2. The PCB

posted Nov 2, 2010, 3:08 PM by Bill Bai
So unlike all the other teams in the class, I managed to heckle my team into putting all our parts onto a PCB.  I just think a PCB is cooler than building everything point to point and hot gluing it onto the robot base.

It's not the prettiest or best PCB ever laid out, but it's working so far.  The problem was that there were only about 3-4 weeks in which to figure out all the parts we needed, put all the schematics together, translate all the schematics to PCB, then layout the PCB.  We knew there was a 2 week lead time between sending the PCB in and getting it in hand, and we needed the PCB by the 5th or 6th week of the semester.  So it was pretty rough getting it all together.  I spent over 2.5 days in the PCB layout software routing every single connection by hand.  And it turned out pretty good.  I've only had to green wire one transistor.

Here's the main controller board, my primary responsibility.

The power supplies, sensors, and motor driver were the responsibility of my other group members.

Here's the last piece I was technically responsible for: the battery charger.  I did screw up the pinout on the transitor, but in my defense, it was not specifically detailed on the datasheet.  Instead, the pinout was specified as "Type so and so", and it wasn't until after the PCB was being fabbed that I found the other datasheet that specified what the pinout of "Type so and so" was.  Needless to say, I did not find that helpful.