The HAN Solarboat is a boat that runs on solar energy. Enthusiastic students from various education programs from The HAN University of Applied Sciences and professionals from Qconcepts Design & Engineering are working in a hybrid setting on this boat. With the HAN Solarboat the team participates in national and international races like the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. Last season we became second on the sprint in the Dutch Championship and we made the headlines with Prince Albert II on our homemade HAN Solarboat clogs! This year we made several PCBs with support of Eurocircuits, like a led/buzzer module and connectors.
The Led/Buzzer Module
The HAN Solarboat features many electrical systems, so we need a way to keep track of the status of these systems. If there is a problem with a system, or a button is pressed that will not allow the full functionality of the boat, it is visible with our led/buzzer module. If the systems are all functional, a short beep is heard with a constant green light visible from the cockpit.
We chose to order the PCB at Eurocircuits because the print quality is very good and the support while uploading the designs is very helpful. The delivery was very fast and the order process at Eurocircuits is quick and easy. So, we are always sure that we get the quality we are expecting without waiting multiple weeks.
Due to a change in a signal coming from the battery, we needed to make a change to the led/buzzer module, so it can accept this signal. The original module was still on a prototype board with THT components, so we made a new module with SMD components because these are lighter and more efficient. A PCB makes it easier to solder these components and makes it possible to decrease the size of the overall module.
During the design process it was again hard to find capable components. The previously selected components (in the prototype phase) were out of stock due to the tough component market. This meant that we had to redesign the PCB multiple times before we were able to order it.
We use connectors all over the boat, these must be resistant to (salt)water. Before we were using connectors which were not as resistant to water as specifications said. Because of this, we opted for different connectors, which were also easier to use, but we had the same challenge as always; the chosen connectors were out of stock.
This meant we had to get creative; order a connector with PCB mount and use them for wire connections. The standard solution is to solder the wires to a connector but with the sheer number of connectors in our boat, we needed an easier and faster option. We came up with a small PCB which converts the PCB mount from the connector to big solder pads which made it possible to use the PCB as a strain relief for the connections. This also made our boat more custom!
To avoid the risk of losing this very tiny PCB we decided to do something we had never done before, using the panel function in the online Eurocircuits order tool. We made strips with 2 PCBs in one direction and 10 in the other. With as result sets of 20 PCBs per strip and no risk or hassle anymore caused by losing these very small PCBs.
Would you like to get mor information about the HAN Solarboat Team? Read more about us on our website.