Author Topic: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag  (Read 29970 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« on: January 06, 2013, 12:34:59 pm »


Dave.
 

Offline shane_95

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 01:17:48 pm »
Hahah Sorry about the schematic size Dave, knew you would like it though :). I didn't put a return adders to keep it anonymous
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 01:22:32 pm by shane_95 »
 

Offline funkimunky

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 05:27:58 pm »
This is really a question for Vincent Himpe about his book (free_electron if he reads this forum), I was wondering if you can buy a pdf version of Mastering Surface Mount Technology. I looked on the Elektor web site and it seems to only be a physical book available. I would really like a pdf version as I find them easier to use, especially being able to store it on my tablet (saves loads of space in my flat). The book looks like a Hayne's manual for electronics, I think I'll learn loads from it.
 

Offline LEECH666

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 06:18:19 pm »
I doubt there is a PDF version, if there were it would probably be spread on the internet in next to no time. And I doubt that's the intention of the author (Vincent).
 

Offline Winston

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 06:32:02 pm »
As always, loved the mailbag video.  Very much looking forward to you catching up.  They're one heck of a lot more fun than opening my Christmas presents because the mystery item always turns out to be electronics tech related.

What a great protoboard!  I've mentioned it via emails to the authors of several other e-tech sites I visit.

The Jaycar multimeter was interesting in two respects: they apparently manually trim the shunt by nicking it and they've finally wised up and replaced their usual messy trick of stacking six taped-in-place button cells to get 9V with a single 12V 23A battery.

Love those SS stencils with the Elektor SMD kits.  I manually cut out stencils for very simple circuits using a very sharp hobby knife on a sheet of transparent plastic using a laser printer printout of the PCB artwork below the plastic as a guide.  I wish someone would come up with super cheap mail-order laser cut plastic stencils from emailed Gerbers.  Or have they already?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 06:39:30 pm by Winston »
 

Offline 8086

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 07:21:04 pm »
I wish someone would come up with super cheap mail-order laser cut plastic stencils from emailed Gerbers.  Or have they already?

http://www.smtstencil.co.uk/
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 07:41:03 pm »
Does the book mention the fact that you shouldn't solder in short pants?



 ;)
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 09:14:41 pm »
@jancumps : i do that all the time. no problem , but both legs are under the table :) so no problem there.

Right some clarifications and addendums :

- PDF file : ain't donna happen for obvious reasons. Elektor is pondering e-book formats like iBooks or Nook or Kindle but the formats are very restrictive, especially for graphics heavy books like these are....

- I am working on an 'interactive chapter' for iPad. Sort of an assembly manual but with interactive bits. all the books have a unique code printed in the inside flap. use that code to register at the labworx website and you can download all sourcecode and other stuff like bill of materials, enlarged parts placements pdf's and layout PDF. ( Sorry no gerbers .. for obvious reasons ). the interactive chapter will be there for free as well.

- the UV exposure box : i just finished building the prototype gen II of that thing. one of the projects is a controller to make your own UV exposure unit. i built a plywood box and an acrylic box. version 1 had too many parts and was too iffy to assemble so i reworked it , reduced the number of parts by 15 and now have it ironed out.

The finished box in acrylic : all imagery on the box is engraved using the Laser ( i use an Epilog 60 watt Helix) . black acrylic turns almost white when fired at with the right power setting and pulse rate


front panel : ( the right panel is installed in the picture below but the handles and hinges are missing


The inside of the exposure chamber :


and when powered up :


i am using 420nM UV LED's that can be bough in adhesive strips off of ebay and other sources. Works liek a charm. the chamber gives a uniform light pool and you can exposu an 8 1/2 by 11 PCB without problems. The entire things is cut from two pieces of black 1/4 inch thick acrylic measuring 24 by 18 inches. The 24x18 inch acryilic size is chosen becasue 18x24 is a common bed size for lasercutters. The design will be made available as AI files for lasercutters. I haven't talked to the publisher about it yet but we may do a 'kit' of the plastic parts. you just go buy acrylic glue and you're set. Or you could download the AI (Adobe Illustrator CS5 format, readable by both AI and Coreldraw , which are the popular programs to drive lasercutters like the Helix and Zing ) files and cut your own.

Two acrylic sheets will set you back about 40$ , add a piece of transparent material for the exposure plate , another 10$ ( you need cast , so called museum quality, and not extruded acrylic for that ... ) . the UV led's can be had on ebay for about 40$ and the controller board is whatever elektor charges for it. the controller board is the one descirbed in the book. it uses the same atmel cpu as an arduino and you can actually load the arduino bootloader in it if you install the FTDI chip and USB connector so you could write your own control timer.
the timer as it is now allows you to run exposure an test as well as be an exposure timer. the sourcecode for the timer is downloadable form the website as well. nothing special. written in MikroE Basic for AVR and compilable with the Free version of the compiler.

here is the laser at work:

and the roll of led's from ebay:




- the same goes for the ringlight. i needed a PIC because that micrel chip uses a one wire control line that needs a pulse train to control the intensity. the code is again written in microbasic for PIC , can be downloaded from the website and is compilable with the free version of the compiler.

