GreenPak Programmable Matrix

I had a batch of PCBs arrive yesterday which included the boards for my ESP8266 based sensor system so I should be able to do a followup post on that project in the near future. This batch also included my breakout boards for GreenPak 3 mixed signal programmable logic chips.…

Bread Heads - AVR Breadboard Programmers

I recently found myself needing to reuse some older prototypes for a newer project, as part of the repurposing I needed to flash an Arduino compatible bootloader on the AVR processors in them. The design didn't include an ICSP header so I wanted to find an easier way to flash…

Surface Mount Milling and Soldering

One of the major goals I had when I started working on milling PCBs was to be able to reliably mill boards with surface mount footprints - a number of parts I want to use are only available in that format and I am hoping to reduce the size of…

PCB Milling Updates

My PCB milling work flow is working well for single sided boards with through hole components. I am still working on support for surface mount devices and double side boards but the capability I have now is enough to speed up the progress on my queue of projects. This post…

Seven PCB Milling Tips

After a lot of weekends of trial and error I finally have my PCB milling process working. In this post I share some things I have learned along the way - hopefully it will make it easier for anyone else trying to develop the same process. 1. Be Consistent This…

CNC Probing

When you are milling PCBs with a CNC having a level surface is extremely important and can be very difficult to achieve. This post describes some of the techniques I used to get a level surface so I could mill PCBs with reasonable quality. Milling a PCB requires cutting away…

CNC Updates

It has been a long time since the last post but I certainly haven't been idle in the Lab. Most of my time has been spent working on my larger CNC machine (a CN3020T) including a number of control board redesigns and fine tuning a PCB milling workflow. In my…

A Simple CNC Machine - Part 3

Another update on my mini-CNC project - progress has been a little slower than I hoped for but I've reached an important milestone now - moving motors! As you can see there are some issues with the precision of the movement - each of those moves is supposed to be…