November Sky

Where constellations and PCB design collide.

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My entry for the Macrofab/Mouser: Blink an LED contest.
The project will creatively join elements of astronomy, electronics, and PCB art to create an educational and functional piece of "Art".

A PCB designed around the constellations in the November night sky using LEDs as "twinkling" stars.

  • I got, got, got no time...

    Josh McClarren09/10/2018 at 12:24 0 comments

    Unfortunately, as the song goes.  I got, got, got no time...

    Paying gigs took the priority and as a result the macrofab blinky contest project goes on to the scrapped category.

    I look forward to seeing the other finished projects!

  • Testing 1,2,3...

    Josh McClarren08/16/2018 at 00:35 0 comments

    Took a few different methods to accomplish the aesthetic I was looking for and slightly more time consuming than I had hoped.

    Essentially, I'm manually placing some top layer traces to custom sized pads I created for the project to limit the light that will come through the pad holes aka "stars".  Then I'm using the tstop layer to pull back the soldermask.

    One of my favorite constellations, Orion.  Now like a million to go....

  • Nefarious bitmaps!

    Josh McClarren08/15/2018 at 22:17 0 comments

    Got a bitmap of my NASA constellation image that isn't pretty but usable.  It was a struggle as usual importing any kind of image into Eagle CAD.   Now I have a reference and the next step is figuring out how I'm going to "artfully" do the layout.

    Pretty huh ;)  It looks worse than it's actually about 8" in diameter.

  • Time isn't on my side...

    Josh McClarren08/13/2018 at 23:35 0 comments

    • Worried on having enough time to get the project done within the time table of the contest.
    • Need to balance complexity with the reality of getting it done!  With needing to get a PCB fabricated along with the potential of a respin puts it very close to the deadline.
    • I had to swap graphics as I was unhappy with the one I found earlier.  (Not as accurate)
    • Working on getting the constellation graphic converted to a bitmap and imported into Eagle CAD in a somewhat legible form.  Using as a reference for my layout/art.

  • Preliminary Research

    Josh McClarren08/12/2018 at 18:46 0 comments

    Started some preliminary research on my design.

    • Found a nice November sky graphic to use as a reference.
    • Pulled the graphic into adobe illustrator to scale the design.
    • Looked into scaling the size.
      • Likely I will use my 3D printer to print a frame for the PCB
      • Printer is only capable of 200mm x200mm max.
      • Not actually sure if it can handle that size.
    • Researched some reverse mount LEDs, for a clean PCB top side.
      • White not available in a nice dome top.
      • Go with square?
      • Use an alternative method.

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