The boards arrived from OSH Park the other day and look super excellent, as usual. This time around, my order came with a sticker, which I promptly affixed to my oscilloscope.
I’m now waiting for a Digi-key order (and a bunch of other lab equipment, actually) to arrive so I can assemble one.
A mini-review of the boards (pictures taken with
a potato an iPhone through a microscope viewfinder):
The soldermask sharpness is excellent, as you can see by the “jagged edge thing” I made. I also “tented” the vias (which just means that soldermask will be applied over the vias). The tenting worked OK, but since the via centers are not plugged, sometimes the soldermask might sluice through the hole. For the most part though, the vias are nicely covered.
The “silkscreen resolution test” I did with the Futurama art is actually pretty good quality. Even though the features are quite small, the text is still fairly legible.
Overall, the silkscreen quality is excellent, with sharp and crisp edges and is comparable to results from more expensive board services.
While waiting for components/tools/chemicals/whatever, I’ve been playing with the LPCXpresso LPC1769 board, so that I can become familiar with the LPC17xx family of microcontrollers. I have some PWM code up and running to drive the red/green LEDs for the magnetic field strength indicator. I was having trouble getting things up and running with the toolchain, until I said “screw this” and stripped out the LPCXpresso board library and the LPCOpen library, and just used the CMSIS library only. Too much high-level abstraction for me – I need to know the details of what registers do what, so I do not mind digging through the datasheet/user manual to learn how the chip actually works.