- the toaster oven is coming to a conclusion as well. i am late with the firmware for that thing. it uses the same PCB as the uv timer but you simply install the extra two thermocouple interface chips as well as the FTDI so you can monitor the profile on the PC. The controller is made for a CONVECTION oven and will NOT behave with an IR style oven. I deliberately chose a different approach than all the pizza oven soldering systems out there. IR is a very temepramentfull process and very hard to get right. you overcook the chips while white or very reflective parts don't flow. IR is a perfect process for localized rework like swapping a bga or tqfp on a board. it is NOT good to run whole boards. All the reflow machines in the industry are convection. they may be IR heated convection but the IR does NOT hit the board thye use it to heat an intermediate plate and create hot air using that plate. with IR hitting the board you can get massive gradients across the board, cooking one part while leaving another cold.  Convection does not have that problem. if the air in the chamber is 310 degrees then no spot on the board can get hotter than that. with IR  ... all bets are off how hot a part can really get ... i use a 59$ hot air tabletop oven made by Conair the controller drives the fan and the heating elements. two thermocouples monitor the process. one is measuring the air in the oven the other is obtional and can be used to track what your board is doing. the PC will display graphs of both ( it's a simple visual basic programm plotting temperature versus time. the whole interface between PC and controller is ASCII driven so you can roll your own if you want. the controller holds 10 recipies as well as a pre-heat recipe ) you simply program the endpoints of the tempearutre step and a dwell time inbetween. i use a simple bang-bang- control algorithm ( the relay can be 100% , 80% or 60% or 40% duty cycle. 100% being 10 seconds , 80 being 8 seconds etc. This is similar to what a normal kitchen oven does No need for PWM using SCR's under control of PID as the thermal masses are so large it makes no sense.

- so that is why the board dave showed says PANEL 2? Panel 1 is actually the control board that can be used for the UV box or the pizza toaster. ( if you want to make both the uv and toaster you will need to order two of the boards. it is the compnent stuffing that determines the function.)

- why this approach ? the projects in the book , while useful on their own, are actually intended to teach you the soldering techniques.... one project is full hand soldered , one is stencil soldered , another combines thru-hole and SMD and each project brings its own tips and tricks. you can deviate form the shown assembly process in the book without problems , but it is worth reading the explanations.

- why the elaboration on capacitors and resistors and components in the book ? as the scale of components decreases some physics comes into play. both the physics of soldering but also the material physics... capacitors for example start behaving very strangely... becoming microphones ... or acting a s speakers .... the materials used for such small form factor capacitros are also different from your normal thru-hole cap. you won't find barium titanate 22uF in thru-hole , while all SMD's are BaTi based... and this stuff exhibits specific behaviours not known to people dealing with thru-hole stuff. a 10uf 10 volt x7r in 0805 will , at 6v3 voltage, have about 7uF of effective capacitance. Take the same identical part but in 0603 ( so they need more layers internally and thinner layers to fullfill the mechanical constraint ) and at the same 6v3 working voltage you have 5uF left... so i need to sidetrack in the book and explain the problems encountered with certain components that are virtually inexistent in their thru-hole counterparts. same goes for resisotrs. the way they are cut , thin film vs thick film , and other aspects need to be explained.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:53:40 pm by free_electron »
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 10:10:43 pm »
For a cheap UV exposure unit : 
Housing : an old scrap (big) scanner for the enclosure, glass and lid
Timer : an old microwave oven timer (digital or mechanical)
Light source : A couple of insect killer tubes (about GBP5 each for a good electrical supplier) with standard fluorescent ballast.
Glass is better than acrylic as it doesn't flex so much.
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Offline somlioy

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 10:20:02 pm »
Those probes dosent look good for piercing oxidations etc when they have springy tips?
 

Offline M. András

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 10:33:55 pm »
that acrylic looks pretty good. i wonder what the price of that laser cutter :)
 

alm

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 10:44:22 pm »
Those probes are designed to pierce thin layers of oxidation as you might see on a PCB, not severely oxidized surfaces as you might see as an industrial electrician.
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 10:52:56 pm »
Those probes are designed to pierce thin layers of oxidation as you might see on a PCB, not severely oxidized surfaces as you might see as an industrial electrician.
Yes. The combination of the spring force and the sharpness of the tip is sufficient to get good contact with solder on oxidized or dirty PCBs.
 

Offline John_L

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 12:00:21 am »
Like the review of Vincents (free-electrons) new book.

Order placed for all 3 of Vincents books from Elektor.

Great Work.

