Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Attiny45 based reflow oven controller

If you want to solder SMT components professionally, you should use reflow oven. OF course, no one suggests using specialized oven which is really pricy and used in PCB houses where tons of boards are soldered. With a little bit of effort you can build pretty good oven that can solder small PCB batches. Zaggo simply purchased a toaster oven for about 40€. He also wanted to keep warranty, so he started building external controller that doesn’t mess with internals. Oven controller is based on Attiny45 microcontroller that comes with 4K of flash. He was able to squeeze in full PID algorithm along with minimal user interface. Temperature is measured by using 100k thermistor and oven is controlled with simple mechanical relay via transistor. Single push button is used to start program. Its performance is indicated with single LED. The circuit turned out to be very compact and easy to build with through hole components. Practically any simple oven can be turned in to reflow station without loosing warranty. Source code and other files can be downloaded from GitHub. Continue reading

Self balancing robot kit uses PID

PID control algorithms are widely used method for smooth control of inertial systems. This can be motor speed control, heating, flight control. Balancing robots is one of fun projects where PID control algorithms are easy to learn. You can change P.I.D parameters and see how they change the behavior of robot. Sean Hodgins has been working on balancing robots and thought why not to build one with PID system. This can be fun to learn and explore. So he came up with small robot carrying Arduino Nano, 3 potentiometers, 6 DOF IMU. All electronics are mounted on custom PCB once mounted, burn software and you are up to experimenting. You can change each PID parameter by turning any of three potentiometers. Easy and intuitive even for kids. Continue reading

It’s Time to Add PID Arduino Mod on Your Gaggia Espresso!

If you an Espresso lover, then you must at least have an Espresso maker in your kitchen. Doesn’t it refreshing and tantalizing to have a cup of Espresso in the early morning? And, it would be even better, if you owned a Giaggia Espresso! Today, you’re going to crate a computer interface for your Gaggia Espresso machine, by simply replacing the factory thermal switches with a PID controller. Beside that, you’ll need to substitute the “steam” and “pump” toggle switches with a LCD/button menu system. Isn’t this a brand new and fun experience to you here? The Arduino Decimilia microcontroller will be used to utilize the AVR ATmega168. The LCD uses six digital 10 pins, which as: Four for a 4 bit parallel data bus, One for Register Select, and One for Operation enable signal. The SSRs will take one digital I/O pin each, while the AD595 takes one 10 bit AD converter pin. The three buttons are sharing one external interrupt pin and use two digital I/O pins to indicate which button has been pressed. Caution: Remember to switch… Continue reading