New ATX Breakout Board PCBs (with some improvements!)

Hello everyone, I’ve got some good news today!

I released a newer version of my ATX Breakout Board. After receiving a lot of requests, I also printed some PCBs (10x blue, 10x red) and will print more after thorough testing of the current revision.

Features and additions added from the older version:

  • Thickened many traces, removed pin headers in the middle of the board and added one behind each binding post (up to 5 output pins per voltage line, with no risk of burning any traces).
  • Added resistors to the USB ports (on the back of the board). You may want to use them for USB identification, as they are cheaper and easier to find than the TPS2513. Adafruit link for more info: https://learn.adafruit.com/minty-boost/icharging
  • Moved LM317 so that you can mount it horizontally + used a footprint with longpads, should you want to solder wires to an external voltage reg + heatsink.
  • Prototyping area added at the top left of the board. Not sure if it will ever come useful, but I had some empty space there. You have easy access to the 3V3 and 5V lines.
  • Moved/rearranged several parts (pot, switch, LEDs) in order to draw shorter and cleaner traces.

New parts list:

  • C1, C3: 0.1uF 0805 SMD capacitors.
  • C2: 1uF 0805 SMD capacitor.
  • F1, F2, F3, F4: 1812 SMD PTC resettable fuses. (Littelfuse ones should work just fine, I used Bourns instead which are a bit larger).
  • J1: 24-pin ATX connector.
  • JP1, JP2, JP3, JP4, JP5, JP6: 5-pin headers, male or female as you prefer.
  • JP7: 3-pin header (voltmeter output).
  • LED1, LED2, LED3, LED4, LED5, LED6, LED7: 0805 SMDs, choose the color you want but make sure to use appropriate resistors. You may not want full brightness and sure enough you don’t want magic smoke.
  • R1, R3, R4, R5, R7: 3.3K ohm, 0805.
  • R2: 330 ohm, 0805 (value may change – double check LM317 voltages or calculate your own).
  • R8: 10k ohm, 0805.
  • R9: 9/10W power resistor, not needed in my case.
  • R6: 1.2k ohm, 0805.
  • R10, R15: 43k ohm, 0805.
  • R12, R14, R17, R19: 51k ohm, 0805.
  • R11, R16: 75k ohm, 0805.
  • T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6: binding posts with 4mm hole. You may want some red ones for the positive lines and a black one for GND.
  • U1: LM-317, through hole.
  • U2: TPS2513 from Texas Instruments. If you don’t have it, install resistors R10-R19 for the same functionality (not both!).
  • VR1: 2k ohm, PCB mount potentiometer, 9mm (click)
  • X1, X2: USB female connectors, through hole.
  • SW1: 8x8mm pushbutton (got mine from Tayda.)

I bought all of my components from Tayda Electronics, except for the ATX connector and the PTC fuses (check Sparkfun or eBay!)

Time for some pictures:

Sexy, aren't they?

Sexy, aren’t they? Also, colors!

The whole batch.

The whole batch.

And here’s a fully assembled one (terrible soldering on fuses and LM317 because I recycled them from a previous build):

An assembled board.

An assembled board.

 

PCBs will be available in the store and on Tindie soon.

Cheers!

 

My holiday project: Internet-controlled lights using different flavors of Arduino.

Brace yourselves, Christmas is coming.

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve last felt the magic atmosphere of Christmas, this year I want to celebrate it in a quite different way.

In the era of IoT, I’m building some internet-controllable lights using all the Arduinos I have.

The main point is that there will be different “light clients” which are Arduino that can be connected to different light sources such as analog LED strips, 3/10W RGB LEDs (my custom driver might come in handy!) and WS2812B addressable strips (provided that they come in time).

Each of these devices can receive commands over TCP. This means that they can be controlled from any internet-connected device. I am building a “controller box” which will have some analog controls and can choose which light client to connect to, and control it through user input (sticks and pots, yay!) and will also host a web interface.

Available lighting modes will be: manual mode, fade mode (single or from one color to another), random mode, strobe mode. I might add some photo/sound sensors if I have time.

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Worklog #2: Handling joystick input on Arduino and LinkIt ONE.

After expanding the LinkIt ONE and Arduino analog inputs, I had to find a proper way to handle user input. The easier and most convenient way was using an analog joystick, so I ordered one off AliExpress.

As I figured it will take way too much time to get here, I decided I’d open up my Xbox 360 controller and use its joysticks in the meanwhile.

 

Butchered 360 controller. Red = VCC, Violet = GND, Yellow = A0, Orange = A1.

Butchered 360 controller. Red = VCC, Violet = GND, Yellow = A0, Orange = A1.

Joysticks are made by joining two analog pots together (one for vertical movement, and one for horizontal) and a tactile button.

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Building a 3-channel, high power RGB LED driver

Hey guys,

I built another board, which is a 3-channel (RGB) LED driver based on an inexpensive chipset called PT4115 (you can find them on eBay or Aliexpress).

The circuit is very simple and looks like Sparkfun’s PicoBuck. However, I used beefier components and a different chip. You may say it’s pretty much the same thing, but I made it to learn some more about PCB design.

Datasheet here. LED current is set through a sense resistor. The output current I is equal to 0.1/Rs. I wanted ~300mA for each channel so I chose a 0.33 ohm resistor. If you want 350mA, choose a 0.27ohm resistor.

Each channel can be controlled via PWM (you can solder male/female headers on the board), for example with an Arduino.

You can input up to 30V and control 3W/10W/20W LEDs.

The bare boards.

The PCBs.

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A new board came in today: SeeedStudio’s LinkIt ONE!

A few days ago, Seeed Studio posted a contest in which 10 pieces of their newest board, the LinkIt ONE, would have been given away to makers who had a good idea on how to use them for an hobby project.

You can find more info about the board here, it’s basically a 32-bit MCU development board which has lots of connectivity options built-in (GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Audio, SD card) and is compatibile with the Arduino IDE. It is based on the MT2502A microcontroller.

I immediately applied for the contest and a few days later they replied saying they liked my idea and they were kind enough to send me a LinkIt ONE.

I received the board today (fast shipping with FedEx!) and it’s very neat.

This is how the whole package looks like. The board is definitely well-made and feels solid.

 

Center: LinkIt ONE board. Left: Wi-Fi/BT, GSM and GPS antennas. Right: 1000mAh battery (included) and 2 Grove modules I needed (not included)

Center: LinkIt ONE board. Left: Wi-Fi/BT, GSM and GPS antennas. Right: 1000mAh battery (included) and 2 Grove modules I needed (not included). SD and SIM slots on the back.

 

The info sheet is included in the package: By quickly looking at it, the only complaint I have is the limited number of PWM outputs (2, might be solved with software PWM libraries) and analog inputs (3, can be increased using a demultiplexer) compared to Arduino.

However, the price (79$) is unbeatable considering all its connection options: separate Arduino shields would definitely have a much higher cost. Moreover, the MCU is a lot beefier than your average Atmega. Keep in mind that this board runs at 3.3V.

More info and photos after the jump!

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