after seeing that some people in Mexico are developing Badges (https://hackaday.io/project/58276-the-badge-of-the-lands) I decided to try, but the date for our event is close, so I'll build the best I can in the shortest amount of time possible.Maybe next year it will be cool and have lots of new things, I'm thinking about micropython and other stuff, I would love to hear suggestions.
Badges are awesome, are this little piece of hardware that can last a lot and make a great Publicity. this badge needs to be cheap. Because I don't know if I might be able to get sponsorship for it, so better to be on the safe side. also needs to have a clean image, and finally need awesome software implementation one last thing, it's programmable with Arduino so everyone can hack into it.
so in the last two weeks, I didn't have time to update, sorry, but I did, in fact, work on the project. so the first 5 Badges are ready to go, are assembled and all peripheral are go. the programming also is cool, I tried to use the Arduino built-in instruction ShifOut, but soon I realized it's impractical and time-consuming for this project (also it consumes a heck lot of memory, like a real ton). so i decided to implement my own library for the 595 shift register and it works awesome. one function displays a certain pattern, 16bit long in case you want to play around it and optimize it. the other one displays patterns, you only need to define the array (resembling the matrix) and you're good to go.
the Input library was easy, the last part is the IR Sony protocol, i didn't have much time to code it, yet.
but i think that in a couple days i'll have that too, then it'll be just a matter of optimizing and creating more examples with the code :D
when I tried to measure the voltage across each diode in the led matrix i got nothing, at best some noise, after a while i saw that if i connected VCC to the cathode of each section of the matrix, it worked perfectly, i didn't understand why this happened.
so i decided to swap out the 595s, and replace with new ones, that i had from another project, and then it worked.
but something told me, that it wasn't that necessary, i tried again with a new board, but this time i only replace the first 595, and with that done, it worked, it seemed that the 595 I pick up first is open collector, go figure.
so with this all my problems with hardware where almost gone
about a week ago i got the materials and PCBs, so I thought it was gonna be a smooth ride, but due to an error in the PCB Gerber file the PCBs arrived panelized, but it didn't have the v score, so I got to use an Exacto knife and work my way around it
and I didn't buy the stencil, it was way too expensive for the amount of PCBs that was proposed to be manufactured, so i had to make a stencil, yup, it's a lot of work
after some work, it was ready, and reflow time :D yai
so after talking with my peers/committee of expenses of the event, they agreed to make this badge official, so now i have money from the event, great.
now, this is where the funny part comes.
i originally thought about making 20 of this boards, then they told me to make 50, then 100 (that's a lot of badges, my max run was like 36 or something like that, but with fewer components). then that number drops to 40, and then to 25.
in order to keep all of this official i had to make a detail report of the cost of each part, and i was asked to add IR capability (in order to work with the Sony IR protocol)
so i encounter with some errors that I didn't expect, for starters, the outline of the board is great but, it doesn't fit under any grid, at least not any common grid, so I had to trace a new outline as similar as i could, taking the original ar a reference and erasing the original, this gave me a little more work, but now i have and standard board shape
and then, when i moved the board around, the silkscreen moved, but not fully, so this happened
so there's another time redoing the silkscreen and moving it around, in order to see if there's any error. this took longer than expected due to the process of verification (do something, move, save, next)
when i finished this, i noticed that i couldn't panelized it correctly, due to the form of the board (the upper part of the logo) so, i had to modify the outline again in order to make it a little more square per say, this was an easy fix, so no big deal