Aug 03, 17 Thomas Jensen 18 Images Parts 2 29
To get a sense of that was happening in the rack box project, and to be able to manually control stuff, I built a status panel that I had on my desk in the old apartment. It had LEDs, push-buttons and switches for pretty much everything in the rack box; lights, alarms, fan, mute etc. It was made of a desk box with an aluminium front plate, which made it pretty sturdy.
The panel connected to the rack box project with three d-sub cables; 9, 25 and 37 pins. If any of these cables were disconnected or the panel fuse burned out, a monitoring alarm would sound. There was also a microcontroller module inside the panel, controlling a few LEDs, switches and the emergency control. This was connected to my computer with a serial cable.
The voltage levels in the rack (5, 13.8 and 24) were available through lab plugs, pretty handy when testing stuff. They had a dedicated automatic fuse, so not to take the whole rack box down in case of a short.
The panel had three states;
- On, all LEDs, buttons and switches worked.
- Off, all buttons and switches worked, but the LEDs were turned off.
- Disabled, all LEDs were turned off, buttons and switches were disabled.
At the center of the panel was a key switched, used to arm and disarm the intruder alarm. The the intruder alarm was armed the panel went into the disabled state. The emergency stop could also be triggered, and reset, from this panel.
This status panel was very analog and not something I would have built today, but in 2006 it was not as easy to get a fancy dashboard on the computer as it is today. Just doing changes to this panel was pretty tricky and time consuming… Today one can just use something like Home Assistant.
- The Rack Box project
- Fuse box with 4 monitored channels
- Fuse box with 6 monitored channels
- Power supply and fuse monitoring module
- Created Aug 11, 2006
- Last modified 4 days ago
- Project status: Completed