Freeduino SB

Hey

Solarbotics/ HVWTech have come out with the first real "production" version of the Freeduino. It's called the "Freeduino SB". It's got a few interesting features... (optional Aref pot, power switch, better RX TX led placement, you can use type A or type B USB connectors, etc etc...) It comes as a mini-kit, with all the SMT parts soldered on. You solder the included socket, headers etc, saving quite a few bucks in the process.

Check it out here.

It says in the description that is has a power jack. How is this different to the Diecimila, or am I missing something?

Regards,

Till

I think that's a typo- they meant power switch. It has a bunch of small perks- mostly the Aref pot, possibility of using different USB jacks, etc...

D

Nice.

Are the Eagle / CAD files available anywhere? I didn't see them at first glance.

yep I think they are in the process of doing that! It was actually designed on Protel or one of those engineery-like systems.

D

I do like the idea of having a power switch...I hope the Arduino's next rev comes with one. :) Its a little annoying to have to unplug it when not in use. A 3-way switch (USB/DC/Off) would be sweet!

mini usb, power switch and aref pot are great, i'll try one of these!

Nice.

Are the Eagle / CAD files available anywhere? I didn’t see them at first glance.

FYI, they’re posted now at the HVW tech site and on the Freeduino site on the files page. Unfortunately they’re in Protel format…

D

Cool.

right after my last post I discovered that Hackaday had just reviewed the Freeduino SB!

Nice.

Are the Eagle / CAD files available anywhere? I didn't see them at first glance.

FYI, they're posted now at the HVW tech site and on the Freeduino site on the files page. Unfortunately they're in Protel format...

D

The Gerber files are now there also ....

cheers ... BBR

I think they need to be checked to see that they are the final version, but I don't have a good gerber viewer package...

I just got mine and assembled it, which takes about ten or fifteen minutes. Pic: http://www.freeduino.org/images/freeduino_SB_assembled.jpg

I think they need to be checked to see that they are the final version, but I don't have a good gerber viewer package...

When I assembled the files to put online, I discovered we had already started making revisions for the next batch of PCBs (all cosmetic), so I tried to undo them all to the point of where this revision is. If there are differences, they will be 1) very minor and 2) cosmetic.

Sorry we don't have EAGLE versions of the software. We tried doing a conversion in-house, but it was just not going well. There's supposed to be a converter for EAGLE, but since we don't use EAGLE, we were kinda out-in-the-dark. I'm sure somebody that's handy with gerbers should be able to make it happen from the Protel 2.8 files & gerbers.

-Dave (Freeduino SB guy)

There is the free version of Eagle, which would probably be fine for opening up the converted files and checking that they look okay.

Garh. Just had a notification from Daniel that our power-filtration capacitors were installed in reversed positions, with the 6.3V cap on the unregulated side. :o

We had initially spec'd 16V caps for both positions, but we couldn't source them at the time, so we put a 6.3V part on (what should have been) the regulated side. We're working on an interim solution, but until then, use only a 6V adapter for externally-powered Freeduino SBs!

What surprises me is that the ones I've been using here in the office have been happily eating up 12V for a few months with no visible problem. Mind you, the electrolytic is probably leaking power like crazy, but the fact that it hasn't started to bulge is a testament to the quality of the capacitor!

We'll have notification and replacement information on the website ASAP.

Regards, Dave (the Freeduino SB guy, who's sucking it up right now!) :-[

Huh. I take it that the unregulated side is the one closest to the DC connector on the SB board? That's NOT true of all the "freeduino" boards; the PCBs I did that are posted at freeduino.org, and are the basis of the nkc "freeduino" boards, have the 5V cap next to the connector. (basically, both unreg and 5V are present on both sides of the area where the caps live, so it's pretty much a whim which goes where.) If you build one from a bare board, pay attention to whichever actual design you're using!

Huh. I take it that the unregulated side is the one closest to the DC connector on the SB board? That's NOT true of all the "freeduino" boards; the PCBs I did that are posted at freeduino.org, and are the basis of the nkc "freeduino" boards, have the 5V cap next to the connector.

Yeah, that was an assembly error on our part. The unregulated side is nearest the edge of the board.

until then, use only a 6V adapter for externally-powered Freeduino SBs!

Hmm. I notice that my freeduino SB has a 7805 regulator, which means it won't produce 5V out of the regulator with a 6V input. :-(

On the other hand, I also noticed that the holes provided for a higher power regulator ALSO provide a means of "fixing" the board for higher input voltages without too much trouble. 1) remove the low voltage cap from the position near the connector. Try to do this without damaging the traces of the PCB (unlike my attempt.) Note that it's OK to destroy the cap, cause it won't be useful. 2) install a new through-hole cap in the bottom two holes provided for the regulator, with the minus side up. (GND is the center pin of the three for the regulator.) Anything from 47uF (standard arduino value) up, at whatever voltage you intended, should work fine. The photo shows a 220uF 16V cap I happened to have.)

I received the "fix" for the solarbotics (wrong voltage) capacitor issue this week. This consists of a 330uF 16V Through-hole cap and a page of instructions. The instructions are clear, amusing, and they work. The cap fits in the spot like the board was designed to have it there; it's exactly the right size...