I haven’t made a blog post in a while here, been a bit backed up. So I’ll post up what I sent to the strike devices development team the weekend my first run of the TEasy Strike’s were finished.

aaaaaaand go.

This weekend was ridiculous. I spent the better part of saturday behind safety glasses while I dremeled, drilled, and soldered my way to a good position for production of the new boards.

Friday I was told the boards were ready for pickup, so I left work early and got to the assembly house about 15 minutes before they closed. I was presented with a gigantic box, which I later opened to find this:

Perfectly packed were my 150 boards, extra parts, and 50 bare PCBs (which turned out later to be more like 60 for some reason, I’ll need to count the full number of boards later). I nervously unwrapped one of each type of board. These guys supplied the PCBs, so I was really curious how the final quality would be. I was SERIOUSLY impressed, the silk screen, placing job, and overall quality was amazing.

The panel they made up for the job:

It’s a 6x configuration, 3 of each type of board. The ONLY issue I have is that they’re V-Scored, which is cheaper but leaves a rougher edge that I’ll want to sand down if I don’t want people telling me they got FR-4 splinters >.<

The color is fucking phenomenal, these guys are really good. I counted 10 panels, they must have given me extra because a few of the boards didn’t pass E-testing. The ones that don’t pass are marked with a big ass X in sharpie across them. When getting things assembled, having the PCBs E-tested saves you SO MUCH HEADACHE, so if they don’t include it, it might be a good idea to ask how much it would cost. These guys included it into the fabrication price 🙂

Now the fun begins. I needed to make a template for each version of the board, so like before I pasted 2 on top of each other, but this time around I needed to cut them and route out some parts so that when things are smashed together, the components don’t get in the way. Another good reason this needed to be entirely SMT.

The templates turned out a little convoluted, but made sense to me. They’re 3 layers now instead of 2 and I’ll show you why.



Side shot:

I had to cut out a bunch of the side of the board, making it really hard to get a good space to clamp the template down to the actual PCB I’m assembling. The top layer of the template is a large piece that gives me the area to clamp, as well as spreads out the pressure so things are evenly compressed. I used some of the E-Test failures for the top layer, the other layers are 2 boards are specific to the type of TS I’m putting together.

It sounds like a huge pain in the ass, and it really is, but there’s no other good way to populate the pogo pins. I’ve talked with the assembly house and they think they can handle populating them in my next order. So now all I need to do is sell all of these guys so I can eventually do that, lol.

Here’s the final product, not usually one to toot my own horn, but this thing is fucking awesome.

I also found some issues with my new test fixture when programming via ISP, so I decided to power-forward my ISP with a simple mod:

Now I can program the target board without needing an outside power source 🙂