Here’s the MT50 controller from EpEver, that interfaces with it’s Tracer MPPT solar charge controllers, and gives access to more programming options on the charge controllers, without the need for a laptop. The display is a large dot-matrix unit, with built in backlight. Above is the display on the default page, showing power information for the entire system.
The rear plastic cover is held in place by 4 machine screws, which thread into brass inserts in the plastic frame – nice high quality touch on the design here, no cheap self tapping plastic screws. Both power & data arrive via an Ethernet cable, but the communication here is RS-485, and not compatible with Ethernet! The PCB is pretty sparse, with comms & power on the left, LCD connection in the centre, and the microcontroller on the right.
On the left of the board is the RS0485 transceiver, and a small voltage regulator. There’s also a spot for a DC barrel jack, which isn’t included in this model for local power supply.
The other side of the board holds the main microcontroller which communicates with the charge controller. This is a STM32F051K8 from ST Microelectronics. With a 48MHz ARM Cortex M0 core, and up to 64K of flash, this is a pretty powerful MCU that has very little to do in this application.
The front of the PCB has the ENIG contacts of the front panel buttons, and the LCD backlight assembly. There’s nothing else under the plastic backlight spreader either.
The front case holds the LCD module in place with glue, and the rubber buttons are placed underneath, which is heat staked in place.
The LCD is a YC1420840CS6 from eCen in China. Couldn’t find much out about this specific LCD.
I recently came across these on eBay, so I thought I’d grab one to see how they function, with all the metrics they display, there’s potential here for them to be very useful indeed.
One of the best parts is that no wiring is required between the sensor board & the LCD head unit – everything is transmitted over a 2.4GHz data link using NRF24L01 modules.
Above is the display unit, with it’s colour LCD display. Many features are available on this, & they appear to be designed for battery powered systems.
Another PCB handles the current & voltage sensing, so this one can be mounted as close to the high current wiring as possible.
The transmitter PCB is controlled with an STM8S003F3 microcontroller from ST Microelectronics. This is a Flash based STM with 8KB of ROM, 1KB of RAM & 10-bit ADC. The NRF24L01 transceiver module is just to the left.
There’s only a single button on this board, for pairing both ends of the link.
The high current end of the board has the 0.0025Ω current shunt & the output switch MOSFET, a STP75NF75 75v 75A FET, also from ST Microelectronics. A separate power source can be provided for the logic via the blue terminal block instead of powering from the source being measured.
Here’s the display unit, only a pair of power terminals are provided, 5-24v wide-range input is catered for.
Unclipping the back of the board reveals the PCB, with another 2.4GHz NRF24L01 module, and a STM8S005K6 microcontroller in this case. The switching power supply that handles the wide input voltage is along the top edge of the board.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any instruction manual with this, so some guesswork & translation of the finest Chinglish was required to get my head round the way everything works. To make life a little easier for others that might have this issue, here’s a list of functions & how to make them work.
On the right edge of the board is the function list, a quick press of the OK button turns a function ON/OFF, while holding it allows the threshold to be set.
When the output is disabled by one of the protection functions, turning that function OFF will immediately enable the output again.
The UP/DOWN buttons obviously function to select the desired function with the cursor just to the left of the labels. Less obviously though, pressing the UP button while the very top function is selected will change the Amp-Hours display to a battery capacity icon, while pressing DOWN while the very bottom function is selected will change the Watts display to Hours.
The round circle to the right displays the status of a function. Green for OK/ON Grey for FAULT/OFF.
OVP: Over voltage protection. This will turn off the load when the measured voltage exceeds the set threshold.
OPP: Over power protection. This function prevents a load from pulling more than a specified number of watts from the supply.
OCP: Over current protection. This one’s a little more obvious, it’ll disable the output when the current measured exceeds the specified limit.
OUT: This one is the status of the output MOSFET. Can also be used to manually enable/disable the output.
OFT: Over time protection. This one could be useful when charging batteries, if the output is enabled for longer than the specified time, the output will toggle off.
OAH: Over Amp-Hours protection. If the counted Amp-Hours exceeds the set limit, the output will be disabled.
Nom: This one indicates the status of the RF data link between the modules, and can be used to set the channel they operate on.
Pairing is achieved by holding the OK button, selecting the channel on the LCD unit, and then pressing the button on the transmitter board. After a few seconds, (it appears to scan through all addresses until it gets a response) the display will resume updating.
This function would be required if there are more than a single meter within RF range of each other.
I’ve not yet had a proper play with all the protection functions, but a quick mess with the OVP setting proved it was very over-sensitive. Setting the protection voltage to 15v triggered the protection with the measured voltage between 12.5v-13.8v. More experimentation is required here I think, but as I plan to just use these for power monitoring, I’ll most likely leave all the advanced functions disabled.
Here’s the teardown of the projector itself! On the right is the info label from the projector, which covers the flex ribbon to the VGA/composite input board below.
This unit is held together with Allen screws, but is easy to get apart.
Here’s the insides of the projector, with just the top cover removed. The main board can be seen under the shielding can, the Micro HDMI connector is on the left & the MicroUSB connection is on the right. The USB connection is solely for charging the battery & provides no data interface to the unit.
On top of the main board is the shield can covering the PicoP Display Engine driver board, this shield was soldered on so no peek inside unfortunately!
The laser module itself is in the front of the unit, the laser assemblies are closest to the camera, on the left is the Direct Doubled Green module, in the centre is the blue diode, and the red diode on the right. Inside the module itself is an arrangement of mirrors & beamsplitters, used to combine the RGB beams from the lasers into a single beam to create any colour in the spectrum.
Here is the module innards revealed, the laser mounts are at the top of the screen, the green module is still mounted on the base casting.
The three dichroic mirrors in the frame do the beam combining, which is then bounced onto the mirror on the far left of the frame, down below the MEMs. From there a final mirror directs the light onto the MEMs scanning mirror before it leaves through the output window.
A trio of photodiodes caters for beam brightness control & colour control, these are located behind the last dichroic turning mirror in the centre of the picture.
This is inside the green laser module, showing the complexity of the device. This laser module is about the size of a UK 5p coin!
And here on the left is the module components labelled.
Here is the main PCB, with the unit’s main ARM CPU on the right, manufactured by ST.
User buttons are along the sides.
Other side of the main board, with ICs that handle video input from the HDMI connector, battery charging via the USB port & various other management.