Neuron Development: v0.4 part 4: Skip the Prototypes!

A project log for NeuroBytes

Build your own nervous system!

zakqwyzakqwy 11/29/2014 at 16:390 Comments

When you haven't designed a board before and are planning a decent-sized production run, it's probably a good idea to use a service like OSH Park to test your design prior to scaling up. Silly mistakes are almost inevitable, and squeezing an iteration between Kicad and scale-up is good practice.

Unless you're really impatient, like me.

I ended up working with the kind folks at Gold Phoenix PCB for the Neuron v0.4 boards. A few specifics on the order:

Neuron v0-4_board1.jpg

I ordered 128 pieces; one board came back with a red dot (failed E-test) so Gold Phoenix threw in another sheet--netted me 31 free Neurons, thanks guys! Without expediting, these showed up on my front porch 8 days after uploading the Gerber files. Needless to say, I'm quite happy with how this turned out. $1.9146/piece, and that's before figuring in the free sheet!

After the boards arrived, I frantically hand-soldered one together, crimped up an ISP programming harness, and uploaded a simple program to light the green LED:

Neuron v0-4_board2.jpg

While this didn't tell me everything, at least I can talk to the chip and the LED seems to work. Hand soldering the LED was a PITA, so the next units will be reflowed.

More to come!