So you think you’re pretty good at soldering really tiny parts onto a PCB? You’re probably not as good as [Shibata] who made a GPS/GLONASS and Geiger counter mashup deadbug-style with tiny 0402-sized parts.
The device uses an extremely small GPS/GLONASS receiver, an AVR ATxmega128D3 microcontroller, a standard Nokia phone display and an interesting Geiger tube with a mica window to track its location and the current level of radiation. The idea behind this project isn’t really that remarkable; the astonishing thing is the way this project is put together. It’s held together with either skill or prayer, with tiny bits of magnet wire replacing what would normally be PCB traces, and individual components making up the entire circuit.
While there isn’t much detail on what’s actually going on in this mess of solder, hot glue, and wire, the circuit is certainly interesting. Somehow, [Shibata] is generating the high voltage for the Geiger tube and has come up with a really great way of displaying all the relevant information on the display. It’s a great project that approaches masterpiece territory with some crazy soldering skills.
Thanks [Danny] for sending this one in.
38 thoughts on “A Deadbugged GPS/GLONASS/Geiger Counter”
The amazing is not the circuit, but the fact that he is using a soldering iron I woudln’t even dare to touch for work…
I’m speechless… XD
Not to mention that there is no microscope in view. This is definitely a feat best performed by younger eyes than my own.
Could be a head mounted magnifier, although even then it’d be impressive
Even if this is 2 1/2 years old and could be a complete put-up job, I’m still in awe of his soldering and parts handling skills.
Get out of here, Stalker!
Looks like it would be astoundingly useful in the Zone.
He did this with that giant club sized soldering iron? wow.
It may look big, but keep in mind that is a qfn package and hair-thin wires you’re comparing it to ;-)
I love that random shot of he playing guitar
Yeah. The first 3/4 of the video you think it’s just some generic background music. Then it fades to himself showing it was him playing the whole time, then fades back without explicit acknowledgement. Smooth.
Steady hand, eagle eyes (no microscope used!), soldering iron with too big tip…
He must have played guitar to relax more often than what we see in the video….
That’s just amazing. Things like this make me proud to be Russian, since people building stuff like this and with techniques like that are part of our technical folklore =)
This remind me of a funny comment from a reportage from german television: “But we are in Russia and people know how to find a way.”
BTW, did you make some progress with your payphone project? Thank you for posting this on your blog, I didn’t know about the existence of DAA interface modules, very usefull stuff!
(I hope my english is comprehensible…)
Amazing work, but why doesn’t he use tape to hold down things at times? Just a tiny piece of double sided tape to hold down the mcu would save a lot of time!
No tape in Russia, only glue from horse bones.
In post-Soviet Russia, MCU tapes YOU.
I asked my manager to buy pick&place machine and reflow oven for prototyping but this video make me think again…’do I need them?’ Anyway, I just wish my manager doesn’t have a chance to see that.
Near Moscow coordinates
I’ve worked with SMD boards troubleshooting and prototipying, and can say he is not doing anything amazingly incredible or difficult!. What he did well was thing about the circuit layout and the work-arounds.
That is my opinion. I work with prototypes and finished modifications daily on similar chips .
fukin russians … what cant they do?
Balance their economy? Not kill and rape their neighbors?
Imagine lifting a pad halfway through! I once soldered dead bug style one BGA chip, 0.8mm pitch, 100 balls. Got the device working for about 30 seconds, until the CLK pad decided it was too much. Obviously, it was the only clock input.
Anyway, crazy and awesome build.
“Dead bug”, “Ugly” (another term I’ve heard used to describe this building style) or whatever you want to call it, that is some incredible work. I don’t think I personally would even try this, though I’m not afraid to try soldering surface mount components for projects.
Do anyone know a place where to buy parts to build custom transformers, like the ones used in the video? I’ve searched Digi-key long ago but it seemed not to have them, or I could not find them
They don’t have a lot of choices, but they are there. You just need the right keywords.
There are Magnetic Cores and bobbins under “Magnetics – Transformer, Inductor Components” in their catalog.
I have done some of my own winding/rewinding of unshielded inductors e.g. DO3316 from Coilcraft. Count the turns as you unwind them and then calculate the # of turns that the needed inductance. etc. Made myself some small transformer for isolated supplies that way – one is running my cordless phone.
Thanks, it looks like they were just well hidden in the catalog.
I thought everyone could do this.
Steady hands people, good eye’s.
No problem. I do soldering like that a lot. So sorry yeah I could pull it of.
Nice bit of work there but sorry to say. Your not the only one who can do soldering like that.
That is at the same time the ugliest and yet most awesome piece of work I’ve seen in a long time. Hats off to you.
:) good work!
You can make GPS/GLONASS and Geiger counter mashup… but you can’t make screen capture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vde7rrYLbo
Nothing like it was absolutely necessary. It also served like some kind of a proof it actually worked for those people that’d be reluctant to believe this mess of wires works, I guess there are people like that =)
Ahh, I wish I still had my dead bug LGA-16 LIS331DLH accelerometer I ripped out of an iPod with a heat gun and cobbled it together with MultiWii. I now know how a wire bonding machine feels.
I’ve seen it, but I still can’t believe it. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin of a QFN?
“Dead bug” could imply you’re dead if there’s a bug in your design/implementation as it looks a bit hard to de”bug” it later.
Perfect package for a Pico-Balloon…
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