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2016-01-17. By Patrick.
Fig. 1. The completed "by-OSH Park-module" transmitter.
Just a quick update of the 80 m transmitter building. What I have been calling the "by OSH Park module" transmitter is built and working. It's modular like the last transmitter. But in this one, every module is an OSH Park PCB. Each one was built and tested individually.
Was it worth the extra step? Definitely. There is a fair bit that can go wrong in designing the PCBs. Thankfully, the surprises could all be fixed with just a bit of adjustment. A couple things went wrong in the building also. When the project gets this big, things will go wrong. But having each module totally separate made finding errors quick work.
It's also guided me in building the 'single-board' version. When I build that one, I'll start with the voltage regulator 'virtual' module, then the switches, then the controller, the oscillator, the rest of the power chain in sequence, and finally the filter. At every step, I can run some tests and I have a good idea of what to expect. So yes, it was definitely worth the extra step of designing and building a PCB 'by-module' version.
And these modules will not go to waste. When a couple of the single board versions are built, I will take the by-module version apart and re-use them in other project. Practically every project needs a voltage regulator and many will need an ATmega328 board. So I may even have to order some more of these.
Three PCBs for single board version have been ordered from OSH Park. Now, we're just waiting and I'm working on the code a bit. I can't wait until those board arrive.
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