PCB milling hell sunday extra

I’ve spent about 18 of the last 24 hours working on milling a PC board for my upcoming how-to. So far I’ve murdered several copper clad boards, built a hold down table, redesigned the board in eagle at least five times and snapped off a $15 half round engraving bit.

If you’re wondering, my new board milling table is a piece of MDF that I laser etched a .25″ grid onto, then added some aluminum strips to act as hold-downs. On the side of the strip opposite the board, I put thin slices of PC board to level out the hold downs. As usual, I’m building the board in eagle. To turn the board into something the mill can handle, I’m using pcb-gcode, a nice little g-code generation tool for eagle. I may switch methods later, but if I can get the settings tweaked, it’ll make my design to board milling process very fast.

[Scott] sent in the beginning of his attempt to build a frequency detector. He’s started out with just simple LCD matrix. Nothing intensely interesting just yet, but I like it when people send in stuff they’re working on.
If you haven’t checked out the Arduino yet, do it. It’s the easiest micro controller dev platform I’ve seen. If you’ve got one, now you can hook up a Wii-Nunchuck to it. If you like smaller and cheaper, check out [ladyada]‘s boarduino.

[eliot] wanted me to mention this video on hacking drive through speakers. It’s a bit cheesy – and all I could think of was Thunder Run – where the geek character swapped the crystals in the CB radios. (Warning, The FCC might have some expensive words for you if you get caught.) Update: this is what you get if you don’t watch the entire video and catch the joke about taking apart toasters.

Tomorrow I should be picking out some winners for my laser etched laptop (or whatever) offer. You can still win some free etching time! Just send in a tip! The winners are selected from the ones that get published on Hack-A-Day.