My New PCB


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  1. #1
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
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    Default My New PCB

    Just though I would share my new PCB here as there is nobody in my house who shows the slightest interest.



    It was from Maker Studio who I have used quite a bit, I've not really noticed much difference in quality between all the Chinese board manufactures but Maker Studio let you choose different colour boards for no extra cost and their $9.99 price covers up to 10x10cm. Shipping was quicker than normal this time and it arrived 2 weeks after ordering, usually the shipping alone takes this long with a week to make it.

    I was Planning to use a PIC24FJ256GA704 on this project as Les has just added support but I haven't got around to ordering one yet as I didn't expect the board for another week.

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  • #2
    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    What is the project out of curiosity? It looks sharp.

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  • #3
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Hi Norm

    It has several uses, originally it was to monitor the voltage on a car battery on a car that doesn't get used a lot but I also want to use it as a bike alarm as both a transmitter and receiver. It has an accelerometer on it and I want to know if someone is fiddling with my bike lock when I pop into a shop or maybe even a pub!

    It can run off two AAA cells and also has a MAX16910, an automotive regulator with a low quiescent current which can take up to 30V, it has a few other bits on the board, as much as I could cram in! and some inputs and outputs so I can see a few uses for it.

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    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Very nice layout
    Tim

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    Prolific Poster John Drew's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Great work Simon. Which package did you use to design the board? I'm still in the land of leaded components. Soldering hand is not steady and have to hit the joint as the iron goes past. The trick is to have the solder and the tip and the joint in the same place at the same time 😦
    John

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    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Thanks Tim and John and so much better than my wife saying it looks nice.

    The layout was done using Diptrace.

    It's my eyesight that slows me down, I used to do most things with a magnifier but now I seem to mostly use the Microscope. Coupled with that I need glasses for almost everything but have to take them off to use the microscope so I'm constantly taking them off and putting them on. One day I would like to get one of those Vision Engineering magnifiers but I'll need to save up for that!

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    Prolific Poster charliecoultas's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    It is very satisfying when a project comes to this stage, your board looks great. It's at this stage that I usually find a blunder, a track in the wrong place, the wrong pin connected somewhere. I am currently designing using valves (vacuum tubes) so when I make a mistake, it is easy to correct. Nice work Simon!

    Charlie

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    Prolific Poster johngb's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Oh valves... I served most of my apprenticeship in the development Lab at Telequipment, eventually taken over by Tectronix. To our credit, Tectronix used our scopes on their production and test lines. In those days it was all valves, the only semiconductors were rectifier diodes and they were pretty rare.

    We used to get Tectronix scopes into the lab to have a poke around in them and see if there was anything we might learn from them. In those days everything was hand wired. In Telequipment's case much of it was point to point wiring with components strung between the pins on valve sockets with the occasional tag board where essential, always looked a bit untidy. By contrast, the Tectronix scopes had all the discrete components lined up on tag boards with beautifully dressed wiring with right angle bends and really complicated metalwork providing shielding. Little wonder they were 3 times the price of our products.

    Our very first scope to have a printed circuit was the S32 (I think) but there was still a host of wiring coming off it. That's the end of the nostalgia.

    Yes its a very nice board, and as charlie says hope there aren't any tracking errors. I have rarely got a board right 1st time round, sometimes it was a tracking error but more frequently I would find physical issues with components fitting.
    JohnB

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    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJA View Post
    ...The layout was done using Diptrace...
    I use DipTrace as well.

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    Fanatical Contributor Tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Aesthetics is important to me. I can spend 2 x as long on a PCB just moving tracks, ensuring the ground plain covers every mm. So I did look close at the board and it matches my style, hence my views..

    I agree with John on never getting a PCB right first time. I never do and count on at least the 3rd being the first saleable version.
    Tim

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    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Thanks for the nice comments about the board, it's much appreciated and definitely a better reaction than I usually get showing it to my family!

    The board is actually a second version and I'd agree with 3 to get it right. I have already spotted that I've forgotten to connect the accelerometer interrupts which I did have connected on the first board ,luckily I will probably not use them in the end so not a huge disaster. I squeezed in quite a bit of extra stuff for the second version while also making the board smaller and changed quite a bit so there could be more errors.

    I've populated the board and will test it later, I couldn't wait for the 24FJ256GA704 so used a 24FJ64GA004 for now.

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    Prolific Poster normnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJA View Post
    Thanks for the nice comments about the board, it's much appreciated and definitely a better reaction than I usually get showing it to my family!..
    I've found electronics and programming are rarely conversation material with most people. Its cool that forums like this one can reach around the world where like minds can relate.

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    Prolific Poster shantanu@india's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Hi,
    Nice layout indeed & best wishes for a smooth testing phase.
    Feeling nostalgic for those times when I used to do my own PCB artwork........the non-computer era PCB design with the inch size graph sheet+pencil+tape.....then came Express PCB....now it is DesignSpark which I have out sourced to a designer who does it for me.
    Shantanu

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  • #14
    Prolific Poster charliecoultas's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Talking about scopes: this old fella will be in our ERNIE demonstration.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Cossor Scope.JPG
Views:	18
Size:	77.2 KB
ID:	3213

    Charlie

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  • #15
    Senior Member SimonJA's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New PCB

    Just thought I would update on progress, I had quite a busy week so didn't get too much time to test the board.

    When I first powered it up it didn't work, the i2c comms were not working and further testing showed that even toggling the output pins didn't work. The only place that there could be a problem was under the accelerometer chip which is only 2x2mm DFN package with 10 pins on a 0.4mm pitch hidden under the chip.

    I decided to remove the chip and found the problem mediately, I mentioned that I had forgotten to connect the two interrupt pins on the chip so these were unconnected pads, bits of copper about a 0.5 x 0.25mm and these had detached themselves and just floated off with the solder and gone where they shouldn't.

    I put a new chip on with the unconnected pads removed and everything worked as expected, so you could call that a partial success.


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