News: PCB development - genCtrlr and nanoPxl

Since I have recently started two new PCB projects, I thought it was about time to report about them here again.

genCtrl aka “NerdiskeratorController”

One of the side projects that emerged from WinDIY and the Nerdiskerator is the controller board that I use to monitor the various sensors and actuators of the wind turbine and the generator.

At first I called it “NerdiskeratorController” quite bluntly. But then I decided that I didn't want to limit the functionality of this controller to just WinDIY in combination with the Nerdiskerator as a generator.

The goal is to develop a controller that can also be used with other wind turbines.

The following components are currently installed on the board:

  • Three-way bridge rectifier
  • Step-down controller
  • Three independent charging circuits for one LiPo cell each
  • Three I2C motor drivers to control the motors of the brake actuator and the pitch actuator
  • various current and voltage sensors to measure the generated and consumed energy
  • Connections for two Hall sensors for measuring the generator speed
  • Connections for three slide resistors to be able to measure the positions of the pitch actuator and the brake cylinders
  • Connections for two force sensors to be able to measure the contact pressure of the brake cylinders
  • Connections for four NTCs to be able to measure the temperatures of the generator windings as well as the load resistance.
  • Connection to be able to discharge the rectified voltage to a load
  • Connection and electronics to be able to connect a load resistor PWM-controlled.
  • Vibration sensor to detect abnormal vibrations
  • two temperature sensors to monitor the temperatures on the PCB
  • an electronic compass
  • one micro-SD card slot
  • a climate sensor for measuring the ambient temperature, humidity and air pressure

The circuit board was manufactured at 🙂

Here are a few more pictures of the unprocessed and processed circuit board:

nanoPxl – WS2812/SK6812 aka Neopixel LED in larger size

For another board, I also used Panel Service for the first time tested. Smaller PCBs are grouped together as a panel. This makes it easier to assemble later. Once soldered, the boards can then be broken apart using their small bars.

The board consists of a WS2811 chip, which in principle corresponds to the predecessor of the famous WS2812 LED aka Neopixel. With this, RGB LEDs can be connected in series. The data for controlling the LEDs is then passed from LED to LED, similar to a shift register.

This has the great advantage that you can control up to 512 LEDs with just one GPIO and minimal component effort.

For a planned project, I definitely need a little more light than the small WS2812 LEDs can currently provide. To do this, I misused the WS2811 to switch individual LEDs via its outputs.

You can see the result in the following photos and soon more here on or my Instagram channel

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