Andromeda???

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laurencebarker
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby laurencebarker » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:23 pm

Yes, I did say the texts were different. What Kjell has provided is the open source PCB and FPD; I've provided the software; but I know Abhi has made changes subsequently to make it look better (eg removing the mounting holes). None of those are a barrier to making your own!

I don't use FPD but I think Kjell's design was from a while ago, before the final text was fixed. It would be wise to check!

I haven't used the FPD but it would probably be wise to overlay it over a print of the PCB to check the positions. There were some movements of mountings and connectors at the bottom left.

Kjell may be away for a week or so so he might not see this for a while.
Laurence Barker G8NJJ
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:46 pm

Ouch :? If I am going to make my own, then I should make triple check. Actually I have plan to modify PCB as well, but that is hell of job 8-)
YL2GVC 73!
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:22 pm

I have a question for all around 8-) Anybody will build Andromeda by themself? Most of the parts became much cheaper in group buy. I am looking very serious on build it by myself 8-)
Is it OK to chat about Andromeda DIY in this forum? At least, I think new thread should be opened, like "Andromeda DIY". I have bunch of questions about hardware :roll:
YL2GVC 73!
dj1yr
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby dj1yr » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:02 am

Hello,

...I would be there...
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:26 am

Best with front panel starts from 10 pieces 8-) But it necessary to adjust it, because it doesn't match PCB. And any body who will take group buy care. I asked frontpanelexpress.com for advice, but they wasn't very helpfull :? Answer was, we can produce everything, show us, what do you want. But I am not sure what I want, that who are in business for years should help. And there are possibility to get good price in China for case. But I didn't get clear answer yet. I am afraid, they are interested in BIG batches, not small. As well, there are HUGE :shock: prices for delivery. Case 50EUR, delivery 150. frontpanelexpress.com produce cases as well, may be it will be cheaper from them :lol: frontpanelexpress.com actually are not alone in this business, there are bunch of such companies around. They advantage are they own useful and simple CAD soft.
I understand, there are summer outside 8-) But guys, be more active!
YL2GVC 73!
laurencebarker
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby laurencebarker » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:10 am

I've copied the text below (from John Melton, G0ORX) from the HPSDR email reflector, in case it helps. There are other suppliers of front panels!

"The panel is aluminium from accurate-laser.co.uk. Sid Boyce, G3VBV, ordered two of them. He said that two were less than the cost from www.frontpanelexpress.com for one. I just had to export the design as a step file rather than the fpd file that the front panel design app generates by default."

I don't think Kjell had a front panel made from his FPD file; it was just being used as a drawing package. We looked at the cost and decided against it for prototypes!. As far as I know Kjell's prototype Andromeda was hand-made but he is rather better at that than me. I still have a PCB lying on my desk which is great for software development but not so good for operation.

Don't underestimate the cost of metalwork. Getting a few units made to a professional standard is likely to be very expensive (don't think just hundreds....) I know there are suppliers who sell boxes to put homebrew hifi equipment into, that may be possible to adapt. Or possibly some kind of PC chassis could be used as a starting point, with a cosmetic outer cover added.
Laurence Barker G8NJJ
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:28 pm

Laurence, I don't underestimate that costs ;) Most of the people look where it is cheaper :lol: It is a good point, that you give us one more producer, if anybody know for what else we need 8-) All necessary positions are possible to get cheaper. Just right place and guy who will take care of it. We have a good experience with Munin buy 8-) As well as with TAPR in past.
Do you know when Kjell will be back?
YL2GVC 73!
oe3ide
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby oe3ide » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:44 pm

Hey,

don't know, if they have good prices, but they have good quality:
https://www.schaeffer-ag.de/en/front-panel-designer

73 de Ernst
OE3IDE
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:46 pm

:lol: it is same producer, what we talking about before ;)
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oe3ide
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby oe3ide » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:26 pm

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w-u-2-o
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:13 pm

I have not bothered to put the parts list into DigiKey, but a really rough guess as follows for low quantities (USD):

Front panel: $150
Display: $150
Bare PCB: $50 (you only need the main board)
Parts including the large encoder: $150
Chassis: $100 (assuming you do something nice, not a junk drawer job)
NUC or SFF PC: $400-$800, depending on performance.

Remember you will not need the front panel microphone, key, headphone or USB connectors, those can be deleted because as a truly remote interface you will either run those devices off of USB sound or serial connections, or plug them directly into the ANAN hardware.

So I'm SWAGing it at anywhere from $1000 to $1500 to build one of these in low quantity, including the PC. Call it $500 without the PC.
laurencebarker
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby laurencebarker » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:32 pm

I think that's a fair estimate for low quantities, Scott. You might shave $50 from the parts, and there are other (lower quality) displays available.

