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Blinka

A minimal CircuitPython board.

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A small board, shaped like the CircuitPython's mascot snake, containing a minimal CircuitPython development board — pretty much just the microcontroller, regulator and USB socket.

blinka.fzz

Fritzing design file

x-fritzing-fzz - 45.98 kB - 10/20/2017 at 00:41

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  • Third Version

    ðeshipu12/22/2017 at 12:23 0 comments

    I finally got my hands on a vector version of the Blinka logo, and I immediately started working on the third version of the board. Of course the file was a horrible mess of spurious nodes, but after a couple of hours of cleaning it up, and some simple operations on the shapes, I have the basic layers ready:

    This time the board outline is much simplified, to avoid problems with cutting it out. I realized that there is a fifth color that I didn't use — the raw FR4 board — so I used it here. I also made it much bigger this time — so that it fits in the 5×5cm square. That should give me enough space to fit the SAMD21, the coin cell battery, the power switch, and as many pads as I can route conveniently on a single side. I'm also considering just slapping a Trinket M0 on it — we will see.

  • Fixed Second Version

    ðeshipu12/21/2017 at 21:41 0 comments

    I also fixed the short on the second version of the board, and uploaded the design to OSHPark here: https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/xMggaR8L

  • Firmware

    ðeshipu12/21/2017 at 21:24 3 comments

    So I finally sat dawn, assembled the second version of Blinka, and flashed it with custom firmware. The firmware has only the pins I'm using, and has a number of modules removed (like analogio) to make room for touchio and audioio. Also usb_hid — so it can act as a keyboard or mouse. Two of blinka's segments are also touchpads.

    In other news, I finally got a hold of the vector files for Blinka, so a bigger version with a coin cell on it is in the works (and I will probably enter it in the contest too).

  • I Should Really Stop Doing PCBs at Night

    ðeshipu11/01/2017 at 11:02 4 comments

    This is the second PCB in a row that has its VCC connected directly to its GND. This time after the LDO, though, so I burned a couple of them before I realized.

    On to the next version, I guess...

  • Second Version

    ðeshipu10/30/2017 at 18:35 6 comments

    The second version arrived from @oshpark, and it seems that the neck is fixed. Also, the hole for the LED in the eye looks fine, and the vias that are buried under the solder mask and the silkscreen are practically invisible.

    I don't know where that brighter violet circle on the neck comes from, but it's in the same place on both boards (for some reason I only received 2 from, not 3 boards).

    I'm not assembling the circuit on the back just yet, because I ran out of parts for it — I will need more micro USB sockets.

  • Boards Arrived

    ðeshipu10/23/2017 at 11:21 11 comments

    The boards arrived from OSHPark and they look great:

    One thing that I need to fix is the corner at the back of the neck (do snakes have a neck?) — make it a bit smoother, so that the CNC tool has room for cutting it. By the way, now we know how large a tool OSHPark uses.

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oshpark wrote 10/27/2017 at 08:33 point

Love the design!

FYI - the milling bit needs 68 mil clearance.  For example, this octopus board was modified so that all the contours could accomodate at 68 mil circle (https://www.instagram.com/p/BYJSoLggk_P/?hl=e&taken-by=gsreynaga) and it came out good: https://www.instagram.com/p/BX9CUYLA1p9/?hl=e&taken-by=gsreynaga

  Are you sure? yes | no

ðeshipu wrote 10/27/2017 at 12:46 point

Thanks. Yeah, I figured as much, but only after I saw it — the second version has this fixed.

I wonder how hard it would be to include a check for this in the preview?

  Are you sure? yes | no

oshpark wrote 10/27/2017 at 17:09 point

Good idea, I'll bring it up with the team.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Clayton G. Hobbs wrote 10/04/2017 at 20:51 point

It's so minimal, the GPIOs aren't even broken out!

  Are you sure? yes | no

ðeshipu wrote 10/04/2017 at 21:01 point

Yeah, I'm mostly after the serial console here. Though it occurred to me that I can still use the touch sensing on the pins — just touch the whole chip.

  Are you sure? yes | no

davedarko wrote 10/05/2017 at 00:25 point

you have "pads" on the other side, just saying ;)

  Are you sure? yes | no

ðeshipu wrote 10/05/2017 at 07:49 point

The large one is not connected, the small ones are for debugging pins. I was thinking about adding a row of pads along the neck for the pins, but then realized how hard it will be to route them on a single side, and got a sudden attack of laziness.

  Are you sure? yes | no

davedarko wrote 10/04/2017 at 20:46 point

uh, that's tiny. No caps on the regulator though?

  Are you sure? yes | no

ðeshipu wrote 10/04/2017 at 20:48 point

There is a cap after it. We will see how that works, in the worst case I will bodge an additional cap on there somewhere.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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