Not have much time to play with Arduino or robots the last days. But I have been busy designing a couple of PCB’s in Eagle. Eagle is a software program to draw schematics and then turn them in to PCB’s. You can then sent the drawing of the PCB to a company like Iteadstudio that will make the PCB for you. There are many other companies that will do this for you, I’ve chosen Iteadstudio because they were the cheapest I could find. They are located in China so it does take some time until you receive your PCB’s. The first PCB I designed is an “undershield” for an Arduino Nano. Basically it’s a board where you can plug an Arduino Nano on. It has a lot of pins to easily connect sensors and servos. The most advanced feature of the board is that it has an LM2576 3A 5V regulator on it. It bypasses the small 5V regulator on the Nano. That way I can use it to power the continuous servos on my line following robot. Eagle is not that hard to learn if you want to design a simple board. After watching some Eagle tutorials on Youtube I managed to design my undershield PCB and order it. I just hope that it will work 🙂 Will have to wait and see, I should have the PCB’s in 1 or 2 weeks time.
My second PCB design is based on the Atmel ATmega328P-PU, the same microcontroller as the one on the Arduino Uno. It’s powered from the same 5V 3A regulator as I used on my undershield. I bought a whole bunch of these regulators from Tayda electronics. I don’t have any direct plans with the board but I wanted to to try designing my own Arduino. It doesn’t have an USB port but it does have an FTDI serial header. I would need to buy a FTDI cable to upload sketches to it. The board is not Arduino shield compatible since it is a single layer PCB with only through the hole components. It took me many hours to route all the traces without using any vias (connection on top of the board).