Friday of last week I started assembling the hardware. Most of my time was spent organizing components and tracking down all the tools and missing parts at the hackerspace. I didn't get as much don the first day but I didn't expect to, hopefully this week the build will pick up pace and more will get done per day. Anyways the first board I got started with was the analog sensor module PCB. Following my PCB population protocol I described int he last update I started by populating the power supply of the PCB first. In the case of the analog sensor module the power supply consisted of a TPS62162DSG DCDC switching regulator circuit with a fixed output of 3.3v. First I assembled the regulator then I cleaned up the board with isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush just to get rid of flux and solder balls that could cause shorts. Before moving on with any more assembly I tested the power supply circuit. When testing a voltage regulator its best to limit the current on your benchtop powersupply to mitigate the severity of component failures if there is a short or mistake in the design. In my case I limited the PSU to 100mA at 12V , when I tested the board the regulator powered on successfully and outputted a steady 3.3v volts!! The regulator working on this board is a good sign for the rest since they are using the same circuit and same PCB layout. Given that the power supply worked, I populated the microcontroller part of the PCB, however I held off on testing it because I still am figuring out the programming routine for the Kinetis chips from the Kinetis IDE. Anyways here is a picture of the first PCB so far:
So yeah more to come on populating PCBs in the coming days, also i hope to have a guide up on the wikis on how to setup toolchains for the MCUs and SoC hardware being used on the HydroPWNics project. Stay tuned!!!!!