New General Purpose Programmable Effects Board


It’s been a while since I last documented any electronic developments and products for Wild House Models so I thought that maybe the time was right to break cover.  It seems that the Stasis Pod electronic kit has been selling well, I understand, and the lighting kit for the Medical Console is all done and dusted and will be on sale shortly when the Medical Console itself is released.

It was while working on the design for the Medical Console electronics that I started thinking about the fact that both the Stasis Pod and the Medical Console electronics had been very much designed with the end product in mind and only the end product. In other words, each design was very specific, regarding size, shape and function. We at Wild House Models realised that whilst this was fine for the models so far produced, when considering the lighting of future models (at the time we had the Hover Bike firmly in mind), it would be preferable if we (for we, read me!), could come up with a new design that was more flexible and could be used in more than one model. The announcement of the new warship added more impetus to the idea, so it was time for me to don thinking cap and stock up on coffee!

PCB TopMy brief, on the face of it, was quite simple – just produce an electronics kit that could do anything, need no special connectors, be the size of a postage stamp, cost next to nothing and be able to be sold separately as a standalone product. How difficult could it be? Yeah – right! Anyway, long story short and all that, I had actually recently been looking at a particular microprocessor chip for quite a while. The chip I was considering would certainly have the power I was looking for, but information on the chip was not easily come by at first. Eventually, persistence prevailed (Google is your friend), and after contacting several companies and individuals, I had sufficient information to make a start.

I won’t go into too much detail, as I’m sure you’re all already bored stiff, but what has emerged from all the blood, sweat and tears (not counting the ripe language), is a final design that has received the Wild House Model’s seal of approval and has gone into production.

eagleUp_841Conn_board_topThe design is 12 volt dc powered and has eight outputs, of which six are analogue and two are digital, and three inputs. The outputs are all rated at 0.5 amps (thats around 25 LEDs each) and the inputs can be switches, sensors etc. The design is such that if more outputs are required, multiple boards can be chained together and communicate with each other. The board has quite a small footprint, just 1.7″ inches long by 1.14″ inches wide and is 0.39″ inches high or 43mm x 29mm x 10mm tall! The physical size of the board has been dictated by the size of screw connectors available since I had decided to use screw connectors to keep the connections between boards and components as simple and as generic as possible for you the modeller.


The board will be programmed for its required usage by Wild House Models and hence will be not only be able to provide lighting and effects for the new range of kits produced by Wild House Models, but will also be able to be programmed to provide lighting and effects for – well, you name it!

The intention will be that you tell us what you want it to do, and we make it do it for you (within reason – it can’t have complete control of a nuclear power station for example…..or can it?!) If you need the function of the board changed for whatever reason, we will be able to reprogram it for you to meet your needs. Thanks to modern technology, and a faster computer, I have produced some rendered 3D images of the new board shown here but as soon as the first production boards arrive, we’ll show you the real thing.



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