 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 12:06:58 am »
Those probes are designed to pierce thin layers of oxidation as you might see on a PCB, not severely oxidized surfaces as you might see as an industrial electrician.
I don't like springy probes as they limit the force you can use to dig through resist etc. They are also prone to damaging the tips when they get some sideways force, which is pretty inevitable when you're trying to hold 2 probes with one hand.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 12:27:52 am »
For a cheap UV exposure unit : 
Housing : an old scrap (big) scanner for the enclosure, glass and lid
Timer : an old microwave oven timer (digital or mechanical)
Light source : A couple of insect killer tubes (about GBP5 each for a good electrical supplier) with standard fluorescent ballast.
Glass is better than acrylic as it doesn't flex so much.

ahhh . and in there lies the catch ... normal glass blocks a lot of UV light... acrylic and quartz don't. you need to get a hold of an old photocopier plate ( remeber the photocopiers that used chemicals ? that glass is excellent )  but you are right. insect killer tubes are the right wavelength ( needs to be between 360 and 440nM ). also so called actinic UV tubes are perfect ( those are used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis or used by aquarium fanatics to make the corals light up nicely. )  problem with tubes is getting a nice uniform light,since scanners are very shallow in depth it is hard to create uniform light. you will need a diffuser in front of it. Besides, 1/4 inch acrylic doesnt flex that much.

anyway. it's just a project like another.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 01:27:23 am »
For a cheap UV exposure unit : 
Housing : an old scrap (big) scanner for the enclosure, glass and lid
Timer : an old microwave oven timer (digital or mechanical)
Light source : A couple of insect killer tubes (about GBP5 each for a good electrical supplier) with standard fluorescent ballast.
Glass is better than acrylic as it doesn't flex so much.

ahhh . and in there lies the catch ... normal glass blocks a lot of UV light... acrylic and quartz don't. you need to get a hold of an old photocopier plate ( remeber the photocopiers that used chemicals ? that glass is excellent )  but you are right. insect killer tubes are the right wavelength ( needs to be between 360 and 440nM ). also so called actinic UV tubes are perfect ( those are used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis or used by aquarium fanatics to make the corals light up nicely. )  problem with tubes is getting a nice uniform light,since scanners are very shallow in depth it is hard to create uniform light. you will need a diffuser in front of it. Besides, 1/4 inch acrylic doesnt flex that much.
Normal window glass is perfectly fine for UV boxes.  Looking at a few random transmission spectrum graphs online, glass is pretty close to acrylic in the wavelenghs that matter, better than some acrylic grades

 but you also need maybe half the thickness of glass to get the same rigidity - 3mm glass is fine for an A3 size sheet. Another aspect is that glass is much less prone to to scuffs and scratches.
You may need to add some depth to more recent scanners to even out the light, but the readymade box, window and lid is a good start.
For larger boxes, UV tubes will be a lot cheaper than LEDs.
 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 01:30:29 am by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2013, 01:51:19 am »
there's 40$ of leds in my box. Actinic bulbs are also like 20$ a pop and that's not counting ballast,starters and sockets.
anyway. it's not a matter of cost. Just an example of what can be done.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2013, 05:18:56 am »
Mike, you mean I finally have a use for the old HP Scanjet then...... It needs a new lamp assembly, as it fails self cal, and HP in thier infinite wisdom decided to make the lamp a non standard length unit, and as well soldered it in. Arcus made the lamps a replaceable part, and supplied them as well at a very reasonable price. Good quality Phillips Eindhoven plant units as well.
 

Offline lapm

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2013, 12:03:38 pm »
Now i feel sad that couple years ago i throw away old scanner i had (only had drivers for win 98)...It would have been perfect to this uv box for p cbs. Had large windowon it,lid that closed well even if there waslittle something in between...

Other then this, i had to say i love mailbag days... You newer know what Dave gets this time... Should send him postcard or something at some point..

Loved that prototype board he showed this time...
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Offline djlorenz

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2013, 09:38:00 pm »
Really nice book and kit! i like that!

but 60euros for kit + 30GBP for book is a little bit too much... i never worked with smd and i don't know if i'll do that in future...
 :-//
 

Offline 8086

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2013, 11:00:50 pm »
30GBP for book is a little bit too much...

You obviously don't buy many technical books  ;)
 

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2013, 11:34:00 am »
I am working on an 'interactive chapter' for iPad. Sort of an assembly manual but with interactive bits.

I look forward to that!    An iPad app version of the book might be nice if other e-book types are too restrictive - and would be quite easy to do.

As a graphic designer I'm curious as to the software used to create the book?  did you create the layout / diagrams yourself?
 

Offline ptricks

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 01:56:55 pm »
I use a CFL (100 watt equivalent ) bulb and it works fine for doing UV exposures. Never saw the need to go to anything else.
The glass I am using is from an old scanner. Exposure time is about 12 minutes.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2013, 06:14:41 pm »
I am working on an 'interactive chapter' for iPad. Sort of an assembly manual but with interactive bits.

I look forward to that!    An iPad app version of the book might be nice if other e-book types are too restrictive - and would be quite easy to do.

As a graphic designer I'm curious as to the software used to create the book?  did you create the layout / diagrams yourself?

All images were created in Adobe illustrator and exported as EMF. I have tried many other packeges and Illustrator is simply the most powerful ( not necessarily the easiest , but definately the most powerful)
Document setup is done in MS word and then imported in Adobe InDesign.
Export is done through PDF ( Adobe professional. i have a CS5 master collection licence so i have all adobe tools )
the 3D renderings are done in Altium... yep. Altium ! since my Altium library has step models for all parts it is easy to simply switch the pcb view to 3d , postion the board and hit ALT-PRTSCR ... To modify and make step models i use Rhino3D. i simply created a hot air gun , weller soldering iron , bit of solder , tweezers and some other stuff in Rhino3D , exported as step and i can simply place these as free bodies in Altium. Rotation angle and xyz offset lets me place them where i want them on the board. This gives really good results. and i can make  3d view in half a minute.

