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VGA/PS2 build project for Media Smart EX and H340 Home Servers


diehard
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I'm working on a VGA cable adapter board for the EX & H340 servers. I'm designing a printed circuit board using the ExpressPCB.com software. If you interested or want to help out I will make the drawning available upon request.

I have to order a minimum amount of boards. If I am succesful in finalizing this project, I'll give away a few PCB's to some helpful posters. But you will have the get the other parts from Digikey.

I'm looking for a few helpers that can proof read the PCB template.

Thanks,

John (homeservershow).

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cskenney,

It's just an other option. I will not include the Serial interface, I haven't found a use for that. The design is different. If you see the blog post, the VGA connector sits over the 2 PS2 connectors. I looking for a cheaper solution.

Thanks for helping.

The files are here http://cid-fb063368d1a96947.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/.Public

John (homeservershow).

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I was going to take a short cut. simply make a PCB with three plugs on it.

The first plug, is used a cable that goes to the Home server.

The second plug, is used for a standard vga, motherboard header cable (with db15 end).

The third plug would go to a dell part number G257D (Dell Serial PS2 Port Adapter). This would give the 2 ps2 ports and a com port. ($14.99/free in salvage dells).

Also if you need to prototype the PCB I have used http://www.batchpcb.com/ and works for me.

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thanks staples,

I like ExpressPCB because they give you the basic software to do a simple job. However if I would need a more complicated solution I would use something else. Thanks for the link. What software do you use ?

John (homeservershow).

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John - I have looked over the schematic and I have a couple of observations.

First, It seems unusual to have a mirrored image. Most boards I have worked with are a single pattern and then the pattern is repeated in an array. This makes it easier to drill and route on a production board and makes things easier for automatic assembly work. Your board is all hand soldered, so it shouldn't matter.

2nd, there are some traces near the 26 pin header area that look really close to the board edge. This may not be a problem, but most PCB panels have a fairly large tolerance for size and you don't want the trace too close to the edge.

I don't have a schematic readily available to verify the traces in your layout. I will need to look around for one.

Finally, you board is really only creating an interface between the connector you selected and the wires going to the connector on the motherboard. Any thoughts to just buying a SVGA cable and 2 PS/2 cables from Monoprice and hooking them directly to the connector that connects to the motherboard? Less connections and it looks like it is even cheaper.

Chris

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ExpressPCB has a fixed price for the PCB size that I'm using here. So I copied the layout 4 times and also have 2 keyboard and 1 mouse circuit. I'll cut the board along the lines. I was thinking about the traces being to close to the edge, however the software will notify me if I am to close to the edge, that is why I pasted the boards so that those traces are on the outside and will not be accidentally cut by me when I cut the board myself.

I have made some cables as you suggest but I didn't like having the strip each wire and solder or crimp each pin. It gets messy if you mess up. Also this VGA/PS2 connector was interesting.

I'm hoping to find a standard 26 pin straight thru cable of different lenghts. If not I'll have to end up adding the pins to the wire to build a cable and that would make me worse of them doing what you suggest.

Thanks for your comments.

John(homeservershow).

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