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11h's first fabbed PCB!

Finally! 11h has created a professional looking PCB for or current project ‘Party Lights.’ The PCB was fabbed by Gold Phoenix PCB Co.,Ltd through BatchPCB.

The last PCB that we created was a fan controller for Brian’s 240SX.
For the fan controller, we used Techniks press-n-peel PCB laser printer transfer sheets. Unfortunately, this method requires LOTS of time and LOTS of patients’. It’s great for students who are low on cash, but have the time and an iron. It’s not really ideal for folks who are looking for something a little longer lasting and nicer looking. Plus, hand drilling the through-hole components or via is a real bother.

For our current project, Party Lights, we wanted to ensure that a circuit that we have considered is easy to build and will be small enough to allow two more identical circuits in its final production. Basically, these boards are just demo boards for our component selection.

For the production of this board, we used the gEDA suite of software. The tools we used the most were: gschem, gsch2pcb, and pcb. We used the Gerber viewer, gerbv, to ensure that the PCB looked correct and that the drill holes lined up with the through-hole items before sending it off to be fabbed.

Here’s the schematic:

Schematic

Here’s the PCB layout:

PCB

Here’s the board:

Our board!!!

Here’s the board with components, including the missing 1206 parts substituted by axial components:

worst soldering... ever

Problems:

When I created the schematic in gschem, I rotated the op-amps I didn’t take due care to notice where the VEE and VCC lines where. I ended up reversing them. I let the magic smoke out the second I plugged it in. After looking at the board for a while, I realized that I had power and ground backwards. No worries, because this was a lm2909, the op-amps were aligned the same no matter which way the component was placed. For the next, working, board I turned the lm2909 180 degrees so that VEE and VCC were correct.

The next problem that I had was communicating to the DS2890. After looking at the board, yet again, it looks like the component was supposed to go on the _other_ side. Not the side that I soldered it on. Luck was on my side again as the 1-wire communication pin was in the center but ground and RH were swapped. To solve this problem I placed the DS2890 180 degrees from the way the silk screen specifies.

Does it work? YEP!

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