It took me a while to come to that workflow but it works great.

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Offline PChi

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2013, 08:48:33 pm »
With probes it's horses for courses. I have found that sprung probes are great for surface mount components. They limit the amount of force that is applied and don't tend to fall off. They are rather fragile though, RS did some great 2 mm plugged ones that are really small, ideal for 0402 size components.

Please Dave could you demonstate the home use of the soldering stencils. I had a free one from PCB Pool but only had partial success with it.
 

Offline djlorenz

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2013, 09:08:18 pm »
30GBP for book is a little bit too much...

You obviously don't buy many technical books  ;)

no i don't... i buy books for university but i cant spend this money for passion!
web is full of informations... i prefer to keep money for kits and devices... and watch youtube, forums, blogs...

i think if a book has a "right" price more people buy that... ;)
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2013, 09:30:02 pm »
i think if a book has a "right" price more people buy that... ;)

40 GBP is a right price. The author is not getting rich from that. Taking the time into account writing it he maybe doesn't make any money at all.
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Offline billclay

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2013, 10:47:00 pm »
Those probes dosent look good for piercing oxidations etc when they have springy tips?

These probes come with a set of tips, some are solid.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2013, 11:09:37 pm »
40 GBP is a right price. The author is not getting rich from that. Taking the time into account writing it he maybe doesn't make any money at all.

The vast majority of authors do not make anything on their book (if they count their time as being worth something)
It's a mugs game.

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Offline codeboy2k

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2013, 12:07:29 am »
i think if a book has a "right" price more people buy that... ;)

40 GBP is a right price. The author is not getting rich from that. Taking the time into account writing it he maybe doesn't make any money at all.
While I was watching the video, I thought... that's going sell for about $99 or so, and I thought it would be quite worth it at that price.  It contains a a wealth of esoteric information that is not easily obtained and is a tribute to Vincent's vast experience in his field.

At $49 USD for me, it's a standard price, well worth it, and I'll order through Dave's Amazon affiliation, then both Dave and Vincent benefit from my order.


 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 12:39:23 am »
At $49 USD for me, it's a standard price, well worth it, and I'll order through Dave's Amazon affiliation, then both Dave and Vincent benefit from my order.

Ah, forgot to check if it was Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1907920129/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=ee04-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1907920129

Money for Sagan and Vincent!  :-+

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Offline PuterGeek

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2013, 02:10:10 am »
Ah, forgot to check if it was Amazon:

Listed but unavailable.

Vincent, do you have any idea when they will be restocked?

Sagan needs the royalty!  ;D
 

Offline alanb

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2013, 12:33:17 pm »
The link to Mike's Proto PCB does't seem to work. I get error message Bandwith Limit Exceeded. It looks as if Mike's website is getting more hits than anticipated.

Mike please let everyone know when its back on line.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2013, 01:25:04 pm »
Wow, hosting providers still have transfer caps?
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2013, 02:42:34 pm »
Yes, especially for the bottom end hosting provisions, where they barely break even on the costs. Not all countries and areas have unlimited bandwidth for low cost.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2013, 02:44:56 pm »
Yes, especially for the bottom end hosting provisions, where they barely break even on the costs. Not all countries and areas have unlimited bandwidth for low cost.

Yes, but even in the relative backwater of the UK, that must be an obscenely low limit for such a simple site to have used it up.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2013, 03:32:46 pm »
Come here, where you can get a right royal shafting with no lube at all. Single supplier who only recently has started to allow competition, only because they had no choice as the other cellular service providers are eating them up wholesale and taking customers away in droves.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2013, 08:51:34 pm »
The link to Mike's Proto PCB does't seem to work. I get error message Bandwith Limit Exceeded. It looks as if Mike's website is getting more hits than anticipated.

Mike please let everyone know when its back on line.
oops - I use a reseller package to host all my domains and for some reason the whitewing domain had a bandwidth limit configured - no idea how!
Back online now http://whitewing.co.uk/protoboard.html
But better get in quick - stock is running low!
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Offline somlioy

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2013, 10:10:07 pm »
But better get in quick - stock is running low!

They're all saying that. :P
Not saying its a bad thing...
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2013, 05:58:41 am »
Yes, but Mike will be unable to do anything from 8 Feb till 25 Feb, as then China is on holiday.

Tempting to buy a few, but no money, bills from last year coming in to pay and payday is soooooo long away.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2013, 08:43:04 am »
Yes, but Mike will be unable to do anything from 8 Feb till 25 Feb, as then China is on holiday.
Thanks for the reminder - new batch of 100 ordered....
 
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2013, 02:03:08 pm »
No problem, i will have to reind others at work about the same and as sure as there are little green apples they will forget and make it _my_ problem.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2013, 05:21:38 pm »
Yes, but Mike will be unable to do anything from 8 Feb till 25 Feb, as then China is on holiday.
Thanks for the reminder - new batch of 100 ordered....

