While doing some x-ray experiments I suddenly found the
need for a remotely operated relay. That led to thinking of a way to
overengineer the problem, and I found I could solve several problems at
once by making a universal fiber optic system of sorts. The basic idea
I came up with is to have one module with all the needed hardware; LCD,
potentiometers, buttons and fiber optic output. This module could then
be programmed easily with different firmware depending on the needed
application. I've made three different firmware packages so far, a SSTC
interrupter, a DRSSTC interrupter and a timer for my x-ray experiments. I
imagine there are several other uses for such a module as well. The
USART Tx pin has been connected to the fiber optic output, so using the
module to send serial commands over a fiber optic link should be a cake
forward circuit with no frills, the real magic happens in the firmware.
For the ISP socket I used a 9-pin D-sub connector, this allows for
rapid reprogramming without even taking the back cover off. I built the
interrupter in a diecast aluminum project box, to prevent any possible issues with interference from Tesla coils.
fiber optic modules I used are HFBR-14E4 and HFBR-24E6 which I was able
to acquire in a large quantity. They use regular SC-SC cable, at
pretty much any fiber diameter from what I gather, but thicker is
better. I use a 62.5um/125 fiber patch cord, multimode, simplex, which
only cost 7USD on eBay. So far I've tested these modules in two SSTCs.
The receiver worked just fine in my second PLL SSTC, but in my 4.096MHz
Class E coil there were problems with noise. The noise issues were
completely fixed by simply placing some tin foil over the receiver. So
if you use the receiver module in a diecast project box or similar,
noise will not be an issue.
I do not take responsibility for any injury, death, hurt ego, or other
forms of personal damage which may result from recreating these
experiments. Projects are merely presented as a source of inspiration,
and should only be conducted by responsible individuals, or under the
supervision of responsible individuals. It is your own life, so proceed
at your own risk! All projects are for noncommercial use only.