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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

CryoBUG Controller Assembled

I received my controller boards from Futurlec yesterday, and I got to say they turned out very nicely. And although I'd been hearing rumors about it taking 6 or more weeks, in my case it was just under 4 weeks from order to delivery via Standard Post. Not bad considering they came from Hong Kong.

Here's a look at the un-stuffed PCB (scanned image)...

CryoBUG Controller PCB Top-Side (Click to Enlarge)
CryoBUG Controller PCB Bottom-Side (Click to Enlarge)

All the component holes were correct, although the header connectors were very snug (my fault, need to increase drill size a tiny bit). Quality of the boards was excellent, and the silk screen was very legible (even the Mytek Controls logo detail was faithfully reproduced).

Here's a look with all the components stuffed and soldered...

CryoBUG Controller Assembled - Top View (Click to Enlarge)
CryoBUG Controller Assembled - Bottom View (Click to Enlarge)

I ran a functional check, and I am glad to say everything works as it's suppose to. Although I still need to check the Remote, but this will take making up a cable with some switches and indicators.


The green headers from On Shore Technology accept pluggable screw terminal blocks, making it easy to build the wire harness separately, and then plug it into the board. It also means that swapping out a board in the field becomes a very simple task that most anyone could do, including the customer if need be.

This sure beats the heck out of having to solder up or crimp terminals like on some of the Molex style connectors.


CryoBUG Refrigeration System Status...

Well I'm still trying to decide where to buy my R-600a from. Prices are pretty ridiculous (as in too darn expensive), unless I want to buy a big cylinder, which I don't. I'll keep looking but pretty soon I'll probably just have to bite the bullet and pay the price.

In the mean time, I'm looking at running some oil separation tests to zero in on a proper cap tube size for the oil return back to the compressor. To help with this, I picked up a sight glass, hand valve, and some very small ID capillary tubing. My goal is to spec out a cap tube that is just big enough to do the job, and nothing more, since I wish to have this be a continuous flow situation not dependent upon a valve.

Well I think that wraps it up for now.