The Protean 8x2 is an Arduino compatible development board with power control in mind. It gives you the freedom to use the FETs, (essentially DC power switches), and connectors you want. You can determine the full turn-on voltage most efficient for your FETs, (the Vgs), without hunting for “logic-level” FETs. Because it has a place for optocouplers to provide electrical isolation, you don’t need to worry that it will fry the ATmega328P micro-controller. Easy to follow wiring guides are also now available.
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I love the idea of node based controllers seen in modern pinball machines, but nearly all of them are proprietary and virtually undocumented! The hardware available for custom machines run about ~$100+ per board, are generally large (~20 sq in./~130 sq cm), require a separate main controller, and have a fixed serial protocol and rate. Other boards were understandably meant for use in existing, typically older machines, and were more expensive.
From the “build your own” perspective, there were numerous Audrino FET shields to chose form, (and relay boards), but all with different specs, hardware interfaces/terminals, and limited FETs. Of course they also required a separate Arduino or controller board.
Many people just use an Arduino Mega and run wires to multiple different modules and components. The same could be done with the awesome Teensy 3.5/3.6, (an ideal main controller for pinball in my opinion). But the otherwise tedious point-to-point or expanded board-to-board method didn’t seem very appealing, easily scalable, or space conscious. There’s already enough unavoidable connections to be made.
No connectors, fuse holders, optocouplers, or FETs are included since these things are dependent on your application.
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A guy who enjoys art and technology with a passion for designing both. My latest combines them both, pinball!
Greetings! My name is Adam L. Humphreys over the years I have, and continue to do things as electrical wiring, small circuit design, repairing many various appliances, and solar installation. (Of the greatest irony, I could wire electric lamps before I knew how ti tie my shoes.) I am familiar with various power hardware failure modes, and most of them typically include relays, contactors, switches, capacitors, or cold solder joints.
I began working with microcontrollers since 2012. Since then, I’ve made a number of small projects here and hope to continue developing my kWh logger and a proper greenhouse controller. I’m always looking to continue growing my knowledge of microcontrollers and general electronics, (among other things if your familiar with my profiles). I’ve also contributed a small bit to the Arduino-IRremote library and hope to add a mask based optimization in due time.