When the PCB arrived from the manufacturer, the next step is to assemble all the components and test it out to check if everything works as intended. Today we are gonna see all the processes involved in this task.
With the schematic in hand, the components and some low-temperature thermal paste, we assembled all the PCB:
As you can see, first we placed&soldered the SMD (Surface Mounted Devices) and later on, the TH (Through hole) components. When the assembly process comes to an end, we need to burn the software to the microcontroller and make some validation tests to check if all the hardware works as expected. Some other test includes current consumption, check for overheating problems... Finally, a hardware test is made to see if every LED, display and buzzer works under operation conditions:
At this point, we have very little chance of solving any problem without re-designing the schematic and PCB, so we hope all works OK. Having into account that the behaviour of the system may differ from the previous simulations, the last step is to develop the final version of the code for the device. Some extra SW-testing is made:
To summarize and to close this project, here we have pros and mistakes list (or updates for the following versions)
- It simply works as intended: It can count up to 9999.
- Low power consumption when on: 6.5mA
- Negligible power consumption on deep sleep mode.
- Capacitors C2 and C3 interrupt the programming process, so we need to program the PIC before installing those capacitors.
- ICSP port on the bottom side.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this project ;)