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  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 13:00
    Reviving The Firebug Rover #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

    Riving The Firebug Rover. via Flesh and Machines

    This rover was our robot in the competition of Magyarok a Marson 2011 (Hungarian on Mars). The competition was similar to a capture the flag game, with four rovers on the field at the same time.
    We weren’t that experienced that time (and our budge was low) so the project failed. We were good in the first round but unfortunately at the second round some smoke has been made and the motorcontroller went to the robo-heaven. Also we smoked an 25A car fuse, yeah something was very bad in our design. We didn’t have the automatic control in time so we used the manual version. In this case we had to use 15 sec delay between two command to follow the rules. We started the blog roughly after two months to the competition. Here is a picture of the rover at that time.


    After some talk we took action, and used Bence’s motor controller. It’s double channel so we can control 2 different motors completely but we plugged each side (a pair of motors) to each control so this way we can use four motors instead of just two.

    The motors are 24V. The motorcontroller is from ebay you can check one of it’s successors on the link below:


    The BeagleBone was above all: wifi support, motor control, web interface.

    The hardware consists of a lipo battery (5400 mah, 14,8v, serves a lot better than the 11.1V version), voltage stabilizator, motor controller, BeagleBone, wifi stick, usb hub, webcam.

    Read more

    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:27
    Walking in a Maker Wonderland: Makerland Day 3

    Turtlebot, the winner of the Makerland hackathon, is a Spark-powered LOGO processing, drawing robot built by combining a SumoBot Jr. kit with LEGO.What happens when 300 makers square off in a hackathon?

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:00
    Bus Sculpture Made Powerful With Hydraulic Arms #ArtTuesday

    London bus sculpture jpg 640×427 pixels

    Enjoy this photo of London bus turned robot sculpture with the addition of with hydraulic arms. Created by David Cerny

    The bus…does push-ups with the help of an engine powering a pair of robotic arms. The bus’ exertions are accompanied by a recording of sounds evoking tough physical effort.

    Read more

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:00
    Open Source Humanoid Robot Is Awesom-o


    Coming from a lab in France is The Poppy Project, an open source humanoid robot that’s at least as cool as ASIMO.

    Poppy was designed as an affordable bipedal robot for use in education and art. It’s a small robot at just over 80 cm in height, but it can walk, move its arms, rotate its torso, and interact with bags-of-meat humans with two cameras and an LCD face.

    Although Poppy is open source, that doesn’t mean it’s exactly cheap; the current design includes twenty-one Robotis Dynamixels MX-28 robotic actuators, actually servos with magnetic encoders, temperature sensor, and an ARM microcontroller. These actuators sell for about $200, meaning Poppy contains $4000 in motors alone. The estimated cost of the entire robot is €7500-8000, or about $10,000 to $11,000 USD.

    Still, there’s an incredible software platform that comes along with Poppy, and being open source any enterprising engineer can take up the project and attempt to bring the costs down. We’d love to take one out for a walk. Just get rid of the hands. That’s too far down the uncanny valley for us. Video below.


    Filed under: robots hacks

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:00
    Expanding the Arduino Ecosystem with MicroView

    The MicroView on the end of a finger.The MicroView is Arduino compatible—and a member of the Arduino at Heart program—but it doesn't share that classic form factor. It's a tiny chip-sized, breadboard compatible, Arduino with a built-in OLED display.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 10:16
    Muzzley and Intel Galileo LED strip demo


    Muzzley provides libraries for the most popular languages and platforms and in this project allows you to control a led strip with a mobile device (iOS and Android) using an Intel Galileo Board:

    We integrated Muzzley into an Intel Galileo board so that we could control an RGB LED strip with our smartphone through the cloud. We’re also able to read from and write to the individual GPIO pins.

    Check the code on Github and enjoy the video:




  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 10:00
    STEM: the curriculum integration approach #makereducation

    Girls physics 2817202b

    As opposed to pushing traditional science, math, technology, and engineering courses, some educators in the UK see subject integration as a viable strategy to increase the number of college graduates proficient in STEM fields, from telegraph.co.uk.

    How do we address the lack of STEM graduates and get more girls into STEM subjects? This is a question that provokes continued debate both in the UK and on a global stage.

    This Sunday the question was taken up by a panel at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, where “starting early at primary school” was the main argument to emerge.

    Speaking at the forum, Sir Michael Tomlinson, former chief inspector of schools for Ofsted called for “more and better physics teachers” and “improved advice and encouragement for pupils.”

    A recent report from the Institute of Physics found that, currently, four times as many boys are studying physics at A level than girls.

