how to make almost anything | fall 2017

Week 4 Experiences: Morse Code Echo Machine

This week's project is meant to be a mechanism to input morse code and have it be echoed through the serial port. Instead of dealing with timing of dots, dashes, and silences, we have a button for dot, dash, and end of letter to simplify the scope of the project.

This week will be designing and milling the board and getting the basic hello world echo machine running.

I designed a board with 3 buttons that each connected to an unused pin in Port A.

Milling was very slow this week because I had initially designed my board with a ground plane.

Mods doesn't deal with ground planes very well and ends up cutting into the wires instead of cutting around it. There is a very simple, single, path that could be cut; however, it is difficult to get mods to recognize it. After trying for a couple of hours, I resigned myself to a more basic board.

After milling I soldered and connected the ISP progammer to the Morse Code board via the ISP header.

Some lessons learned include:
Don't try to mill ground planes without first understanding how mods works.
Do not use the Roland mill because the Z-height needs to be hand-adjusted every time, canceling a job requires a complete three-axis reset and it is more finicky about whether or not the socket is closed properly.