Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Microchip Wifi update.

My wifi board project has moved kind of slow lately. When I last left off, before the holidays last year, I had ordered 1.27 mm headers needed to make my planned adapter board to a more reasonable 2.54 mm pitch. I've been working with the awesome KiCid to design the adapter. While KiCad is amazing in what it lets you do for free, the user interface is not the most intuitive (I common phenomenon it seems in software designed be hardware people). It turns out that I think I may forgo the 1.27 header and try to mount the Wifi daughter board surface mount. I have a low-end pcb drill press for drilling through-holes, but I have serious doubts that I would be able to drill with the precision needed.

Anyways, I took the plunge this evening and decided to attempt a toner-transfer to a copper-clad. The result is this:
Try again!
I find myself trying to remember some Edison quotes about failure and perseverance. When I was ironing the thing I was convinced it was going to come out perfectly. I thoroughly washed clad ahead of time, I found the glossiest magazine paper I could find, and I ironed it for so long that I thought I was going to scorch the paper. Yet you can clearly see in the top traces where the steam-holes in my iron where. 

I was doing this late night, my whole family was asleep, so I tip towed through the house, fruitlessly searching for my wife's nail-polish remover, to remove the toner. 

As far as my final plans for what I'm going to actually do with the board, I'm leaning toward trying to make my own device inspired by openPicus. It is a general purpose standalone Wifi/tcp/http enabled I/O board. My only problem is that the pic chips I have are not nearly powerful enough to run the openPicus firmware, and I'm having a hard time finding dip PIC24's with 256k of flash, so I may peruse the code and see if I can use a subset of it.


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I welcome you're thoughts. Keep it classy, think of the children.