    During the discussion, Sir Michael highlighted the need for people with STEM skills in the UK, adding that there’s a “shortage of high quality subject teachers in these areas.”

    He said that starting STEM development in early years at primary school would help to challenge the current belief among schoolchildren that these subjects were difficult and only led down a specific career path such as “being a scientist”, when actually STEM subjects “open up a variety of career options.”

    Amanda Jenkins, advisory board member for the Varkey GEMS Foundation supported this statement saying: “This is a lifelong journey, which starts with parents then schools and universities, we have to work together.

    Read more.

    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 09:00
    3D Printed… Measuring Tape?

    3d printed measuring tape

    Here’s a new one to push the envelope… How about a 3D printed measuring tape?

    This unique 3D printed tool was designed and printed in a single job.  [Angry Monk] has been challenging himself lately with these intricate designs, having recently finished a completely 3D printed set of dial calipers, which is impressive in its own right.

    Looking for his latest challenge he pondered what it would take to make this 3D printed tape measure. As he continued to think about it he realized how complex it would actually be to pull off. After designing and printing a few of the basic parts to help him solidify his ideas, he set to work. This tape measure has 114 individual parts. It includes 52″ of tape links with 1″ divisions and markings down to the 1/8th of an inch. It even features a hand crank (sorry no spring return) to roll up the tape.

    Now as you can imagine, a complex assembly like this is a bit out of the realm of possibility for regular hobby 3D printers — a UV resin printer might be able to do it, but [Angry Monk] used a commercial Objet Eden 3D printer. Still though — it’s an impressive display of design, check out the following video and see for yourself.

    [Thanks for the tip, Tony!]

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 09:00
    “Simple Parts” – hacking generative design #arttuesday

    “Simple Parts,” a seminar conducted at the University of Calgary, encouraged students to experiment with self-generating design forms, via unlvmake..

    Self-organizing and self-assembling systems are trending topics in design, notable for their capacity to use simple parts and interactions to generate complex organizations. This seminar, conducted at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design allowed us to experiment with creating such systems in order to create forms and effects that are responsive and adaptable. We embarked on our experiments with the following framework:

    Creating fabrication and material studies to define basic components.
    Investigating relational interactions and systemic disturbances while prototyping with simple electrical and magnetic components.
    Generating organization from disorder through repetition.
    Examining scalar relationships between parts and aggregations, and between local and global behaviors.
    This was an opportunity for students to conduct bottom-up, generative design experiments and to develop a hands-on ethic of tinkering or hacking. The seminar culminated with the production of exhibited installations in the Kasian Gallery on the campus of the University of Calgary. The exhibition runs from 10 February – 7 March.

    Joshua Vermillion was the 2014 Visiting Taylor Seminar Lecturer at the University of Calgary. The seminar is directed and coordinated by Jason Johnson, assistant professor at Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design.

    Seminar Students: Mehrdad Amjadi, Michael Chu, Nic Dykstra, Meysam Ehsanian, Daniel Farid, Alyssa Haas, Kendra Kusick, Joanna Long-Tieu, Matt Marrotto, Jamie Lynne McFadyen, MacKenzie Nixon, Obinna Martins, Shane Oleksiuk, Sadaf Rabbani, Matt Stewart, Sabrina Vastag

    Prototyping in advance of seminar performed in collaboration with Ludwing Vaca, Graduate Assistant and MArch Candidate at UNLV’s School of Architecture.

    DSC 0087a

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 09:00
    Roll Your Own Beaglebone Black NAS #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg


    Roll Your Own Beaglebone Black NAS:

    For some time I’ve wanted a NAS, but not just a regular one. I wanted something that I could configure to do exactly what I could with like a normal server, just without the massive power consumption.

    Besides the obvious function of a NAS I primarily wanted it to able to use ruTorrent via rTorrent to download torrents. Secondarily I wanted to setup a SQL server to use with XBMC’s media library across my home network.


    I looked at the Raspberry Pi, and seen a lot of people use it this way, for some time and was ready to give it a try until I noticed the release of the Beaglebone Black.

    The specs for the Beaglebone Black, as I see it anyway, was all superior with the exception of video decoding and media outlets, which is irrelevant for my use. So I went with the BBB.

    As far as the storage for the NAS, I used an old external hard drive I had laying around. But the external hard drive’s power supply outputted 12 volts and the BBB only could handle 5 volts input. I examined the power supply of the external hard drive and concluded it could supply more than enough power to the hard drive as well as the BBB, so I bought a step-down converter (£2.90 on eBay), then I wouldn’t have to use two power supply’s.

