Design, Build, Test, Iterate

Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

DIY half-wave dipole antennas for 900 MHz XBees

The 900 MHz XBees I bought back in May 2012 came without antennas (not a mistake — the ones with whip antennas were out of stock, and I couldn’t wait). It turned out that making effective dipole antennas out of 50 ohm coax cable is fairly easy in practice: I followed this tutorial to make […]

More flight videos

Ever since I achieved stable flight, I have gone outside for flight testing almost every day for the past week. Check out some videos after the break.

Tricopter controlled flight!

Or, the best one-line bug fix ever. For two months, I had been thinking I was running my flight controller at 166 Hz while actually running it at a measly 31 Hz. I don’t want to go into detail about how that happened, but I have fixed the problem, and now it works. I am […]

L298N dual full-bridge motor driver

Two years ago, I designed my own motor driver breakout board using two L298N motor driver ICs and had them manufactured through BatchPCB. Here it is, finally finished. The KiCAD files are on my github repo here.

LSM303DLM Breakout

Sensors are cool, but the really cool ones come in tiny packages that require breakout boards to be easily usable. I often buy (populated) breakout boards from one of the many hobby electronics vendors out there, but they are often in the $20 to $60 range (like this LSM303 breakout board), which is rather prohibitive. […]

Epic replacement of a broken ATX power supply

tl;dr: I successfully swapped out a broken 24-pin ATX power supply with a 20-pin power supply and managed to not only avoid killing myself but learned some useful things about ATX power supplies in the process.

Sawdust all over!

Since I spend basically all my time on my laptop, my physical possessions don’t get much attention. I organize the files on my computer obsessively, but the same can’t be said about how I manage loose sheets of paper (stacked in a pile) and books (stacked in piles around my room). At my mother’s suggestion, […]

DIY PCB Etching: Test Run

I found some one-sided blank PCBs on eBay. They are only half as thick (0.0225″) as the ones found in most electronic devices, but I don’t need much more yet. I cut the board by gouging out one side of a small rectangular area with an exacto knife until it was thin enough to be […]

DIY PCB Etching: Safety Lessons Learned

I wondered for a while about the title of this post, because I have actually learned very little in terms of safety. After all this, I know I’m still not going to use a fume hood, I’m still going to do this in my garage (albeit closer to the door), and I still won’t wear […]

DIY PCB Etching: Not Electrolyzing Salt to Make Cupric Chloride

The tutorials use hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide as the starting etchant not because they aren’t adventurous but because that is what works best (as opposed to using electrolysis). The starting etchant (hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide) Once again, the starting etchant provides chlorine that will oxidize copper to form cupric chloride: Hydrochloric acid is […]