Build Documentation

Strobit RFM12B PCB Layout

I’ve started to document the Wireless Widget Board in the wiki, documentation is currently all over the place, but slowly getting there.  Currently I’m working on the build instructions so those of you that I’ve sent PCBS to can at least have a parts list.  

I’ve also put up an initial bill of materials. But it would be great if someone can do a Octopart BOM and share it.

Initial building instructions can be found here: http://code.google.com/p/strobit/wiki/Rfm12BuildingInstructions with more to come.

Strobit Wireless Widget Photos

I had a chance to grab a few photos of the progress so far, also helps that most of my components that I had on order arrived today so the boards has been kitted out with all the headers. Now I can plug the prototype personality in, still waiting on my crystals, switches, and diodes.
Continue reading “Strobit Wireless Widget Photos”

Preliminary RF Tests

Today I did some testing on the RF side of things,  nothing scientific, just walking around the house seeing if it would dropout or report bad checksums, I’m happy to reports all is working as expected (using the 915Mhz RFM12B module)

The tests are done by using the RFM12B Example sketch found in the JeeLab RFM12B library by Jean-Claude over at Jeelab (RFM12B Arduino Library)

This library runs unmodified on the wireless widget board, just follow the instructions in the README about setting up node ids.

From the preliminary testing using some compact 1/2 wave GSM 900MHZ/1800MHZ antennas (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5237)  I’m easily getting all the way around the house with no dropouts, have yet to do outside tests.

And they multiply…

Today I constructed another 2 boards, very easy to do all done in around 30 minutes. This now brings the total to 3.

Applying the boards with solder paste by hand, manually placing the components, bake them in the toaster oven together. This time I got the LEDs the right way around and the right amount of solder paste on everything, no bridges on the CPU pins and looks like the right amount of fillet on the RFM12B module, very little cleanup work required, it’s amazing how little solder paste is required.

Add another 5 minutes to hand solder on the SMA connectors and program the boot loader on each, voila all done in around 30 minutes.

Now I have a potential “Network” I will start testing the RF side of things. Currently I’m using the 915MHz modules.

PCBs Finally Underway

PCB designs were finally sent off to Gold Phoenix yesterday, a bit of a delay as I had been wanting to complete a couple of other designs to fill up the panel before sending off.  Three different designs, Strobit RFM12B core, Experimental 2.4Ghz core and a prototype personality (think arduino prototype type shield) have now been merged using gerber merge into a 10” x 14.5” panel.  Hopefully they should be back early next week.

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Strobit early public release

The Eagle PCB design files are now available for download from the Strobit Project Page.  Constructive feedback is appreciated.  Please treat these as an early alpha release, the PCB has not yet been verified.

I have also released the design files for a blank personality board, this can be used as a starting point for any future boards.

I will shortly have an early release of the Basic Strobist Personality board online.

Strobit now has a Google Code Project home

The Strobit Triggr project now has a proper open source home, a Google Code project page – http://code.google.com/p/strobit/ If you think you can contribute please join the project.

Over the next few days as time permits, I’ll be adding everything I have so far to source control for the current design.

All hardware will fall under the TAPR Open Hardware License – http://www.tapr.org/ohl.html