The Curse Strikes Again

A project log for D1 Mini Matrix Shield

A shield for the D1 Mini ESP8266 board with HT16K33 chip and 8x8 mini LED matrix.

dehipudeʃhipu 04/06/2017 at 08:5711 Comments

Remember when I wrote that I ran out of mistakes to make in this project? Was I ever wrong. The PCBs just came from DirtyPCBs:

That's not the kind of panelization that I expected... Of course I immediately downloaded back the zip file with gerbers and checked it:

Yup, that's what I sent them to make (unless they do some processing to it). Of course I didn't notice a problem, because the preview at DirtyPCBs is broken since they switched to the new website, and doesn't show the board outline.

Now I have a few days of dremeling before me.


Stefan-Xp wrote 04/07/2017 at 15:41 point

How many of those panels have you got? = About 10 :-)

Maybe a Hacksaw would also work okay :)

BTW: Why did you panelize the PCBs in 5x5cm?

I played around with the calculator and it seems it was the cheapest solution for ~40 PCBs ;-)

But for 20$ you would have got 100 PCBs, if a single PCB is smaller than 20x30mm :-)

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deʃhipu wrote 04/07/2017 at 15:55 point

Dremel worked well, they are all assembled already.  Yes, I was aiming at ~30 boards, because that's how many matrices I have -- they are actually the most expensive part of this. I don't want to be making and selling those in large quantities -- just enough to get other manufacturers interested in this, so that they will start producing it cheaper and with free shipping.
The boards are exactly 25.5x20.4mm.

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Stefan-Xp wrote 04/07/2017 at 16:03 point

Great. Thats nice. Thank you for your reply! Have a nice Weekend!

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matseng wrote 04/07/2017 at 03:36 point

That's why I usually use 0.8mm PCB... They are easy to just score once on each side with a box cutter knife and then just snap apart.

Sure, the pcbs become a little bit more flexible but it's hardly noticeable on a 5x5cm or smaller.

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deʃhipu wrote 04/07/2017 at 07:20 point

Yeah, but of course I picked 1.6mm here...

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K.C. Lee wrote 04/06/2017 at 11:18 point

See step 1:


A good snip (bottom right) can do the rough cut for FR4.  2 good pairs of piers would let you snap a much thinner strip of FR4. i do that all the time for trimming size of toner transfer PCB.  

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deʃhipu wrote 04/06/2017 at 11:56 point

Ah, that should be much faster than dremel!

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deʃhipu wrote 04/06/2017 at 12:19 point

I take that back. It *would* have been faster, if they were straight lines from end to end. However, it's this swastika shape, and the dremel is actually faster for that.

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Yann Guidon / YGDES wrote 04/07/2017 at 04:43 point

you *could* drill a hole where the groves end to stop the cutting

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davedarko wrote 04/06/2017 at 09:45 point

nice throwing stars :( 

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Yann Guidon / YGDES wrote 04/06/2017 at 09:15 point


I feel for you :-(

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