Prototype Working!

I finally got around to assembling one of my prototype boards for pressure measurement. I decided to go with the board measuring absolute pressure that I designed to determine pressure altitude. During the time that the boards and parts were on order I discovered that my idea of using 10V for the pressure transducer would not work as the differential output would not be in the correct range for the analog to digital converter. I decided not to populate the 10V section and ran a jumper to supply 5 volts to the transducer. This also meant changing the reference voltage to get the correct range for the output of the transducer since this would be half as large as originally planned.

While assembling and testing the board I found a couple of additional problems. I found that I had not connected the SET pin of the 5 volt regulator (MAX1659) to GND so I would not output the correct voltage. Next, I discovered that I had not wired the enable (ENB) line on the digital isolator (MAX14934) to 5 volts. This probably didn’t matter but at the time I was having difficulty getting communication to work on the SPI bus so I added a jumper anyway.

I finally started to get the board communicating with my Arduino but the value was off. I checked the reference voltage to the ADC and found it wasn’t correct. After looking at the specification sheet I found that I had created the voltage reference symbol incorrectly and swapped pins 4 and 5. This meant that I was not getting the correct output voltage. Back on the prototype I tried to lift that side of the reference IC (MAX6037) but it came completely off the board and I lost it. I installed one of my spares and installed jumpers to swap pins 4 and 5.  With this complete the board started reporting what appears to be the correct voltages and hence correct pressure readings.