Author Topic: Dave's uCurrent Adapter  (Read 6625 times)

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Offline brims

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Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« on: June 19, 2010, 12:33:00 AM »
I'm sorry if this has been brought up before, I haven't been able to find it. I really like the idea of the uCurrent adapter. I bought the issue of the Australian magazine (don't recall the name) that Dave wrote an article about the device to get all the information; that was before he freely gave it away.

Anyways, I'd love to try my hand at building one, my only issue is the PCB. I have no idea what I'm doing in regards to designing a PCB to send off to a manufacturer. I took the pictures of the PCB he gave and put them in an image editing program to try and come up with a template, but who knows if I could get a board made from that. Has Dave ever given the PCB template in any format, or does anyone else have one.

I'd buy an adapter, but I'd really rather build it myself. Maybe I'll build one if I can get the PCB layout and buy one. Thanks in advace.

Offline TheDirty

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 01:30:26 AM »
If you want to try the easy way out, you can download the ExpressPCB program which is a simplified PCB design program, but it can only be used with ExpressPCB (the manufacturer).

Otherwise I would highly suggest downloading the Eagle freeware version, going through all the tutorials and create the schematic and board in it.  There are tutorials on how to make Gerber files for manufacturing out of Eagle as well.  It's a steep learning curve, but schematic capture and PCB layout is fundamental you're going to need if you want to move forward with more projects.
Mark Higgins

Offline TheDirty

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 01:37:38 AM »
There are plenty of basic tutorials on Eagle you can use that you can google yourself.  I think the Youtube ones can be pretty good.

Here's some that are specifically meant for when you are ready to send it in for manufacturing:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/tutorial_info.php?tutorials_id=115
http://hackaday.com/2009/01/15/how-to-prepare-your-eagle-designs-for-manufacture/
http://colinkarpfinger.com/blog/2010/ordering-pcbs-designed-with-eagle/
Mark Higgins

Offline Time

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 01:40:04 AM »
No one ever mentions c.adence lay.out on here... I use c.adence lay.out... i like it alot
-Time

Offline TheDirty

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2010, 01:56:24 AM »
Is it free?

Eagle is the standard for open source hardware so there are a lot of tutorials, libraries, and available designs for it.  It's also free for two layer/limited board size.  For somebody doing this for a hobby, it's pretty much the de facto standard.
Mark Higgins

Offline brims

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2010, 11:25:49 AM »
Thanks. I'll look into Eagle and see what I can do.

Offline TheDirty

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2010, 11:34:28 AM »
Looks like I left it out of the original message, but the learning curve is steep.  I don't want to give the impression that you are going to be up and running quickly.
Mark Higgins

Offline sanman

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2010, 02:10:52 AM »
I would also be interested if anyone has already done the layout and could post/send the file.. for any of the companies. This would save me a lot of time.

Thanks!

Offline dengorius

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2010, 04:58:14 AM »
Well you can use the original circuit overlay from Dave

http://alternatezone.com/electronics/ucurrent/uCurrent-Overlay.gif

That makes the pcb design almost effortless

Offline terabyte

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 11:47:28 AM »
Has anybody asked Dave for the Eagle files?  I recently emailed him and he said he was not going to be selling the uCurrent anymore as there was no demand for them.  Heck I'll shoot him an email and ask.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 09:42:54 PM »
I do not have Eagle files, the project was done in Altium Designer.
I'll probably get around to open sourcing it one day, but really, it's a trivial circuit, easy to lay out yourself any way you want.

Dave.

Offline bombledmonk

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 02:07:18 AM »
I'm bringing this back from the dead out of curiosity.  Since you aren't making the uCurrent are you considering a release of the gerber and production files to make it easy for people who want to get their hands on one?

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 03:04:59 AM »
The one problem with the gerbers directly is that I haven't been able to find a source for the hobby box that Dave used.  I have all the parts coming from Digikey, other than the few I sampled from Maxim.  :)  I'll be making a Eagle for the uCurrent, but I will require Dave's blessing (and a working proto using that board) before I would make that public.

Can't promise a time frame, as I'm finishing my ATMega driven current sink and current limiter power supply first.  And the honey do list is quite long...

Offline bombledmonk

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 07:36:35 AM »
While not exactly the same, I think this is one is pretty close in dimensions.  I'm not quite sure which Jiffy box he was using.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=HM361-ND

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2011, 09:05:39 AM »
I'm thinking about designing for this one: http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/TB-1/PLASTIC-BOX//1.html

I have a few of them around and they are the best priced option out there.  I always seem to be ordering something fun from them anyway.


Offline EEVblog

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2011, 09:54:54 AM »
The one problem with the gerbers directly is that I haven't been able to find a source for the hobby box that Dave used.  I have all the parts coming from Digikey, other than the few I sampled from Maxim.  :)  I'll be making a Eagle for the uCurrent, but I will require Dave's blessing (and a working proto using that board) before I would make that public.

Sure, go for it. Just the usual attribution is fine.
The hobby box I used is a made in Australia UB5 Jiffy Box from Altronics. Jaycar also sell the same type, but made in China.
They have been the standard hobby box for many decades in the Australian electronics industry.
As far as I know, they aren't used outside of Australia?

Dave.

Offline Wartex

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2011, 05:44:07 AM »
I do not have Eagle files, the project was done in Altium Designer.
I'll probably get around to open sourcing it one day, but really, it's a trivial circuit, easy to lay out yourself any way you want.

Dave.

What license will you open-source it under?

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2011, 12:29:07 PM »
I do not have Eagle files, the project was done in Altium Designer.
I'll probably get around to open sourcing it one day, but really, it's a trivial circuit, easy to lay out yourself any way you want.

Dave.

What license will you open-source it under?

Likely CC-Attribution-Share Alike.

Dave.

Offline Tony R

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2011, 11:26:29 AM »
If you want to try the easy way out, you can download the ExpressPCB program which is a simplified PCB design program, but it can only be used with ExpressPCB (the manufacturer).

Bad Software, Bad Company.

I find the software awkward to use and the files are non portable you must use express PCB to manufacture your boards. They are higher priced and rather limited to what you can get. I have classmates who used that company eneded up paying 40 bucks for a 10cm by 10cm board with no solder mask.
Tony R.
Computer Engineering Student
Focus: Embedded Assembly Programming, Realtime Systems,  IEEE Student Member

Offline reagle

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2011, 10:54:38 AM »
We've used Express PCB for years at work  when we needed quick protos with a guaranteed delivery dates and never had problems that weren't caused by us. You can also get Gerbers after your first order for some fee if you'd like to go anywhere else.
So we've always been happy with them

Offline AscendedDaniel

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2011, 05:26:26 AM »
Does anyone know the part numbers for the binding posts and banana jacks used on the uCurrent? They look really nice, and I'm having trouble finding them on digikey and mouser.

Offline JGinwa

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2011, 06:15:28 PM »
Found suitable jacks/posts at

 Www.allectronics.com

Hope they are what you are looking for.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Dave's uCurrent Adapter
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2011, 06:59:31 PM »
Does anyone know the part numbers for the binding posts and banana jacks used on the uCurrent? They look really nice, and I'm having trouble finding them on digikey and mouser.

They are from Altronics:
http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=P9238

Dave.

Offline Wartex

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Offline mobbarley

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