Project from A to Z Part 1.

Finding the project.

This is part one of two articles.

So how do I start a new project, and how do I decide what to build?

Whenever I come up with an idea, I write it down. I have a long list of "projects to-do". It reaches from a simple LED flasher in the bushes, to a more advanced circuit for aiding me when I back my car into the garage.

This time, I will make a simple Emergency Flasher.

To do this, I've decided to make one of Bill Marsdens flashers: (The schematic is a piece of a bigger schematic image. Thank's Mr. Marsden)

I will slightly change this layout a little bit.

In this project we're using IC. To make this IC's long-lasting, I'm going to use some capacitors. Thatoneguy wrote a nice piece, worth reading:

Luckily most of the calculations for the resistors are already made.

If the project is just an idea that comes to mind, and I don't have all the components, I try to build it in KTechLab. This is an "electronic workbench" for us Linux guys.

When all calculations are done, I start drawing the schematic in Eagle.
This is a free schematic software, with lots of users and tutorials.

After drawing Bill Marsdens Emergency Flasher in Eagle, it looks like this:

(Click on image for large version)

In Eagle we can generate an actual list of components/materials.
This is a screenshot of that file:

When the ERC (Electric Rule Check) has been performed and all is OK, I start designing the PCB. This is also made in Eagle. After the design is finished, it looks like this.

So to see how it will look like in "real" life, I run it through Eagle 3D, and PovRay. Then it looks like this:

Now to the fun part.

To transfer the PCB design to a PCB, I use UV.

More on that in the next article.

Thanks to:

  • Bill Marsden, schematic
  • Thatoneguy, capacitors
This is a work in progress, changes can be made. I take no responsibilities for what other might do with this. This is for educational use only.

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