This hack is a very simple debug card for the Battery Backup Unit. It powers the unit once connected to a 12 volt power supply, and provides flashing LED's to the output signals of the unit. This provides instant visualization to the problems with the BBU. While it would take manual diagnostics to determine issues, the cost of the device would be significantly lower than a smart system with a micro controller, and it would be much easier to operate. For added functionality we included an output header. This could be used in the future to connect to a microcontroller if a more automated method had to be deployed.
Read more about the design decisions on the blog post about the hack
A video we created at 4 am showing the debug card's functionality
To simply build this, you will need:
9x LEDs9x 220[Ohm] Resistor<
>Some wire for breadboarding<
>1x 12V Source.<
>1x 5V Source (using a regular PC PSU gets you both 5V and 12V lines)
Step 1: Use the breadboarding wire to place sense wires coming from the BBU signals (as per the spec.) to the breadboard. Place one wire per channel
Step 2: Following the Upverter schematics, put a 220 Ohm resistor between the 5V line and the BBU sense line, and then a LED in series with that to ground.
Step 3: Use the 12V supply to power up the 12V+ and 12V- pins.
Step 4: Upon turning the 12V PSU on, the signal LEDs should light up to show the BBU status.
- OCP Hackathon Winner: The Codeless Hack by OpenCompute Project on 2014-03-14
The biggest step forward is to use this debug card in association with an IC that can mimic the PSU signals, so that upon receiving a BBU unit, the debug card and IC can do a very quick check for you (with the LED bar graph as a visual aid) to verify that the unit was received OK.
This is a necessary step for data centre techs to do before installing the battery, and for lab techs to do before verifying a BBU build.