...and current stock now sold out (barring my own stash - the primary purpose was to make something for my own use!)- more in about 2 weeks!
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Offline senso

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2013, 04:55:10 am »
Its for sure a must buy!
I also tough that such a book would run the likes of 100€ or more, has I'm used to, so its in my list of things to buy, so thanks for writing the book, hope that its as good as it looked in the video.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2013, 11:06:03 pm »
I'm working on the next 2.. One is on the SPI bus the other one on PCB design.
PCB design will have everything + the kitchen sink. i have almost 20 pages on just defining the board contour ... There is so much involved in even this simple task that it boggles your mind.. i keep handwritten notes and there's not a day that goes by without having to jot down ' i need to explain that as well'.

And these can be things you would not consider but can be extremely important... like defining boundaries where parts cannot go close ot the boar contour , because the machine needs room to grip the board .. but also close to things like mousebites. The act of snapping the board out of the frame creates a stress point. Have a simple component like a ceramic cap or resistor in smd closeby and you may create a microfracture in the resistor while you snap out the board ....  there are rules for these things.  so all that stuff gets covered.

it goes from designing the board shape , part placement , routing topology and much more elements of concern. It is written 'toolless', meaning not locked to a specific cad package. Of course i am using altium and the screenshots are made from that tool but the techniques are not limited to altium. They are valid in any pcb tool. The only thing the book will not be is an 'eagle users manual' , or 'altium users manual' or 'kicad users manual'. it is a PCB DESIGN book. Designing a pcb is much more than just placing some parts and wiring it up , manufacturability , reproducability, servicability , esd , emc and many other factors come into play. routing is only one aspect of making a board. it is all the other things that define where you will plunk the trace ... )

the reaosn i write in parallel is that for the spi book i have  wait time to get the boards and sometimes i get writers block or need to reformulate certain sections so i switch. keeps my mind from getting stuck in a rut.
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Offline kizzap

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2013, 05:43:54 am »
I'm working on the next 2.. One is on the SPI bus the other one on PCB design.

Consider 1 copy of a book on PCB design sold.
<MatCat> The thing with aircraft is murphy loves to hang out with them
<Baljem> hey, you're the one who apparently pronounces FPGA 'fuhpugger'
 

Offline cwalex

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2013, 06:17:16 am »
I'm working on the next 2.. One is on the SPI bus the other one on PCB design.

Consider 1 copy of a book on PCB design sold.

Me too  :-+
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2013, 07:23:02 am »
Oh goody, if one person learns something from it my goal is met  ;)
Gonna be end of the year ..
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 03:03:52 pm by free_electron »
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« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2013, 07:40:18 am »
Oh goody, if one person learns so etching from it my goal is met  ;)
Gonna be end of the year ..

I'm a big fan you! I read every post you make, so much fantastic info.

I would be more interested in layout of a board from an absolute beginners perspective. Regardless I will buy your book, eagerly anticipating its release. Please post when it is available and if you would be kind enough to offer preorders I will gladly preorder a copy.
 

Online bitwelder

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2013, 10:47:56 am »
I'm working on the next 2.. One is on the SPI bus the other one on PCB design.
PCB design will have everything + the kitchen sink. i have almost 20 pages on just defining the board contour ... There is so much involved in even this simple task that it boggles your mind.. i keep handwritten notes and there's not a day that goes by without having to jot down ' i need to explain that as well'.
Hmm... any idea how thick is the PCB design book going to be?  :D

It will certainly deserve a Mailbag Special episode from Dave, but let's wait patiently for now.

 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2013, 03:16:31 pm »
The book will indeed start from scratch. The goal is to give you a good base to start with. Too many people jump in making a board without thinking. The thinking part aside thereis also the knowing part.

I haven't seen too many people asking to evaluate their board before sending it off on this forum, but I have seen tons on the other forum. And it's invariably the same.

  • Where are the mounting holes ?
  • Why is the power transistor in the middle and not at the edge  where you can slap a heatsink on ?
  • How come the input of the amplifier is directly next to the output ... Wanna make an oscillator ?
  • How come all traces have the same thickness ?
  • What's with all the jumper wires ?
  • Why is you board 99% empty space and 3 miles of cabling... You can rotate parts you know ?
  • If you are going to saw or cut this board .. Don't you think this trace is a bit too close to the edge ?
  • I see you are using the default footprints.... The pads on that to220 are so small because they are intended for a thru plated board. Make this single sided and the thermal stress will pop them off the board...
And so on ...

That's what is going to be covered. Here is a bunch of things to think about before we even launch the cad tool.... When you got that figured out , start the cad program and define a board mechanically . Once that looks good lets place some parts now ... Partition the design. Tackle different strategies for high voltage, analog , digital, high speed , precision ,  once mechanical placement ( mechanical placement is the stuff that must have a determined location: switches, connectors, displays, leds, mounting holes, heatsinks, the case etc ) then rough placement is done ( rough placement is the big boys like big fat chips, you don't touch resistors and caps , unless they are big bulky caps and power resistors ) and after that you can begin thinking about getting a power distribution grid in place.... Pull in decoupling, filtering etc.  The last problem then is all the other crap.... And then maybe we can start drawing a connection...

There is a reason a layout is called artwork. Before you hit the chisel on that block of marble you need to have a good idea what you want the final work to look like. Or you may find out the block is too small to include the head ...
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 01:55:40 am by free_electron »
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Offline cwalex

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2013, 04:22:51 pm »
The book will indeed start from scratch. The goal is to give you a good base to start with. Too many people jump in making a board without thinking. The thinking part aside thereis also the knowing part.

