Panel Pilot Ace SGD 43-A – Tear Down

hi little while ago RS Components was kind enough to send me a panel pilot ace panel meter display module this is a fully programmable display panel that is able to read and write analog voltages as well as digital i/o and transform those into various display components on a panel which is got full touch capability so that a user in it for for example some industrial or commercial application could put very quickly up a control console for many many different applications including monitoring of plant equipment maybe a power supply heating and ventilation some other control applications and things like that so I’ve already put out one video which goes over the technical features of the panel meter and what I’d like to do now is actually have a close look at the build of the meter in future videos I’m going to put up a whole bunch of different sample applications for it but for right now I’m going to basically have a teardown see what’s involved what’s built inside this thing and also just give you a very quick demo of an application they put together in a few minutes to go with a power supply that I’m currently building so without further ado let’s just get to the hardware so this is the front of the panel pilot ace and as you can see it’s just basically a black panel with a 4.3 inch LCD touch screen display and I’m haven’t got it powered on right now but what I will do is just flip it over so you can see what’s on the back of this thing as well so on the back of the panel what we have is it’s all self-contained but we have a USB input which you can use to program and also power the device and at the bottom we also have a series of screw terminals where you can also power the device and provide analog inputs the other display is that sorry the other connectors on the display that are all the way around the edge are used for various features of the display panel including digital input and output analog inputs analog or more specifically pulse width modulated outputs and there are some future features that are also included on here which I’ll link in the data sheets or actually they’re already linked in on the previous video which include Ethernet I to see spy and various other features that have yet to be released so these panel meter panel pilot aces are very new on the market and there’s a lot of additional features planned for the future for these things that have not yet been released that doesn’t mean that it’s not a capable leader in its own right even now it is and it works very very well but there are some limitations that I’ve discovered in my initial look at this which are not showstoppers you know this this meter this panel display is designed for industrial and commercial applications but as it stands right now in its current configuration all of the i/o and analog and digital connected directly to the microcontroller and the circuitry inside so you know if you in typical industrial commercial applications you may have things like 24 volt power supplies 4 to 20 milliamp current loops and things like that and while this can actually take a 40 min 20 milliamp analog input it does have common ground for all of the analog channels and the digital inputs and outputs are all 3.3 volts and as we look inside of this you’ll see why that is and so if you were going to leverage this now for a industrial or commercial plant control situation you would have to build some IO devices to either isolate it from the system under test or to at least drop the voltages down to ranges that were compatible with the device now the analog inputs just to make this clear by the way they are capable of going up to plus or minus 40 volts on their analog inputs because it uses an ADC converter that has a preamplifier and divided Network that is able to actually scale itself to suit the inputs that you’re providing to it the digital inputs and outputs though they are not their maximum 3.3 volts which is due to the configuration with the microcontroller and so you need to be careful how you interface those you will need to have either transistor drivers or resistive divider networks and potentially up to Isolators or something like that so that you could hook them into plant equipment without running the

risk of effectively damaging the controller due to a transient spikes from the environment or something else anyway that’s enough chitchat for that I actually as I said did do a previous video which details all of the specifications for this and a quick demo of some of the design tools so what I’m going to do right now is with the back off of this and let you see what’s inside the way you get into these meters by the way is on the edges of them there’s some little tab little slots in here and if you just gently put a probe in here like a screwdriver or a plastic spatula or something there are little tabs that you can just gently gently lever on to get them out so we just put this on the bench here and we’ll just get into this thing as I say you just gently push it in and they’ll just the back will just pop off nice and easy and there we go so we’re in like Flynn as Dave Jones would say so first thing we notice here is that it’s just a tall a single board construction we’ve got a great big cr2032 three volt battery in the corner here this is going to be for the onboard real-time clock we have our connectors around the outside a few surface mount components here the circuitry here is the analog to digital conversion and programmable attenuator circuitry and what we also have here is an SD card that from what I understand it’s got 2 gigs of storage and can be used for expansion and also storing your programs and everything that you upload to this so I think what we need to do now is get us screwdriver and take the panel out to have a look what’s on the other side okay I myself a small cross head screwdriver so it’s just pull these out one at a time just nice and carefully that’s one my bench by the way is anti-static so just in case you’re wondering I don’t want to dive into this and it’s got a rubberized mat so my display and everything else is protected from getting scratched and everything so we just have six screws holding this board in place all right so let’s see what we have inside here just gently lift this up so we’ve got the LCD connection on the other side of the board here that’s holding this down I just turn this around and we also have this connection here which is probably the touch panel connection so we’re going to have to deal with those so that we can get in here so I think the first one to take off will be the touch panel let’s gently pull the leaves forward this is something that is a user you would not normally want to do because you’re probably going to be in validate your warranty for one and also there’s really no reason why you would need to do this I’m just doing this really just kind of save you having to do it because you don’t see what’s inside here without having to disassemble it yourself and secondly it’ll make it a little easier for you so now we’ve got the LCD display here which is connected to this flex ik it and plugged in on this side of the board it’ll be a little bit interesting to get back in again but nevertheless you know we just a couple of small tabs on the side and it should just drop off there we go so I’m not going to take the LCD out of here because it’s basically molded into the case so I’m not going to take it any further apart than that as you can see it’s got a lot of the components for the LCD this way I built right on to this flex circuit going around and this one here will be the full wire resistive touch LCD touchscreen on the surface so let’s just move that out the way for a moment and we’ll have a look at the board so what we have here is this is the LCD connection that we were looking at we just pulled the wire off we have some power management circuitry up here who looks like we’ve got a resistor 0.10 100 milli ohm resistor for probably measuring the current being consumed by the board little inductor and things probably a little switch mode power supply just to because this is working from basically 5 to 24 volt DC input so of course you know you don’t want to be emitting a lot of heat while you take that down to the 3.3 volts for the controller I like the microprocessor so this is a very efficient way of dropping those bolts down now what I’m going to

