TinyG Wiring System for LitePlacer

As part of my LitePlacer pick and place machine build, the wiring was more familiar than the mechanical assembly but still pretty complex. To simplify things, and to decouple the TinyG from the machine, I created a set of PCBs to handle the wiring and host stuff like MOSFET switches and jumpers to select between…

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Real world Kicad project postmortem and more tips

As a follow-up to my intro/tutorial, I’ll go over a few more lessons learned using Kicad including some tips that should be of help to anyone embarking on a similar journey. The power module project was selected for a first adventure using Kicad as it was relatively small while being non-trivial.  The circuit holds around…

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Kicad: Techniques, Tips and Work-arounds

Kicad is an cross-platform, open source, electronics design suite.  I’d toyed with it in the past, but had never made it to actually designing real projects with it until recently.  Here, I’ll go over my experience and initial impressions, and provide a few pointers and resources for anyone curious about trying it out.  We’ll tour…

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Rick and Morty Portal Gun: Design, Implementation and Assembly
Rick & Morty Portal Gun

I love Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty so, for Halloween this year, I created my own version of Rick Sanchez’ Portal Gun–including a 3d-printed enclosure, printed circuit board, negative energy density tube/crystal thingy, wave file player and laser. Here, I’ll go over the design and construction, as well as a few lessons learned along the…

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BLE112 In-system Programmer

I do a lot of work with bluetooth low energy (BLE or bluetooth v4.0) and have a few different BLE modules I’ll turn to, but often end up using the Bluegiga BLE112 (as evidenced by my DIY BLE112 breakout).  It’s a great chip but one thing that can get annoying is programming the thing. Whether…

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The Handicraft Router

This is a quick post to share a technique I recently invented (or, more likely, re-invented) that can be of great help when you’re trying to layout a circuit but are overloaded by possibilities: the handicraft router. In this specific case, I was trying to get the outputs from a bunch of digital potentiometers to…

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Rectifier/Voltage Regulator module: post-mortem

Needing a modular power supply that could handle a few amps and both AC and DC input, I recently designed a circuit to perform the task.  Here I’ll go over the main points and a few lessons learned.

No Ferric Chloride? No problem: Home-made etchant to the rescue!

It was 11pm and I was on a roll.  Having prototyped my little circuit and transferred the mask onto a copper board, I was ready to create a nice permanent PCB version of the module. Far from perfect transfer, but enough to do the job.  The only problem?  No Ferric Chloride anywhere in sight.  …

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