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Topic: How to put it all together in a box? (Read 176 times) previous topic - next topic


May 17, 2019, 12:07 pm Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 12:08 pm by Edgar1
I need some advise how to put a couple of modules (shields) together for actual use - not on a breadboard.

I built a CAN-Bus logger for my motorcycle. It has an Arduino Nano, a Real Time Clock module (with a "big" battery), a SD-Card reader/writer and a CAN-Module. Additionally electronic components to convert and filter power from 12V, a few LEDs and a buzzer.

I tested these things before with lots of wires and things worked.
Now I soldered everything together on two stripboards and unfortunately the CAN Module does not work and it seems to be a hardware issue. It seems now I have to desolder at least that part and maybe others. And that takes time and is sometimes not easy with multiple contacts in a row.
In this case I also put parts on two sides of the pcb and this does not make it easier.

Probably I will do the whole thing again. But how?
I see the following options:
a) Use one PCB and lots of sockets for the Nano and the modules
b) Use only wires and solder everything fixed to the Nano and the modules
c) Use wires and connectors at least on one side, i.e. on the module side
d) Do a combination of above

My goals are:
1) Everything should be securely connected. I don't want something getting lose i.e. because of vibrations.
2) The parts should be mechanically "fixed". I don't want that the parts rattle around in a box.
3) It should be as easy as possible to troubleshot the hardware if something does not work as expected

I know how to solder and I have a good crimping tool, pins and connectors. My mechanical skills are far away from perfect but I know the basics and I have tools like saw, drill, etc. I don't have a 3D printer.

How do you put your projects permanently together?
I guess there are already threads like this in this forum but I searched and didn't find anything.


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May 17, 2019, 04:47 pm Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 05:23 pm by larryd
Making a PCB is best but you can hand wire things for one of projects.

Here is a link that covers many different hints and ideas to do project construction.

Things are not in order but a pot of coffee and a bit of time and you can see what the +500 posts offer.


As an example, see:


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If you are asked a question, please respond with an answer.
If you are asked for more information, please supply it.
If you need clarification, ask for help.


May 18, 2019, 11:37 am Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 11:39 am by FatSumo
Another possibility is to use a Bread board editor. I like to use BlackBoard
Code: [Select]
https://github.com/mpue/blackboard (only problem with this program is the painful install. How I normally do it with my projects I measure before how much space I have, I than draw a line representing my real Board. I than draw in my computer everything and double check everything is properly and right connected. I than print my plan and every line I soldered I mark with a pen until everything is done.


Thanks for the tips

I actually read that long thread "Topic: Share tips you have come across" from beginning to end maybe a year ago when I started with Arduino. Maybe I should review it and especially I should check what is new since then.

Today I spend a couple of hours to de-solder most shields. And then I made a "bus-board" for three modules with sockets for each module. So I can easily put them in and out. The rest is soldered without additional connectors.

That was a good idea. One connection from my SD-Card module did not work anymore. I took the module out and I soldered a micro wire to the trace under a magnifying glass - and it works again. ;)

I also discovered that with my current code the SD-Card reader/writer works alone and the CAN-Bus module works alone. But not together! It was obviously helpful that I could just remove the modules one by one to test this. I don't know why I didn't discover that error earlier. But it seems with my previous testing I tested the SD-Card and I tested the CAN-Bus module and both worked. But it seams I didn't test them together until now...

For the future I will use sockets. They take a little extra space and probably I have to make sure that in a vibrating environment everything works. But it's definitely good for troubleshooting.

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