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Messages - dolabra

Bus Pirate Development / Re: Hand solder BP 3.8?
you need 3 things.
1. lots of flux
2. solder wick
3. magnification

I use jewelers loupe for magnification.  They aren't that comfortable for long soldering sessions, but they are cheap to get. I did a BP 3.6 as I remember the most difficult part was the voltage regulators because the caps are very close on the layout.  Think through the order of putting those on so that you will be able to get your iron into the places it needs to go,  I did them in the wrong order

After that it really isn't so bad.  If you need more encouragement, there are lots of videos on youtube of hand soldering surface mount components.
Open source USB stack / Re: PIC16f1455
[quote author="honken"] two children doesn't help. [/quote]

Put them to work!

[quote author="honken"]As for x8, I have only been disappointed of its performance. So I stick with c30 version .30 - something.[/quote]
Do I have a choice for the 16f1455 part?    I wish PIC would stop trying to make money on compilers......
Open source USB stack / PIC16f1455
Before I re-invent the wheel.  Has anyone ported the stack to 16f1455 and XC8?

Also.... where is the latest stack?  I remember someone saying that they were restructuring and including my HID work in the stack.

Project logs / Re: solar power supply
My 5v version did overcharge in the summer sun and the battery released some electrolyte (tiny amount that corroded the wires).  I replaced the battery with another alkaline I had lying around, it would of course be better to use proper rechargeable batteries (oh well).  I may need to replace the switch on that one too, the contacts in the switch seem to be corroded.

All and all a successful little project, handy source of power
Project logs / Re: COLDES1 (COLlaborative DESign) - LCD 2 TV Out
I love this idea, both the colaborative design and the tv out concept.  I'm in, but might be in the slow pace category.

My first comment:  is the latch necessary?  Can't the pic buffer the data?

Things that come to mind that we need:

1.  character set
2. NTSC and PAL timing code
3. specs for the LCD controller interface.

Design question
1. what should the LCD connector look like --- SIP or DIP?
2. USB -- do we want to make this a TV backpack sort of thing also?
3.serial input/output?
Hardware biz / What's Dangerous Prototypes mean to you
I've been kind of wondering where DP is headed lately and Ian's post about his adventures in China have given us some clue.  I thought I would reflect a bit on what this community is to me, and I suspect that everyone sees it a bit differently.

For me I really enjoy when we all get to participate in the process of developing some new widget.  I like to watch things go from idea, to schematic, to PCB layout to soldering of the first prototype.  The ultimate blog post is a video of Ian soldering the first board of something new.  I really enjoy those. I come here several times a day looking to see if Matts or someone has posted their latest widget.  To me that stuff is gold.  Posts about some tangle of wires on a breadboard don't get me that excited,  I can go to hack a day for that :)

I think this community has taught us that PCB design can be easy, affordable, and a lot of fun and that surface mount parts make that cheaper and easier.  You just need  a good soldering iron, good magnification and LOTS of FLUX.

Unlike adafruit or sparkfun where their business is built around selling breakout board, breadboards and the all important bundle of wires, DP is more focused on design and prototyping through PCBs.  I can see how Ian is struggling a little with monetizing this community.

Monetizing the PCB based prototyping,  seems to be the questions at hand.

If you don't design it, or manufacture it, how do you make money off it?  Ian is focused on the tools part of this,  that's probably a good idea, but does that move away a bit from the core mission of Dangerous Prototypes?  Perhaps, sourcing tools reflow ovens and such is a low overhead, high margin business that can fund other projects and keep DP designing widgets.

Is there a way for DP to add value to the prototype PCB business.  One thing that comes to mind is leveraging the Sick Of Beige format.  The 60x37 format is a really good size, but is doesn't fit in the 50x50 cheap board size, why not have a DP offer of 60x37 boards (they are smaller than 50x50)!  Maybe the order of 10 boards could come with 1 SOB case included.

Another problem to be solved is what to do with the other 9 boards :)  Some folks here seems to be trading them, or selling them, but I keep wondering how Ian might broker the trade of boards and pickup a few bucks in the process (without actually having to touch the boards). 

Like a lot of businesses today,  its all about the experience. DP should make the whole experience of prototyping with PCBs easy.
  1. ideation through the community and DP's own open projects
  2. design using parts libraries that are know to match DP part kits
  3. physical layout using standard SOB shapes and guidelines
  4. manufacture with partners who cater to SOB standards and price accordingly
  5. source parts from standard parts kits
  6. build with DP sourced tools and FLUX (BTW,  I would probably buy the Soldering Iron Board, if it came with a handle, so I didn't have to figure out which ones on ebay were any good)
  7. debug with DP designed tools, BP, Logic Sniffer, ATX breakout, smoke tester, etc.....
  8. show off to all of us on the forum
  9. unload the other 9 boards on the swap board.

I think Ian can take a little money on lots of those steps.  I realize I am probably just stating what Ian has already figured out, but I'm curious if other see things very differently and see DP very differently?
Project logs / Re: Blingtag
The LEDs look great!  I also really like the battery!

A++ for trying something different
Project logs / Re: Blingtag
I was under the impression that you specified mill instructions based on the final result of the milling and they worried about how to generate the tool paths, but then again I may not have any idea what I'm talking about :)

I like the idea of the battery being inside the PCB, but I'm not sure I follow the logic on the others :)