Smart IC Tester

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Introduction: Smart IC Tester

About: A New York City based creative technologist who loves designing pretty PCBs and playing around with LEDs ❤️. I am currently pursuing my master's degree in design and technology from Parsons School of Design.

We all know what IC Testers do... but for those who don't - IC Testers are devices which are used to test Integrated Circuits by sending in Pulses as per their Truth Table. Generally, IC number is fed into IC Tester and a comparison test is made against that particular IC's Logic Table.

A smart IC tester is far more capable and better than a generic IC Tester, it has an ability to detect and check the connected IC along with a manual mode. Our IC Tester features a Touch LCD which gives a better user experience and easy to understand UI.

IC Testers maybe costly instrumentation devices but this one is just under ₹1600( ~$25), pretty cheap right ?

Step 1: Let's Shop Some Stuff !!

Electronics

  • 1x Arduino Mega 2560
  • 1x 20 Pin ZIF Socket
  • 1x 2.4 inch TFT touch Screen LCD with inbuilt SD Card Slot
  • 1x 4GB MicroSDHC
  • 1x 6-pin Extra Length Female Header
  • 3x 8-pin Extra Length Female Header
  • 1x Male Header Strip
  • 2x WS2812B (Optional)
  • 2x 100 nF 0805 Capacitor (Optional)
  • 1x 180Ω 0805 Resistor (Optional)

Tools and Additional Supplies

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • A Laptop
  • USB Cable to connect Arduino Mega 2560
  • MicroSDHC Adapter

Step 2: Designing the PCB

I designed a shield for all components to fit-in and chose the Arduino Mega as my micro-controller board since both the ZIF Socket and LCD can be put side by side giving the build a compact and portable look and feel. I used Autodesk Eagle for the PCB Designing part (I've attached the eagle files below).

A big shoutout to guys at JLC PCB for sponsoring PCBs for the project. Do check them out they offer $2 PCB Prototyping and Free Shipping on First Order.

Step 3: Shut Up and Solder

Once you have all the components along with the PCB, just solder them in place as shown and you are ready to go !!

Once you're done with soldering put-on the LCD Shield and Female Headers and this completes your assembly for IC Tester.

Remember - "If it smells like chicken, you're doing it wrong" ;)

Step 4: Code? Yes..!!

Open up your Arduino IDEs and Open up the code... You can replace my name with your own so it boots up with your name. You're free to play around with colour schemes as per your choice.

All code files are available on GITHUB

Step 5: Preparing Database... a Time Consuming Task

I've compiled up a basic database for Component Tester that includes basic ICs. The database is in database.txt file on GitHub. Copy this txt file on SD Card and insert it in the Touch LCD Shield.

Thanks to instructable user JorBi for his Instructable - Arduino IC Tester from where I got inspiration to build one.

Pattern -

$[IC Number]

[IC Name]

[Pins]

[Test Case 1]

[Test Case 2]

...

[Test Case N]

Sample Test Case-

Say I have IC-7426, a sample test case would be

0000HHG000000V

Here 0/1 would be used to specify Input and H/L (High/Low) to specify output and V is used to denote VCC and G is used to denote Ground. Follow order from Pin 1, 2, 3, ..... 7, 8, 9, .... 14 for above IC

Step 6: Fingers Crossed !! Testing It All Together

Let's Upload the code and boot the IC Tester.

FINGERS CROSSED !!


And it worked great !!

Step 7: Happy Testing !!

You are welcome to contribute to the project and database on GitHub.

Epilog Challenge 9

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge 9

3 People Made This Project!

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115 Discussions

0
zhanghongtao
zhanghongtao

10 days ago on Step 7

Can it test transistors like mosfet?

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Reply 5 days ago

Hello ....
Look at his name . It's IC-tester not component tester.
So it test only ICs as his name says.
Cheers
Serge

0
ericbroe
ericbroe

Question 8 weeks ago

All I get is a white screen when powering up. Can someone please show a proper way to get the files onto the SD card? This is the first time I have ever messed with Arduino. Thank you for any help.

