I was inspired by multiple blogs that explained how to create your own printed circuit boards. This can be a very time consuming process, however, it has benefits. Outsourcing your PCB’s to get made can cost hundreds of dollars but you can do it all yourself with some things that you might already have laying around. I have not gone through the whole process yet but I will post it when I do. For now I will just talk about my design.
I downloaded the Eagle CAD software here for designing my board: http://www.cadsoftusa.com/
It is fairly self explanatory to use without much instruction. That is if you are familiar with electronics terms and how PCB’s are made. If not there are plenty of tutorials online about how to use the software.
My first design was for a USB extender card. I plan on having a case mounted to the back of the Liquorator to house all of my electronics and wiring. Including the Arduinos. This will be something like a desktop computer case where there are ports on the outside for inputs and outputs. The card will allow me to extend my Arduino USB cables for programming to the outside of the case. I ordered USB type A and B through-hole connectors from eBay that will solder to the card. I will be able to plug in my computer to program my Arduinos into the side of the case, instead of having to open the case and plug into the Arduinos directly for making programming changes. Below is a screenshot of my board design: The board is about 2.15 x 1.8 inches.
After I finalize my design, I will print this using a laser printer. Since the material the printer uses is a plastic type, it can be easily transferred to a copper clad board using a hot iron. I will then use a chemical to etch away the copper that is not covered with the plastic material. This will create the circuit traces for the PCB. I will post the process in more detail later. Search “DIY PCB with laser printer” on Google if you want more information.
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