I haven't seen too many people asking to evaluate their board before sending it off o. This forum, but I have seen tons on the other forum. And it's i variable the same.
Where are the mounting holes ? Why is the power transistor in the middle and not at the edge  where you can slap a heatsink on ? How come the input of the amplifier is directly next to the output ? Wanna make an oscillator ?
How come all traces have the same thickness ?
What's with all the jumper wires ?
Why is you board 99% empty space and 3 miles of cabling... You can rotate parts you know ?
If you are going to saw or cut this board .. Don't you think this trace is a bit too close to the edge ?
I see you are using the default footprints.... The pads on that to220 are so small because they are intende for a thru plated board. Make this single sided and the thermal stress will pop them off the board...

And so on ...

That's what is going to be covered. Here.is a bunch of things to think about before we even launch the cad tool.... When you got that figured out , start the cad program and define a board mechanically . Once that looks good lets place some parts now ... Partition the design. Tackle different strategies for high voltage, analog , digital, high speed , precision ,  once mechanical placement ( mechanical placement is the stuff that must have a determined location. switches, connectors, displays, leds , mounting holes, heatsinks , the case etc ) then rough placement is done ( rough placement is the big boys like big fat chips, you don't touch resistors and caps , unless they are big bulky caps and power resistors ) and after that you can begin thinking about getting a power distribution grid in place.... Pull in decoupling, filtering etc.  the last problem then is all the other crap.... And then maybe we can start drawing a connection...

There is a reason a layout is called artwork. Before you hit the chisel on that block of marble you need to have a good idea what you want the final work to look like. Or you may find out the block is too small to include the head ...

I always make double sided boards and have them made by itead but I always struggle with parts placement for the best layout between components. I have only made very simple circuits and still struggle! It feels like there would be some rules you could follow to make that part easier and better. It would be awesome if you could cover this concept in your book. But like I said I will buy it regardless! Thanks for your response and all your informative posts in general.

I think I'll post my next design and get input before committing the design for manufacture.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2013, 02:09:29 am »
That is the goal of this book. There is a bit of base knowledge you need to be aware off. And the rest is a bunch of strategies.
Placement strategies, power strategies , routing strategies.

The idea is to create a kind of 'cookbook' . Need this done ? do that .. but ... be aware of ...  and so on.
I got a project worked out as an example. I will make a gizmo ( you'll be able to buy the board and actually build it ) that covers all kinds of 'gotcha's. The project is a USB audio Amplifier with some kick behind it... ( 4x 40 watts ). So i can cover placement wise :

- mecha locks ( power amplifier stage + heatsink + thermal reliefs + mechanical stress relief )
- big and bulky ( big fat caps in the power section )
- precision stuff ( The USB DAc is has awesome S/N )
- all kinds of ESD and EMC trickery ( there will be a metal shield over the USB section )

Routing wise it's also versatile.
There's high speed clocks, user interface ( play/pause/ volume controls /next previous track+ display + cpu )
There's precision analog ( analog audio channels , microphone input )
there's low power amp ( headphone output )
there's 'power' in the endstage
there's pulse loads ( endstage is a MOSFET amp stage that has embedded boostpump to deliver serious 'bass boom' )
there's controlled impedance ( USB 2.0 ) and EMC ESD strategies on the computer interface . ( the amp has a USB hub built in as well. you get 2 spare USB plugs. the reason for the hub is that this is a composite device having the CODEC on USB as well as the CPU on usb. ( so you can display track name etc on display )

and a bunch of other things ...  The idea is to have a project that has a case example of any possible 'gotcha'. the board will be designed to fit in an off-the shelf heatsinked metal enclosure and have a nice illuminated volume knob and some angled pushbuttons ( again to teach how to build this kind of stuff on a pcb ) the pcb will be mounted screwless in the case and have the necessary cutouts and specialties .. anyway ... you'll get to see it as it progresses.
i expect to have a prototype of the pcb somewher emid of the year. i got the schematics roughly done and i'm working step by step through the PCB layout and making screencaptures as i go.

That is the hard bit about writing a book. you start writing something and halfway the section you realise ... crap. i need to talk about this as well , go modify the board , make new screencaptures.  and there's always stuff you forget and you have to go back and redo it a few weeks later..

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Online mariush

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2013, 03:20:58 am »
free_electron, your posts made me seriously consider this book and your previous one, Mastering i2c

I was checking Amazon UK and this one is sold through Amazon UK by Elektor at 26 uk pounds, but they refuse to accept sending it to Romania.

On the other hand, the Mastering I2C book is sold by Elektor but fulfilled by Amazon UK and that one works to order and ship, at 22 uk pounds even.

Kind of annoying, because both books are 29.5 uk pounds on the Elektor website. I'm not even motivated to create an account and see if that includes VAT or not and how much they'd charge me in shipping (later edit: checked, 7 pounds.. on amazon uk it's about 3 pounds).

