Fran's Writings on Design and Engineering
Page 5

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List of articles on this page:
(January 2013 - March 2013)
Prototyping The CuteUino
DIY Hold Down Tool for SMD Parts
Modern Chemistry
Make Your Own Printed Circuit Boards
Frantone Shredcam
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Prototyping The CuteUino
(March 2013)
Made by hand, with love.

 The hand made prototype CuteUino modules.

To create the CuteUino prototypes I had to push the absolute limits of DIY printed circuit board density.  In the final assembled form these raw circuit boards produce two different three-layer PCB's just 20mm square, and all hand made.  Now, that is very small... and very cute indeed!

To make hand made three-layer PCB's I made a sandwich of two single sided boards that would be aligned with the headers, and a copper foil inner ground plane layer was hand cut and soldered into the vias.

 Under Construction...

  My three layer hand made PCB package with lots of vias.

The Frantone CuteUino Page

DIY Hold Down Tool for SMD Parts
(March 2013)

A keen observer of my blog spotted one of my DIY tools in my messy desk photo last week - It is a hold-down arm for SMD soldering.  Ever try to hand solder SOT sized parts?  This makes it easy!  I used a tool that is commonly called a 'dental stimulator' which you can get at any pharmacy - it has a soft rubber point on the tip and these tips are replaceable, so you can have spares to keep around the lab, and with a small rubber band stretched across a couple of screws in a block of heavy scrap hardwood you have an adjustable SMD hold down arm.  The hold down pressure is set by the rubber band, and the entire thing can be very precisely adjustable and quite stable.  The rubber point will grip and hold any small part while you solder it.  It has proven a very handy tool for placing those pesky little buggers (as Dave at EEVBlog would aptly say!)


Modern Chemistry, The Holt Science Program, 1954.
In the modern age chemistry is on the march!  Women are at home, out of sight and out of mind where they belong - and chemicals are pumped into beautiful orange lakes under a majestic green sky.  It's a beautiful world.....  Of Modern Chemistry!

Make Your Own Printed Circuit Boards
(February 2013)

This is my 3-part vlog mini-series on high quality PCB manufacturing, and introduction to my "make your own LVDC logic devices" project.   In these vlogs I will show the specialized tools and equipment that you will need to make your own high quality PCB's from scratch with my own refined methods, with step by step demonstrations of each stage - from rendering and checking the artwork, to applying the resist to copper clap boards, to etching, to drilling the PCB's.  I will do another series on component placement, soldering, and finishing later on. 


More about my PCB manufacturing process here - 
DIY Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing

Frantone Shredcam
(Jan. 2013)
Every guitar player will now want to fulfill their fretboard vanity with their very own Shredcam™!  Okay - not really trademarked - but here is how to make one yourself:

Weight is everything, so I took my old Logitech 250 webcam and gutted it of all the unnecessary hardware and switches, leaving just the bare minimum of components and case.  I installed a bolt in the base to mount to the clamp assembly which allowed me to point the camera after clamping the Shredcam into place. 

Just a piece of L stock aluminum and some creative minimal attachments with a steel rivet and bolt, secured to an off-the-shelf padded wood clamp and the Shredcam was complete.  Now all you have to do is rock out!

Shredcam Demo!

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