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David Van Brink // Wed 2007.07.11 23:16 // {wbl weird blinking lights}

My First Board-Bringup: the wbl05a

Since I want to build a handful of WBLs — that is, weird blinking light devices — and have settled, more or less, on using the PIC 12F509 as a platform and have grown weary of clipping little wires and soldering them to radioshack breadboards it was time to try out custom circuit boards. All the cool kids are doing clever laser printer hacks to make printed circuit boards but, well, I have a day job and no desire to mess with acids and stuff. The parts-load for LEDs alone is enough, thank you, I don’t want a chemistry set too. So I ordered some boards from Pad2Pad in late June. They just arrived today.

These are 1.6″ x 1.6″. It took a couple of retries before the autorouting algorithm in Pad2Pad’s free software both succeeded and happened to avoid the areas outside my hexagon. (I wanted the option to shave off the corners, though more likely I’ll drill holes there for mounting.)

On to board bringup. That’s jargon for “make the board go” that I’ve overheard my hardware friends say. There’s only about 15 connections on the board, so it was easy to verify that the circuit was probably what I wanted.

Next, to stuff the board. That’s hardware-guy jargon for “put the parts together.” This must be old hat to real hardware folk, but I was pretty pleased to think of a way to hold in all the little two-pin headers for soldering.

And a resistor pack and an 8-pin socket and… I guess it’s a pretty simple board. Still, thankfully it worked perfectly the first time.


This will be fun.

(Cost: $100.80+$15 shipping, for 19 boards, 2 layer with silkscreen & solder mask. 3 week delivery.)

Daniel Jalkut // Thu 2007.07.12 08:208:20 am

Wow! I love how you claim not to be a hardware guy. Leave some claiming for the rest of us :)

weird of wbl // Wed 2007.08.8 06:056:05 am

“we are not a hardware company”

how come I don’t get automatic emails when these postings happen? more to the point, where is my free sample?

weird of wbl // Wed 2007.08.8 06:066:06 am

oh and btw, this is beautiful- I’ve been messing with PICs as well… haven’t ordered any boards yet, just using prototype, but then again, soldering isn’t popular around fresh DNA

oh, i dont know. what do you think?


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