Hardware is coming along.

A project log for Marauder's Map

A real life player tracking system, that will give users access to a map of everyone else in the area.

John BoydJohn Boyd 03/26/2014 at 03:510 Comments

I made some rough PCB prototypes for the board a while ago, just to test the radios, micro-controller and firmware together. You can see a picture of the Altium board file below. I had the Electrical Engineering Department at my school (Texas A&M) mill the PCB to test. If the PCB works as expected, I will modify the board and send out to OSHPark (or similar) for a more professional run.

I spent hours soldering the tiny SMD components on (0402 SMD inductors, 0603 SMD Caps, etc), especially the CC2500 which I was only able to get in a QFP package.  

This little fella was NOT easy to hand solder! You may notice some pretty terrible copper patterns in the picture above. This was actually a milling error that the PCB mill at school did. The final product will be ordered from a fab house and will have no such issues.

Finished soldering first prototype

Here are some pictures of the board soldered up and ready for programming and testing. Now that the board is assembled, I will be focusing on debugging any hardware issues and then porting the firmware from the EZ430 to this board.

I have a lot of extra test loops and jumpers in this circuit for debugging, but my final circuit will not have any.