USB Extender PCB

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.

USB_extender_rev0

 

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.

Please post your comments!

 

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5 Responses to USB Extender PCB

  1. Bredo says:

    IUnteresting. Please keep us updated. I`m trying the same myself. The last few bits are on the way in the mail. You are probably one of the few people who understand why I bought a Nail gel curing machine: http://p24bredo.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/my-new-nail-gel-curing-machine/ 😉

    • So you are going to use the photo-resist method for your PCB’s?

      • Bredo says:

        Yupp. No idea if it works yet, but is sure is a lot cheaper (about $25 on ebay) than the “UV light PCB manufacturing boxes” my local electronics-component-pusher (in sweden) charged for a “real” unit 🙂
        It´s just for fun anyway – It´s my hobby and I would like to try to make my own PCBs – because I love to learn. Stripboards are really enough for my tiny projects, but home made PCBs would be a lot more satisfying than stripboards with wires al over them 😉

  2. I already have a revision 1 of this board. I completely forgot about the mounting holes for the USB plugs. The holes interfered with most of my traces. I will post the revision soon.

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