Constructing the PCBs

Twitalu v0.1 PCBs

Twitalu v0.1 PCBs

After a very exciting unboxing of the first ever PCBs that Jeremy and I have ever ordered, I started the task of constructing and populating the boards.

The first task was to break the tabs that we had created to avoid PCBTrain’s pricing. This proved to be really easy with a guillotine. The edges of each board were then sanded down on a belt sander to smooth out the tabs.

As you may be able to see from the above photo, the finish on the PCBs are very good and much better that anything we could have made ourselves. The silkscreen turned out well, but I’ve noticed that the word “Twitalu” isn’t in the font I specified. On further boards, I will rasterise the text into images before sending them off. Also, there is very little space for drill holes – something that was overlooked in the rush to get them sent off.

MCP23017 and IC socket

MCP23017 and IC socket

Now that we have the empty PCBs, it’s time to get them populated. Firstly, I should mention that we’re using sockets for our ICs. Obviously, this makes it easier to replace an IC if it breaks – no unsoldering required.

Below are a few photos I took during the population process:

Populating the Twittithmetic Logic Unit

Populating the Twittithmetic Logic Unit

Populating the Twittithmetic Logic Unit

Populating the Twittithmetic Logic Unit

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