    Since this was a low cost project (still studying) I found an aluminum box in a second hand store and used as a case.

    I think it worked out all right, but I’m thinking about making some sort of nice wooden box for it. But we’ll see if that ever happens…

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 08:00
    De Graaf’s “Species of Illumination” robotic lamps follow humans and find darkness (VIDEO) #robotics

    De Graaf’s “Species of Illumination” robotic lamps follow humans and find darkness. From Dezeen:

    De Graaf‘s interactive lights, collectively called Species of Illumination, were given the ability to act like creatures via a series of sensors, motors and stretchable cables that allow them to freely determine their actions.

    The series consists of two lights. Wallace uses sensors to go in search of the darkest spot in a room and bring light to it. Once it has done that, the lamp works out where the next darkest point is and moves on to repeat the process.

    Wallace is affixed to the ceiling at one end and has three pieces of wire that support a head on the end of a long electrical cable, which is encircled by a series of rings with copper wire threaded through each one.

    Darwin, meanwhile, is a desk lamp that uses solar power to generate its electricity. During the day it trundles around on wheels seeking out sunlight to charge its battery, but in the evening it wonders around the house looking for movement and accompanying people with its beam of light.

    Sensors in Darwin’s head allow people to interact with it. When a hand is held directly in front of the light, it tracks the movement and follows. Take the hand away and the light stops moving.

    Darwin features two wheels made from tightly coiled wire, a black body with a solar panel on its back and a bulbous white head.

    “The interaction and emotional relationship Wallace and Darwin bring contribute to people’s wellbeing, in the same way that pets do,” explained de Graaf. “The movement of living creatures triggers sensations, emotions and communication.”

    “I think my lights are very much animate objects,” he continued. “At this point I’m still pretty sure they are not alive, but I think there will be a moment where the boundaries become more blurred.” …

    Read more.

    Pasted Image 3 24 14 1 12 PM

    Pasted Image 3 24 14 1 11 PM

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 06:00
    Interview with Jason Kridner, co-founder of BeagleBoard.org #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg


    Opensource.com recently posted this interesting interview with Jason Kridner, one of the co-founders of BeagleBoard.org. We’ll post some excerpts here but you should check out the whole thing here.

    Jason Kridner is the co-founder of BeagleBoard.org, where he has helped create open source development tools such as BeagleBone Black, BeagleBone, BeagleBoard, and BeagleBoard-xM. Kridner is also a software architecture manager for embedded processors at Texas Instruments (TI).

    During his 20-year tenure with TI, Kridner has become an active leader in the open source community. He has engaged audiences at a variety of industry and hardware and software developer shows, including Maker Faire, Embedded Linux Conference, Android Builders Summit, OSCON, CES, Design West and Linux Collaboration Summit.

    The goal for BeagleBoard.org is to inspire anyone—from kindergarteners to Kickstarter developers—to learn about how computers can be used in an everyday ways to remove barriers to learning, prototyping, and production. Success is when even a child can plug in the board, intuit what he or she can build with it, and share his or her designs with the world.

    What are some of your best sellers?

    Thanks to the low retail sales price of $45, the BeagleBone Black is the best-selling board design from BeagleBoard.org. All boards continue to be available and continue to be sold every day, thanks greatly to the amount of educational materials built around them. Some people are particularly interested in the DSP capabilities and additional USB host ports of the BeagleBoard-xM. Some people are interested in the built-in low-level debug capabilities of the original BeagleBone. Still, BeagleBone Black has now outsold all of the other designs combined.

    What’s in store for BeagleBoard.org in 2014? What’s in store for open hardware in 2014?

    As I mentioned, I believe the trend toward more compelling online trainings for hardware development will accelerate in 2014. The snowball effect means that many people will be getting more than a superficial introduction to advancing the state of open hardware for all of us…

    For BeagleBoard.org and BeagleBone Black in particular, we are shifting the Linux distribution included on the board to Debian and upgrading our to version 3 of the Cloud9 IDE, which I see as a significant improvement with Python support, better shell capabilities, and improved debugging. We are also starting to include other libraries to program the board’s physical I/Os in Python, C/C++ and sketches. Upping board capacity and improving the software experience will be major focus items that our community of users should notice and help direct. Among the most visible and interesting development activities will be happening as part of the 2014 Google Summer of Code, for which the BeagleBoard.org Foundation is an approved mentoring organization and for which some number of students will get paid for their open source software development work. With at least half a dozen Beagle-related books coming out and popularity at an all-time high, 2014 could easily shape up to be the most exciting year for BeagleBoard.org yet!

    Read more.

