I’m currently designing a greenhouse automation control unit utilizing the BBB as the brain. In order to create industrial strength wiring I’d like to use terminal block connections to each connector on the P8 and P9 headers.
To give you a visual of what I’d like to do check out a picture of the terminal block shield for the Arduino Mega. It plugs into the board nicely and the terminal blocks lay along perimeter of the shield giving the user access to each input.
I’m also open to other ideas regarding how to wire up a BBB in a reliable way suitable for industrial purposes.
What do you think?
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It looks like the terminal blocks should be the least of your worries
at the moment. To have "industrial strength" system, you should never,
ever connect wires directly to the pins of the processor. For each
digital input and output you should add at least transistor driver
separating the outside circuit from the board, with optoisolation if
possible. Analog inputs and outputs should also be buffered. It would
be good to add voltage spike protections (diodes, transils) on each of
Optoisolation and spike protection will add ruggedness to your system,
however without proper buffering of the signals, most likely you will
fry the board in no time.
It sounds like a good idea! At a minimum you should add some kind of buffering to the signals as Jacek suggested. This can be opto-isolators, signal buffers, or logic-level converters. It really depends on how “industrial” you are trying to be. Is this a one-off, or are you trying to make several?
I have made a cape before, and I found that the bone fits best “upside down”. If you think about it that way, the “cape” can be a much larger rectangle with all kinds of things broken out, power jacks added, XBEE footprint for RF, etc. Plus, you can probably fit something like that into a project box much easier.
Look at this one:
Alternately, you could get into the “Grove” ecosystem over at Seeed Studios if you are wanting to cobble together a more modular solution rather than designing your own PCB.