Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stella with style

I had to put down the drawbot project for a bit, so I put some time into Stella this evening.  One of the things I want to do is somehow make the web cam on Stella's head less obvious, and more part of the brrd.
So tonight I worked up a quick prototype of an idea I've been thinking about.  With some cardboard, hot glue, masking tape, and rigid foam I made a crest.  If I decide to go this route, I'll be making the real one out of sewn fleece stuffed with polyfill.  If I get ambitious I may even put a servo inside and make it move.
Please leave me a comment to let me know how you like (or don't like) the crest.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Drawbot Design Files Released

I have released the drawbot 3 design files on Google drive.  There are Eagle schematic and board files, as well as the Gerber files I'll be sending in for fabrication.

The Comms board has been prototyped and I know works.  The other two have not yet been built up, so who knows at this point.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Drawbot USB to RS-485 converter up and running

I found out soldering .025 pitch leads is pretty tough.  I let the magic smoke out of one FTDI chip before I really figured out how to do it.  This evening I found the last bugs, and now it's up and running.  Using the frequency counter feature of my meter I can tell the output changes when I send in data over USB, but I don't have any RS-485 devices right now to check if the data is any good.  I guess that's the next task before I send the boards out for fab.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Drawbot 3 New tools and new board

Here's a snap of my new soldering tools.  Iron, tweezers, flux, tip cleaner, helping hands, solder holder I built.  The iron has .012 inch tip I need to do .025 inch leads.
Here's a build up of the USB to RS-485 board.  The first real surface mount board I've built.  It took some time, but wasn't as tough as I thought it would be.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drawbot 3 is underway

Well, I've got all the boards designed, and all the last of the parts arrived today from Digi-Key.  Now I'm starting the actual build by etching the first board.  This is a USB to RS-485 converter, and will provide my laptop with an RS-485 bus.  Tomorrow I go buy a new soldering iron, and some damn sharp tweezers.
I need to say thanks to Smallbox and Angie's List for the $1000.00 Nice Grant that makes this all possible.