Over the weekend, I finalized the design of my first PCB and sent it off to be made through dirtypcbs.com. The site does a render of your gerber files. Here is the top view:As you can tell, a lot has changed since the last time I talked about the design. I squashed the Attiny85 programmer and breakout board because I thought there was a lot of empty space. The bottom portion is a breakout for a couple of shift registers. It has input and output pads for the data and clock and all that, positioned in a way where it can be chained in a row. That’s the theory anyway. I’m waiting with the expectation that nothing works as I don’t want to get my hopes up too much with this being my first time using Eagle and getting PCBs manufactured. I still have a lot of questions, mostly about sizing and spacing, which I think I can get answers to even if the board doesn’t work.
I never have things manufactured custom for my projects. It’s all put together using my own two hands. I haven’t had any good projects on deck for a while and I wanted to learn something new so I ended up with some motivation to try and pick up Eagle. I used it just once in college. I tried several times on my own after but I never took it seriously so it never went anywhere. Yesterday I sat through a YouTube tutorial series (Here’s Part 1) that guided me through it. I understand a lot more about Eagle than I ever have.
With the tutorial complete, I wanted to make my own design. I wanted it to be a revisit of a circuit I had done before so I have a good understanding of the circuit, and also something practical since I’d probably end up with 10 of these if and when I get them manufactured. In the end, I chose to redo the Attiny85 programmer shield I made a while back. It won’t be a shield that sits on top of the Arduino but it will still make programming easy and will break out the pins so I don’t have to keep looking it up.
The schematic is kind of a mess but I think it’s all good. I’ll need to take a non-lazy final look through it before I finalize any PCB layout.This is what it looks like at the time of this post. Things are bound to change though. I literally just added the Power On LED and resistor (R) because I had that space left. I’m a little skeptical this is the right size for a 5cmx5cm board because it seems like I’ve fit so much on it…I’ve been looking at different gerber file viewers and I came across ZofzPCB which renders the board in 3D. It’s pretty cool to look at since I have yet to have a PCB manufactured. I tried a few normal 3D gerber viewers and my favorite is ViewMate. One thing that viewers made me realize is that I had to use vector fonts because the default font would show up bigger in the viewer and trail off of the board. It did not appear like this in Eagle so I learned the importance of checking it in a viewer.
Once I send it off to be manufactured, I’ll post up all of the files. Thanks for reading!