my recent reads..

Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
Power Sources and Supplies: World Class Designs
Red Storm Rising
Locked On
Analog Circuits Cookbook
The Teeth Of The Tiger
Sharpe's Gold
Without Remorse
Practical Oscillator Handbook
Red Rabbit

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

LittleArduinoProjects#176 nRF24 Breakout Board

So recently I've been intrigued by small-batch PCB fab services, like OSH Park. Like the ready supply of components from various online sellers, it's amazing how cheap you can get boards made over the net these days. How do they do it? As I learned in this hardware hangout, there are some neat tricks done behind the scenes to aggregate small orders into full panels sent to a fab.

But to get PCBs made, you need to be able to drive an EDA tool like KiCad. KiCad's a beautiful open source tool, but it is quite idiosyncratic. In some spare time, I dived into the KiCad like a Pro course and found it an excellent leg-up on the process.

The nRF24 breakout board (below) is just the first trivial exercise from the course. But it will come in handy - I have a batch of nRF24's lying around that I've been planning to experiment with, and the breakout board will be quite handy for that.

I just received my boards from OSH Park (1 month from order to delivery in Singapore - not bad, especially for $4.80 all-in). Very impressed with the board quality. Not so much with the board design! A few things I can see could be easily improved, but that's my fault (see my notes). But they do work!

As always, all notes, schematics and code (including the KiCad project) are in the Little Arduino Projects repo on GitHub.

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