PCB Exposure Box with Countdown timer (ATMEGA8)

Posted on Aug 9, 2012

Four blacklight lamps, 15W each, emit radiation at the region of UVA, with a peak around 350nm where the thin surface above the copper of the photosensitive board, is... sensitive. The lamps are taken by two and are connected in series thus shaping two similar modules. Each module has its own ballast and can be connected to 220V AC via a relay. A microcontroller counts a user defined countdown and upon reaching zero activates a relay. The time remaining is displayed on four 7-segment led displays. The maximum countdown is 99 minutes and 59 secs. The desired countdown is entered using only two buttons, SET and START/STOP. Short term push of the SET button will increase the current digit while prolonged push will change the digit from secondss to decades of seconds, to minutes and so on.

PCB Exposure Box with Countdown timer (ATMEGA8)
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

Pushing once the START/STOP button, will make the MCU accept the desired countdown. Pushing the START/STOP button one more time, will start the countdown and connect the lamp system to 220V AC, via the relay. If START/STOP button is pushed again before countdown reaches zero, the lamp system will be deactivated. When the countdown reaches zero the lamp system is deactivated and a 3 seconds beep is sounded. The timer remembers the last used countdown and uses it as default every time the system is switched on. All things above are housed in a wooden box. You can design the box by yourself however I had it done by a technician. There are 3 distinctive parts that constitute your PCB Exposure Box; the Box the Lamp System and the Counter System along with the display. You are gonna need a wooden box with dimensions aproximately 50x30x60 cm3. The box must have an extra room for hosting the countdown board and the two ballasts. The height of that room, that is the distance between the bottom of the box and the shelf, can be 5-8 cm. On the one side of the shelf will be installed the four starter bases and on the other side the four lamps along with their G13 bases. Here is a very detailed description on how to build your own box, upon which I relied to decide the dimensions of my box. However the final design I used is the same as Papanikolaou's box in his Darkroom Timer project. Many thanks to both of them! For the lamp...

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