    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kits

    Each Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here at Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 06:00
    First Stab at Motion Sensor to Disconnect a Car Charger



    [Pixel] just sent in this automotive hack which disconnects his car charger when the vehicle stops moving for at least 10 minutes. Why would you need such a thing? The 12V outlet in his vehicle isn’t disconnected when the ignition is turned off. If he leaves a charger plugged in when parking the car, he often returns to a drained battery.

    The fritzing diagram tells the story of this hack. He’s using a 7805 to power the Arduino mini. This monitors an ADXL362 accelerometer, starting the countdown when motion is no longer sensed by that chip. At the 10-minute mark the N-channel MOSFET kills the ground side of the outlet. Good for [Pixel] for including a resetable fuse on the hot side. But it was the diode all the way to the left that caught our eye. Turns out this is part of a filtering circuit recommended in a forum post. It’s a Zener that serves as a Transient-Voltage-Suppression diode.

    Another comment on that thread brings up the issue we also noticed. The 7805 linear regulator is constantly powered. Do you think putting the uC into sleep and leaving the linear regulator connected is an adequate solution? If not, what would you do differently?

    Filed under: transportation hacks

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 05:07
    Hanging with Frank Gehry: Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2014

    IMG_6212Slideshow of the great projects, people and venue (Frank Gehry's EMP building) of this past weekend's Seattle Mini Maker Faire.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 05:00
    PYRAD: LED “Infinity” panels inspired by Enter the Void #ArtTuesday


    Check out this sweet LED installation from gmunk, inspired by the film Enter the Void.

    The main inspiration for the creative came from the DMT-Delicious moments in the super-favorite film Enter the Void… Munko has been on a tunnel infinite-void kick for some years now and wanted to build a practical, LED installation driven by graphic sequencing, utilizing the techniques learned from the FOTB Titles and applying them into a more densely packed setup called the PYRADICAL… Once the Pyrad was constructed, the aim was to capture the visuals with both high-resolution Film and Still cameras, which would generate a vast library of content to pull from to produce the artwork for the Conference Package..

    He tapped super-friend and lighting genius Michael Fullman to help him execute the concept, which was to construct a triangular volume out of three LED panels, flanked on either end by a trio of Light Tubes that would complete the design. Once Munk and and Michael had the concept and build nailed down, he tapped frequent collaborators Kevin Gosselin and John Nguyen to capture the installation on the Arri Alexa and Nikon D800.

    In building the actual structure for the Pyrad there were some pretty unique challenges to attain the desired aesthetic. We needed to not only communicate forward and backward motion but also communicate negative space and scale.

    The structure itself is made up of two main elements. The LED Panels and the LED tubes. 3 LED panels were used to make up the walls, all controlled by video content from a control computer. This allowed us to have open ended control over the motion, color, and effects that were applied to the video content. In addition to the 3 LED panels, 6 LED tubes were used to border the structure at both the front and the back opening. These tubes were also controlled by a mapped video signal that corresponded with the content playing on the main panels. That way we could accomplish moments of punch and exclamation as the content traveled both toward and away from the camera. They also provided a really nice frame for the shot, showing us the beginning of the space and the end.

    The real challenge was to trick the viewer into not realizing the scale of the actual structure. Which is really about the camera position, lensing, and light control in the structure, using both the presence and absence of light.

    Read more.

    FITC Amsterdam 2013 PYRADICAL from GMUNK on Vimeo.

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 03:01
    Bookworm Playing Bot Tests Programmer’s OCR Skills


    Check out this brainy bot with [Jari] whipped up to dominate the Bookworm Deluxe scoreboard. The bot runs on top of a win32 machine, pulling screenshots to see the game board and simulating mouse clicks to play. The video after the jump shows that it plays like a champ, but it took some doing to get this far and [Jari] took the time to share all of the development details.

    The hardest part of writing these types of bots is recognizing the game pieces. Check out all of the animation that’s going on in the still shot above… a lot of the tiles are obscured, there are different colors, and the tiles themselves shift as the bot spells and submits each word.

    After some trial and error [Jari] settled on an image pre-processor which multiplies pixel values by themselves four times, then looks at each pixel with a 1/6 threshold to produce a black and white face for each tile. From there a bit of Optical Character Recognition compares each tile to a set of known examples. This works remarkably well, leading into the logic and dictionary part of the programming challenge.

    Do you think this was easier or harder than the Bejeweled Blitz bot. That one was looking for specific pixel regions, this one is basically a focused roll-your-own OCR script.


