trying to build a scoreboard using DMD

The Dot Matrix Display (DMD) is a 32x16 array of high-brightness LEDs for visually striking effects. [Product Page]
statbat
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Re: trying to build a scoreboard using DMD

Post by statbat » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:12 am

stryker wrote: These are PCBs I've designed which combine the ATmega328 microcontroller used on the arduino with the other features needed including the header of the DMDCON for the ribbon cable that goes to the DMD array.

These and the other two custom boards are programmed using the Arduino IDE so are to all intents a custom arduino with all the components needed to do their jobs on the board.

Geoff
This is super cool. I was looking at that again and again and trying to realize it is not at all some standard module.

It may sound like a stupid question but how can you make your own custom PCB board ? Isnt it expensive to get it made ?

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stryker
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Re: trying to build a scoreboard using DMD

Post by stryker » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:19 am

statbat wrote:It may sound like a stupid question
Never!
statbat wrote:but how can you make your own custom PCB board ? Isnt it expensive to get it made ?
I can't afford expensive. For the design I''m using the free and open source KiCad, available from kicad-pcb.org. That's not the only free option either.

There are heaps of places to order your PCBs online, but these 3 were done at dirtyPCBs for about USD$1.40 each. Keeping the board to 50x50mm was entirely because most board houses charge more after that size.

After the boards you just need source, and solder the components on.

The first prototypes I made just had headers to socket a cheap chinese pro-mini as the brains of the operation, but I had some issues with those and opted to just roll an entirely surface mount design.

statbat
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Re: trying to build a scoreboard using DMD

Post by statbat » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:18 pm

stryker wrote:I can't afford expensive. For the design I''m using the free and open source KiCad, available from kicad-pcb.org. That's not the only free option either.

There are heaps of places to order your PCBs online, but these 3 were done at dirtyPCBs for about USD$1.40 each. Keeping the board to 50x50mm was entirely because most board houses charge more after that size.

After the boards you just need source, and solder the components on.

The first prototypes I made just had headers to socket a cheap chinese pro-mini as the brains of the operation, but I had some issues with those and opted to just roll an entirely surface mount design.
This is soooo cool. Can you please tell me how can i learn this. I wanna learn this. I want to make my own board also. This has really got me excited.
Where can I start learning about this ? I hope I dont have to go to University again.

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stryker
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Re: trying to build a scoreboard using DMD

Post by stryker » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:45 pm

You don't need to go back to uni. I probably started messing with hobby electronics 4 years ago and wouldn't have dreamed making something like this was even possible. My first project that went to permanent use has a real live Arduino Uno and a shield trapped in it, and still does. That works great but I learned is the expensive way to go. After that I used protoboards with ATmega or ATtiny processors to create standalone Arduino-based circuits after prototyping them on Arduinos. I have a stack of Arduinos of all kinds - the collection certainly has grown over time, and that's handy for prototyping or for Haloween/xmas/props and other temporary things.

When creating PCBs I used EagleCAD for the first few designs but switched to KiCad at the start of last year. They're not the only free options but my motivation for KiCad was it is truly an open source project, and I try to support those over closed where possible.

For learning, Google is your friend, as there are plenty of really solid communities like this one, the forums at Arduino.cc, AllAboutCircuits, EEVblog, , kicad.info, Adafruit and Sparkfun and youtube channels by Dave Jones, Big Clive etc which are extremely instructional. There are also sites that have more in depth instructions like hackaday, Nick Gammon's gammon.com.au, and TronixStuff. There are heaps of projects documented on youtube, and github that can help you understand pieces of what you're looking to achieve too. Your local hackerspace will be useful if you have one - I've been out to Brisbane's Port Hack a couple of times, I'm not a member as I find I don't have time to get there often enough but just watching other like minded people tinker and see what's possible is a great inspiration.

All the best, Geoff

statbat
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:53 am

Re: trying to build a scoreboard using DMD

Post by statbat » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:53 am

stryker wrote:You don't need to go back to uni. I probably started messing with hobby electronics 4 years ago and wouldn't have dreamed making something like this was even possible.
I was wondering if you have some electrical degree or not.
I am glad you dont have one :D It gives me hope that I can also make my own boards one day.
stryker wrote: My first project that went to permanent use has a real live Arduino Uno and a shield trapped in it, and still does. That works great but I learned is the expensive way to go. After that I used protoboards with ATmega or ATtiny processors to create standalone Arduino-based circuits after prototyping them on Arduinos. I have a stack of Arduinos of all kinds - the collection certainly has grown over time, and that's handy for prototyping or for Haloween/xmas/props and other temporary things.
Oh!!! your home must be a heaven.
stryker wrote: When creating PCBs I used EagleCAD for the first few designs but switched to KiCad at the start of last year. They're not the only free options but my motivation for KiCad was it is truly an open source project, and I try to support those over closed where possible.

For learning, Google is your friend, as there are plenty of really solid communities like this one, the forums at Arduino.cc, AllAboutCircuits, EEVblog, , kicad.info, Adafruit and Sparkfun and youtube channels by Dave Jones, Big Clive etc which are extremely instructional. There are also sites that have more in depth instructions like hackaday, Nick Gammon's gammon.com.au, and TronixStuff. There are heaps of projects documented on youtube, and github that can help you understand pieces of what you're looking to achieve too. Your local hackerspace will be useful if you have one - I've been out to Brisbane's Port Hack a couple of times, I'm not a member as I find I don't have time to get there often enough but just watching other like minded people tinker and see what's possible is a great inspiration.

All the best, Geoff
Thanks a lot Geoff. I will start reading from Youtube and google. I have installed KiCad just need to understand it and start using it.
I am sooo bad a circuit diagrams :(

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