OLIMEX KiCAD components libraries are uploaded on GitHub

logo

We uploaded all our KiCAD libraries on GitHub and going to maintain them there.

Why we do this?  Because many beginners who download our OSHW boards are confused by the messages from KiCAD for missing libraries🙂 this is easy to solve by adding RELATIVE paths to search the libraries as  we always provide the library cache with the boards, i.e. all components used in the board are cached locally in the project directory, but again many beginners are confused.

Now they have all components we use in our daily work, uploaded and updated daily.

NOTE: These components are specific to OUR production, technology, limitations, way of work etc. They work optimally for us allowing us to achieve maximum yield during production. There is no guarantee of any kind that these same settings will be best for your own production, SO USE THEM ON YOUR OWN RISK!

There are tons of duplicated components which also are defined in original KiCAD libraries, again we did these as the KiCAD default libraries are made up to vendor datasheets and may not work well in our own production process.

To give you example: TQFP 0.5 mm step ICs per datasheet must have 0.3 mm width pads with 0.2 mm spaces between the pads, but using our process this yields in lot of shorts, so we made them with 0.25 mm pads width and 0.25 mm space, the 120 um thick stencils we use give best yield with 0.23 mm pad opening for solder paste – this may be not optimal for other manufacturer process who use other thickness stencils etc. BUT it works best for our technology and process based on our experience and tests.

Almost every components in our libraries have such considerations when it’s created. I hope you got the idea.

Note that almost none of our components have 3D draiwng, because our people still didn’t learn any 3D CAD tool well enough to make these, neither we use this KiCAD 3D drawing feature in our work. It may be improved in future, but for the moment if you need 3D drawing to some component you can do it by yourself and contribute back🙂

 

 

Microsoft with keynote speak on LinuxCon – if you can’t beat them join them?

linux-windows

news from Phoronix

No, you read it correct there is no mistake. This year Microsoft has keynote speak at LinuxCon in Toronto🙂

As per their Azure blog they are going to share Microsoft’s open source developments there.

I guess this is part of Microsoft activity to appear as more open source friendly company trying to break in the open source enthusiasts market?

None is using Windows on small embedded SBC where Linux and Android is dominating and they try to make their path there?

As part of this recently Microsoft ported their power shell to Linux, pretty useless effort IMO who Linux user would switch from Bash to power shell?

New Robot Chassis in stock: ROBOT-2WD-KIT2

ROBOT-2WD2-6

We have new Robot Chassis in stock! It’s with two gear motors, two aluminum plates, free castor wheel, two 60 mm wheels attached to the motors, all necessary fittings.

The assembly is very simple:

The castor wheel is attached to bottom plate:

ROBOT-2WD2-2

ROBOT-2WD2-1

To the gear motor is attached small aluminum plate:

ROBOT-2WD2-3

then the 60 mm wheel:

ROBOT-2WD2-4

Four heximal spacers are assembled to the plate with the castor wheel:

ROBOT-2WD2-5

Then the two gear motors aluminum plates are fixed between upper and bottom plate:

ROBOT-2WD2-6

and the chassis is ready!

Now we are thinking for possible custom control board with these features:

  • Arduino like main board allowing easy re-programming
  • Motor drivers
  • Motor encoders which to give feed back to Arduino with photo interrupters
  • LiPo Battery charger and step up converter for motor and Arduino powering
  • UEXT for ESP8266 WiFi
  • two sockets for Ultrasonic distance sensors on the two sides of the castor wheel
  • (optional RT5350F-OLinuXino with camera)
  • connectors for optional servo motors for robot hand
  • UEXT second connector for attaching more sensors

Let us know if we missed something🙂

SoftUni camp Soldering workshop – 17th of August in Hisarrya

workshop

This week, right after our vacation we have been invited to make soldering workshop in SoftUni camp – the summer camp of the Software University.

More than 30 enthusiastic youngsters most of who have never worked with hardware assembled their first electronic boards and then learned how to program them with Arduino IDE.

work

The boards they assembled were: OLIMEXINO-85-KIT, FOSDEM-85 and SIMON-85-KIT

It was amazing that all of the boards were working at the end🙂

ready

 

We are back! Tg for PCB quiz answer

pcb-fabrication

Tg is the glass transition temperature of the PCB material and very important parameter.

At this temperature the raw PCB material changes from stiff glass-like material to a elastic and bendable plastic-like material.

The biggest problems in the PCBs during the assembly is the Z-axes thermal expansion as above Tg temperature PCB expands rapidly and if kept long time about Tg temperature the small PCB vias may/will crack internally.

The most evil part is that when the PCB cool off the vias will shrink and may still give unreliable contact like touching together two copper wires, but later with temperature changes, vibration moisture these internal cracks in the vias can cause lost of electrical connections on random basis.

Tg 135 was commonly used and good enough for the old SnPb technology.

Since 2006 the new Lead Free technology require higher soldering temperatures and Tg 135 is not good choice.

PCBs assembled by ROHS lead free technology should be done with material with Tg 170 to be reliable. Especially this is valid for multilayer PCBs with small vias less 0.4 mm.

Friday Free Board Quiz – the prize is AM3352-SOM-IND. What does PCB pagameter Tg means? How it affects the PCB assembly process?

AM3352-SOM-1

AM3352-SOM-IND is industrial grade TI Sitara Cortex-A8 module running at 1Ghz.

After our summer vacation industrial grade AM3352-SOM-IND module with 4Gb SLC NAND Flash and AM3359-SOM-IND modules with and without SLC NAND Flash will be in stock.

You have chance to win this board!

To participate in the Quiz is enough to re-tweet the Twitter Quiz announcement message.

To double your chances  answer the quiz question.

You have time to re-tweet and/or answer until August 1st.

In Monday we will post the correct answer and ask random.org to generate random number in range then announce the winner and ship the board by post/airmail when we are back from our vacation on August 15th.

Good Luck!

Friday Free Board Quiz – prize is A20-CAN: What programming language can you use to automate tasks within Kicad?

A20-CAN

A20-CAN is Open Source Hardware CAN driver board, which you can connect to A20-OLinuXino-MICRO, A20-OLinuXino-LIME and A20-OLinuXino-LIME2.

You have chance to win this board!

To participate in the Quiz is enough to re-tweet the Twitter Quiz announcement message.

To double your chances  answer the quiz question.

You have time to re-tweet and/or answer until Monday 25th of July.

In Monday we will post the correct answer and ask random.org to generate random number in range then announce the winner and ship the board by post/airmail.

Good Luck!

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