Making Stepper and Servo Boards

For this week's assignments, I was trying to make the Stepper and the Servo boards as initial test on making a rotating motor for my Duck-Bot wheels.

I experienced a bit of resistance from the Modela by it not milling the board properly. Jared Laucks helped by showing a trick where you pull the endmill down as much as you can while tightening it; this works!

The Arch FabLab was, unfortunately, late in ordering the Servos and getting the 22uF capacitors that we could have used, so initially, the Stepper had to be birthed first.

Traces and Interiors of Boards

Milling Process with Roland Modela

I milled both the boards in just under one hour time. Each stuffing took around 15-20 minutes. I'm becoming good at soldering, and I don't use the Flux Pen to wet the copper anymore.

Debugging Electronics + Testing

I had lots of error messages while trying to program the board, so Matt Keeter showed me to check the connections using the Multimetre. We quickly found out that I might have burnt the Voltage Regulator -- I only got 1.45V reading across it -- by connecting the 9V Battery inversed. I replaced the regulator and it worked just fine.

I had no luck programming with the avrISP, but fabISP worked fine!

Programming with AVRISP [didn't work!] + FABISP [work fine!]

I used Mac terminal to program the t44. I typed:

avrdude -pt44 -cavrisp2 (avrISP) -- somehow didn't work
avrdude -pt44 -cusbtiny (fabISP) -- a success, yay!

Programming Stepper Movements

I used Neil's makefiles to test the movements of the Stepper.




Servo Board Trial + Failure

Matt suggested me to stack two 10uF capacitors [in parallel] to replace the 22uF unique capacitor we're missing. Guilermo Bernal also kindly lent me one of his servos, but unfortunately it had to wait a while since my hello.servo.44 board probably had some hardware issues.

After stuffing, I tried programming the Servo, but all my attempts ended up in failure and at the cost of frying Daniela Covarrubias' and Andrew Manto's fabISPs. The board got really hot and in the end it gave out smoke! I talked briefly to Matt, and he said the problem might had been caused by short-circuit(s) of components on the Servo board. I had no time to check this with the Multimetre yet, but would like to also use the Thermal Sensor to see where it failed.

Now, I really have something to do to celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend (!), i.e. Making two fabISP boards and program them -- back to square one! -_-