Kevin Darrah

Archive for October, 2013

Assembled Prototype Board!

by on Oct.26, 2013, under The Ultimate Arduino Prototype Board












Whelp, here it is!  Everything you see in the picture is what comes with the Ultimate Arduino Prototype Board.  This is a fully functional Arduino Clone with a ton of added features.  No, the protoboard does not support shields, but there are work -arounds, which I will discuss in a future video.












Let’s take a closer look.  Remember, these are still alpha boards, meaning that everything isn’t perfect.  The assembly was a piece of cake, but there were a few minor issues.  These will be fixed prior to the next release of the board:

– Accidentally ordered surface mount crystals, this isn’t a big deal since the leads are just flattened.  Because this is my screw-up, all alpha boards will ship the crystal soldered to the board.  I’m doing this because the leads have to be carefully straightened out.  I don’t want you to accidentally over bend the leads and having them break off.  I’ve mastered the skill, so I’ll handle it.

– The 10k potentiometer footprint was much larger than I thought.  The pot actually collides with other components(R5 and R6).  This isn’t a big deal; you just need to make sure R5 and R6 are soldered before the pot.  The pot will stand off the board slightly, but it still works perfectly fine.

Everything else turned out great!  There is only one more part holding everything up!!

If you really really want one of these hit me up, and I might be able send you an early release.

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First Prototype Board Fully Kitted!

by on Oct.23, 2013, under The Ultimate Arduino Prototype Board












The first prototype board is done!  Here is how you’ll get it from me.  Just a little bit longer…  I’m still waiting on a few more parts to show up.  Don’t forget to send me an email if you’re interested.  See the about/contact page for details.


































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First Batch of Programmer Boards

by on Oct.20, 2013, under The Ultimate Arduino Prototype Board












Just finished Reflowing 7 Ultimate Arduino Programmer Boards.  They turned out pretty good, except for a few minor issues.  I had to change the critical temperature to 180-190C and extend the soak time at the critical temperature.  I had to bake these boards twice, so the solder joints look dull.  See my Reflow Oven Videos for more information P1 P2  Also, I accidentally placed the LEDs backwards!  If you’re one of the lucky people who gets one of the first boards, then I apologize for the messy re-work job.  The bottom of these 1206 LEDs have a ‘T’ shape.  The top of the T is the anode, and the bottom is the Cathode.  It’s like an arrow pointing to the cathode.  The other issue I had was having too much solder paste on the fine pitch SSOP pads for the FT232RL.  This resulted in solder bridges between leads, which I had to then solder wick away.  Overall, I’m really happy with the boards.  The only thing that bothers me is the messy flux that’s left behind after the reflow process. Maybe I’ll add a flux-off stage to the process… probably not on these alpha boards though.  I’m still waiting on parts!!  Hopefully they’ll be in soon, so I can finish the kits.


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