RGB LED Controller and Node: Part 2 – Electronic Parts and PCB Hardware

Here is part 2 where I show off the parts and PCB for the RGB LED Project:

Here are some additional pictures:

I designed the PCB (printed circuit board) using Eagle CAD. I don’t own a reflow oven so its all hand soldiered using through hole parts.

The controller and node make use of the Atmel’s ATmega328p for their microprocessors. Both are running at 8 mHz. I added space on the PCB for a crystal but the software runs fine at 8 mHz. (Shrug) The Controller and Node communicate with each other using Digi International XBee modules. The ATmega328p and XBees are powered at 3.3 volts.   Power is provided by either a nine volt battery or an external power supply through the DC barrel jack.

I program the nodes using an AVR Dragon. This is the best tool around for AVRs. It supports serial/parallel/high voltage programming.  Its been a lifesaver.  I’ve screwed up  the fuse settings in development and with some quick wiring the AVR Dragon can do high voltage programming and recover the chip. Best investment EVER! (Laugh)

The parts are all through hole, I order them mostly through Digikey. There’s an art to picking parts. I don’t know if I’ve mastered it yet. (Laugh) I order 10 of these or 20 of those and I get the oddest shaped packages in the mail. Most of these parts were meant to be fed into pick and place machines so they come in “tube” packaging and they have to put it in a box  that wont fold, spindle or mutilate the contents.  Its interesting to see what shape box I’ll get in the mail.

I hope you enjoyed this video. This is part 2 in a series where I will talk about the RGB LED Controller and Node Project.

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