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Author Topic: Norwegian without the PG Shield?
ITVirtuoso
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Post Norwegian without the PG Shield?
on: August 24, 2012, 16:25
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I would loooooove to do some of the new Norwegian style drawings, but it requires the PG Shield? Is it possible to implement this using the uno and motorshield? Its totally escaping me on how to do this if its possible. I dont see anything that allows me to choose a file from location in the dialogue.

Sandy- Any consideration to selling just the shield? I'd be perfectly happy with a a bag of components to solder together myself. No 2560 or step sticks. ( plenty of those to scrounge from the 3D printer) Depending on the cost, I'd be really interested in something like this! I guess shipping costs could be a bit steep since I'm in the states, but I'm still interested!

Josh

sandy
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sandy
Post Re: Norwegian without the PG Shield?
on: August 24, 2012, 17:19
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In principle, there's no reason why the norwegian pixel couldn't be done in an interactive, tethered kind of way, with the controller analysing the pic and generating the wave amplitude commands. However, I haven't done that because it would be so slow. It's possible with the polarshield (or anything with an SD card attached) because it reads the image file in it's native bitmapped format directly from the SD card, so it can read the value and generate the command fast enough to make it worthwhile.

Technically, there's very little difference between the norwegian pixel and the regular square wave pixel, except that the regular square pixels are much longer - they might be 50 steps long, and 50 steps wide, whereas the norwegian pixel will typically be 2 steps long and 20 steps wide, so there's 50x more commands to draw to cover the same area.

Happy to sell just the shield sure, I didn't do that because it's surface mount and I didn't think that many people would want to do that themselves - but not a problem. The pcb is easy to sell, not too expensive either (I'll look up a proper price for you later on). The components themselves are less easy to do, mainly for packaging reasons. I'm not sure how I could pack them that would keep them separate and labelled. Wee bags, or on sticky tape? Is there a cleverer way to do that?

ITVirtuoso
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Posts: 16
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Post Re: Norwegian without the PG Shield?
on: August 24, 2012, 22:00
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I didnt even consider the notion that you'd be using surface mount stuff. That complicates it a bit more, but maybe it gives me an excuse to build my reflow oven! Lots of components or not too many? Maybe an assembled price to for those that might not be as ambitious as I am sometimes (as sometimes later regret). OR, maybe I'm the only one asking for it. Certainly if there's not a market for it, its not worth the hassle which is understandable. Honestly, I would say that the easiest thing to do is toss everything into a antistatic bag and send it on its merry way! Everything I've gotten from Adafruit is packaged that way (just like the motorshield). The key for success in that situation is an exceptionally well documented and photographed build page. Step by step with pictures of everything. Slap a label on the bag with the link and its done. No need for labeling everything, printing, instruction sheets, etc. Updates to the documentation can be made instantly available to anyone with the link. Once and done. But thats just me.

sandy
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sandy
Post Re: Norwegian without the PG Shield?
on: August 24, 2012, 23:22
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I don't use reflow either mind, it's all manual stuff with a regular iron - ok for small runs, but it takes an hour or two to do one polarshield board. SMT is actually nothing to be afraid of, once you've done it once the mystery disappears, seriously, and you wonder what all the fuss was about. If you're just a bit handy anyway. Mess up a couple of components, just knock them off and try again. As long as you baby the pcb a little so that you don't get it too hot and risk lifting the traces, it's actually easier than through-hole. As a guide, I am a very amateur soldererer, and I've only ever ruined one board, and that wasn't even my first one. But aye, less forgiving. I think having the right equipment makes a difference.

I stick the pcb down with blu-tack,
- use close up magnifiers (http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/displayProduct.jsp?sku=1834302&CMP=e-2072-00001000&gross_price=true),
- a flux pen to flood the area that you're soldering (http://www.somersetsolders.com/product.php/223/75/no_clean_flux_rework_pens) (though I'm sure you can often get away without that, depending on what technique you use),
- 22swg solder (http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/Rapid-Premium-Lead-Free-Solder-22swg-100g-Reel-85-6612/?sid=bd445df9-52b7-4286-a390-85f8d6f3b9fb)
- Antex TCS-50 iron with a 1.0mm chisel tip
- Decent tweezers (http://www.somersetsolders.com/product.php/815/339/precision_stainless_steel_tweezers___7sa)

Whether you want to bother with all that stuff really depends on how often you think you'll use it. I know I won't go back to through-hole unless I am deliberately making something that is more accessible to other builders. Also since folks like ITead or Seeed or elec-freaks offer pcbs so cheaply, it's hard not to. Drilling hundreds of holes? No thank you.

I'm in NO hurry to assemble more than I have to, but I could do the smt stuff. The biggest problem with it is that I can't test an unfinished board without some kind of clever test jig, and that's more £££.

Price for PCB on it's own would be about £6, plus components about £12, with soldering done about £26. Postage for a pcb would only be a few quid though, even worldwide. The lcd is about £12 if you got it through me.

What I want to avoid is making something that lots of casual people want, but can't afford to get on a whim, so I'd love to get something on the go that was really cheap. Not there yet.

sn

ITVirtuoso
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Posts: 16
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Post Re: Norwegian without the PG Shield?
on: September 3, 2012, 11:47
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I've been gathering my bits for SMT soldering.....

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