Magnetometer: Constructing the Bill of Materials

An Excel spreadsheet showing details of some components for SpaceSoc's magnetometer
Part of the Bill of Materials for the Pi HAT of the SpaceSoc magnetometer

SY0-401 We are currently putting together the Bill of Materials (BoM) for the Raspberry Pi Hardware Attached on Top (HAT) board for the SpaceSoc magnetometer. The HAT will have an analogue to digital converter (ADC) that converts the analogue data from the fluxgate sensors into a digital stream that can be interpreted by the Raspberry Pi.

The BoM is based on that provided by Steve Marple in his Github repository for the HAT. It provides a list of all the components that will be required, along with order codes so they can be bought from Farnell, or other suppliers where necessary. Once the BoM has been completed, it can be passed to the engineering faculty’s finance office for the order to be placed.

When the components arrive a few days later, we can start soldering them to the HAT printed circuit board (PCB). Most of the components are of the surface mount device (SMD) type, which makes them trickier to solder than their plated through hole (PTH) counterparts. Relatively large 1206 components have been used though, which should make them fairly easy to solder. 1206 refers to the length and width of the components’ packages in hundredths of an inch: these components are 0.12″ long and 0.06″ 101-400 wide. The ADC HAT is part of the wider magnetometer design, which will see three fluxgate magnetometers used to measure the Earth’s magnetic field in three different axes. The data from the sensors will be passed to a Raspberry Pi computer through the ADC HAT, where they will be interpreted and ultimately uploaded to the AuroraWatchUK website for plotting and feeding into their aurora alert system.

We look forward to sending off our first parts order for the magnetometer so we can start assembling this very interesting and cutting edge piece of kit! We’ll be posting more on this blog as the project continues.

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