do right now is the micro lens on my camera so that you guys can have a close look what the things I have on the board here so start off here with a nice close-up view of the freescale microprocessor sitting there and you can see all the it’s a BGA device with all of the traces flying out from all sides to the different devices that are connected to it and if we just scroll over a little bit we’ll have a look at this so this is a inbound device I’m not sure what kind it is right now what I can see bond the traces coming out of it if you notice here that it has pairs of wires coming out so it’s probably differential because they’re trying to keep the length to the wires the same that’s why you typically see these snaking patterns going on so if I just have a quick look up as what that device is I’ll get right back to you all right so just a quick google on that and that apparently is 1/8 by 1/8 megabit which is eight banks by 16-bit wide DDR Ram chip so that’s obviously the memory there RAM for the freescale microprocessor so it’s that’s pretty much all there is on this side that really warrants having a look at if I just try and zoom out a little bit as far as this micro lens will let me and if we just check the rest of the board as I said we’ve already looked at this I had a quick discussion on that it’s just a standard switch mode power supply kind of circuitry we’ve got the LCD two connector and everything else so it’s not really much else on that side that we need to worry about so there’s just flip this thing over and have a look at the devices that are on this side okay let’s just put this down here and what we have here these are old near the analog inputs which come in on these terminals here so if we just zoom in on those see if we can identify what they are okay we have this one here which is a looks like a Texas Instruments and p2 2 2 EC so I’ll have a quick look or inter-cell sorry MP 2 2 2 EC so let’s just have a quick look at what that is and you know so that MP 22 to see device is apparently a 3-2 5.5 volt multi-channel rs-232 line driver receiver so that’s for communicating with host controllers and things like that not the usb by the way but probably for some expansion or factory use of the of the board maybe for setting it up and things like that anyway so that’s what that device is let’s move on to the next one the next device we come across is a program will gain instrumentation amplifier the pga 280 from texas instruments it’s got a wide range input of plus or minus 15 volts at an 18 volt supply and you can program the gain from 128 volts to 1/8 of a volt per volt so as you can tell from that it will allow you to scale any input from just you know sort of a volt or less right up to sort of 3040 volts coming in down to a range that is suitable for the analog to digital converter it’s got low noise near zero long-term drift excellent only arity 1.5 parts per million excellent common mode rejection ratio 140 DBS differential signal output overload detection etc etc I’ll link in the datasheet so that you can see more about that if you so desire but that’s what the board has for its 4 analog inputs let’s see what this last device is full which is just up a little bit if we could just get it into view and try and get a close-up view on it so that we can figure out what it is so from arc I can read there it’s a B ro1 probably the brown it looks like it’s a TI device I’m just adjusting the light to see if I can get a better read of the text on it just trying on different angles I think the best that’s pretty much looks like TI and it’s a B ro1 so let’s just go to Google and see what we can find out about that so I’m not able to find out too much more about the chip without extensive research and you’ll be able to

