Hackaday: BBSing with the ESP8266

Modems have been around for longer than the web, and before we had Facebook we had the BBS scene. Somewhat surprisingly, people are still hosting BBSes, but have fun finding a landline these days. [Blake Patterson] is one of the leading aficionados of retocomputers, and recently he took it upon himself to review an interesting new…

via BBSing with the ESP8266 — Hackaday

Hackaday: BBSing with the ESP8266

Wireless Terminal Over ESP8266

From debug messages to the fundamental ‘hello world’, serial communication does it all over three little wires. Now imagine being able to cut the cord to your next microcontroller project and use your phone as a VT100 terminal. This was the premise of [Ondřej Hruška]’s Wireless Terminal Project where he took an ESP8266 and added an in-browser terminal emulator which can be accessed…

via Wireless Terminal Over ESP8266 — Hackaday

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Wireless Terminal Over ESP8266

Castellated Edges

Castellations are small plated edges, typically used for making circuit boards into small PCB modules. These are often seen on wireless modules, such as the ESP8266-12E.

While we don’t offer full support for castellations, they can be fabricated if you don’t mind a few minutes of rework and verification of the PCBs.

Design Considerations

It’s helpful to include a fallback hole near the edge. The ESP8266-12E boards, are a great example here. The extra via allows easy connecting of wires for rework, and makes it easy to salvage a module if the fabricated PCB doesn’t turn out perfectly.

ESP2866-12E
ESP2866-12E, available at Adafruit.com

Indicating in the design file

Castellations are simple to call out in most design tools. Simply include a via on the PCB, so the board outline goes through it.

However, due to our panelization process, the castellated vias must be indicated with round pads for copper and stop mask. The pads must also not extend more than 40 mil from the board edge. Square pads or pads that extend far beyond the edge will be trimmed, and the via will not be plated.

It’s also helpful to use a 10 mil wide line for the board outline. With our milling tolerance of 5 mil, this provides a good visual indicator of where the physical board edge might be. The fabricated edge can be anywhere within that line. This is very helpful for fine-pitch castellations with smaller holes.

Callout as seen in a design tool
Callout as seen in a design tool

Rectangular castellations can be made by using vias with round pads as noted above, and adding overlapping rectangular SMD pads. Since these pads are inside the board outline, they will not be trimmed, and will provide additional area for soldering (see below for example).

Cleaning up the final boards

We make a best-effort to minimize support tabs on castellated edges, but it sometimes happens. In these cases, you’ll need to file the tab off of your edge.

Additionally, the via plating may not be fully removed during the milling process. In some cases it’s smashed next to the edge, where it can cause unwanted connectivity between vias. In others, it’s smashed inside the via, where it will prevent good solder flow. A fine point file or hobby knife will help remove excess plating.

An unreworked castellated PCB, with visible plating stubs
An unreworked castellated PCB, with visible plating stubs
Another version, with tabs on castellated edge and modifications for rectangular pads
Another version, with tabs on castellated edge and modifications for rectangular pads
Castellated Edges

ESP8266 Pogo Jig Programming Board

We like the novel orientation of pogo pins that Wing Tang Wong used in this board design:

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ESP8266 Pogo Jig Programming Board

Upcycles D1 Mini Wemos board to create a USB connected ESP8266 Pogo pin jig

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This is a board designed to take a WeMos D1 Mini board(with the ESP module removed) and use it as a USB interface with built-in reset/flash functionality for bare ESP8266 modules similar to the ESP-12 units.

The design files are available on GitHub:

github ESP8266 Programming D1 Mini Pogo Jig V1

ESP8266 Pogo Jig Programming Board

thingSoC Grovey on Crowd Supply

thingsoc_modelthingSoC is an Open Source socket system for IoT development and has just launched a new Crowdy Supply campaign:

thingSoC “Grovey”

Build any IoT or Networked device you can imagine!

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The thingSoC Grovey! platform gives you the freedom to choose from hundreds of existing sensors, actuators, and radios to quickly create new electronic systems, in plug together configurations that were not possible before. Easily mix together different CPUs, Radios, and Peripherals, like Servos, Motors, Relays, Sound and Lights, and then program them in your choice of Integrated Development Environments (IDE).

The thingSoC Grovey! series combines access to the Seeedstudio Grove system, and the Mikrobus “Click” system, to give you the widest selection of radios, sensors, and actuators available today.

The thingSoC Grovey Series files are available on GitHub:

thingSoC Grovey on Crowd Supply

Internet connected gaming chair

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Internet connected gaming chair (DX racer)

A very fun Internet of things project to control the custom RGB led over the internet from a web-browser or enjoy a nice sound reactive experience. Perfect for a smart home setup as you can easily connect this to any IoT platform or smart home software

Shortcuts:

  • 0:45 – zPulse intro
  • 1:00 – Designing the board in EagleCad
  • 7:45 – Sending the board to a manufactured to get fabricated
  • 8:40 – Applying soldering paste to the Board
  • 11:25 – Baking the board and components
  • 15:27 – Powering on the board for the first time!
Internet connected gaming chair