Posts Tagged ‘PCB Fab’

WTPA2 Proto Boards Arrive!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

A very exciting day! It’s like this:

…and like that:

and like this and uh:

These are the gerbers for the new WTPA2 and its Flash daughterboard, and the REAL THINGS fresh off the jet from Advanced Circuits! The new kind-of-questionable-but-kind-of-awesome through-hole SRAM got here also:

So these all can go together today!!! There’s a ton of new firmware that I’m still working on to support new features, so we may not hear any crusty samples, but I’m hopeful we’ll get to see some lights blinking at least before sundown. It’s da future!
Stay tuned,

Video Game TiVos get rolled out.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The dataloggers/TiVos/weird new media art passed the test and I got tooled up to make a bunch. Sometime in the interim, Atmel’s distributors RAN OUT OF STOCK on a lot of their dataflash parts and so there’s a smaller flash chip (the AT45DB161D vs the AT45DB642) which just so happened to be able to fit on that footprint. The tiny, precious Hirose DF series programming connector got replaced by a good-old 6-pin standard-ass 0.1″ header, which made my life easier and really didn’t lose us any board real estate. Above is the pasting of the boards. Yours truly was a human pick and place with these.

I got this fancy Fancourt Flip Rack to theoretically assemble WTPAs, but it got its first shakedown here. It was super handy for soldering in switches and headers for this design.

The assembled panels…

And one of the devices under test. The Cheetah sticker makes it run faster.

ABS Enclosure for WTPA, Boards on the Way

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

These last days of March have been decidedly un-lamb-like. Last week I got in the test boards for the final WTPA and yesterday night I assembled them. They look clean. Nice and small. I did some preliminary testing, but decided to played hookey tonight and bend up this Magick Tuxedo out of ABS. She looks good in black, right?

WTPA makes her first pre-release public debut at Dorkbot Chicago, the first DB meeting in fact since Deadtech closed its doors. I’m honored and excited and also nervous.
The version seen above is a barebones copy of the final version I ordered so I could keep coding with the latest hardware while I was waiting for the real-deal-Hollyfields to come from China, but those crafty fabricators at PCBcart are fast! They’ve already shipped! Expect this cursed soldermask-drought to end and pictures of something with a goofy silkscreen soon.
Unfortunately (???) March has seen an upswing in this whole “Business” thing which I feel obligated to pursue in order to “keep organic peanut butter on the table”, and I’m not as far along on the new audio functions as I’d like. But I’m obligated to have at least some cool new effect (and not just smartly registered MIDI jacks) to show off at the dorkbot meeting, so I’m thinking I’ll work out this granular synthesis thing I sketched out a couple weeks ago. Stay tuned for clips….

xoxoxo, TMB

WTPA v1.0 Kit Boards Ordered

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Free Technical Advice: When the Fluke suggests you change its battery, change its battery.

Better: I ordered the REAL BOARDS from China today! I’ll spare you some more pretty gerber files, even though the latest ones are by far the most lovely. Summarily filed under the “breaking some eggs” part of the process. That having been said, my people at PCBCart have so far surprised and pleased me with being fast and friendly. I am now Significantly Monetarily Committed to Not Screwing This Up. I also ordered another set of bare test boards from Advanced Circuits to continue to mess with while I wait for the Mona Lisas to show up.
In other news, my tube amp is on the fritz again. Why I thought tube gear was romantic and cool at some point in my life is beyond me. I swear I’m this close to replacing the chassis bolts with thumbscrews, or better yet replacing the 6L6s with MOSFETs.

Finally, for those of you who haven’t noticed already, there’s a little link above which gives the details about WTPA in a nutshell as the uninitiated had a really hard time figuring out what all this gibberish was about.

WTPA v0.95 Boards Arrive

Friday, October 17th, 2008

There is some spiritual sense of wholeness, some cosmic teleology that makes me feel thoughtful about posting pictures of a circuit called “Where’s The Party At” when it’s Friday night.

Like if somehow all the drunk, attractive people on Milwaukee Avenue could see the current in these traces they wouldn’t go to a 4am bar, because they would already have been there. Or something. I can’t decide whether this parable is supposed to be more like the two young fish meeting the old fish in the river, or the young bull and the old bull seeing all the cows from the top of the mountain. Some kind of middling-stinky animals appreciating time-and-reality type business is what I suppose I’m going for here.

*Ahem* So:

The next revision of PCBs are in! You’re looking at the Version 0.95 WTPA “barebones” boards. One thing I really like about Advanced Circuits is those sharp (and handy) fluorescent notepads they give you when you order a board. It tickles my hope for nerd-success: I used to really have to hoard them — not so long ago it took Very Serious Consideration before ripping off one of those bright, rare leaves to write “Call Mom” or something. Now I can pretty much paper my walls with them. Feels good. Before you know it I’ll have a cummerbund!

I can already see it’s going to be one of those nights, so down to business: These boards are necessary because they’re the last rev before I order the hundreds of PCBs and many thou of parts I’ll need for the real production release. Hopefully these guys are pretty close to perfect. Parts are already on their way from Digikey and Mouser and should be here next week. I’ve got an OS to re-write in the meantime — I’ve been learning a lot about the GNU Linker for some other projects and as a result my MCU code is getting a lot more pretty looking, and a little more clear (to me anyway) w/r/t how GCC’s optimizer thinks about it. Practically speaking I doubt I’ll have the OS re-written in the next couple weeks: I’ve been nuts making a Playstation version of Beat The Champ (also #8 here) which needs to be done in short order and, and just got a fancy interior design related project which of course ought to be done like yesterday, too. Of course the X-Prize Lunar Lander Challenge is next weekend and I plan to get good and drunk and watch my friends at TrueZer0 put a whoopin’ on the guy that wrote Doom.
Finally, my crappy electronic music project is playing (using WTPA even) next Friday at the Hideout with my old buddies in Parts and Labor.