school techniques.

PCB board is fully compatible with the Electronic Modules and Electronic Components listed above.

Image 1A

Assembly

Once you have all necessary modules, components and PCB, it is quite easy to do the assembly. Start soldering with the resistors, then solder transistors and diodes, relays and finally the connectors and headers and you are good to go. Every component is labeled on silk layer of PCB and finding where to solder components is a kids play. Please pay attention to poles of components such as diodes and transistors and AVRs.

It is also worth noting that you should not solder AVRs directly. If you want to customize the software of AVRs, you will need to pull the AVRs out and reprogram several times. If you solder AVRs, you will not be able to reprogram them. So, using a compatible 28Pin DIP socket for AVRs is the best approach. Whenever you need to reprogram or change AVRs, you can easily pull them out of their sockets and plug again after reprogramming.

Using Sockets for AVR

After completing assembly, Vendiverse VMC Board should be looking like similar to this:

Vendiverse VMC Assembled - Top
Vendiverse VMC Assembled - Perspective

Placing Orange Pi Zero

Once you have completed assembly of the board, you are now ready to place Orange PI Zero on your board. The best practice is using a PCB Spacer Bolt with height from 15mm to 20mm. This spacing will make sure that Orange PI Zero can dissipate the heat generated and stay cooled during its lifetime. Holes on VMC PCB will fit exactly to the holes on Orange PI Zero. Tighten enough and fix the position. You can use plastic or metal PCB distancers however plastic is recommended since it is conductive and any noisy signal on the board will not pass to OPZ, which is contains quite delicate electronic components.

OPZ Distancers
Placing OPZ

After fixing Orange PI Zero, you should connect it to VMC Board using 2x13 PIN IDC Header cable. If you are not going to use Audio/Video output of Orange PI Zero (TFT optional screen), you do not need to connect 1x13 PIN on OPZ to VMC Board.

Connecting OPZ

When you buy a new Orange PI Zero, it will come with 2x13 PINS unsoldered. You need to solder 2x13 PIN Header on OPZ in order to connect IDC cable.

Soldering PIN Headers on OPZ 2x13 Port

Placing RTC Module

RTC (Real Time Clock) module is a necessity for Vendiverse to function properly. Orange PI Zero is a SoC (System on Chip) mikro pc and it does not have real time clock. When you shutdown OPZ, it will store last date on file and when you power it up, it will continue on saved time, no matter how long it has been stayed shutdown. In order to continue ticking the clock, Vendiverse needs a Real Time Clock module. The best practive is using DS1307 Real Time Clock module. You can easily find DS1307 Real Time Clock module from electronic hobby stores or you can order it online using the link above.

DS1307 RTC Module
Soldering Female Header on RTC Module

Vendiverse VMC Board is designed to fit exactly for DS1307 RTC Module. First, you need to solder female pin header on the RTC module in order to connect it to VMC board. Holes on VMC PCB fits exactly on the holes on DS1307 RTC Module. After soldering the header, you can easily place RTC Module on the board. It is recommended that you use 8mm Plastic PCB Distancers for RTC Module. If you use a longer distancer, pin headers might fall short to connect to pins on VMC Board. Also, longer distancers will raise RTC module to a level that might block Micro-SD slot of Orange PI Zero and whenever you need to take out Micro-SD, you might as well need to take out RTC Module. So, it is highl recommended that you use 8mm Plastic PCB distancers.

PCB Distancers for RTC Module
Placing RTC Module

Placing Power Module

Vendiverse uses LM2596 based DC-DC Converter for power input. Vendiverse AVRs might use a voltage input ranging from 3.3V to 7V, however, Orange PI Zero is quite delicate and will power up below 4.5V and might get damaged over 5.5V. In order to prevent malfunctioning deriving from power input, Vendiverse VMC Board uses a power module to convert input to 5.0V. DC-DC Buck Converter module is a quite common module and it can be obtained from electronic hobby stores or can be ordered online using the link given above.

DC-DC Converter Power Module

Power module input can range from 6V to 35V and it will reliably deliever 5V to Vendiverse VMC Board. If you don't have a reliable 5V power supply, it is highly recommended that you use Power Module.

Power module comes without the pins soldered. In order to place it on Vendiverse VMC Board, you need solder single male header pins on IN+, IN-, OUT+ and OUT- ports. You directly solder it to board or you can solder female pins on Vendiverse VMC Board that exactly fits male pins on power module.

Female pins on VMC Board for Power Module
Placing Power Module on VMC Board

It is quite important that before you place power module on Vendiverse VMC Board, make sure you fix the output voltage to 5V using the trimmer on the module. You can connect 12V power supply to input ports accordingly and use a voltmeter/multimeter to adjust the output to 5V. If you connect power module without adjusting the output, you will surely damage all components on the VMC board.

Adjusting output voltage of Power Module

Finalization

After you have successfully placed all modules and electronic components on Vendiverse VMC Board, it should look like the picture below. Now you can proceed to Programming Vendiverse VMC Board.

Vendiverse VMC Board Assembled