As far as I know Kjell has gone deep sea fishing. He is usually away for 1 to 2 weeks so we should expect him soon. I will send him a message that there could be some traffic for him!
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dj1yr
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby dj1yr » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:57 pm

I could transfer the fpd to CAD.

I think that you will end up with 70-80€ per front panel from Schaeffer, PCB from Fischer cost arount 40€/piece with production of three PCB´s or 22€/piece for production of ten
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:40 pm

dj1yr wrote:I could transfer the fpd to CAD.

I think that you will end up with 70-80€ per front panel from Schaeffer, PCB from Fischer cost arount 40€/piece with production of three PCB´s or 22€/piece for production of ten


That would be nice 8-) Schaeffer for single buyer will cost twice as. PCB from Chinese PCB fabs in small(5) will cost no more than 15 EUR or even 10. Bigger batch significantly will lower price. Same as with front panel. Group buy cry for us 8-) Who will be that nice guy, and will take care of it? Other thing, if ordering goes from outside EU, we should find best income point. Because some countries, inside EU, are more friendly to custom taxes for such cases :roll:
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administrator
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby administrator » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:07 am

Fantastic to see so many home brewers interested in the project,

I am happy to share my modified front panel design file, and just so you have a fair estimate as to the costs see below:

Please be aware that just the encoder costs (6 x Dual + Tuning) for the front panel is $125 plus the cost of parts/PCB/Touchscreen and Encoder caps which is another $275-300 including the PCB. Making it a total of $400 for the front panel.

The 10th Gen i5 NUC plus OS and RAM/SSD is $650, for the i7 it works out to $800,

The enclosure if made by protocase is exorbitantly costly at $600, Front panel in low quantities 10+ is about $120 from front panel express.

Volume production requires an MOQ of 100 units or more and is substantially cheaper, you may also choose to make your own enclosure.

Abhi
Attachments
Andromeda FrontPanel.zip
(41.23 KiB) Downloaded 36 times
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:18 am

Thanks Abhi for design 8-) My five cents :) I think, use NUC isn't the best way. I reported some time ago, that I bought mainboard based on i7 8550U. If look right now, it has some disadvantages. Only 1ch DDR, no DP, no USB-C 3. no NVME. But when I try run it under PSDR, no problems, even on hardest setting + CW skimmer 8-) Right there are even more powerfull chips appears, like i9 9880U. I didn't see offers, where such mainboards are sold separately. But, as I get my board, just patiently ask sellers, can they sold just mainboard, till one seller say, YES 8-) I think they can be interested, even in batch of 10. It's quite often price break line. If look on that chips on Ali, there are ready computers, with memory, SSD and case, what make it more expensive. I don't know why, but I can buy memory and SSD much cheaper locally. I am going to solve one my board disadvantage, I found, there are mini PCIE USB-C 3.1 gen2 cards 8-) And with proper hub, I will solve some problems with my board. A bit long :lol:
YL2GVC 73!
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby administrator » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:14 am

We decided on the NUC after trying out several other platforms, the decision was based on the combination of Computing Power, RFI and overall stability of the platform. The NUC form factor is very compact, uses a SoC rather than a CPU/Chipset (this combination which require several high speed buses to be laid out on the PCB causing significant digital hash) when placed in the same enclosure as the radio causes birdies and noise floor degradation of the receiver.

Even the i5 NUC has a lot of headroom when running two receivers at 1536Khz, CW Skimmer and wsjt-x at the same time.


Abhi
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby administrator » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:17 am

The 10th GEN NUC does support Dual Channel DDR4, NVMe, USB 3.0 v2 and Thunderbolt 3.
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:40 pm

Sad :( No any movement... It looks like activity, I hope so, wil come around autumn 8-)
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Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:54 am

Hello around 8-) Still no movement :roll:
OK, small information. I found cheapest encoders on Aliexpress, 2x times than on Farnell. Look here: [url]
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33052809089.html[/url]
Small hint, choose AliExpress Standard Shipping and you will get it fast 8-)
There are just a slight problem, knobs... There are not knobs for 3.5mm shaft :roll: I didn't find. Possible part: http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_75&products_id=197
Just smaller shaft are 4mm, but that isn't a big deal, use some tape or whatever. Lars 3D printed knobs are nice, but even on best possible quality, you can see layers. I printed one 8-)
There are one expensive part DB9 connector, 17USD from BOM. I check for cheaper, L77SDEH09SOL2RM5 and A132506-ND in Digikey. Like a 10X cheaper. If there are any disadvantages of using these parts, let me know ;)
I didn't check it yet, there are obsolete parts, LEDs. I will check it later.
Most expensive part are front panel, any idea how to get cheaper? Group buy, cheaper manufacturer :roll: But group buy would end with similar price, because of postage.
And finally case :roll: It is possible to buy different cases on Ali. Just cases are cheap, but postage are :shock: And it will definitely met with custom, for EU. Even more price. And I didn't find required size.
Let's move this swamp 8-)
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laurencebarker
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby laurencebarker » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:02 pm

Kjell and I are familiar with the "knob" problem. The Elma encoder is a lot more expensive. Kjell has had a friend 3D print knobs, but they need a bit of finishing with a file.

