News: PCB development – genCtrlr and nanoPxl

Since I’ve started two new PCB projects lately, I thought it was time to write about them again.


genCtrl aka “NerdiskeratorController”

One of the side projects that arose 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”. But then decided that I didn’t want to limit the functionality of this controller to WinDIY in combination with the Nerdiskerator as a generator.

The new 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 regulator
  • 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 energy generated and consumed
  • Connections for two Hall sensors for measuring the generator speed
  • Connections for three sliding resistors to measure the positions of the pitch actuator and the brake cylinder
  • Connections for two force sensors to measure the contact pressure of the brake cylinder
  • Connections for four NTCs to measure the temperatures of the generator windings and the load resistance.
  • Connection to discharge the rectified voltage to a consumer
  • 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
  • a micro-SD card slot
  • a climate sensor for measuring the ambient temperature, humidity and air pressure

The board was made at PCBway.com 🙂

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


nanoPxl – WS2812/SK6812 aka Neopixel-LED in bigger

I also tested the panel service from PCBWay.com for the first time for another board. Smaller PCBs are grouped together as panels. This will make loading easier later. Once soldered, the boards can then be broken apart using their small ridges.

The board consists of a WS2811 chip, which basically is the predecessor of the famous WS2812 LED aka Neopixel. With this RGB LEDs can be connected in series. The data for controlling the LEDs are then passed on 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 with a minimum of components.

For a planned project, I definitely need a little more light than the small WS2812 LEDs can deliver up to now. 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 nerdiy.de or my Instagram channel. 🙂

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