have a look at that yourself now what I’m looking at here now is the digital i/o lines which are basically along here on the edge connector that comes out on the pins and as you can see with these traces they actually go directly to the CPU and the CPU runs at 3.3 volts and that’s why I was saying before that you’re not able to connect any i/o on these pins that requires more than about 3.3 volts and also you know it’s not going to be able to drive too much current based on the ratings and the specifications you’re typically looking at a max of about 10 milliamps per pin for your input or your output sorry for your output so you need to be careful what you connect there and also for your inputs if using any 5-volt logic anywhere else you’ll need to have a level shift or at least and are like a resistor divider network before you feed it into the input of the chip because you might damage the freescale chip and of course you know it being the heart of this whole display you could easily damage that as well anyway I think that’s all the parts that are relevant for having a walkthrough one here and I think you’ll agree it’s actually quite a nice neat little board I like the way they put it together it’s very well constructed I don’t see any suspect you know soldering or tell tales of rework or anything like that which is nice to see it’s well laid out it’s I think as I said the only criticism I would have is that this is aimed at industrial and commercial control systems and the likes but it is using you know direct to the CPU connections for its digital inputs and outputs and even its analog input is still connected directly to chips that are sharing the same supply and everything else as the main processor so whatever you hook in to this you need to be aware of that and you need to take appropriate protection for it especially if you have long runs going out to any equipment that might be in the factory or on nearby workstations or something like that you know because any cables of a few feet long you can easily pick up a lot of transient data and effectively damage the input to this Freescale processor or the apt converter although that is quite well protected by the analog front and program will gain amplifier has this got quite a bit of circuitry built into it to protect its inputs but it’s not going to be you know totally protected against high currents or high transient spikes or anything anyway I think the next thing now is to assemble this back together and hook up a power supply and have a little play with it so let’s get that done okay so here we all hold back together again let’s just see if we can get this up and running so make sure I haven’t made any mistakes in the rewiring sorry free assembly just give the display a wife it’s got lots of grubby fingerprints on it now from being used sorry handled so we’ll just give that it clean alright so what I have here move this out the way because they ought to put a USB connector into the back of it is actually what I have is a the experiment board for this so that it allows you to try it with analog inputs and outputs and things like that without having to actually put it into a panel so let me just get that out and I’ve just put this on well give it a go this is the experimental board I had a quick review through it when we were doing the initial technical walkthrough of the board in a previous video which I will put on to youtube at the same time as this one just as a quick run-through of what we have here is we have the digital inputs and outputs up here you’ve got a row of LEDs and a rubber switches that you can control the inputs and outputs you also have two PWM outputs that you can use sorry for PWM outputs that you can use these are connected to LEDs only not to 256 resolution so just an 8-bit PWM so that’s good enough for most applications what you also have is alarm outputs which are over here there’s one here and one here there’s separate digital outputs and they got transistor assist so you could drive a relay a small relay or something like that with them or you could just put an extra make a solid-state relay or something like that if you wanted to connect something larger to that down the left-hand side here this is an area where you could put the optional Ethernet module once it becomes available and you’ve got analog inputs on the side here there’s a few jumpers for all of these iOS that you

can unplug to disconnect the switches and lights from it and enable you to directly connect devices on here memory inside when we were going through the walkthrough and the teardown there was that rs-232 line driver well that would connect to this module here which you can connect to some device and down the bottom left here we have four potentiometers they get that it connected and you can actually use these to simulate analog inputs to the panel as well so we just I’ve got a demo that I just put on here for testing my power supply before and so I’m just going to power it up and show you what happens Oh what it looks like so I’m just gonna plug this in okay so there we have it I’m just gonna pair it up right now the other end into the USB port there we go the lights just pop on and off very quickly display just resets itself and should come up as the panel pilot ace logo and I think I’ve got a splash screen or something on here as well as it powers up nope this one comes straight up okay so this is the little example I had before so it’s just got if I just remember the right inputs so this potentiometer here is measuring but right now just connected to here I actually had it connected to some real devices before and I’ll do that on a future video real soon but as you can see I can vary this input and it will measure the volts and it’s quite really responsive up to 5 volts I mean the inputs will actually go negative as well but I haven’t got that set up I’m just going from midpoint up to 5 and of course the current inputs is 1 here again to scale actually for this one is set a lot less so as you can see it very rapidly goes up to 5 volts resolution is pretty good on these things as I say it’s a 12 bit a to D converter and they’re all precision devices so you can fairly well rely on the accuracy of it we’ll do an exact comparison with a DMM in a later video as well but this whole display here with the logo and everything else is something I just put together over Christmas hence the Christmas you feel with the little minion there just to show some volts and current for a power supply project that I’m doing anyway that basically completes the Ted and I just wanted to see and show you that the thing is still working after we ripped it apart and put it back together again I will have to set the clock and I’ll do that in another video what I want to do is show you quickly how you can start now creating some panels of your own both analog and digital this one being a digital one you can add your own logos and things like that to the design it supports animated gifts and things like that as I said and you turn the tear down the thing you got to remember though is it is 3.3 volt teaching our logic for all of the digital inputs and outputs so be careful of what you put into it and be careful of cable links and things that you use aside from that that pretty much completes the teardown for this video so I hope you liked it and look forward to presenting you the next one where we start actually hooking it up to devices and things like that and I’ll show you some basic circuitry that you can construct on you know on a breadboard to test it but later on on some more permanent prototyping board like either very bored or you know if you can make a lot of them then getting sick boards made for them but what I want to show you is controlling large relays maybe sensing some temperatures 4 to 20 milliamp current loops and things like that anyway that’s for the future video so let me sign off now as I say hope you liked it give me a thumbs up or like depending on where you’re watching this from and we’re back saying like