The Start


Hi, What and Why

Plug it in

Rule number 1

Water Sensor

Sound Sensor

Joystick

Tri Colour LED

RTC (Real Time Clock) DS1302

RTC (Real Time Clock) DS3231

Matrix LED step 1

LCD

Stepper Motor

LCD revisited with PCF8574T

Humidity Sensor

Shift Register

RFID tags (RC-522)

7 Segment display

Ultrasonic distance sensor

5V regulator

analogRead and analogWrite

Wiring an Array of Switches

The next step


Other things I have bought

Infra red and Processing

Programming a separate arduino chip

Creating your own PCB

L293D for a DC motor

4 digit 7 segment display

Starting with motors

RF433 Wireless Comms

Sort a character array

More stuff


I2C devices (SDA,SCL)

I2C scanner

SPI devices (MOSI,MISO)

HMC5883L Compass

MMA7361 Accelerometer

Added projects


Message Display System

4WD robot car
4WD robot car II

4WD robot car COMPLETE

MP3 Player

Creating your own PCB


The Goal :

To recreate this simple circuit as a permanent project on a PCB.
pcb_1.jpg

The previous project was to program a standalone arduino chip, the ATmega328P. It worked nicely on the breadboard, and I was so pleased that I bought some more arduino ICs with the intention of creating a few little projects around the home.

This would require a more convenient way to program the ICs, as well as making a pcb for each project, so I decided to use a bit of perfboard to create the circuit to program an arduino IC.

Top view :

Looks like a neat enough job, huh ? A ZIF socket to hold the 28 pin arduino IC, +5V and GND, and the components.
pcb_2.jpg

However, I found it to be a bit of a nightmare to do. The underside of the board shows what I did. This took me the best part of a day, and was incredibly fiddly to get right.
Soldering a single component leg is quite easy and swift, given a bit of practice. The problem came with wiring one component to another. You can see I tried a variety of wire types and techniques, to see what was easiest. None of them was great.

Given that it takes 5 minutes to recreate the breadboard option, I considered this to be a lesson well learned in finding the easiest solution to any problem. This isn't it.

So I went back to web searching to look for a pre-fab board for this setup, and was surprised to find none.
I searched forums to look for advice, and others seem to have the same fiddly trouble.
Workarounds included - something called stripboard, which I will try in the future.
- tying the component legs together to create the circuit before a dab of solder to seal the knot.
- Using wirewrap techniques; you can buy wirewrap sockets with extended legs for short-legged components.

In the meantime, I bought another breadboard and will saw it in half to get a low budget easy option. The components will poke in quickly, and might be held in place with sellotape and gravity ?

And underneath : pcb_3.jpg

It works, by the way. The day wasn't wasted. But given more patience, I should also wire up a couple of LEDs to run the blink sketch, to check a sketch is uploading correctly.