10 Million YouTube Subscribers Award LED PCB

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About: I am a Physics and Creative Tech Double major at Berry College.

Summary

This PCB (Printed Circuit Board) resembles the YouTube Play Button award that is given out to creators for reaching certain milestones such as 100,000, 1 million, and 10 million subscribers. When the switch is turned on, the user can scroll through 5 different modes by pressing the button on the top left corner. The first mode leaves all the LED's OFF, the second is silver (100,000 subs), the third is gold (1 million subs), the fourth is a sparkling diamond effect (10 million subs), and the fifth, just to match the board color, is all red. The board is about 150mm x 100mm, it has holes in the corners so it could be mounted somewhere, however, I have not mounted it to anything. The board is currently powered by a 3.7-volt drone battery, I might change this so that I can just leave it plugged in and mount it somewhere and not have to worry about changing the battery as it only lasts about 30 minutes with the LEDs at full brightness.

This board was built for a Special Topics Class at Berry College taught by Zane Cochran who had the idea of using images to design and inspire PCB builds.


Components

Unlike Slouchy Board and the Desktop Device that I built, I did not breadboard this circuit as it was just LED's, a switch, a button, and an ATTiny85 microcontroller. All of the components that I used (all the surface mounted stuff), except for the batteries, can be found on https://lcsc.com/ for super cheap and are listed below.

We used a custom-built programmer (by Zane) to program the boards while they were already surface mounted on the board. Since those are not commercially available, you'd have to either build your own or use the ATTiny with mounted sockets and the USB programmer. Or you could program the ATTiny through an Arduino if you make the header pin holes large enough on the PCB for jumper wires (sort of as shown in the video linked at the end of this video).

Surface mounted ATTiny85 Microcontroller C89852 ($2 each)

($27) USB Programmer

($11) ATTiny + IC sockets

Button C86487 ($0.20 each)

Header pins for power connection C86471 ($0.20 each)

10k Ohm resistor C99198 ($.08 for 100)

RGB LED C114585 ($0.50 for 5, $3.70 for 50)

100 nF Capacitor C1590 ($0.29 for 50)

Switch C128955 ($0.41 for 5)

4.7uF Capacitor C108344 (20 for $0.37)

Drone battery and charger perfect for powering low voltage circuits($23)

Tools/Software

To create the PCB, you can go to EasyEDA and make a free account, You can reference my Slouchy Board or Desktop Device Instructables for help with EasyEDA as those both show how to use it. The PCB's range from $5-$10 for 5 and take about a week or two to ship from China to the US.

Once you get your PCB from China and you have all your components ready, you will need to use Solder Paste to attach each individual component. I used MG Chemicals Leaded Solder Paste. (CAREFUL, THIS PRODUCT DOES HAVE LEAD IN IT. I think they also make some lead free solder paste)

To program, the ATTiny85, use Arduino's Software but make sure that you have the board files downloaded if you have never programmed an ATTiny85. This video does a great job of explaining how to do that: Tutorial: Programming the Attiny 85 with an Arduino.

Step 1: EasyEDA: Schematic

On EasyEDA, start by creating a new project and make a new schematic. Make sure you place the components that I list below and connect them similar to how I have it on the schematic. On the left side, you can search the various libraries for the parts required and then place them in the schematic.

For programming the Microcontroller while in the board, use a surface mounted ATTiny or a Through hole ATTIny.

Surface mounted ATTiny85 Microcontroller (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C89852"), to make the connections for jumper wires go to EELib on the left and chose a 2x4 male header pin as shown in the image. This means you could temporarily solder jumpers in place to program the board via an Arduino.

OR

Socket mounted ATTiny85 (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "Attiny85-20PU THT" by AutogolazzoJr) this will place the footprint of the socket on the board which you can then solder in. This allows you to move the controller back and forth but means you have to have that USB controller which is quite pricey.

place all of the following

(1x on the back) Header pins for power connection (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C86471")

(1x with button) 10k Ohm resistor (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C99198")

(However many you want)RGB LED (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C114585")

(One per LED)100 nF Capacitor (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C1590")

(1x) Switch (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C128955")

(1x) 4.7uF Capacitor (Go to the "libraries" on the left and search "C108344") Place this capacitor near the power header pins but make sure it is on the front, you can only surface solder on one side. (Otherwise, things fall off when you heat up the board)

Once you have all the components placed, connect them to the correct pins as well as the GDN and VCC connections. You connect them by using the wiring tool and placing the GND & VCC symbols. Then once you have properly connected all the wires, you can click the convert to PCB button.

Step 2: EasyEDA: PCB Design

Before you get to the PCB environment use Inkscape or some other software that you can use to create DXF files and make an outline of your chosen shape. Once you have a DXF file of your shapes outline that has been sized to the correct units (150mmx100mm for example) create a separate file that contains what will be drawn on the board, for me it was just the triangle of the play button.

When you start in the PCB environment, you'll see a bunch of layers and numbers on the right. Change your units to millimeters or whatever you want to use and change the snap size (snap size is basically at what interval you can place things on the grid) to something convenient. I made mine 10mm since I wanted my board outline to be easily placed at (0, 0).

Start by editing the board outline layer (click the color and a pencil should appear) and import the outline DXF file. Once you have this, edit your top layer and start placing the components on the board how you want them by dragging them onto the outline. Then once the components are placed, connect all blue lines with the wire tool, unless they are connected to GND or VCC. The GND and VCC connections connect directly to the board and don't need to be isolated via the wires.

Once all non-VCC and GND connections are wired together, you can use the Copper area tool to make the last connections. Do this once on the top layer and once on the bottom layer. Make sure that you change one of the copper areas to VCC in the properties tab, I usually make the top layer GND and the bottom layer VCC. Once you have that done, the board should look complete and you can zoom in to see where GND connects to the board. At this point, you want to check for DRC Errors by refreshing the DRC Errors under the Design Manager tab on the far left. If there are no errors, you are good to go and order your board.

