Let's Make Robots!


Arduino Nano on PCB

As I wrote in Chopstick Junior 1.0 (there you can see it in the robot) here comes the part with the Arduino Nano on a PCB.

Why I did this?

Well, it's just a try to use the Arduino Nano for other robots too. This gives me the chance to remove the MC and put it in another robot or just upgrade this one with a new Nano. But the most important is that I can connect all the servos I need directly to the board without any solering or using male-to-female cables.

Free Motor Controllers!

I am currently designing some very budget friendly Motor drivers, and to test the design out, I am giving away 10 free drivers! Each driver is a single or possibly dual (5 single and 5 dual) transistor based design, and cost per board is very, very low. If you would like one of these free driver boards, please post in the forum below. No restrictions! Each board ships with a application note so you know how to use it.

A few specs:

Max Voltage: 30V

Max Amperage: 0.6A

LMR series of PCB's

I think that LMR should have its own series of circuit boards, with the designs open source for all LMR'ians to use. Heres a couple ideas for PCB's:

Wii Camera and Easy PCB Etch How-To

Well, I got sick of having a lappy as a middle-man between my wiimote and my robot (via bluetooth). I decided to remove the camera itself and go with on-board i2c instead of sending BT data back and forth. Now, I have seen a lot of great "adapters" to go from the fine pitch of the wiicamera pins to "standard" pin spacing, but I need not only to adapt the pins, but also a good way to mount the device to the pan and tilt mechanism I have on Walter. I decided to etch a PCB for the task using, I think, the easiest PCB etching process around. Period.

CNC Machine V2 with RepRap Controller

I finally finished my Fireball V90 CNC build.  In May, I got the frame, and I planned to use the motors and electronics I purchased for upgrading the Valkyrie-clone CNC.  So I made some NEMA-17 to NEMA-23 adapter plates from CD-R disks, and got it all up and running.  It's running off 12V for now, with 24V planned in the future.


Cheap PCB batch house

Update 05.04.11: Seeedstudio now cheaper with more options!

PCB design software (EDA) for Linux users

I am using my Ubuntu laptop more and more often. And today I found myself wanting to throw together a simple schematic for posting on LMR. So I needed to find a CAD program for that. One that works on Linux.

Shouting in the shoutbox is fun and all, but valuable info gets lost. So please everyone, use this thread to post your experiences and recommendations.

So far I discovered in my Ubuntu (10.04) repository:

google them for links or downloads. I will post my experiences with them here as I gather them.

Here's the third Diptrace tutorial, this time I go through exporting files and ordering. video More Resources: DiptraceMy Diptrace component libraryPrevious … Read more
I did a brief video tutorial on Diptrace - this is part 2 on Laying out a PCB.  Part 1, covering schematics is here. \ Read more

PicAxe 20X2 mainboard

This is the second board I received from sparkfun / batchPCB. The other one, a motor driver, is tested and done.

Vary basic question about headers

This is a very simple question and I am only asking because it is fundamental to my first robot (and I don't have the money to get this bit wrong).

PCB milling


I finally got an usable result trying to mill PCB with my machine. 

I tested using this Eagle PCB layout:











I then generated g-code out of it using the pcb-gcode eagle plugin with the settings below:






Custom Motor Driver Debugging

Hello LMR!

I built a motor driver, look: 


Cool isnt it? Of course it doesn't work as intended, but hopefully you guys can help me fix that. Lets take a look at the details first, and afterwards my problem.

I had a trip to Taiwan on May 31 and i'm coming back soon. During my trip i came across several electronic shops and man they sell electronics for a very cheap … Read more

My First BatchPCB, er batch

So I finally got my first home designed PCBs back from BatchPCB.  As a bonus, I got double the parts I ordered.


My L298 Motor shield:


My Q1114 sensor board (for line following/wheel encoders)  The mounting holes will need some rework.


For now it draws the shapes provided, eventually it should cut them too - actually does do cutting now :D
Using a
Hi all,  As OddBot suggested on my blog I have created a robot page for this thing. I will update this page with more pictures schematics, code and video as soon … Read more

The Beast II - Evolution

Hi all,

 In case anyone wondered what happened with that dude with his wooden CNC machine, well I'm still kicking :)

I have finally reached a milestone with this guy, software seems fine, motors turn, everything is mounted back in it's place.

I have modified the Y axis to acomodate the Z axis, reprogrammed the motor controllers many times over and over, added radiators, killed and revived the arduino software .... etc, etc, ....

 And finally it came to this:


Best (um cheapest) software and pcb service?

What is the best (free) software to use to make PCBs? Also, what is the best service to use to order custom pcbs? (I'm on a tight budget here)



PCB Fabrication

I just discovered this site http://www.pcb-pool.com in the new Servo magazine. I went to check it out and was surprised. I can order 100 PCB boards of my shield design for $330 with 8 day turn around. SparkFuns batchPCB which is what I have been using would cost 1445.95 for 100 of the same board, and they take about a month to arrive.

Messing with the Picaxe editor help menu

When researching the exact connections on my 28x1 projectboard, I scowered my directory C:\Program Files\Programming Editor\datasheets\ and found user.txt.

And guess what? It lets you change the help menu in your editor.


That fourth option was not there before! All that was needed was one extra line in the textfile:
PCB hackers need to Read this F*****g Manual now!=c:\Program Files\Programming Editor\datasheets\axe001_pcb.pdf

Homemade PCB

I bought myself a new pc recently and as for most new pcs it was lacking either a parallel port or a serial port.  As i was using the parallel port to program my robot i had to find a usb programmer that i could use.  I use atmel chips and i found a circuit design for the USBasp programmer, which consists of another atmel chip that converts the usb data into data that can be used to program my robot.  I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try and build my own pcb.  I got some info from http://www.fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc

PCB Fabrication

I'm trying to find a good place that doesn't charge an arm and a leg for PCB fabrication. Most places I've found either charge a whole helluva lot for a few pcbs, or require a huge amount ordered.

Does anyone know of a good place that caters towards the hobbyist?

Gathering experience with homemade PCB

Oi, yesterday and today I have been trying to make a homemade PCB using Eagle for designing the PCB and printing with a laser printer onto some glossy advertisement paper from junk mail. After several attempts I still haven't gotten a good transfer of toner to the PCB (check images) and I'm wondering if I should just design my PCBs and then send the design files off to Olimex for production


PCB fabrication, a snapshot from the shoutbox

read bottom up:

jip: and of course we just used a marker pen to draw the tracks afterwards
jip: That was how we did it in public school :-)
jip: Oh well I used another method before... drilling holes prior to etching by laying paper layout on top and drilling through

Toner Transfer PCB

Yesterday, I made my first PCB since about 1978!  I used the toner transfer method, and it worked really well.  It's a little break-out board for an Atmel AVR, the ATmega8.  I've also allowed space on the board for a couple of extra chips (up to 18 pins) and four TO-220 driver transistors, for things like stepper motors.  Today, I'm drilling the holes in the board (1mm) and I expect I'll solder in the parts this evening.