I designed a very simple power converter for the snow flake decoration. The snow flake boards require 3.3V, a voltage which is not commonly available in a household. Therefore the power converter takes 5V USB power and convert it into the required 3.3V.
There is no fancy circuit inside of this box, lazily I simple used a Traco Power TSR2-2433 DC/DC power converter. It is a single component containing everything required. No external components like capacitors or resistors needed.
Today I show you a little bit longer video about the assembly of the component side of the snow flake panel.
Compared with the very small 0402 LEDs (1mm x 0.5mm) on the front side, the component side contains just regular 0805 resistors and capacitors.
The first part of the video shows how I apply the solder paste using a metal stencil. I use a system called “eC-stencil-fix” from Eurocircuits. This is basically a set of plates with metal knobs to perfectly align the board with the stencil. With a tick in a checkbox, they produce panels which perfectly work using this stencil fix system, which is really convenient.
Today prototype boards from Eurocircuits arrived. The quality of this boards is outstanding. I do not know any other board house which delivers this incredible quality of boards. They really thrive for perfection.
Recently I finished a small cat feeding device. Meanwhile I added some minor missing parts, like an USB port which can be used to charge the device. I also added a larger battery to keep the device running for months without charging.
I finished a very simple and quick project recently. It is a programmable cat feeder device. The device is just made for one single portion, but it uses this slide which produces the distinctive sound if the pellets hit the bowl. It is no replacement for the usual feeding of the cat, but some flexible addition to give food out of the regular times.
The whole build was done in roughly four days, using a very quick prototyping and build method.
Design and Build Process
First I had to make a decision about the final size of the device. I used Autodesk Fusion360 to create a model of the device and try to fit all required parts into the device.
This is one of the last designs I made until I had the right size. I used a different mechanism as shown here, the important part was to get the right size.
Next I bought plywood in the right sizes for the outer shell of the case. I also got some additional panels fitting inside of the shell for the internal structure.
I created the shell with four sides, left the top and front side open. To work quickly I fastened the panels with hot glue in place. This has the benefit that you can remove panels using a hot air gun in the prototyping stage.
There was a long delay with no update about my projects. The reason for this is, I focused on other non electronic related projects. I promised to publish all files and information about the plant watering sensor project in August, and here are all the files.
First some Important Notes
Even with these files, it is a very advanced project to do. To produce the PCB, you need a board house which is used to precise and high quality PCBs, like Eurocircuits. Also all pads are prepared to reflow soldering, and not hand soldering. It may be possible to solder the resistors in place using a regular solder iron, but it will be hard to do.