Welcome to the N1IR Electronics Website. Totally off the cuff, one take, unrehearsed video projects for anyone interested in amateur radio, electronic design, makers, hardware hackers and science.

Get off your duff and build something!
Training the hand and mind since 1982.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eyes, Ears, Brain Circuit

One of my students Alex D. came to me with a circuit design for the "Eyes, Ears, Brain". This is an exercise that uses different hemispheres in the brain. (I'll will post a link later).

We were approached by an outside party to construct 30 of these boxes with circuits. while Alex did a few prototypes we had to come up with a method of mass production to cut down from a couple of hours of assembly down to less than 10 minutes. The first step was to make a template for the top of the box ass seen below.

Thanks to PMT for the aluminum and a #6 tap. This was the template we machine out, the two #6 screws hold the plastic top of the jiffy box. This sped our machine from a few minuite to a matter of seconds. see below

Once we had a solid template we could design a PCB that fit on top of the switches and solder in the LED's. The original prototype was point to point wiring that was very labor intesive. The new PCB could speed up assembly.

Here is a pic of a partially assembled project, we used 1/4 inch holes for all the LED and switches. If you notice the slices in the PCB, this was for the switch tabs. The tabare to big for the drill bit we have in stock (.04") so we elongated the holes with the cutout bit (.0625"). The slits in the middle of the board are from the battery clip strain relief.

Once the first one was done we did some revisions and I haded the PCB milling off to a very good student of mine Zach R. who has a great talent on running out milling machine. Below are a half dozen assembled.

Finished and working

If anyone would like the gerber files and schematic please email me, this is an open source hardware project. Input to the design is greatly appreciated.

(1) PCB
(3) Green LED
(3) Switches
(3) 1/4 Watt Resistors
(3) LED holders
(1) 9V Batt Clip
(1) Solder 60/40

Alex D. - Principal contact for customer, Prototyping, Assembly Team
Zack R - Machinist for the PCB Mill, Assembly Team
N1IR - PCB designer, Template Design, Parts Procurement, Assembly Team

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Open House Give Away

Hi All,
During open house last year came up with the idea of handing something out that was promotional to our shop. It had to be something education to electronics, of course cheap,easy to manufacture and require no soldering iron to the end user. I came up with this solution:

I used Traxmaker 2000 Pro (yes I know it old but it works really well and works in WINE) and one of our T-Tech 5000 milling machines. If you would like the gerber files email me. With all three milling machines running we can produce about 300 boards an hour.

I used machined IC pins and solder them in so all that was required to the end user is to plug in the components. Included would be the PCB with pins soldered, 1K 1/4 Watt resistor bent and cut, LED cut and 9V battery clip that was already pre-tinned from the factory, instructions and a small plastic bag.

You could expand this idea into many thing like a larger resistor to show different brightness of LED verses current, Bi Color LED's, small buzzer, etc.

BOM Break down
PCB $.02 (.5"X .65" can fit approx 256 on a 8X10 board)
LED $.035 (in qty of 1000)
Batt Clip $.18 (in qty of 100)
1k Ohm $.00741 (in qty of 5000)
IC Pins $.15 (really free from donation)

Total cost $.40 Each

I could probably get cheaper parts on E-Bay but my school only allows Net30 only so were kind of limited on were we can get parts.