    Filed under: video hacks

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 02:38
    Hot Off the Press: MAKE Volume 38, Our High-Tech DIY Issue

    M38_CVR_highRezOur newest issue hits newsstands this week and features over 50 projects sure to please a wide range of makers.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 19:01
    Talpadk: A fast and beautiful terminal

    xrvt-unicode/uxrvt has long been my favourite terminal, it is fast and it supports faked transparency.

    rxvt terminal with transparencyOne problem with using a darkened background was however that some terminal colour simply were bit too dark.

    After a quick googling and short man page reading it was however clear that this can actually easily be resolved.
    Additionally I can store some extra settings making my keyboard short cur for launching the terminal nice and simple.


    sudo apt-get install xrvt-unicode 
    sudo apt-get install tango-icon-theme

    The last line is only for getting the terminal icon, and is optional if you comment out the iconFile resource

    Configuring rxvt-unicode

    In the file ~/.Xdefaults add the following lines:

    !===== rxvt-unicode resource definitions =====!
    !The number of scrollback lines
    URxvt*saveLine: 5000
    !Add fading for unfocused windows
    URxvt*fading: 33
    !Specify the icon for the terminal window, requieres the "tango-icon-theme" package
    URxvt*iconFile: /usr/share/icons/Tango/16x16/apps/terminal.png
    !Transparency setting
    URxvt*transparent: true
    URxvt*shading: 25
    URxvt*background: Black
    URxvt*foreground: White
    !Colour setup for the darker background
    URxvt*color0:  Black
    URxvt*color1:  #ffa2a2
    URxvt*color2:  #afffa2
    URxvt*color3:  #feffa2
    URxvt*color4:  #a2d0ff
    URxvt*color5:  #a2a2ff
    URxvt*color6:  #a2f5ff
    URxvt*color7:  #ffffff
    URxvt*color8:  #000000
    URxvt*color9:  #ffa2a2
    URxvt*color10: #afffa2
    URxvt*color11: #feffa2
    URxvt*color12: #a2d0ff
    URxvt*color13: #a2a2ff
    URxvt*color14: #a2f5ff
    URxvt*color15: White
    !Colour notes from the man page
    !color0       (black)            = Black
    !color1       (red)              = Red3
    !color2       (green)            = Green3
    !color3       (yellow)           = Yellow3
    !color4       (blue)             = Blue3
    !color5       (magenta)          = Magenta3
    !color6       (cyan)             = Cyan3
    !color7       (white)            = AntiqueWhite
    !color8       (bright black)     = Grey25
    !color9       (bright red)       = Red
    !color10      (bright green)     = Green
    !color11      (bright yellow)    = Yellow
    !color12      (bright blue)      = Blue
    !color13      (bright magenta)   = Magenta
    !color14      (bright cyan)      = Cyan
    !color15      (bright white)     = White

    The last comments can of course be left out but is handy if you need to find a particular colour that you want to change.

    Also adjust the shading resource to your liking.

    After saving the file you may start the terminal using urxvt or rxvt-unicode and enjoy it fast and good looks.

  • Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 16:42


    • Un téléviseur en panne ?

    Plus où moins… En fait on m'a fait don de cette télé qui fonctionne plutôt bien malgré la piètre qualité des couleurs…
    Sauf qu'en basculant sur les canaux AV1 et AV2 ou encore S-VHS, un horrible sifflement se fait entendre, qu'une source vidéo soit connectée ou non, et quelque soit le réglage du volume sonore.
    Bruit parasite strident qui cesse dés qu'on remet la TV sur son tuner… Étonnant !

    J'ai alors entrepris d'ouvrir l'engin et de trouver un défaut évident, mais rien de probant.
    De plus, impossible d'identifier la marque et le modèle du châssis, de ce TV DUAL ETV 70440.
    À force de recherches sur le circuit et sur internet, j'ai fini par comprendre qu'il s'agissait en fait d'un châssis standard de type E9.
    Sur une base commune, les fabricants de TV pouvaient donc distribuer leurs produits avec plus où moins d'options, câblées ou non sur ce châssis.
    Ensuite il ne restait qu'à dégoter le « Chassis TV Standard E9 Service Manual[1] », permettant de suivre le schéma à la recherche de la panne, mais je n'ai rien trouvé, et au bout de quelques heures, j'en ai eu marre…

    • Une panne à la con que j'ai donc choisi de contourner, en déconnectant simplement des enceintes l'ampli audio du chassis E9, pour le remplacer par un ampli d'enceinte de PC.

    J'ai raccordé celui-ci sur les enceintes et la prise casque du TV, puis ajusté le niveau de son amplification de manière cohérente avec le réglage du volume de la prise casque à la télécommande.

    Voilà !

