After the class I headed home and immediately created my first schematic and board. There are a few I want to make but I figured the simplest would be a board for the traffic lights I made for the kids ages ago. I got a little bit carried away and made designs for a POV writer, an RGB LED night light and for a smaller version of "Dr Boardman's Color Conundrum". Here's the first schematic for the POV writer:
I was immensely proud to be able to put this together. I know this is simple stuff for many people, but this isn't the easiest software to work out late at night (the only time I have available).
I submitted my gerber files to the DorkbotPDX PCB order and waited (eagerly). The boards cost $4 per square inch (for which you get 3 copies of each board) and arrived a couple of weeks later.
Here they are fresh from the fab:
I've had a chance to solder parts on to all of these. Of course I found a couple of mistakes and oversights in these first designs, but that's no surprise really. This is all a learning process. They all work though - which is a big shocker!
All in all this has been a great experience. It's fantastic to go from idea -> design -> PCB -> working device; this is very empowering. I'll write more about the individual boards later, but for now I just wanted to post something to give a shout out to Malcom and to encourage anyone interested to head over to the workshop.