Matt Groh

Electronics Production

This week's goal is to create an in-circuit programmer from scratch. Well, I should really say from basic materials: phenolic paper, resistors, diodes, LEDs, and a microcontroller. This "scratch" caveat comes from the notion that to make anything from in-circuit programmers to apple pies from scratch, you must first create the universe. And, we're not quite there yet. Here's the scrematic--it's a USB stick with electronic components on top.

In order to transform the phenolic paper into an electronic circuit board, I used this milling machine.

Here's a video of the milling machine in action. It creates lots of copper dust.

The holes in this phenolic paper are now electronic circuit boards!

Here's a pic of the set up, me at work, and a view from the microscope. Essentially, I melted lead wire onto 13 electronic components to get them to stick to the electronic circuit board. If you solder right, you get a nice smooth and shiny appearance to the melted and solidified lead. I was a bit meticulous because I didn't want to do this twice, so I used the microscope the whole time. It's totally possible to do this without a microscope.

And voila, here's the final product.