Category Archives: PCB

Smallest Arduino with Bluetooth LE and IMU

Femto-ize it! There’s no gender bias with the Femtoduino; it’s just a really small Arduino Leonardo clone.

Ho-hum, another clone you say? Not so. The Femtoduino packs on board Bluetooth (BLE), accelerometer, altimeter and a USB port into a 34.54 mm (1.36 inches) wide PCB. At USD $75.00 a pop, it’s obviously more than the price of an Arduino. Or any super-powered MPU, for that matter.  But with this kind of form factor, there’s no excuse for big ugly prototypes.

Smallest Arduino with Bluetooth LE + IMU – YouTube.

Smallest Arduino with Bluetooth LE + IMU – YouTube.

VoCore, The Tiny Internet Of Things Thing

An Indiegogo wifi-enabled IoT pearl:

With tiny Linux boards popping up like dandelions, it was only a matter of time before someone came out with a really tiny Linux board. This is it:  a tiny board less than an inch on each side with an 802.11n System on Chip running OpenWrt on Linux. The best part? You can pick one up for $20 USD.

20140519155058-vocore

VoCore, The Tiny Internet Of Things Thing.

MotherBone™PiOne™ by APlus Mobile, Inc. — Kickstarter

MotherBone™PiOne™ by APlus Mobile, Inc. — Kickstarter.

Breadboards & Perfboards for the Noob

If you’re at the early Maker stage, understanding the fundamentals of prototyping can be daunting. AdaFruit’s Collin Cunningham delivers a quick (5-min) — and quirky — intro for taking your design from a flat schematic to the next steps of breadboarding, then semi-permanent protoboard.

via AdaFruit: Collin’s Lab: Breadboards & Perfboards – YouTube.

Paste Press Solder Paste Dispenser

solder dispenser

Easy to use Paste Press solder dispenser from Pieco.

It’s Cake Boss meets the world of DIY Printed Circuit Boards.

Pieco’s “Paste Press” solder paste dispenser makes applying all the super-fiddly solder bits onto your custom PCBs far simpler and less sploogy. The design from  NYC-based Pieco feels solid to the grip and dramatically reduced production time on my current Arduino knock-off PCB. More tasty tools like this, please!

Cut It Yourself Sensors

futurescope:

UIST 2013 – A Cuttable Multi-touch Sensor

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We propose cutting as a novel paradigm for ad-hoc customization of printed electronic components. As a first instantiation, we contribute a printed capacitive multi-touch sensor, which can be cut by the end-user to modify its size and shape. This very direct manipulation allows the end-user to easily make real-world objects and surfaces touch-interactive, to augment physical prototypes and to enhance paper craft. We contribute a set of technical principles for the design of printable circuitry that makes the sensor more robust against cuts, damages and removed areas. This includes novel physical topologies and printed forward error correction. A technical evaluation compares different topologies and shows that the sensor remains functional when cut to a different shape.

Simon Olberding, Nan-Wei Gong, John Tiab, Joseph A. Paradiso, Jürgen Steimle. A Cuttable Multi-touch Sensor. Proceedings of UIST’13.

Any surface can be transformed with a new sensor film into a touch screen. The film can be cut with scissors without losing its function.

[project page] [paper]

DIYing a custom ‘duino version 1.0

Maybe it’s more a beta than a true 1.0… But it works! 

Our first stab at creating a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) from scratch was a thrill, especially because it DOES something. It does anything an Arduino Due can do, to be more precise, since the board’s a close clone. Up at Haythem Elawary’s excellent Zahn Center incubator lab @ CCNY, Manhattan maker Jonathan Hirschman led a small group of PCB designer newbs. It was soup-to-nuts across two (very long) classes: from building the schematic based on a raw Bill of Materials to doing the copper pour via DipTrace, with final design layout shipped off to Osh Park for milling.

The PCBs came back all squeaky and ready for solder. Despite the loss of a few diodes after an ill-timed sneeze, we got everything pasted and baked. The ultimate test? Does it really work, starting with that “Hello World”-ish chestnut, the LED blink? And…

It blinked! 

image

Hudsonhardwear “HudsonDuino” PCB v1.0

So it’s now a reality: bona fide DIY PCB and a working Arduino clone for just a few bucks. Next stop: smaller, leaner version designed with only required components for our wireless, rugged webcam.