If you’ve been following along with the blog you’ll know that the electronics inside the dome have evolved a bit over the last 12 months. I’ve added more stuff, moved to a slip ring system rather than separate batteries, and in general created a wiring setup in the dome that’s not perfect and hard to maintain.
Over the weekend I spent a couple of hours trying to simplify and reworking the dome electronics and thought I’d post something on the path I took to get where I am right now.
I’d originally had the various components like batteries, RF Receiver, RC Receiver, Power Board all laid out on the dome base plate – and routed power up into the actual dome with a detachable “umbilical” cord containing the 9V, 12V and 24V. Inside the dome was a terminal block that the various LED boards attached to.
To regain the space for adding the periscope, fire-extinguisher and other gadgets I then moved to stacking the electronic boards in a carrier – also located on the dome base plate.
But over the last few months I’ve been having problems with loose wires In the dome. I’m using the European style terminals blocks and no matter what I do the wires eventually work loose. Not enough to cause the lights to fail totally, but enough be annoying and make them blink or reset when driving around.
I was going to replace the blocks with the more traditional screw down versions (as shown on the right below) and add crimp terminals to all my wires, but there’s still many points of failure so I decided to try and eliminate the “umbilical” cord all together.
With everything in pieces on my work bench it became obvious I could just move the stacked board assemble up into the dome and just use the slip ring wire to connect directly into the dome.
I added a small acrylic mounting plate to the side of the domes existing mounting system.
Then the stacked board assembly just slips in and holds snug, with some velcro to make sure it doesn’t move, but still allow for easy removal and servicing.
It’s a much cleaner solution, but I’m sure it’ll evolve again as I add more stuff to the dome