Testing Board Designs with OSH Park #OSHPark #PCBfab

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So I created this little project to have a board that disassembled and could be soldered together to create a solid 10-6 pin ISP converter. Knowing this was a probably not going to work, I sent my design to OSHpark to test the limitations. Pictured above is start to finish of what I wanted and what I received.

In doing this I was able to determine a couple things many of which I’m sure are a no brainer to those experienced individuals. Never the less I hope it proves useful to the less experienced.

  • Carefully consider the size of drill tooling when designing your board. You’ll notice I was trying to get small gaps that were too small.
  • Also with tooling size into consideration, you will not be able to get squared off edges notched into your board. Drill bits are round and will make rounded notches on your board.
  • If you want to do something super fancy like soldering pieces of pcb together using pads at the edges of the board. Make sure the pads are big enough to get a good solid connection with both boards. Also consider the minimum distance from the edge of the board, half your pad could be drilled off.
  • Use silk screens to indicate the orientation of your connector. I found it somewhat difficult to determine how my connectors are oriented because I left this feature out. Especially when I tried using the connector another way.

I still think it was a cool idea, but when I began separating the parts and putting it together I realized it may have been an over engineered product. It would’ve been easier to leave it flat and use angled headers to make the connection.

New Project: DIY air-conditioning unit #Instructables


This was a common project that I originally found on Instructables. When I finally put it together the results weren’t quite what I wanted so I’m adding a little bit of an electronics spin to it. I’ve picked up some peltiers’ and heat sinks off Ebay for a good deal and will be developing a control unit for this project that I can hopefully control from the internet. This project page will be updated as I progress through this project. This is an open source project, of course, and all project files will be made available to you. Enjoy.

Circuit Design: Autodesk 123D Circuits #Autodesk #123D

123D Circuits is a revolutionary free tool for designing your electronic projects online. You can design in a familiar breadboard view and the app will guide you to make professional printed circuit boards with built in layout tools. When you’re done just click to have your boards professionally manufactured and shipped for free worldwide.

What’s also cool is how you can easily, simultaneously work on the same circuit with your friends. And at any point you can compile and emulate your Arduino code inside a live, editable circuit!

Free Samples: CC3000MOD #CC3000

IMG_9214Just received my free sample of the CC3000 exclusively from Texas Instruments. So thank you TI for generously allowing me to experiment with your chip.

This little chip is a low cost ($10.00) self contained wifi processor. It does a majority of the heavy lifting so your microcontroller can worry more about working other parts of the circuit, than processing wifi signals.

Recently there has a been an increase of popularity with this module and the Arduino. Adafruit has created their own prototyping Arduino shield ($39.95) and breakout board ($34.95) using the CC3000, with promises of an Arduino friendly library in the near future. Aside from Adafruits promises, a motivated individual has ported TI’s MSP430 CC3000 library to the Arduino.

I have thought of some uses for this little device, such as a prototype board or even a wifi controlled relay board for home automation, but I figured it would be a great opportunity to get some other ideas from this sites followers. I am aware that a larger majority of viewers are foreign, but I would encourage a response from you as well.

DipTrace Tutorial: Design for OSHpark.com #DipTrace #OSHpark

DipTrace Featured_OSHPark

As promised. This is a detailed tutorial guiding you through the process of setting up your design files in DipTrace and exporting your files to formats accepted by OSH Park. Enjoy.

DipTrace: Design your PCB for OSHPark.com

DIY Solder Mask for your homemade PCBs #DIY #Soldermask

I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Enjoy.

This Instructable is about dry film solder mask, in other words, is the green stuff that is on top of the circuit board.
I like to use smd components in my circuits board because I don’t have a computerized drill machine and do in it by hand for a big
boards are really tedious.

Soldering smd components in a copper board without dry solder mask, especially for those little capacitors and resistor of 402 in size, becomes a tough challenge and of course those micro controllers with almost zero space between pins.

Read more here

Photodiode Gamma Ray Detector

Gamma photons interacting with cheap photodiodes produce small current pulses which are easily amplified and allow detection of individual photon events. This offers the possibility of cheap, small and rugged radiation detectors of reasonable sensitivity. While not as sensitive as larger GM-tube detectors, this solid state device is still quite useful for determining if something is radioactive enough to be interesting/concerning…..Read More