Posts Tagged ‘pcb’

Upcoming Workshop: Etch your own PCB, Saturday, March 16th.

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Sign up now using EventBrite.  Only space for 15 attendees! http://lvl1diypcb2013.eventbrite.com/

This is the Arduino you'll be etching!

This is the Arduino you’ll be etching!

Chinese New Year got you down?  Even though its easier than ever to have your own PCBs made in China, being able to roll your own is a valuable skill to have, from simple-but-large designs, to the annual 2 week hiatus in electronics manufacturing known as “Chinese New Year.”

On Saturday, March 16th, Learn how to make your own PCBs using nothing more than some copper-clad board and dangerous household chemicals!  Walk away with yet another Arduino clone!

You’ll walk in with all the knowledge you need to perform toner-transfer PCB etching using Muriatic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide. The process is described in more detail here: http://www.meatandnetworking.com/projects/toner-transfer-and-muriatic-acid-etchant-making-pcbs-at-lvl1/ Hone your soldering skills on a bare copper board, and blink an LED with the finest!

All you need for this workshop is yourself! If you want to test your Arduino, bring a laptop with the latest Arduino IDE installed.  If you already have an FTDI cable, buy the FTDI-less ticket.

Etched Circuit BoardOnce again, sign up now and sign up often! LVL1 Members get a discount! Sign up now using EventBrite.  Only space for 15 attendees! http://lvl1diypcb2013.eventbrite.com/

 

LVL1 2012 Boneyard Hackathon Recap

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A big personal thanks to everyone who came out to the 2012 LVL1 Boneyard Hackathon.  We had 9 teams consisting of 54 hackers compete for 24 hours straight, putting to the test their technical capabilities, endurance, and creativity.  We had 9 great projects, and everyone had a lot of fun!  Our youngest competitors were only 11 years old! Everyone here already looks forward to the next event.

Thanks to Jon for recording a summary of the projects at the hackathon.  I’ll upload a full video of the project showcase soon!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1maAoSg6Fdo]

Team Bloominglabs made an incredible 3 musical instruments, a mixer for them all, and a bunch of LED blinky stuff! They brought 9 hackers to bring this all together, and were a flurry of activity throughout the hackathon.

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The Raging Narwhals, a team from the Triangle Fraternity at LVL1, made a floppy drive keyboard. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite working by the end, but it was an impressive effort, and they plan to come back to finish it up. They brought a huge team, and almost all of them stayed through the night!

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The LVL1 Stonecutters managed to make a 3-D Scanner and Animated Gif Maker using the parts in the boneyard!

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Team Rainbow Unicorn built a first place trophy, so even if they failed, they would win.

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The Dirty Cheaters put together an incredibly impressive Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em robots kit, which included rack and pinion steering, and no microcontrollers.

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Destined for Failure built a looping synthesizer controlled by a PS2 mouse. Very impressive, especially consdiering this was the group’s first foray into Arduino progrmaming!

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Team Polar Bear build a laser pong game, complete with scorekeeping, 8 bit sound effects, and varying difficulty levels. Superb engineering, guys!

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The Noobs were our youngest team, and they put together a custom computer using parts from the basement, including custom LED signs.

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Finally, Bob the Bodybuilder built a very loud keypad controlled synthesizer. They even devised a means to convert sheet music to keypad tablature.

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I owe a huge thanks to everyone involved. Thanks to FoodCalc Inc. (http://www.foodcalc.com) for supplying libation for the event. Thanks to Joe L. for helping out throughout the event. Thanks to Gary F. for being a trooper, staying way later than he meant to, and helping out almost every team here. Thanks to Jose C. for taking way more crap than he deserved. Thanks to Lauren, Jynn, and Steph for acting as team breakfast, and keeping us all from starving.

Plenty more photos on the flickr stream. Peruse through, and if this interest you, come to our space! Links above and to the right will help you find us.

Toner Transfer and Muriatic Acid Etchant: Making PCBs at LVL1

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Originally posted on my personal blog, Meat and Networking.

LVL1 is great.  A place for creative and motivated people to get together and goad each-other into doing more creative things.  It’s also a great gathering place for tools, as well as knowledge.  A few months ago, the spoiled electrical engineer that I am, I never would have considered making my own PCBs.  Any project worth taking off the breadboard was worth sending to China to get made “right.”

Of course, there isn’t always time and money to send something to China.  Today’s installment is the Sumo-bot board I’m trying to put together for the Hive13 sumobot competition.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like poor Snoopy bot will make it to the ring, but the board making process itself is worth talking about.

Laying out a PCB using software like Eagle is beyond the scope of this post.  If you can follow the appropriate Sparkfun Tutorial, it’s pretty easy to pick up.  Something to note:  for single sided home-made PCBs, put all traces and surface mount components on the BOTTOM layer.  Put any necessary jumpers on the top layer.  When you’re ready to print, just turn off all the layers you don’t want turned into copper.

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Fabbing PCBs in China for Fun and Profit

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For the White Star Balloon project, one immediate need was for an extensible Main Flight Computer platform.  In order to facilitate development, a completely modular design was needed.

In three weeks, we went from this

To This

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In brief, this board uses the I2C bus to communicate with multiple slave modules and sensors in order to accomplish the task of managing our balloon’s flight.  More information can be found at our wiki.

To fabricate these PCBs, we chose Gold Phoenix, located in Hubei, China.  They offer some really incredible deals on PCB manufacturing, including $100 for a 2-layer board, 155 Square Inches, 5 day turnaround + 3 days shipping.  We chose this fabrication house since Sparkfun uses them for their own products, as well as BatchPCB services.

Much more below the break.

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LVL1 Hackerspace
814 E. Broadway
Louisville, KY