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BlackCloud Red Version Complete

January 22nd, 2009

note: REDACTED stuff as requested by lawyers

I’ve finished writing the firmware and testing out the hardware for the latest version of the blackcloud device. I called it the red version, as the box it will live inside is going to be red. Yes, I’m quite creative. The LEDs are also all red, a mistake at the manufacturing house. *sigh*

This is the first design I’ve made that runs on Ethernet (10/100mbit). It uses the [REDACTED] module, which worked out fine. Though the Ethernet jack was a bit more difficult to use — I didn’t realize that I had to get a specific plug to support PoE. I’m using the [REDACTED] switching regulator in conjunction with a [REDACTED] to simplify the connector requirements for the device. I followed the recommended design which requires some big honking caps on the board — but it also looks really neat. Greg and I are both fond of the [REDACTED] inductor. It just looks nice.

The firmware had a few hiccups, which took awhile to debug given [REDACTED] is a sucky combination. I used to be such an avid fan of gcc for embedded design, but after using IAR for awhile, I got spoiled. What can I say.

This version features an [REDACTED] temp/humidity sensor and a new light sensor, along with the Ethernet interface and power supply upgrades. Oh, and we’re switching over to a much quieter fan as well. I’ll be delivering one of these guys to someplace in south Africa shortly. Should be entertaining.

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