Anyway, probably nothing you can do about it, but it just goes to show how annoying it can be when publishers make random restrictions.

ps. Just realized I might sound cheap, but with the prices on Amazon, both books would have fit my budget. Can't afford to get both at 60 pounds plus whatever shipping right now.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 03:27:57 am by mariush »
 

Offline cwalex

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2013, 03:24:29 am »
That is the goal of this book. There is a bit of base knowledge you need to be aware off. And the rest is a bunch of strategies.
Placement strategies, power strategies , routing strategies.

The idea is to create a kind of 'cookbook' . Need this done ? do that .. but ... be aware of ...  and so on.
I got a project worked out as an example. I will make a gizmo ( you'll be able to buy the board and actually build it ) that covers all kinds of 'gotcha's. The project is a USB audio Amplifier with some kick behind it... ( 4x 40 watts ). So i can cover placement wise :

- mecha locks ( power amplifier stage + heatsink + thermal reliefs + mechanical stress relief )
- big and bulky ( big fat caps in the power section )
- precision stuff ( The USB DAc is has awesome S/N )
- all kinds of ESD and EMC trickery ( there will be a metal shield over the USB section )

Routing wise it's also versatile.
There's high speed clocks, user interface ( play/pause/ volume controls /next previous track+ display + cpu )
There's precision analog ( analog audio channels , microphone input )
there's low power amp ( headphone output )
there's 'power' in the endstage
there's pulse loads ( endstage is a MOSFET amp stage that has embedded boostpump to deliver serious 'bass boom' )
there's controlled impedance ( USB 2.0 ) and EMC ESD strategies on the computer interface . ( the amp has a USB hub built in as well. you get 2 spare USB plugs. the reason for the hub is that this is a composite device having the CODEC on USB as well as the CPU on usb. ( so you can display track name etc on display )

and a bunch of other things ...  The idea is to have a project that has a case example of any possible 'gotcha'. the board will be designed to fit in an off-the shelf heatsinked metal enclosure and have a nice illuminated volume knob and some angled pushbuttons ( again to teach how to build this kind of stuff on a pcb ) the pcb will be mounted screwless in the case and have the necessary cutouts and specialties .. anyway ... you'll get to see it as it progresses.
i expect to have a prototype of the pcb somewher emid of the year. i got the schematics roughly done and i'm working step by step through the PCB layout and making screencaptures as i go.

That is the hard bit about writing a book. you start writing something and halfway the section you realise ... crap. i need to talk about this as well , go modify the board , make new screencaptures.  and there's always stuff you forget and you have to go back and redo it a few weeks later..

OMG  ^-^ I think you will sell a LOT of this book!

I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a section where you guide someone through getting the board done to the gerber level and advice to send the files to be manufactured so that someone can get experience with their hand held to get a board manufactured and then build the project on that board. I know I was really nervous when making gerbers and getting them done, felt like I was walking around in the dark even with all the good advice in forums and research I did.

Turned out that itead were good with communication of what I did wrong in my gerbers and even offered to fix it if I sent them my project file when I was continually sending them gerbers in a way they didn't like  :palm:

I got there in the end without resorting to send the project files but still a book like yours would have made me feel much more confident. It's a shame that you can't do it as a guide for a particular EDA package, would limit your audience too much but really I think that is only a small downside. The book will still be awesome and with list of content you just described I'm getting excited about it's release  ;D

EDIT: I forgot to mention I would be prepared to pay up to a couple hundred AUD$ for this book with accompanying projects included. Do you think it will come in under that? or is it too soon to give approx pricing?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 03:29:05 am by cwalex »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2013, 04:21:45 am »

I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a section where you guide someone through getting the board done to the gerber level and advice to send the files to be manufactured so that

But of course ! that's elementary my dear watson. Gerber generation and its gotcha's is in there as well. including verifying of the Gerber. Ditto for ODB++ and some other advanced stuff ( i'm not going to give away all the stuff here :) ). that includes doing realy crazy shit like V-scores , route and retain , mousebites , panelisation, sub-boards , flex , castellations , slotted holes, plated and non plated holes , using drill tables and manipulating them for special purposes ( like allocating specific drill sizes to make slits post plating etc )

The sample project board will probably be a 4 layer ( so i can demonstrate controlled impedance .. can't really do that on 2 layers).
Attention will be given on layer stack building , prepreg selection not only for dielectric constant but also for warpage, hygroscope, altitude and high frequency )

Other sections including creating project output ( assembly drawings , pick and place data , documentation drawings ) and handoff to manufacturing. After all a board design is only finished if it is mass producable by monkeys. As a board designer you need to hand off all data required for your backend. it does not stop at the generation of the gerber.  there is pastemask generation for example. knowing how to scale pads , how to inject lattices , how to deal with non populates, project variants , pullback and much much more ...

The step where you create gerber is only like the 75% point for a board design. there is still work to do afterwards before you can consider the pcb design 'complete' a pcb design is the translation of an electric schematic into a CAD dataset that will be used to build an ASSEMBLED board ( it doesn't stop at a bare board ) that FITS in its intended enclosure and is robust against ESD and passes EMC...

« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 04:25:05 am by free_electron »
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Offline cwalex

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2013, 05:13:26 am »

I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a section where you guide someone through getting the board done to the gerber level and advice to send the files to be manufactured so that

But of course ! that's elementary my dear watson. Gerber generation and its gotcha's is in there as well. including verifying of the Gerber. Ditto for ODB++ and some other advanced stuff ( i'm not going to give away all the stuff here :) ). that includes doing realy crazy shit like V-scores , route and retain , mousebites , panelisation, sub-boards , flex , castellations , slotted holes, plated and non plated holes , using drill tables and manipulating them for special purposes ( like allocating specific drill sizes to make slits post plating etc )

The sample project board will probably be a 4 layer ( so i can demonstrate controlled impedance .. can't really do that on 2 layers).
Attention will be given on layer stack building , prepreg selection not only for dielectric constant but also for warpage, hygroscope, altitude and high frequency )

Other sections including creating project output ( assembly drawings , pick and place data , documentation drawings ) and handoff to manufacturing. After all a board design is only finished if it is mass producable by monkeys. As a board designer you need to hand off all data required for your backend. it does not stop at the generation of the gerber.  there is pastemask generation for example. knowing how to scale pads , how to inject lattices , how to deal with non populates, project variants , pullback and much much more ...

The step where you create gerber is only like the 75% point for a board design. there is still work to do afterwards before you can consider the pcb design 'complete' a pcb design is the translation of an electric schematic into a CAD dataset that will be used to build an ASSEMBLED board ( it doesn't stop at a bare board ) that FITS in its intended enclosure and is robust against ESD and passes EMC...

I repeat... OMG! OMG!

Eagerly awaiting!!!!!!

Thanks for the updates :)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2013, 05:31:02 am »
That is the goal of this book. There is a bit of base knowledge you need to be aware off. And the rest is a bunch of strategies.
Placement strategies, power strategies , routing strategies.
The idea is to create a kind of 'cookbook' . Need this done ? do that .. but ... be aware of ...  and so on.

Well, I guess there goes my PCB book idea I've had for many years. Now I don't have to write it  :phew:

Dave.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2013, 05:36:24 am »
That is the goal of this book. There is a bit of base knowledge you need to be aware off. And the rest is a bunch of strategies.
Placement strategies, power strategies , routing strategies.
The idea is to create a kind of 'cookbook' . Need this done ? do that .. but ... be aware of ...  and so on.

Well, I guess there goes my PCB book idea I've had for many years. Now I don't have to write it  :phew:

Dave.

wanna be proofreader ?
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Offline cwalex

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2013, 05:48:29 am »
That is the goal of this book. There is a bit of base knowledge you need to be aware off. And the rest is a bunch of strategies.
Placement strategies, power strategies , routing strategies.
The idea is to create a kind of 'cookbook' . Need this done ? do that .. but ... be aware of ...  and so on.

Well, I guess there goes my PCB book idea I've had for many years. Now I don't have to write it  :phew:

Dave.

wanna be proofreader ?

I know you were asking dave but my hand is up for being a proofreader. My experience wouldn't help much with technical content though.  :-DD
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2013, 06:07:54 am »
wanna be proofreader ?

Nice try, but I ain't falling for it! ;D
(just as hard as writing the thing!)

Dave.
 

Offline ErikI

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2013, 09:14:20 pm »
I also bought the book after seeing it in the video. I'm teaching a course about designing and manufacturing electronics and after a quick scan I would like to include it as one of the suggested materials for the course, if you don't mind. It gives a very nice overview of the topics I'm covering in the course and I'm also considering ordering some more for the students. Keep up the good work.  :-+
 

Online mariush

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2013, 09:32:43 pm »
Well, after writing my previous post here, I sent an email to elektor's order email with some questions.

It's 3 or 4 working days later, i still got no answer. I guess it's the typical dutch way, they probably were in some holiday.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2013, 10:43:50 pm »
About PDF versions of books, one pattern I have seen is that you buy and register a physical copy of the book, you get a key to download a personal PDF version.

In some sense, this relies on human nature: if I have paid for the book, I am not inclined to give away the PDF for free to other people (why should they get for free what I have paid for?). Another point is that the PDF file says "Licensed to (name)" on the title page, so it makes clear where it came from.

This ultimately is a commercial decision: you will sell more copies by making the book more useful, vs some amount of sharing among people (who may not have bought it anyway). Many people like me will buy the hard copy if available because paper books are easier to read and last forever.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #65 on: January 19, 2013, 01:56:41 am »
wanna be proofreader ?

Nice try, but I ain't falling for it! ;D
(just as hard as writing the thing!)

Yep.  I made this mistake, once.  Guy was translating his Dutch book into English and I proofread and corrected it.  Thirty years ago this was called "co-writing", but I got a shitty little mention in the foreward.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: EEVBlog #407 - Mailbag
« Reply #66 on: January 19, 2013, 10:01:46 am »
In some sense, this relies on human nature: if I have paid for the book, I am not inclined to give away the PDF for free to other people (why should they get for free what I have paid for?). Another point is that the PDF file says "Licensed to (name)" on the title page, so it makes clear where it came from.
That's probably a valid assumption in individualistic cultures (most of the West) but not in collectivist ones (most of Asia) which value sharing more. In that case identifying who shared it won't discourage, since that's viewed not as "he/she is the guilty one" but "he/she is the one to thank"! It has changed somewhat in China now due to the western influence but this explains a lot of what they do that the west disapproves of.
 


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