Electronics Production


  • Show the process of milling a making a pcb board.
  • Build the ISP that we can use later on to program future boards.
  • Discuss design problems.
  • Week 4 Overview
  • Mill the PCB
  • Solder the board.
  • Make the fabISP board.
  • Flash the board.
  • Guides to Making

    The process will be to mill the PCB, solder the components, then test the board.
    The final step will be to program the board.

    The guide to milling describes that process:PCB milling guide
    The guide to soldering describes that process: Soldering a PCB guide
    The guide to programming describes that process: Programming Microcontroller(AVR)

    Making the fabISP board.

    I am choosing to make the David Mellis Board: board

    Here is the process:
  • Download the png:trace.png
  • Setup for Milling:
    To use direct with Carvey and Easel we convert the png to svg using an online converter.
    To use FabModules go to the page, upload the png and save the gcode file.(See instructions for this.)
  • Set the milling options: Board size 1.7 mm, milling depth 0.4 mm.
  • Mill the board
  • Inspect the board
  • Prepping the board
  • Soldering the components.
  • Testing the components.
  • Flashing the board

    The firmware for the program is also available from Dave Mellis' tutorial.
    After downloading and unzipping the firmware, I typed make from within the firmware directory. This made the execuetables. make-program flashes the board.
    As a reminder see the Makefile to check on the programmer type and processor type. See my guide for problems I encountered.
    This was a great check to see if the soldering was done correctly. The board did not upload the first time. I had a bad solder joint on the ISP header. After resoldering it worked fine. I would not say I programmed this week but I did get the board tested and working.


    It helps to lay out the components on piece of paper. This gives the chance to check the orientation of each of the pieces. Tinning the PCB makes it easier. Tacking the components down to the board while holding with a pair of tweezers makes alignemnt easier. After getting one of the leads down, its easier to get the other leads in place. You can then return to the first lead to get it down better.

    The most frustrating point is finding bad connections. A multi-meter with a connectivity detector makes finding contact points easier.