Monday, August 7, 2023

Upgraded digital GoBox

After several months of use, I decided to upgrade my digital GoBox. The new version includes a larger screen (10" vs 7"), solar charging capabilities and a nicer layout. I used some white marine board to create a mounting point for all the equipment. This gives it a much cleaner look. I also installed a 30A solar charge controller to allow for solar panel use if desired.

I wound up frying to Raspberry Pi 4 computers with the old setup. The best guess on why is that the USB port was getting confused with the RPi and supplying it with 12V instead the required 5V. I removed the blown diode (was not able to salvage the pads for a replacement) and use the RPi anyway.

I also added a Real Time Clock (RTC) module to help keep the unit calibrated. I previously had installed a GPS unit to update the time, but the RTC module is easier, smaller and cheaper. It uses the DS3231SN chip to maintain accurate date and time  

I wrapped the module in some shrink wrap and connected it via the i2C bus. It seems to work very well and includes a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. I followed these instructions to setup the software portion.