Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PCB Opus 1

In all these years, although I've done minor repair soldering here and there, I'll have to admit to never having populated a PCB with components. I'm beginning work on a pendulum traverse system for one of the professors and decided it was a good opportunity to save several thousand dollars by doing the microcontroller and motor control board from open source hardware. In addition, its a great opportunity to begin creating my first microcontrolled system. I have a backlog of 5 or 6 projects already, this being the simplest!

I'm using an Arduino Deumilanove and purchased Adafruit's Motor Shield, which I highly, highly recommend! The shield comes as a PCB and components and you have to solder them in yourself. The instructions are clear and very complete. I'm fortunate to have been able to simply head over to Radio Shack and buy the tools for a basic soldering setup, and by following the picture by picture instructions, the soldering took less than an hour and the board is running the sample code for DC and stepper motors like a champ.

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