Voltlog #267 – 60W Ultrasonic Cleaner For PCBs (review)

Welcome to a new Voltlog, today we’re going to take a closer look at an ultrasonic cleaner. This is the 1.3 litre, model number I believe is Y-009, the ultrasonic power is 60W while the heating power is rated for 100W. Usable area I’ve measured to be 125x115x40mm depth which is not a lot but I’ve thought about it and this is pretty much all I need. 99% of the PCBs I design fit within these dimensions so it’s not worth getting a bigger ultrasonic cleaner because it will take up more space and it will use up more cleaning liquid, it would be a waste of resources.

Voltlog #265 – FT232H USB to JTAG/I2C/SPI Interface With Python & PyFtdi

Welcome to a new voltlog, today we’re going to be talking about this little board which I designed and assembled myself, it’s a breakout module for the FTDI FT232H which is a usb to serial converter but with a nice twist. This particular chip from FTDI has the built-in Multi-Protocol Synchronous Serial Engine (MPSSE short) which allows you to run a variety of synchronous serial protocols like JTAG, I2C, SPI or simple bit-banging of IOs. You can imagine it can be really useful to be able to interface with a sensor over I2C or SPI straight from your computer over USB through this interface. You wouldn’t need an arduino or other controller in the middle if you plan to do some data acquisition for example.

Voltlog #262 – Is This The Future of Our Hobby?

To be honest I didn’t think we were going to have services like these available so cheap so fast. I mean yes I know pcb prices have been so low in the past couple of years that it no longer makes sense to etch your own PCBs, unless you are in a big hurry. But having smt assembly service so cheap? Soon enough it would not make sense to hand assemble these boards because it would be equally cheap to have them assembled at JLCPCB

Voltlog #260 – How do you test usb to serial converters? (CP2103 vs CH340E vs FT232RL)

Welcome to a new Voltlog, today we’re comparing a few different serial to usb adapters and the discussion started ever since I showed the CH340E breakout board I designed in voltlog #249. People wanted to know if this CH340E affordable chip would perform similar to the well known FTDI or Silicon labs chips, and I’m thinking at high throughput and reliability here, the kind of application where you are sending lots of data, fast and you need it to be transferred reliably.

So today I’m going to compare the CH340E with a CP2103, and the FT232RL. I wasn’t sure what measurements to take and how to test these but I devised 2 testing methods.

Voltlog #257 – ESP32 PIR Motion Sensor With Deep Sleep & MQTT (revB part2)

In this video I’m gonna show the second revision of my esp32, battery powered PIR motion sensor. This second revision contains some optimizations to improve deep sleep power consumption as well as to fix some of the errors I had the first revision of the pcb.

Voltlog #240 – ESP32 PIR Motion Sensor With Deep Sleep & MQTT

Welcome to a new Voltlog, in this video I’m gonna show you how I designed and built this board which functions as an esp32 based, battery powered PIR motion sensor. So I started by designing the circuit, I used some common building blocks, I added the ESP32 with it’s bypass caps, some test points and the programming circuit with auto-reset, I then added some connection points for the PIR sensor, an RGB LED because why not have a nice way to signal this is one of those very small digital RGB leds, it’s just 20x20mm, it’s connected to 3.3V even though it’s only rated for 5V so I’m hoping this is going to work even on 3.3, it’s also worth having a temperature/humidity sensor to also sense that in whichever room the node will be placed and finally the power supply circuit which is a simple low dropout regulator with an 18650 battery as the input.

I did not include a battery charger circuit on this module, because I wanted to keep things simple, I’ll have a battery socket so I can just remove the 18650 cell and charge it separately plus the whole circuit should run in sleep for extended periods of time giving me a long operating time so i wouldn’t have to charge the battery too often.

Once the schematic was finished I did the board layout in a hurry so it’s not exactly pretty or optimized

but I tried to move the esp32 antenna to the side, to place the PIR sensor in the top side as the module will probably sit vertically, I tried to place the temperature sensor in the bottom side to keep it away from any components that might get hot and also placed some isolation slots for the same reason.

You should check-out revB of this board, I made some improvements present in the video below.

Voltlog #36 – The Dark Load PCB Layout With EagleCAD

This video is mostly a time-lapse of me doing the PCB layout for the Dark Load project that I am working on. However during the first minutes of the video I am commenting and giving some hints on some design decisions that I make during layout.

This entire design is open source and it will be shared once I have it working but for now it’s still quite beta and I don’t want to release something that is potentially not working or might contain errors.