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16  Topics / Science and Measurement / Re: O Scope recomendation on: September 20, 2013, 03:44:52 pm
Looks like Rigol's just released (or about to release) the DS1000Z series, starting with the DS1074Z--4 channels, 70 MHz, and a package about the size of the DS1052E.  Screen is 7" dia., which is larger than the 1052 but smaller than the DS2000 series.  Starts at $585 US.  For another $200 or so, a 2-channel function generator can be built in.
Product page:
Video overview:

It sounds like it doesn't have all the features available that the DS2000 series does, but the function generator could tip the scales a bit (as could the extra 2 channels).  I wouldn't be surprised if it were hacked in fairly short order as well, but that's another matter...
17  Topics / Science and Measurement / Re: O Scope recomendation on: September 19, 2013, 06:57:46 pm
A web search for "rigol ds2000 hack" will bring up quite a bit of relevant information, and there's a long thread on on the subject.
...and rather than play hide the ball, here's the link to that thread:'s-internal-i2c-bus/

I've not personally tested the increased bandwidth or added features, but the scope's status page states they're active.  I can just confirm that the scope seems to work well for what little I've used it for so far.
18  Topics / Science and Measurement / Re: O Scope recomendation on: September 16, 2013, 08:15:11 am
Looks nice.  I just received my Rigol DS2072, and converted it to a fully-optioned DS2202.  Seems very nice, but it's my first scope, so what do I know?  The I2C and SPI trigger/decode seem like they could be very useful for Arduino work.  We're probably both rather far afield of what OP is looking for, though.
19  Topics / Science and Measurement / Re: O Scope recomendation on: September 09, 2013, 07:24:33 am
If you're looking at the Rigol DS2000 series, the DS2072 can be upgraded to 200 MHz bandwidth using just a software key.  A web search for "rigol ds2000 hack" will bring up quite a bit of relevant information, and there's a long thread on on the subject.
20  Topics / Science and Measurement / Re: O Scope recomendation on: September 08, 2013, 01:22:21 pm
If the OP doesn't want to spend $400 on a DS1052, he won't want to spend $800 on a DS2072...
21  Topics / Science and Measurement / Re: O Scope recomendation on: September 05, 2013, 05:22:44 am
Another option would be a used analog scope.  You should easily be able to find one under $100, and if you're patient under $50.  See for some tips.
22  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Question about PCB service (iTead/iMall).. if anyone has experience? on: September 05, 2013, 05:07:28 am
I've used seeed for one batch of boards, and had no problems--got the boards reasonably quickly (I don't remember exactly how long, but I don't remember being frustrated by the wait), and they worked perfectly.  Just one data point.
23  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Question about PCB service (iTead/iMall).. if anyone has experience? on: September 04, 2013, 12:22:37 pm
Or you can panelize 5x your design into a single 10 x 15 cm board and buy 10 of those for $56 + shipping.
24  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Found a place for cheap pcb manufacturing on: August 29, 2013, 12:56:07 pm
iTead or Seeedstudio are both $10 for 10 pieces, up to 5 cm square, or $40 for 50 pieces.  If you want to get clever, you could panelize 9 of your designs onto a 10x10 cm board, $25 for 10 pieces.  You'd need to cut them apart yourself, but that would give you 90 boards for $25, or $0.28 each.  I've only done one board with them, but I was entirely satisfied with the quality and turnaround time.

Even OSHPark will do $1/in^2 with a minimum order of 150 in^2.  For your board, that would be $1.56 each.  Less than the small-run option with them, but quite a bit more than shipping it off to China.

Edit: That price from seeedstudio isn't exactly comparable to OSHPark, as it doesn't include the ENIG (gold plated) finish on the boards--that adds $16 to the order (and that looks like a flat amount--it doesn't seem to depend on the number or size of the boards ordered).  And, of course, they don't have the purple solder mask, though a number of other colors are available.
25  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: reflow controller on: April 04, 2013, 08:41:46 am
Maybe not the most DIY solution, but this device: sounds like it will do just what you're looking for.  Add a temp sensor and an SSR to control the heating, and you should be good to go.
26  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Which soft can help me to do a PCB on: February 28, 2013, 04:40:57 pm
No PCB/schematic layout software is going to have every component you might use--at some point, you're going to need to be able to add your own parts to the library.

Fritzing is free and Free.  However, my understand is that it's very limited as far as what you can do with it--exporting Gerber files to have boards made or regular schematics, as I understand, simply aren't possible.  OTOH, it can output a nice picture of how a breadboard setup will look, which can be convenient.  It's said to be very easy to use.

KiCad ( is free and Free.  It doesn't suffer from the limitations of Fritzing, but reports I've seen suggest very poor user interface design.

Eagle is commercial, closed-source software, but a limited version is free to use.  The limitations are that the board can be no more than 8 x 10 cm, with no more than two layers.  It's pretty widely used, so there are lots of parts libraries available, and lots of online support in the way of forums and tutorials.  The user interface isn't very intuitive, but I understand it's quite powerful once you really get used to it (I'm not there yet).

DipTrace ( is also commercial, closed-source software, and also has a limited version that is free to use.  The limitations are no more than 300 or 500 pins, and no more than two signal layers on the PCB (any number of power or ground layers are allowed)--the board size is unlimited.  It's not as widely used as Eagle from what I can see, but seems to have pretty good support available.  The developers have a pretty extensive tutorial available that walks you through designing a schematic and laying out a board from the schematic.  The UI seems, at least to me, to be a bit better than Eagle.  I understand that it's possible to import part libraries from Eagle, but I haven't tried it yet.
27  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: first pcb try on: January 23, 2013, 07:46:32 pm
Is diptrace the program that is being discussed elsewhere in the forum, it bypasses some of the windows security settings as part of the installation?
They've commented in the EEVBlog forums that this was an inadvertent setting in their installer, and they've uploaded a corrected version.  FWIW.
28  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Reccomend me a pcb package on: January 12, 2013, 07:39:23 am
Check out DipTrace. It's fugly though, running on OSX. But I think it's a worthy contender/upgrade/step-up from Eagle.
DipTrace is fugly on a Mac, it's true, but it does seem to work just fine.  It's a native Windows app, so it looks fine there.  There isn't a Linux version, but since the Mac version is just the Windows version packaged with Wine, I'd expect the Windows version could run under Wine on Linux.

The DipTrace free version is not limited on board size like Eagle's free version.  Instead, it's limited on the number of pins--no more than 300 for the free version, and only two signal layers on the board (as many power and ground layers as you want).  What I've seen (very little) and heard (a bit more) suggests that DipTrace is quite a bit more intuitive than Eagle, but no doubt YMMV.

KiCad is completely free, not just a limited freeware version.  I've not heard good things about its usability, though I haven't run it myself.
29  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Using an Unknown LED on: January 07, 2013, 06:59:56 am
What do I do about forward voltage?
Measure it with the diode setting on your DMM.  If you don't have a DMM with a diode setting, you really should.  Or, do as otherwise suggested here--pick a resistor value, wire it up, and then measure it.
30  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Newbie question on designing your own 'board' instead of using wires on: January 07, 2013, 06:55:25 am
Well, it kind of runs on OS X.  It uses Wine and Quartz to run the Windows version inside X on the Mac.  It's ugly, but it seems to work (I've only tinkered with it so far).  I don't think it supports the 3D mode, though.
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