    Le Service Manual s'est révélé très utile pour bénéficier de la manipulation à effectuer à la télécommande pour accéder au menu « ingénieur », permettant notamment le réglage de la géométrie de l'image.


    [1] dispo en annexe ci-dessous

  • Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 15:00
    [DIY] Stencil pour soudure de CMS

    Bonjour tout le monde !

    Après presque un mois d’essais infructueux, j’ai fini par trouver une façon simple et viable de graver des stencils pour soudure de composants CMS.


    Un stencil ce n’est rien de plus qu’une plaque en métal (ou en plastique) avec des trous aux endroits où se trouvent les empreintes des composants CMS.

    Avec un stencil, l’opération de soudure de composants CMS se limite à appliquer de la patte à souder sur le circuit avec le stencil puis à passer la carte avec les composants au four (de refusions, pas le four de le cuisine ;) ).

    Plus besoin de souder chaque composant à la main. Autant dire que le gain en temps est énorme !

    Vous vous demandez surement pourquoi d’un coup je cherche à faire des stencils ?

    En fait, j’ai un projet "top secret" sur lequel je travaille depuis plusieurs mois.
    J’avais prévu de le rendre public en début d’année, mais j’ai dû me résoudre à attendre encore un peu.
    Finalement j’espère pouvoir vous montrer le résultat dans le milieu de l’année, juste pour l’anniversaire des 3 ans du blog.

    C’est un projet assez costaud qui me demande de souder un bon nombre de composants CMS, d’où la nécessité d’un stencil pour accélérer l’opération de montage.

    En attendant, voici ma méthode étape par étape, du fichier de typon, au stencil final ;)

    Remarque n°1 : ma méthode est fortement inspirée de celle disponible sur ce blog anglais :
    Je n’ai pas réinventé la roue, j’ai juste ajouté un peu plus de gomme autour ;)

    Remarque n°2 : j’ai laissé traîner un paquet d’indices dans les captures d’écrans ci-dessous.
    Mais croyez-moi, ce n’est que la partie visible de l’iceberg ;)

    Etape 1 – Générer les fichiers Gerber


    La première étape consiste à générer les fichiers Gerber à partir du typon.
    Avec Eagle il suffit d’utiliser l’option "CAM" pour cela.

    Suivant le logiciel utilisé la façon de faire est différente.
    Mais dans tous les cas il doit être possible de générer les fichiers Gerber à partir des couches du typon.
    Si ce n’est pas le cas, changer de logiciel de CAO, c’est vraiment un truc de base.


    Au final pour mon circuit, j’obtiens toute une série de fichiers Gerber prêts à être envoyés en fabrication.
    Personnellement je fais fabriquer mes circuits chez Seeedstudio. Je n’ai jamais été déçu par la qualité des PCB.

    Etape 2 – Vérification des fichiers Gerber


    L’étape 2 consiste à ouvrir les fichiers Gerber avec un éditeur pour voir si tout va bien.
    J’utilise Gerbv pour cela.

    Logiquement vous devriez vérifier les fichiers générés avant de les envoyer en fabrication.
    Si vous ne le faites pas, vous aurez des surprises parfois ;)

    Etape 3 – Sélection des couches "solder mask"


    Après avoir vérifié que tout allez bien, vous devriez pouvoir facilement mettre de côté les couches "solder mask" (masque de soudure) qui nous intéressent.
    Ces couches servent à masquer les zones où la soudure devra être appliquée.

    Etape 4 – Export en SVG


    Une fois les couches "solder mask" séparées du reste il faut les exporter en SVG.
    Avec Gerbv il suffit de faire "File" -> "Export" -> "SVG".

    L’opération devra être répétée autant de fois qu’il y a de couches "solder mask" (théoriquement il devraient en avoir une ou deux).

    Etape 5 – Ouverture du SVG


    Une fois la couche "solder mask" exportée en SVG il faut l’ouvrir avec un éditeur de SVG.
    Pour cela rien ne vaut Inkscape.

    Etape 6 – Dégroupage (étape spécifique à Inkscape)


    Par défaut Inkscape fait des "blocs" quand vous ouvrez un fichier SVG.
    Si vous essayez de cliquer sur un des pads de composant, vous remarquerez que tout le bloc se sélectionne.

    Ce n’est pas pratique et ça va poser des problèmes par la suite, il faut donc dégrouper le bloc.
    Pour ce faire : "Object" -> "Ungroup".


    À présent chaque élément du fichier SVG (= chaque empreinte de composants) est indépendant.

