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#81
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/2/24 15:26
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2010/2/14
USA
333 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (9 Years)
Quote:

e5frog wrote:
How will you prevent wobbling up and down if it's a "naked" cart?

If you would add some more length, enough for it to peek out of the opening you could add a semi-circle grip cut in, like the profile of this cart:


This fab house uses thick boards with very little to no flex. These things are built solid, trust me. When it's in the VB it will be inside the plastic cartridge slot which will give it support and prevent it from bouncing around. The connector also has to be a good fit but I think I found some that work well (and fit tight!).

The only thing I will have to worry about with a bare PCB is ESD protection, in case someone accidentally gives the board a shock. I can make sure the board components are protected but does anyone (dogP?) know if the VB cartridge header has any ESD protection? Obviously it would be unacceptable to accidentally shock the cartridge and have it damage the VB. Perhaps I could use a conformal coat on the PCB to prevent touching the the traces/components.
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#82
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/2/25 18:56
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2010/2/14
USA
333 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (9 Years)
Here is a pic of my first prototype board installed in the VB cart slot with the plastic cover off. As you can see, that board was made small so it could fit in the plastic cases. The new board is considerably longer and will be able to poke out the end of the VB cartridge slot. It's almost ready to go, I just had to make a quick change and tonight I should be able to get it ordered. Feels good to be making progress again! Based on the current pricing it costs me about about 65-75 USD to make a single board with all components (not bulk pricing). Also, more good news - I found multiple alternate suppliers for my bus transceiver chip, so I won't have to do a redesign any time soon for that reason.

See the link for pic and more in-depth update info:
http://brennanthl.wordpress.com/
Edited by Vaughanabe13 on 2011/2/25 19:19
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#83
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/2/28 3:48
VB Gamer
Joined 2011/1/8
30 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (8 Years)
Maybe I could offer my services as a graphics designer for the label? :D
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#84
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/2/28 6:13
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2010/2/14
USA
333 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (9 Years)
Quote:

T-SqProductions wrote:
Maybe I could offer my services as a graphics designer for the label? :D


Your offer is appreciated but as of right now I don't have any plans to make a case for the board. I haven't thought very much about making it look presentable at this point, it's all about getting it to work. But I'm always willing to take suggestions on how to make it look good.
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#85
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/3/3 0:23
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2006/9/29
USA
267 Posts
CoderLong Time User (13 Years) PVBCC 2010 3rd
Here's a question: Is that switch on the PCB reachable when the cover is on, or is the current revision too short? It doesn't look like you would be able to reach it, but I might just be miscalculating the size of the cartridge slot.

As far as the way it looks, I love the look of bare PCBs. Any way you could get them to fabricate boards with the etch resist in red?

Also, where did you get your boards fabbed? Was it BatchPCB or someplace like that? I actually found this place recently, they charge more per square inch than BatchPCB but they send you three copies of your board, shipping is free, and near as I can tell there's no setup fee, so it's a way better deal. Just something to think about when you get the design worked out if you decide to go into "mass" production.
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#86
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/3/3 0:58
PVB Elite
Joined 2010/1/5
Sweden
560 Posts
Long Time User (9 Years) Donator30+ Game Ratings
That button is perhaps why he unscrew the bottom piece. ;-)

Great link there, very neat idea letting several people fill up a panel together. Then you can make just a few boards very cheap.

I actually work at a PCB manufacturer, I guess I should ask how much cheaper I can get it... ;-)


About that offer of a graphic design, perhaps you can put something on the copper of the PCB, or as silkscreen - or a combination? If you use standard green you can combine silver (pad), light green, darker green and white silk screen. Could perhaps be possible to work out something neat in those four colors. ;-)
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#87
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/3/3 6:57
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2010/2/14
USA
333 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (9 Years)
Quote:

Fwirt wrote:
Here's a question: Is that switch on the PCB reachable when the cover is on, or is the current revision too short? It doesn't look like you would be able to reach it, but I might just be miscalculating the size of the cartridge slot.

As far as the way it looks, I love the look of bare PCBs. Any way you could get them to fabricate boards with the etch resist in red?

Also, where did you get your boards fabbed? Was it BatchPCB or someplace like that? I actually found this place recently, they charge more per square inch than BatchPCB but they send you three copies of your board, shipping is free, and near as I can tell there's no setup fee, so it's a way better deal. Just something to think about when you get the design worked out if you decide to go into "mass" production.


Good questions. The button will be accessible from outside the VB cartridge slot when the plastic slot cover is on, but you are right in guessing that in the picture I posted the PCB is too short. It doesn't even stick out when the plastic cover is on, but that's fine because that was an old version of the board (the first prototype). I was just posting it to show that it fits into the VB very well with the connector.

Also, thanks for the tip on the fab service, I will definitely check them out. I typically use BatchPCB for prototyping because they are the cheapest option if you only want one or two boards (plus they usually ship you 1 board or so for free, in my experience).
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#88
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/3/3 7:02
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2010/2/14
USA
333 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (9 Years)
Quote:

e5frog wrote:
That button is perhaps why he unscrew the bottom piece. ;-)

Great link there, very neat idea letting several people fill up a panel together. Then you can make just a few boards very cheap.

I actually work at a PCB manufacturer, I guess I should ask how much cheaper I can get it... ;-)


About that offer of a graphic design, perhaps you can put something on the copper of the PCB, or as silkscreen - or a combination? If you use standard green you can combine silver (pad), light green, darker green and white silk screen. Could perhaps be possible to work out something neat in those four colors. ;-)


I did make a quick a little design for the prototype that you can maybe see in some of the pictures, but it's nothing special. Here's a pic of it but the word spacing is off (the centering is correct on the silk screen). FYI there is no room on the board anywhere for copper artwork, it would have to be done on silkscreen.

But yeah, there's probably some tricky copyright stuff with my logo since it resembles the VB logo. I'd be willing to take artwork suggestions if anyone has ideas. Keep in mind there is no "clean" place to put it on the board so it will likely have vias and pads and such through it.

Attach file:



jpg  vboot.jpg (28.25 KB)
1277_4d6f2f0b614b8.jpg 423X304 px
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#89
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/3/3 7:09
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2010/2/14
USA
333 Posts
10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (9 Years)
Also, I found a local (in my state) PCB service for low-volume production and they have a red PCB + red solder mask board, so that might be the way to go when I start making the first official batch. I'm definitely getting ahead of myself though, there are still a number of things I need to work out. In my head the calculations and the theory make sense but I need to actually get it working like I want.

http://www.custompcb.com/
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#90
Re: Project VBoot
Posted on: 2011/3/3 13:51
PVB Elite
Joined 2010/1/5
Sweden
560 Posts
Long Time User (9 Years) Donator30+ Game Ratings
My thought was that there might be some space left if you extended the board so you had something to grab hold of if you wanted to unplug the board from the VB.

Every time I see the name VBOOT I can't help thinking of a boot.
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