DIN-Uino anyone? Industrial packaging!

The Arduino world offers a ton of H/W options and excellent S/W.
Making a real industrial project out of it... not so easy.

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I design & build custom industrial-control products, mainly for the printing/converting industry. Some of these projects would have likely been quicker/better/cheaper overall if I could have leveraged Arduino-compatible products & S/W, but packaging them into something neat, clean, stable and reproducible (and 24VDC-power compatible) has always been a hurdle.

That's where DIN-Uino comes in. I have a particular "DIN mounted" form-factor that I've used for 25yrs+, and many are still operating today (any 87C196KD20 fans out there?)! Clients continue to ask for enhancement and upgrades - all of which of course have to fit into existing spaces and wiring plans.

Can DIN-mounting of Arduino-compatible products be implemented other ways? Definitely YES! There are several existing solutions, However, they didn't offer the flexibility I wanted, nor the form-factor I needed.

System overview:

The "DIN-rail system" rendering (pic) shows a range of DIN-mounted products.

As you can see, some of them are my existing industrial-control modules, both enclosed and open-frame.

Next to them you can see an example DIN-Uino module, equipped with a carrier-board (w/Phoenix-style pluggable headers) and an Arduino Mega2560 mounted underneath.

DIN-Uino Carrier-board Overview:

Due to the way the standard headers on Arduinos are arranged, and that most Arduino-shields plug into the TOP of a CPU module... I designed my carrier board to act as an "interposer", so that the CPU mounts underneath it. ALL signals are passed up through M/F headers. You can then stack one or more standard Arduino shields.

The carrier board serves a few purposes:

1) On-board +24V to +5V (or 3.3V) voltage regulator. Input terminals = 2-pin Phoenix 3.81mm connector.

2) Space for your custom I/O circuitry, which you will likely need between the TTL-GPIO pins on the Arduino and the external 24V industrial-signal world.

3) Mounting holes which obviously match up the DIN-Uino mounting plate.

DIN-Uino "Proto1" board:

This version of this carrier board, as shown, is merely a field of 0.1" holes, some power/GND rails, the Arduino shield header area, and of course the 24V/5V(3.3V) voltage regulator.

The Arduino-shield header footprint is compatible with standard "UNO" pinout, and of course the larger MEGA2560 (and similar) extended pinout.

DIN-Uino "Proto2" board (future):

Compatibility with the ST-Microelectronics "Nucleo" boards. Similar to a MEGA2560, but more... and you'll be able to play with a number their Cortex-ARM platforms (180MHz, or even faster?).

For my specific industrial applications, I'm really considering the "Nucleo-F4129ZI" board, a 180MHz Cortex-M4 micro. I'm currently using an NXP LPC1769 (120MHz), but that'll be running out of steam soon for my projects. 

*** My first project-follower helped me discover that the Teensy 3.6 also has a 180MHz Cortex-M4 on it... and is a much smaller module overall. Certainly worthy of consideration! ***

Custom DIN-Uino carrier boards:

For higher-volume applications (in my world, 10 units = higher volume), it might make sense to have a custom carrier board that integrates all the application-specific circuitry (opto's, SSR's, etc.) rather than hand-wire each one. I'm sure once I work out my first Nucleo design, I'll be immediately make a custom board - I don't want to hand-wire more than 1 prototype!

DIN-Uino Mounting Plate:

* Base-plate can be used for open-frame project, but it is designed to accept a cover so you can create a fully-enclosed project.

* Intended primarily for projects that use the DIN-Uino carrier board.

* Can also be used with Arduino-compatible hardware alone. In this case, the Arduino "CPU" module would mount directly to the base-plate. There are numerous holes that allow you to mount the "CPU" either face-up or face-down. Use standard M3 (or #4-40) hardware/spacers/etc.

* 1/16" thick aluminum.

* Features a mounting-foot: After clipping your module to a DIN-rail, this foot allows you to firmly affix (and ground!) your module to the mounting plate.

* DIN-rail clip: Metal, spring-loaded. Standard catalog item from Hammond Mfg. This clip does NOT need a tool, just push down swing away from the DIN-rail. Remove the mounting-foot screw first of course - if you're using that feature.

If anyone is interested in the "DIN-Uino" concept, shoot me a message - I'm sure we can work something out.

  • DIN-Uino Progress...

    kbdhog08/24/2017 at 17:29 0 comments


    I worked out all the details for making a 1.5x width enclosure (63mm), compared to the standard 42mm width. The DIN-Uino baseplate is the same, only the cover and side-plates change. See below:

    This 63mm wide enclosure should have enough volume to contain most anything you would need to implement, though I know some application will come up that desperately needs a 64mm wide box! Murphy!


    I worked out all the enclosure details so that the base-plate can be fully enclosed. Due to the potential for connectors poking out from 3 sides, I've designed the worst-case 4-piece enclosure:

    Of course, if you have no connectors coming out the top or bottom sides, then those sides CAN become flaps attached to the cover. Less parts, less screws, less cost!

    Note that when this cover design (as shown) is attached, the module thickness remains at the standard 42mm. Everything must fit inside that envelope. However, if you have a configuration of Arduino modules and other internal hardware that makes a taller cover necessary - no problem. It can be easily accommodated (within reason) by making just the cover taller. You still have a 42mm-wide DIN-rail clip, so watch out for cantilevered-load issues. The mounting foot should help enough, in most cases.

    In my experience, many, but not all, industrial applications require a fully-enclosed module (mainly to keep out curious fingers, and for safety too). Customers buying $100K equipment upgrades often have a strong preference for neatness too.

    Generally, if I'm packaging my system into a standalone "box" (think suitcase-sized), then open-frame modules are usually acceptable. In these cases I would only use the DIN-Uino baseplate.


    DIN-Uino Proto1 board has been designed and sent off to ""!

    This was designed as a 4-layer board, mainly because it eliminates the need to have fat +V/GND tracks all over the PCB eating up space for holes. It also really not much more expensive than a 2-layer board.

    Metal: I've had the DIN-Uino mounting plate quoted at a very competitive local shop. Haven't pulled the trigger yet - but everything is in place.

    DIN-clip: This is a standard Hammond-Mfg product. A spring-loaded metal clip for DIN-rail mounting. One feature I really like is that you don't need a tool or anything at all to un-clip from the DIN-rail. So far, all the plastic DIN-rail clips I've found really need a screwdriver to un-latch them, and with the size/shape of my enclosure, there's no way for any tool-access to that clip.

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