5 days ago •
Hi loyal minions! After quite the marathon of board layout, the PSDR2 PCBs are complete. I am trying dirtypcbs.com . They've got great prices for 4 layer boards and have reasonably priced rush/fast shipping options. Though I was sad to learn that I can't get a red board with gold plating AND rush the order... Red was going to look really good, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen for the first batch of PSDR2s.
Anyway! I'm glad I pushed so hard to get these out. I might just have something cool to show off by the end of the month.
I'm pretty happy with the layout, but I didn't have time to give it some of the polish that I usually like to. Routing for the power traces isn't ideal, and I didn't bother with proper impedance considerations..... I think it will be okay.
So I generally try to do something new on each PCB I produce, if I can. This time it's a bunch of new components, a new fab house, and you'll notice that I left off pretty much all of the reference designators so I'd have room to label the circuit blocks. I think it's pretty neat, but it's going to mean that I'll have to prepare well illustrated assembly diagrams. What do you guys think? How important are reference designators really?
Speaking of assembly, there are a few parts that will pretty much have to be installed with a hot air pencil or a reflow oven, I really tried to make it possible to assembly without those, but some of the parts aren't available in any other package.
7 days ago •
Hi everyone, has it really been ten days since my last update? Sorry about that. As I said in my last update, I have been working very hard on getting the PSDR2 designed. I've been spending every spare moment on it and took the last day and a half off from work to get this thing out. It needs to get sent off for production as soon as possible or I wont get it back in time to show it off for the next round of judging!
Anyway, I'll have it done by this weekend, hopefully have it back a week later-ish. I don't think I'll have time to write much code to take advantage of the new features though. A month is not a long time.
This has been one of the most challenging boards I've ever designed, and the most thought out, which helped. I'm pretty happy with how it's going. With the exception of the final power amplifier and 2-Meter mixer, it's got everything I wanted to put in. It's PACKED! I'm so excited!!
Oh yeah, this version will have an enclosure too. :D
Wish me luck! Back to work!
17 days ago •
Hi guys! Sorry it's been so long since I've updated. Believe me, I haven't forgotten. I've been hard at work! As you may know, the PortableSDR was selected as one of the 50 semi-finalists for the Hackaday Prize! Thanks everybody! Wish me luck!
The next round of judging is less than a month away so I am trying really hard to knock out the next revision of the PSDR. So far I've got dual capacitive touch keys (for morse code), battery charge controller, GPS, and the VNA/Antenna analyzer blocks. Even bigger microcontroller. Real time clock support, digital gain control. MicroSD slot.
Anti-aliasing filters are going in all over the place, built in speaker, mic, and an earphone connector that works with smartphone-style earphones/microphones will be included.
There are a few things that wont make it into this version (RF Amp, 144Mhz mixer) but for some things I am including a "shield" style place to plug in modules. I don't think I am going to get a new LCD in there this time. Also, PJRC's amazing work at speeding up the driver for the ILI9341 makes me think I may not need to switch to the parallel interface on the LCD (which takes A LOT OF PINS!)
I hope to have the schematic changes done in a few days and a PCB design as soon as possible after that (a week?). I'll keep you guys updated!