Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Milled PCB Gallery

This is just going to be a gallery post: some pictures and captions. It's finals weeks, so I've got studying to do, but I've really been wanting to most some pictures of boards I've made. I'm on my third 1/64 inch end mill (they're very fragile), but every other part of the hardware is working great! So here are the pictures -

This is a PCB I designed on Eagle. It's supposed to
be like a tiny synthesizer

A nice close-up of the TQFP ATMega328 and
other components

Same-ish picture, different angle

The 'Fabio' board from It's a nice,
completely SMD Arduino dev board. Soldering soon

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dangerous Prototypes Free PCB Build

EDIT: DP put my post on their site! I got a nice email from Lynn with a new PCB code and the board is on its way!

So some time ago I entered on of Dangerous Prototypes' free PCB contests. I left my name in a comment box and then, on my first try, they sent me a code! How nice of them. With the code, I went into their PCB Drawer and found this USB IR shield. I gave them my code back and they sent me the PCB. It came all the way from the Netherlands and had a neat stamp and a nice Dangerous Prototypes business card. If you have five minutes on a Sunday, maybe you should comment on the free PCB post. What's especially cool is that if you populate the PCB they send you, they'll give you another code to get another board.
    This is what it looked like when it arrived -

Taken from the DP site

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CNC Update

Finally got a video of my machine in action put together! The whole job takes something like fifteen minutes so I cut it down to about three. By the way, the GCode for this was generated with image-to-gcode, which ships with EMC2. It's inefficient, really. If your circuit has traces, it will mill away everything except the traces. I prefer, the MIT program. It only isolates the traces, making the milling much faster. So here's the video -

    Sorry for the poor angle... Anyway, I'll get some more pictures and videos up to show the results. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

CNC - Part 2

EDIT: Some new pictures of fresh PCBs can be found here. END EDIT

My last post talked about the CNC machine I built. This time, I have some pictures, and a little information I gained since last time. This will mostly be a gallery post.

This is the design mine was based off of

This is how it came out (pretty different)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CNC Machine

I haven't posted anything very recently, mostly because I've been busy with a big project. I was building a CNC machine, and just finished it last night! It been quite a while working on it. It started at Christmas - my parents got me all the necessary parts I didn't have - basically some leadscrews and nuts. Just in case you're wondering, I mostly followed the Mantis 9 plans from (which I think was made by some MIT students). It looks like this - 

Mantis 9

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's a Christmas Miracle - Cheerlights for ENC28J60!

Just in Time!
     Okay, this will just be short, as I have holiday stuff to do soon! In case you have not heard about Cheerlights, here's a brief description: Cheerlights is a network of microcontrollers controlling colored lights based on social networking. The original Cheerlights used GE Color 50 lights, a string of addressable RGB LEDs and an ioBridge.
     Having none of this, but really wanting to participate, I downloaded the Arduino code. It, however, uses the Arduino Ethernet library, which didn't work with my ENC28J60 ethernet module (article coming soon). So basically I compiled this code together from the Cheerlights example and the example code from the Ethercard library. Huge thanks to everyone who worked on both of those, they are both awesome ideas. Also, I used an RGB LED from my local Radioshack. It's common anode.

My pseudo-Cheerlight setup taking its rightful place
next to the DVD player and [TiVo]

Friday, October 7, 2011

74xx Update

This post is just an update of what I've been doing with the 4000 series rocket launcher. I also thought that in the spirit of OSHW, I should try to upload as many files as I could. So first off, here is the PCB layout, ready for toner transfer. Here is the corresponding Fritzing file (Note: I really prefer Fritzing to Eagle, but I only use the PCB section, not the breadboard or schematic). As for the second part of the launcher, the actual seven-segment countdown, here is the PCB PDF and the Fritzing file in case you want to change anything. I recently found out about a new kind of etching process (which involves a sponge and much less time) so etching pictures should be up soon. If you've been looking at Dangerous Prototypes recently, there are some incredible circuits made of these chips, but I'm hoping this will get a "Not Over the Top" award or something. Check in soon for etching instructions!

Unfortunately, just a few hours before the deadline for the competition, my last part of the circuit failed. I attempted to solder the last 4017 directly to the PCB without a socket, but it burned out or something because the the circuit failed to work. Too bad. Hopefully they have another competition!

Also, I have been very pressed for time recently. I should have a lot more time now, so hopefully some post will come out.