Feb 13 2018
3.3V - 1.8V = 4 Hours
After a couple days of searching DigiKey for the various sensor ICs to populated the long delayed environment monitoring board, the Eizo monitors once again glow with the nurturing altruistic warmth of the open source community courtesy of KiCAD. A temporary reprieve from the heartbreaking, soul crushing, reality of modern American kleptocracy. Oh'...wait, about 3.3V - 1.8V = 4 Hours. . .
This board is a followup to the various sensor boards made with KiCAD from a few years ago, back when people lament the underachievement of an over promised presidency.... sorry, memory is such a volatile affair, back to the current reality....
So, first couple i2c sensor boards were made with single Si7021 humidity sensor and MPL3115A2 barometric pressure sensor. The little 6pin Si7021 was particularly easy to used and were used in a couple introduction to KiCAD meetups hosted in Tux-Lab, to show people how to use the datasheet to draw the KiCAD schematic symbols and create the corresponding KiCAD footprint. The Si7021 datasheet also serves as a good introduction on using the i2c bus to query for the humidity and temperature data bytes and using the provided algorithm for converting to human readable digits.
As a follow up, a few more sensors are added, mostly as a skill building exercise for interfacing multiple i2c devices and writing simple libraries using the datasheets. The slot above the temperature sensor is for trying out OSHPark's PCB slotting capability. The next iteration will minimize the slot pinch area to increase thermal isolation for the temperature sensing IC.
Prior to uploading the PCB layout to OSHPark, a final check discovered the VOC sensor IC has a maximum operating voltage of 1.8V, which necessitated a substitution for another VOC sensor IC that will function with 3.3V. Sadly, the new IC is not pin compatible and required an additional 4 hours to redo the PCB layout, hence 3.3V - 1.8V = 4 Hours. Haha. Well, considering that going from the previous 5V sensor board via a couple mosfet level shifter to the current native 3.3V board took a few years. Perhaps 4 hours is an improvement.
Nov 12 2017
MDC ECM96 Pick and Place Machine
Ever since we started designing PCB with KiCAD and receiving the underpopulated boards from OSHPark, we've always dreamed of acquiring a pick and place machine. However, . . . show details
Ever since we started using KiCAD to design PCB and receiving the underpopulated PCB back from OSHPark, we've always dreamed of acquiring a pick and place machine. However, the cost of a new pick and place is prohibitively high. Once in a while, we'll see affordable used machines, but with questionable operational status, lack of included feeders, and unfamiliarity with pick machines in general, the risk was too great.
Finally we found a used machine made by MDC. The machine was made in 1996, but the previous owner was still operating it earlier this year and it comes withe manuals along with plenty of feeders.
A couple weeks later, the crate showed up. The crate was damaged in transit but the content looks okay. With the help from the former owners, we were able to get the machine up and running without too much trouble.
Mar 03 2017
SCaLE A/V Podium PC
SCaLE A/V Podium PCs are placed in each conference room and remotely control to display conference messages and record the conference talks. At Tux-Lab, we laser cut the acrylic cases, design the NPN boards, and assembly the podium PCs.
Oct 28 2016
To err is human, and we know we are definitely human. . . . show details
To err is human, and we know we are definitely human. Thanks to our oscilloscope, magnifying glasses, soldering and hot air station, and lot of perseverance and patience, something getting a non-working board back into working condition feels like divine euphoria.
Sometimes the errors are obvious and easy to fix. Other times, carelessly placing schematic components and ordering MOSFETs without paying attentions to the source gate drain pinouts, can lead to days and weeks of agonizing madness.
Jan 22 2016
Kaeser AirCenter SX5
Installation of a Kaeser AirCenter SX5. It's a 5hp rotary . . . show details
Installation of a Kaeser AirCenter SX5. It's a 5hp rotary screw compressor, with an integrated air dryer, and rated at 21 cfm. It's compact enough to fit into the electrical room, and fairly quiet at 64dBA.
Mar 25 2015
CNC Routed Standing Work Table
We designed and cnc routed a standing work table from . . . show details
We designed and cnc routed a standing work table from a single 4'x8' sheet of 1/2" Baltich Birch plywood.
The layout was completed using LibreCAD and we ended trying various profiling sequence and using small tabs to keep the smaller routed parts from moving during the routing operation.
Nov 19 2014
SI7021 Humidity & Temperature Sensors PCB Layout
We exclusively use KiCAD, and open source electronic design software suite, to draw our schematics and layout our PCBs. We also use OSHPark, an domestic PCB batching company that uses US based PCB manufactures, to manufacture our boards.
Si7021 is a simple moisture and temperature sensor IC that communicates though I2C.
We especially thanks IO Rodeo for patiently helping us get started on using KiCAD.
Nov 02 2014
Suds-Lab was briefly formed to serve as a learning . . . show details
Suds-Lab was briefly formed to serve as a learning experience for gathering people from different disciplinary backgrounds and working on a common project. We figure soap is something everyone uses and the process of making soap is enjoyable for all.
We made a batch of soap using 6mm acrylic soap molds, and over the next few weeks we designed the logo and setup a simple website.
Jul 06 2014
Haas ST-20SS CNC Lathe setup. . . . show details
Haas ST-20SS CNC Lathe setup.
|Haas ST-20SS CNC Lathe|
|X Axis Travel:||9.3”|
|X Axis Travel:||21.0”|
|Max Torque:||140ft-lb @ 1450rpm|
|Automatic Tool Presetter|
|Made In USA|
Apr 24 2014
BlueEagleLab's Kossel Clear
Tux-Lab assisted in converting the FDM . . . show details
Tux-Lab assisted in converting the FDM printed brackets used in BlueEagleLabs's Kossel Clear 3D Printer, into equivalent laser cut acrylic brackets to give it better rigidity and shorten the production cycle.