dropControllerV3 Preview

dropControllerV3 is now available in beta version. Download links are below.

dropControllerV3 is very similar to version 2. The main differences are:
– slightly simpler circuit
– moved the pins around
– 2 flash triggers (can be expended to 3). Third trigger not yet implemented.
– mosfets instead of TIP120s
– 2 external triggers, digital or analogue (not yet available)
– apps rewritten and better looking

The breadboard version does not have the additional inputs. See the circuit diagram for the full circuit. Now that the beta versions of the software are available I will not be changing the circuit again. The circuit has 3 flash triggers but only 2 are implemented in the software. The circuit has 2 trigger inputs which are also not yet implemented.

I have just finished the first proto-board version. I am currently testing it and I hope to publish details soon. Surprisingly it seems to work first time which is a first for me. This is board only, no project box. I had been trying to find a box that fits nicely but haven’t found one and got tired of waiting so I started building the first prototype without a box. The layout is larger than required but I wanted to give space to make soldering a little easier.

The breadboard photos below show software serial RX on A5/D19 and software serial RX on A5/D19. I have since swapped these around to make the proto-board layout slightly easier. I will update the breadboard photos when I get chance.
This final circuit has:
BT TX connected to Arduino A4/D18 (software serial RX)
BT RX connected to Arduino A5/D19 (software serial TX) via a voltage divider

Download a hires image of the circuit

To switch the solenoid valves I am using IRFZ44N and IRL540N mosfets (both are common and cheap) but anything similar will work. You just need a 5V logic level mosfet with a low RDS(on) value at 4.5v or 5v (ideally 4.5v or lower). I have a list I can publish if anybody wants it.








Proto-board Version

This is the first proto-board version. I use the initial version to make sure everything works and to tweak the layout. This is larger than it needs to be but since I don’t have a project box yet I wanted to use the available space. Some of the components can be moved for better placing.






Android App

Drop data controls are the same.
Camera and flash triggers can be turned off.




Windows App

Cleaner interface using tabs rather than popup windows.
Extra controls for a second flash trigger.
Drop time graph – visual guide to the drop times.





These are the first releases. All should work but should be considered early beta releases and quirks/bugs are to be expected.

Sketch: dropController_V3_beta_3
Ideally use on an Arduino Nano but any 5V ATmega328P based Arduino will work.

Android App
Requires Android version 4 or later. Not yet available on the Play Store so you will need to side load.

Windows PC app
Requires Windows XP or later with .net version 4.0 or later. The app works from the folder and installation is not required.