    Attention : à ce stade, évitez de bouger une empreinte par erreur sinon le stencil sera complètement faux à la fin ;)

    Etape 7 – Préparation avant impression

    Pour pouvoir graver le stencil, il faut que les pads soient blancs sur fond noir.
    Une simple impression en mode négatif pourrait suffire, mais niveau consommation d’encre se serait un massacre d’imprimer des pages noir.

    L’idée consiste donc à entourer chaque morceau du stencil d’une zone noir, ni trop grande, ni trop petite.


    Pour dessiner les zones noires, il suffit d’utiliser l’outil "Rectangle".


    Ensuite avec la roue de sélection chromatique il suffit de mettre tous les pads en blanc et les rectangles en noir.


    Astuce : les rectangles se dessinent toujours par-dessus les autres formes avec Inkscape.
    Il suffit de cliquer sur l’icône "Lower selection to bottom" pour "descendre" le rectangle d’un niveau, et faire en sorte qu’il soit en dessous des pads.

    Etape 8 – Impression

    Pour fabriquer mes stencils, mes PCB, mes faces avant de boitier, bref tout, j’utilise la technique du "transfert de toner".
    Cette technique consiste à utiliser une imprimante laser (et uniquement laser, pas jet d’encre) pour imprimer un motif sur du papier et ensuite le transférer sur un support.

    "L’encre" dans une imprimante laser s’appelle du "toner". C’est une sorte de plastique qui se transfère très bien à la chaleur.
    Cerise sur le gâteau : le toner étant un plastique il ne craint pas l’acide, c’est donc tiptop pour faire des circuits ;)


    Pour faire mes circuits, j’utilise une petite imprimante laser du fabricant "Brother" qui m’as coûté ~80€.
    Les recharges de toner (noir uniquement) font environ 1000 feuilles et coûtent 40€, pour une imprimante laser c’est vraiment low-cost.

    Ironie, si vous avez une imprimante laser professionnelle qui peut imprimer plus de 100 feuilles par minute (le genre de grosses imprimantes laser qui font souvent scanner automatique et fax) ça ne marchera pas aussi bien qu’avec une petite imprimante laser comme la mienne qui fait au maximum 20 pages à la minute les jours de beau temps.
    Cela est dû à la puissance du fil Corona des rouleaux chauffant qui chauffent le toner pour l’incruster dans le papier. Sur les grosses imprimantes laser, ils sont tellement puissant que le toner est carrément fondu d’un bloc dans le papier.


    Concernant le papier justement, il faut impérativement du papier glacé pour que le transfert puisse se faire.
    MAIS, il ne faut PAS du papier de qualité …

    L’idéal c’est le papier glacé de publicité, le truc qu’on jette sans même lire, c’est tiptop.
    Pas la peine d’acheter du papier "ultra glossy" à 20€ les 10 feuilles ça ne marchera que très moyennement.

    J’adore cette technique pour ce côté "ne marche qu’avec de la merde" :)

    Etape 9 – Préparation


    Pour faire les stencils, il faut du métal, idéalement de l’acier au carbone.
    Mais bon, l’acier au carbone c’est hors de prix et en plus ça ne se grave pas.
    Donc à moins d’avoir une découpeuse laser ça ne vaut pas le coup.

    Personnellement pour faire mes stencils j’utilise deux types de métaux : du cuivre et de l’aluminium.
    Le cuivre se grave sans problème comme un circuit classique, par contre à l’usage le stencil s’use plus vite.
    L’aluminium dure plus longtemps à l’usage et se grave assez facilement avec la bonne méthode. Quand on commence à maîtriser la technique, c’est une solution très intéressante.

    Dans les deux cas, les feuilles de métal doivent faire très exactement 1/10iéme de millimètre. C’est l’épaisseur standard d’un stencil pour soudure CMS.
    Ce genre de feuille se vend au mètre à 10-20€ le mètre, une petite recherche google donne plein de résultats ;)


    Pour faire la base des stencils, il suffit de découper un rectangle de métal de taille raisonnable.

    Etape 10 – Nettoyage


    Avant de pouvoir transférer le toner sur le métal, il faut enlever toute trace de graisse, d’encre, de poussière et autre saloperie.
    Pour ce faire il suffit d’essuie-tout, d’acétone et d’huile de coude.

    Précaution d’usage : gants et une bonne ventilation, l’acétone n’est pas très bon pour la santé.

    Etape 11 – Transfert du toner

    C’est désormais le moment de transférer le toner sur le métal.


    Il vous faut :
    - un fer à repasser, idéalement un fer à repasser pas cher qui ne servira qu’à cela,
    - de l’essuie-tout pour protéger le métal,
    - un support dur et bien plat.


