66% or better

Build a bare bones Arduino clone which maximizes its use of real estate

barebones-arduino-clone-at-home

Check out all the stuff crammed into a small swath of strip board. It’s got that characteristic look of a roll-your-own Arduino board, which is exactly what it is. [S. Erisman] shows you how to build your own copy of his YABBS; Yet Another Bare Bones Arduino (on Stripboard).

The strips of copper on the bottom of the substrate run perpendicular to the DIP chip and have been sliced in the middle. This greatly reduces the amount of jumpering that would have been necessary if using protoboard. A few wires make the necessary connections between the two tooled SIL headers that make up the chip socket. On the right hand side there a voltage regulator with smoothing caps. The left side hosts the obligatory pin 13 LED, and the crystal oscillator can be glimpsed on the far side of the ATmega328.

Pin headers along either side of the board have been altered to allow for soldering from the wrong side of the plastic frames. Note that there’s a three-pin hunk that breaks out the voltage regulator, and an ISP programming header sticking out the top to which those female jumper wires are connected.

Ringing in at as little as $2-$4.75 a piece you’ll have no problem leaving this in a project for the long hall. We can’t say the same for a $30+ brand name unit.

Hand soldering BGA parts should be a circus act

Okay, we think it’s questionable when people say they have no problem soldering QFN packages, but BGA? Granted this chip has far fewer balls on it than many, but it’s still quite impressive that [Xevel] was able to solder this BGA breakout by hand.

The chip you see above is a TMP006 infrared temperature sensor from TI. [Xevel] picked up the part but didn’t want to break the bank when prototyping by buying a proper PCB to host it. There are only eight conductors on it, arranged in a grid with 0.5mm pitch. That didn’t seem to scare him off, as the video after the break shows him connecting each to a conductor on a hunk of stripboard.

[Xevel] mentions that this is a dead-bug style project. Usually you glue the part upside down when using that technique, but it needs line of sight to get an accurate temperature reading so he first cut a hole in the substrate. We’d bet he’s using wire-wrapping wire to make the connections. It’s a very fine solid core wire which is perfect for this kind of work.

[Read more...]

Cheap and cheerful Arduino breadboard basics

For those less experienced folks looking to move their Arduino projects to more permanent installations, this is just for you! [Martyn] Posted a three part series, VeroBoardUino, over at his blog about moving your Arduino project to a soldered breadboard.

Part one kicks off with the appropriate breadboard requirements, modifications, and a simple 7805 power supply. In the guide [Martyn]  is using strip board, so copper connections will have to be broken using a drill or just by scraping with a hobby knife. Strip board also saves a bit of wire routing in the end. Part two handles the reset button, serial connection and chip socket  (Part 2.5 has also been added to include schematics of the breadboard). Finally, part three installs the crystal and connects your Atmega chip to power and ground.

Next post he will be covering more on the software end of things, burning the bootloader and uploading programs to your new board so stay tuned for updates!

Stripboard Drawdio

drawdio

When we posted about the Drawdio release, mentioned how simple the circuit was and that we wouldn’t be surprised if people adapted it. [Dylski] decided to build it using stripboard and parts he had laying around. He shows how he laid it out on paper so that it would fit on a 29×5 piece. It took some planning, but the end result is a perfectly functional as you can see in the video below. [Read more...]