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Answer 8 weeks ago

Hello.
Regarding the SDCard, it's very simple. Just copy on it
the file "database.txt" and that's it.
But anyway, even with the SD card removed, the program should start. Your concern does not come from the SD card.
Friendships
Serge

0
ericbroe
ericbroe

Reply 8 weeks ago

Thank you for the quick reply! I have the "L" LED flashing and that's it. From what I have read this means it has default library installed. I'm guessing that might be the problem?

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Reply 8 weeks ago

I don't understand very well what LED is blinking ???
And I also do not understand what is this library you are talking about ??

0
ericbroe
ericbroe

Reply 8 weeks ago

On my arduino board there is an LED that has a "L" next to it and it was blinking. After some research, forums said that it was a "blinking light sketch" that was default loaded onto the board before it shipped to me. After getting a better idea of what I am doing, thanks to you, I never uploaded the sketch to my arduino, which is why I got a white screen. After figuring all that out, it now works! Thanks for your help and thank you for helping out everyone else on here!

0
nociception342
nociception342

Question 2 months ago on Step 5

Does it have to be a 4GB SD card?

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Answer 2 months ago

Hello ...
The only constraint for the SD card is to be able to host
your file "database.txt".
With my additions, mine is around 50KB.
So I think any SD card should be able to work.
Friendships
Serge
0
nociception342
nociception342

Reply 2 months ago

Thanks Serge. Perhaps I need to format it differently. I will play around and see if I can get it to stop saying SD card error

0
richdawg56
richdawg56

Question 2 months ago on Step 3

I've uploaded to JLCPCB and it's asking for dimensions. Anyone have them?

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Answer 2 months ago

Hello m8
The dimensions of the card are 55x100mm.
It is curious that the site asks for them because
they are included in the Gerber files.
Strange thing.
Regards.
Serge

0
richdawg56
richdawg56

Reply 2 months ago

Serge,
Thanks for the dimensions.
I sent the Gerber files and JLCPCB said they could
not convert Eagle files.
So they cancelled my order and refund my money.
That sounds odd, But it is what is.
I had seen on this thread that you may have some of these boards and was wondering if you still have one I could purchase from you?
If so let me know.
Thanx again Serge
Rich

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Reply 2 months ago

Hello Rich.
If JLCPCB answers this, you have sent EAGLE files and not GERBER files.
I explained it to you in my previous message:
<< No, in the file "ICtester.zip" you only find the schematic and board in Eagle format.
The Gerber files are on the github "https://github.com/akshaybaweja/Smart-IC-Tester" in a zip file named "gerber.zip". >>
I have no more cards available, but if you send the right files (those contained
in the archive "gerber.zip"), it will be fine.
Your error also explains why JLCPCB asked you for the dimensions of the card, they could not extract them from the EAGLE files they would have needed the GERBER ones.
For information, the files contained in the "GERBER.ZIP" archive are the
following: v1.pls - v1.sts - v1.cmp - v1.plc - v1.drd - v1.stc - v1.sol
Friendships
Serge
0
richdawg56
richdawg56

Reply 2 months ago

Hi Serge,
Found the correct Gerber files and up-loaded them.
Everything went fine. I had those files downloaded in my
Gerber file and uploaded IC zip instead.
Well I guess I need to pay closer attention.

Thanks Serge, I,ll let you know how the tester turned out.

Stay Well
Rich

0
Sorcerer_34
Sorcerer_34

Reply 2 months ago

Hello Rich.
Perfect perfect. Happy for you.
One last detail: when you receive your cards, assemble all the components except the diodes and try the tester like that. If everything is OK then mount the diodes. This precaution because the orientation of these diodes is quite poorly explained on the diagrams and photos.
In fact, when you hold the card with the diode side towards you, the inscription "IC TESTER" on the left and the ZIF support on the right, the diodes must be installed with the cut edge at the top right.
Good assembly
Friendships
Serge

0
richdawg56
richdawg56

Reply 2 months ago

Hi Serge,
Good advice. Thank you.
Rich

0
richdawg56
richdawg56

Question 2 months ago on Step 2

I'm new to this. When I went to the JLC site for the board it asked for A GERBER file.
Is that file in the IC tester zip and if not how do I produce one?
Thanx
Rich

0
richdawg56
richdawg56

Reply 2 months ago

Thanx. I'll check it out.