I try and scare you off of the project keep in mind that I recently learned how to do all this. You can to.Disclaimer:
I've built more than a dozen of these so far. They worked, to the amazement of my friends and family, but I'm an amateur. I can't guarantee it will work for you. I can't guarantee how long they work. Look at the project name, "Buggy"! I'll make a reasonable effort to help you get yours working. I'll keep updating design as you figure out my mistakes and how to make it better.Skills
you'll need to buy, beg, borrow, or just learn:
- PCB board making:
I'm not going to teach you. It's on the web. I made mine in my garage. They are single-sided. I used the toner-transfer method with about a 50% percent success rate (just scrub it clean and try again). I used muric acid with peroxide to etch. Careful, careful, careful! I'll provide you with a bitmap to print or my CadSoft Eagle
files to tweak. If you are interested enough to get some manufactured, put me down for a couple!
- AVR programming:
The chip needs to be programmed. I'll provide you my "firmware", but getting it onto the chip is a trick. I used LadaAda's USBtinyISP kit
(http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/). She has a pretty good tutorial on her website (no affiliation, but she knows her stuff). If it is just microcontrollers you are interested in, try LadyAda's boArduino kit
(http://www.ladyada.net/make/boarduino/). That will keep you busy for a while.
I found soldering on homemade boards to be a bit harder than on manufactured boards. Flux helps. If your skill needs brushing up like mine did, try LadaAda's Game of Life kit
In my homemade experience, nothing works the first time. There is always a reason. Sometimes it takes time to find the reason. The harder it is to find, the more I learn. I learned quite a bit doing this. I'm learning more as we speak.Tools
you'll need to buy, beg, or do without:
- A high-speed rotary tool (pronounce "Dremel"). Dremel has a drill bit kit with 1/32" and 3/64" bits (and on up to 1/8"). The 1/16" bit that came with your drill is going to rip the pads off of the board. That will make soldering tough. I only used it for holes that the pipe cleaners were going through.
- A good work light is a big help when you are looking for solder shorts!
- Soldering Iron.
- Side-cut pliers.
- And the rest of the stuff you hopefully already own.