Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by douglasgoodwin on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Hello everyone,

I am an artist and educator with limited circuit design experience. viz: I can read a circuit diagram, I'm handy with solder, I can get around in Fritzing and I have a shoebox full of stuffed breadboards & Arduinos. I have been trying to DIY the project but I really want to finish the project in my lifetime.

The project calls for two intersecting analog circuits: one that measures and averages the brightness of nearby LEDs, the other that modulates the brightness of an LED. The two circuits are loosley coupled: local conditions of the network can vary the influence of that linkage (this is a feature).

I have a vague plan based on two designs from my Forrest Mims collection. Both utilize 555 timers: one to modulate the other to measure and send a control signal to the modulator. It's a reasonable approach but I need help from an experienced engineer. So I'm looking for a reasonably priced service that could design a circuit that I could prototype on a breadboard. Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks,
-Doug
douglasgoodwin
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:48 pm

Re: Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by Zener on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:36 pm

I would do it with an Arduino. Forget the 555's. Can you write any code? You could get help here without paying anyone.
Zener
 
Posts: 2380
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:38 am

Re: Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by douglasgoodwin on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:22 pm

Hi Zener,

Tempting, yes! But I'm looking for an analog design because the voltage in the circuits needs to be continuous. I don't want any states to fall into aliased or stepped voltages.

-Doug
douglasgoodwin
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:48 pm

Re: Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by Zener on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:01 pm

You need high precision? Or do I not understand? I am not sure what you mean by states falling into aliased or stepped voltages. The Arduino has a 10 bit A/D you know. Thats pretty good resolution.
Zener
 
Posts: 2380
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:38 am

Re: Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by douglasgoodwin on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:29 am

So you would do something like this?
http://provideyourown.com/2011/analogwr ... o-voltage/

That's nice and easy even though circuit it's an order of magnitude more complex than using a handful of components. It's not practical to build 50 of Arduino circuits, but it would make a good prototype.

Thanks,
-Doug
douglasgoodwin
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:48 pm

Re: Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by mwilson on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:21 am

Maybe these guys
http://upverter.com/
mwilson
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:17 am
Location: Maynooth, Canada

Re: Getting (professional) help for circuit design

by Zener on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:23 pm

douglasgoodwin wrote:So you would do something like this?
http://provideyourown.com/2011/analogwr ... o-voltage/

That's the basic idea.
douglasgoodwin wrote:it's an order of magnitude more complex than using a handful of components. It's not practical to build 50 of Arduino circuits

Actually the circuit would be simpler than using 555's, I can guarantee that. And simpler means easier to build. You don't need to duplicate the entire Arduino circuit. You just need a CPU.

Anyway, your original post was looking for a reasonably priced design service. I don't know any banned ones but I am sure you can find someone. However, any experienced engineer will steer you away from using 555's for this, although for the record I don't really know what you are trying to do. Good Luck.
Zener
 
Posts: 2380
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:38 am