One last important thing you need to do if you are going the jumper wire route with Surface Mounted ATTiny is editing the holes of the header pin connections. Click on the 2x4 header pin connection, go to the right under properties and change the hole (Diameter) to 1mm. I think this should do if you solder the wires in place, make sure you do this for each hole.

To order your board, click the button in the top ribbon with a G and right facing arrow to export your Gerber file. This will take you directly to where you purchase your boards, there are lots of options for different colors and finishes which will affect the price of the board, for PCB thickness, I think 1.6 is what we usually do. If you want to double check that your components fit, you can export a PNG image of your board and then push your components through the paper to see that the prongs all fit. Don't worry about scaling it, you should be able to just print it out.

(Edit) I have added the Gerber file if you would like to use it.

Step 3: Surface Mount Soldering

Soldering the Surface mount components is my favorite part of the entire build as I find it super satisfying to watch all the little components get connected by the solder inside of the oven. In the video the entire build of this project is documented so if any of the previous steps are confusing, this video might be helpful. It also shows in detail how I did the surface soldering which I will only quickly summarize here in text.

When the board comes in from China and you have all of your tiny components, use the supplied stencil to cover all the solder pads with solder paste. Then stick the loose components into the solder paste until you have them all in place. The melting point of the solder is around 360 degrees Fahrenheit (185 degrees Celcius) so put the oven on heat around that and stick your board in there for about 2 minutes or you see the all the solder points turn shiny, indicating that the solder has been melted. Be careful taking your board out, it will be hot!

Step 4: Programming

I started out with basic Neopixel libraries to test out all my LEDs and make sure everything works and then used the FastLED.h library along with some edits I made to get the desired Diamond effect while the other modes are just setting all the LEDs to one color.

I have attached my code for reference.

There are a ton of cool things you can do with this concept and a bunch of LEDs so let me know if you make one of these and what your character, logo, or shape is and what the LEDs do!!

Step 5: Go Subscribe to My YouTube Channel!

If you thought this instructable was interesting, feel free to check out the video I made about the Desktop Assistant and some of my other project videos.

I am trying to get my channel to 1,000 subscribers so that I can start monetizing my channel in order to fund future projects that are more ambitious aka expensive. I still have a couple of school projects from this semester that I will share and then I will start getting into new things. Those projects include a device that allows soldiers to keep track of the number of bullets left in their magazines and a Gameboy style gamepad that runs completely off a Teensy.

If those sound interesting please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel or here to my instructable profile.

Link to my Channel: https://www.youtube.com/janoschspohner

Thanks!!

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    4 Discussions

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    Alexisgm97

    12 days ago

    Amazing instructable and amazing PCB work!!! If you mind, I would like to give you a few positive tips to make it look better! It is just a recommendation as the PCB is perfect and looks great as it is.

    First of all, I would move the corner LEDs a little bit to the center to make the effect that the shape of the LEDs when they light up matches the shape of the actual board. Now they look like a rectangle when the PCB has round corners. As I said it is just a little modification to improve your design, that's all!

    Then, I would try to move the Attiny and the programming holes from the top layer to the bottom one. I don't know if you had problems when placing this or the reason you placed them in the top layer, but if possible, moving them to the bottom player would make it look smoother and it would truly resemble the real Youtube button! Again, I'm sure you have had your reasons to place it like that but this is just a recommendation. I would try to do the same with the switch and the button. I would do this just to "clean" the top layer. Again, that's just my personal opinion and others may disagree with me but I think every comment helps!

    Could you also post the PCB files so that we could make our own?

    Maybe these changes could be applied to the next version you make.

    I hope this has been useful and as I said it is just my point of view and I respect your work. I have made boards myself and I know they could be improved too! If you need something or want to collaborate just write to me!!! ;)

    3 replies
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    JanoschS1Alexisgm97

    Reply 8 days ago

    Hey, I am so sorry for the late reply! I meant to reply right away but totally forgot.

    Thank you for your tips! They are great feedback, I agree with moving the corner LED's inward to make it look like less of a rectangle when lit up. In regards to the top layer comment, for our class assignment, we had to use all surface mounted components which could only be placed on one side with our solder method. If I was to do it again I probably would use through-hole components instead of and solder them in from the back for a cleaner look.

    Another way to clean it up and maybe soften the light would be mounting some fogged acrylic that matches the board shape and is mounted on top of the board. I will try to get the files uploaded to the instructable now.

    Thank you!

    0
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    Alexisgm97JanoschS1

    Reply 5 days ago

    Hello! Don't worry!

    I knew you had a reason to put all the components in the top layer! It is also true that the oven method only allows to solder components on the top layer. I think it is time to buy a hot air gun! hahahaha. Using through-hole components is also a good idea but I personally like SMD components as they look a little bit more professional (at least for me), however, it doesn't affect the quality or the appearance of the board, which is amazing.

    Yes! That's a good idea, but maybe it will make the board look not as cool as it looks now. However, I came across an idea some people are using now which is to solder the SMD LEDs on the bottom layer but with the part that lights up towards the top layer. Then in the top layer, remove the copper to leave only the bare pcb so that light can pass through it and it words as a natural fogger. I don't know if my explanation is right and if you understand the concept haha. It would be worth the try because this way, the top layer would be clear and look like the real award and all the components would be on the bottom layer and it would look like magic!

    Again, all this is good feedback and personal opinions!

    Thanks for the Gerber files!!

    0
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    JanoschS1Alexisgm97

    Reply 7 days ago

    Okay, Gerber file is added, let me know if there are any issues!