BLEak: BLE + atmega kit (arduino friendly)

BLE + ATMega 328 AUR (SMD) board I've created for a PCB workshop I'm offering in San Francisco. Tidy little bugger.

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Fondly called BLEak, this design (the "BLE + atmega kit") is for a one-day workshop I'm teaching in San Francisco on how to design and manufacture production circuits. I thought it'd be nice to have something that showed the leap from Arduino + Shield to a real board. I have been having fun learning Eagle along the way, despite it's many limitations / wonkiness (full disclosure: I used to work at Altium and I am a self-described Altium Designer guru).

The circuit uses the ATMega 328 but in the AUR package which is a 32-pin quad flat pack (QFP). Seems pretty compact and should be plenty to read some sensors, turn some stuff on, and communicate via BLE using the NRF8001 SPI->BLE device from Nordic Semiconductor.

The circuit uses the ATMega 328 (made famous by the Arduino Uno) in the AUR package, which is a 32-pin quad flat pack (QFP) along with a Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver, the NRF8001 from Nordic Semiconductor. It is designed for a workshop on building professional-level PCBs that I'm hosting in San Francisco. The board relies on an external programmer for the Arduino and is intended to show (along with the workshop) the transition from development board to production PCB.

  • 1 × NRF8001-R2Q32-T Bluetooth Low-Energy transceiver
  • 1 × ATMEGA328-AUR Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, DSPs / ARM, RISC-Based Microcontrollers

  • Man vs. Eagle

    technolomaniac10/20/2014 at 05:23 0 comments

    I have been struggling to understand the workflow in Eagle. Too many weird little things to enumerate here (junctions when it feels like, nets "most" of the time, "cream" on my PCBs? I don't think so!, etc) but it's been fun getting into the psychology of the developers who have implemented the various features (clearly a lot of odd translations from the original german). Feels like the old Masstek or at-times, even PCAD software. Just wildly unreliable at times and the hardest things are having to manually check nets because of the unreliable connections back in SCH (also the fact that nets don't display on pads in PCB makes this all the more painful).

    Oh well, not all is's lit a fire under my video-bum and below is the first of (possibly) a few on little things that, when I sorted them out, made the SW *far* more bearable.

    T-minus 5 minutes to genius. :) Enjoy!

  • Initial Commit today

    technolomaniac10/20/2014 at 05:13 0 comments

    Loaded the project into github and though it's not completely finished, it's coming along pretty quickly. When all is said and done it should be super compact, single-sided and pretty inexpensive to build. Hoping to have some kits people can assemble with this.

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Adam Fabio wrote 10/20/2014 at 05:35 point
Nice project! If you bring your workshop to the East coast, let me know!
Been there on the man vs eagle thing. I cut my teeth with Protel, and never could get along with Eagle. I ended up using Diptrace as a low cost package (with a free option) for small/open source projects. Like everyone else, I need to give KiCad a try...

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technolomaniac wrote 10/20/2014 at 07:32 point
Thanks Adam! I would love to drop in and run it on the East Coast. Somewhere in NYC would be cool for the startup community out there. Just need to work a location and I'm always happy to take a holiday out east ;)

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