Let's Make Robots!

Cheap PCB's

You know, I just gotta plug Sparkfun again...

So I finished designing Walter's new main board (now set-up like a 28x board with all servo connectors) and was shopping around for cheap "only-one-board" PCB people. Once again, Sparkfun rocks! --They do 2 sided boards with all the trimmings for only $2.50 a sq. inch. There is a $10 set-up fee but I just got an email back and learned that is per order... You can have as many different designs per order as you want!!! Hell yeah!

By the way-- Here is Walter's new brain(s)


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Let me come to CtC's defense..

I've done a lot of homebrewed pcbs. Mostly for quick prototypes or simple  pcbs.

It is very difficult to homebrew two sided pcbs with plated holes or vias. The best you can easily do is a two sided board where you have to solder both sides of each component. Do-able but not fun.

The other limitations are lack of proper solder mask and component legends. YES you can get by and fake these but they just do not come out as well as a commercial board. I won't even discuss the joy of drilling all the holes...

Before the slings and arrows come out, yes you can set up a decent pcb manufacturing system at home but it is expensive and time consuming. 

It's just worth avoiding the aggravation for the low cost of commercial pcbs today,  


Been there, done that! 




I thought I recognized the layout software.  :)

For those of you who homebrew their own pcbs. I have a pattern (pads) library with enlarged pads for toner transfer or photo menthods. The pads are larger for easier drillng and to make sure they do not lift during soldering. Send me a PM if you would like a copy.

It's also pretty easy to change the pad sizes within DIPTRACE. 


I love SparkFun and BatchPCB also. They amaze me. I interviewed Nathan for my electronics engineering class presentation. It was awesome for him to take the time to respond to me. You could do a study of SparkFun and use their intire business model in a bussiness class.
Eagle sucks balls compared to Diptrace. But then again, I don't know what I am doing and want a simple program. People who know how to use this software might prefer eagle. Oh, I got it! --Diptrace is like a mac, eagle is like a pc

I am using Diptrace, which I LOVE!! You can even get a free upgrade because you are a LMR'er --there is a post up about it.

Yeah, it's (2) picaxe 40x2's -one for drive and sensors, one for head moves and personality.

were can I get Dip Trace?

Send a link

the board looks nice, and hmm...gonna have to check out the program.

So how does it compare to eagle? 

Nice picture. What software are you using for the designs?

So this board will hold 2 picaxe 40X2's I presume?