You can use standard collet knobs, if you modify the upper one: get one for a 3.2mm shaft and drill it out to 3.5mm. It may be possible to use collet knobs for a larger shaft and use a shim (eg aluminium foil). All my Odin consoles (same encoder) have that arrangement.

And you can use push-on moulded knobs, if you buy enough of them (minimum order quantity was I think 250 knobs).

These encoders are fairly widely used; Icom and Yaesu use them. But they seem to have their own brand moulded nylon knobs.
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DH1KLM
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby DH1KLM » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:07 pm

Hi,
I hope it is OK to show my Andromeda progress so far, but for some reason I can not upload attachments. :?:
I linked the pics from my qrz.com.
The case is nearly done, every here and there are parts which need to be rearranged.
Building the case was the most time consuming process. Last part is the rear plate with all the mainboard and hermes connectors, Fan cutouts and so on. And of course the upper and lower housing.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

So there is progress, but there is still a lot to be done.

I also used these encoders from Aliexpress. Regarding the LED's, there is no need to worry about.
You can use what you like. I found LED's which are not so bright, are looking more pleasant.

Regarding the buttons, Kjell has published the print files on https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4245135.

My front panel is 3mm thick to compensate for the protrusion of the microphone jack and the USB port, because I didn't like the look.
See also https://apache-labs.com/productImages/1 ... pdated.jpg
Last edited by DH1KLM on Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
73 de Sigi / DH1KLM
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:22 pm

Upload it to any image service and left link here ;) I am really interested how you made the case etc 8-) What about back of case, I think, I will make it in any cutting service. They are enough around locally. just find the right one :D What was part number of LEDs in your project? I know about Lars knobs, as well as I printed one ;)
By the way, thanks Laurence for your ideas ;)

P.S. By the way I wrote, you left the link 8-)
P.P.S. Where did you make front panel, as well as back? Let me guess, what is that black box, PA?
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:14 pm

DH1KLM wrote:Hi,
I hope it is OK to show my Andromeda progress so far, but for some reason I can not upload attachments. :?:


How to post images: viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2529
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DH1KLM
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby DH1KLM » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:49 pm

I thought I know how to upload images, this is not the first time I did this here.
But strangely there is no "Add files" button or Attatchments tab. I could upload a screenshot, if I could. :lol:

I checked one of my older posts with images and the "Add files" button is there.
But in Apache Labs News I only see

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???
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:59 pm

Sigi,

My bad, one of the permission settings was wrong for this forum. It should be fixed now, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

73,

Scott
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DH1KLM
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby DH1KLM » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:01 pm

@Aivars
I had the front and back lasered by a local company. I got the panels at a very, very affordable price.
Positioning the cutouts in the front panel was very time-consuming, as the cutouts in the construction file I had at hand did not match the PCB 100%.
I also had to change the coutouts of the lower row of buttons because I'm using a different LCD display.
For your Interest: In the original fpd file, the cutouts had different distances to each other (also the pcb). Cant speak for the updated file.

So please double check the gerber against the frontpanel design file.

But for two months there has been an update from Laurence. I don't know how exactly the new fpd file fits the PCB.

The construction of the back panel was also time-consuming because I had to measure every section. Printed out on paper and cut out, changed a few tenths again, and so on until it fits.

I used the following LEDs.
Red LED: EVL 264-7SDRD
Green LED: EVL 264-7SYGD
Yellow LED: EVL 204-10UYD

You're right about the black box. It's a cannibalized Yaesu FT857. Inside is the PA board and where the main unit was originally located is the PA driver from the FT817. An Arduino that controls the PA, LPF and fans is also built in.

I hope that I can finally start with the cabling at the weekend.
73 de Sigi / DH1KLM
Aivars
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby Aivars » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:17 pm

Thanks for answer 8-) Abhi actually published updated front panel design. How much front panel cost to you, just for reference.
P.S. VFO knob, is it DIY or from transceiver?
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laurencebarker
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby laurencebarker » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:49 pm

Just to be clear - there's no update from me because I'm not working on this at the moment. Until proven otherwise, the software is complete. And I have no skills in mechanical design of front panels!
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DH1KLM
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Re: Andromeda???

Postby DH1KLM » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:29 am

Ah OK, I noticed a change in "hardware rev 5" and therefore I thought the design files were updated two month ago.
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