    1) Préchauffer le métal en le glissant dans une feuille d’essuie-tout pour éviter que le fer soit en contact direct avec le métal.
    Le fer à repasser doit être réglé sur la puissance maximale, faut que ça chauffe !

    Laisser préchauffer 20-25 secondes.


    2) Poser le papier avec le toner côté métal. Bien faire attention de ne pas faire de plis.

    Attention : le métal chaud va immédiatement faire fondre le toner qui va commencer à se transférer.
    Il n’y a pas le droit à l’erreur lors de la pose.


    3) Pour finir le transfert, il suffit de chauffer le métal (toujours en le glissant dans une feuille d’essuie-tout) pendant 30 secondes de plus. Penser à faire des mouvements circulaires et n’oublier pas les angles, c’est ce qui se transfère le plus mal.

    Etape 12 – Épluchage


    Après un rapide passage à l’eau froide le papier devrait se décoller facilement.




    Il suffit de tirer doucement sur un coin pour que le toner reste sur le métal, mais pas le papier.
    Si le transfert c’est bien fait le papier doit se décoller comme un auto-collant.



    Plusieurs essais sont souvent nécessaires pour trouver le bon type de papier, mais une fois que c’est bon le résultat est au rendez-vous.

    Etape 13 – Protection des zones non couvertes



    Avant de passer le métal dans l’acide, il faut protéger chaque centimètre carré de métal à nu.
    Les seuls endroits à nu doivent être les zones à graver.

    Le scotch transparent marche super bien pour faire le masquage.

    Etape 14 – Gravure


    Je ne donnerai pas de détails concernant le mélange permettant la gravure.
    C’est une solution acide extrêmement puissante qui grave en moins d’une minute le cuivre ou l’aluminium, mais qui est extrêmement dangereuse à réaliser.

    Si vous voulez savoir comment elle se réalise voici un tutoriel :

    Cette solution est vraiment puissante, en plus de graver ultra rapidement elle est réutilisable indéfiniment.
    La réaction avec le cuivre génère une deuxième solution qui peut être régénérée avec de l’oxygène, redonnant la solution de départ.
    En plus la solution est transparente, contrairement au perchlorure de fer qui est jaune opaque.

    C’est vraiment LA solution pour graver des circuits, mais elle demande de prendre beaucoup de précautions.
    Autant le perchlorure de fer n’est pas bien dangereux, à part faire des taches il ne peut pas arriver grand-chose.
    Autant l’acide ci-dessus peut ronger tout et n’importe quoi, en plus de réagir violemment au contact de toute substance organique.

    Pour faire simple, c’est un mélange d’acide chlorhydrique à 23% et de peroxyde d’hydrogène (eau oxygénée) à 30%.
    Même séparément ces deux composantes peuvent ronger du métal … ou une main.

    Dans tous les cas, il est obligatoire de porter un vêtement à manche longue en coton, des lunettes de protection pour la chimie (qui couvre contre les éclaboussures), des gants de chimies et un masque (idéalement à cartouche, mais je n’en ai pas).
    Le mélange doit impérativement se faire en extérieur, avec une source d’eau vive proche disponible à tout instant.

    Pour vous donner une idée, voici ce que donne le mélange dès que le cuivre entre en contact avec l’acide :



    Ça fait des bulles … d’oxygène et de chlore. À ne pas respirer donc.

    Etape 15 – Nettoyage


    Au bout d’une grosse minute, le cuivre devrait être rongé entièrement.
    Il suffit alors de rincer le stencil à l’eau froide et d’enlever le scotch.

    Remarque : la solution de gravure doit être conservé dans un récipient en VERRE, pas en métal (logique) ou en plus plastique (à long terme il sera rongé).
    En aucun cas la solution de gravure ne doit être jetée dans la nature. N’essayez même pas d’annuler l’acide avec une base, le résultat serait catastrophique. Si vous voulez vous débarrasser d’un trop-plein de solution, il faut aller en déchetterie.

    Le résultat final :


    Etape 16 – Utilisation

    Le stencil est prêt, il ne reste plus qu’à le tester !


    Patte à souder, raclette, support, scotch à peinture, stencil et circuit. Let’s go !

    Le résultat :


    Avec les composants :


    PS : Pour la recuisson j’utilise un mini four à infrarouge contrôlé par un module "Reflow Controller V2" de BetaStore.
    Ce module m’a coûté un bras, mais le résultat vaut largement mieux qu’un four de recuisson infrarouge tout fait.

    Bon WE à toutes et à tous !

    Classé dans:projet, tutoriel Tagged: cms, diy, madeinfr, pcb