At S4x14 this year, there was a great talk about using an Ardunio Shield to communicate via the HART Protocol by Alexander Bolshev. Michael Toecker Blogged about this talk earlier, read his blog for more details about the talk. As the talk shows the Ardunio shield is a great example to show how we can create a cheap interface to an industrial protocol like the HART Protocol. Alexander’s talk went into some great details of how a shield could be used as an interface to a HART network. After his talk Alexander was giving out boards for people to take away with them. Digital Bond was able to get a few of these boards and we decided to build them to how everything worked and how much they would cost to build and how well they will work.
If Alexander hadn’t given out boards to start with we could have started with the EagleCAD files that he has put up on his github. Once you have the .brd file you can easily take that and upload it to a few different PCB Manufactures, such as OSHPark. I uploaded the file just to gauge the cost, OSHPark shows the Boards from OSHPark as $31.20 for three boards. Once you have the board ready you need to order the parts, I used the electronic component distributor Digikey and created a full Bill of Material (BOM), Feel free to contact me if you want a copy of the BOM to make your own HRTShields.
Next comes the fun part of putting the solder to the board. I printed out a large version of the EagleCAD File to lay all the appropriate parts out to the right spots on the board. Then I used Solder Paste to make this project go faster, however you could hand solder all the parts if you are comfortable with the soldering small Surface Mount components. Working through the Lists of parts that need to be attached took me about 2 hours from start to finish. Using paste, solder wick to clean up some areas the board was completed and ready for testing. Based off this information from Alexander the board can be tested to make sure it is up and working.
Next what is needed is an Arduino Board and a HART Device to test with. Digital Bond would like to ask our followers that if someone with a HART Lab or a few devices for testing purposes would like to help to see what the true capabilities of this device are. Please reach out to us if you are interested in helping us with this project.
Image by SwedishRoyalGuard