Gerbers are text files that contain the information needed to create a PCB. I knocked up a rough and ready script to merge Gerber files to help panelize my layouts before sending them off to FusionPCB.
If the clothes iron method fails for you, try this new twist on the toner transfer process. Put a heavy hotplate on the stove and dial in a temperature of 175 °C using a thermocouple. Bond the toner image to the copper clad board by placing them print side down onto the hotplate between two sheets of paper and applying pressure with a rolling pin for 2-5 minutes. For double sided boards, flip every 30 seconds or so.
Digikey have frequent competitions and giveaways advertised on their twitter feed, and this week I was a lucky winner. So what happens when you give your kid a Cui Inc. branded pen and some Digikey post-its to play with? She draws a calculator. :-)
For my entry to the Dangerous Prototypes 7400 Contest, I decided to make a true random number generator. In particular, I wanted a latching RNG — not merely a continuous stream of numbers, but a continuous stream which I could sample at intervals. The circuit would be made up of a minimal number of digital logic parts. And deliberately inducing noise into the digital circuit would involve breaking all the usual design rules, which is fun.
I bought a toy foot pedal for $10. I didn't know how to communicate with it, but for some reason that didn't bother me until I had it in my hands and was wondering what to do with it.
Today I received a Microchip ChipKIT wifi shield courtesy of Dangerous Prototypes — and there should be a ChipKIT Uno32 coming along soon, too. I'm looking forward to using this to prototype some kind of web-enabled brewing system. It's good times at the Magic Smoke Brewhouse & Grill!
My flux pen recently bit the dust. Fortunately the raw material was close at hand. Making solder flux from rosin is a snap — and a pine tree near my house was oozing big dollops of gum.
Can't afford a Big Green Egg? You can build a ceramic smoker from a flowerpot in a matter of minutes — Alton Brown showed how on "Good Eats". Here I show how to add temperature control to your flowerpot smoker so that you can "set it and forget it". With automatic heating you can take the fiddling and guesswork out of using your smoker... and still have an excuse to hang out in the garden drinking beer.