In the last article about the Bytes Counter, we spoke about some mistakes in the PCB and some possibilities for improvement on the board. In this article, we will explain what we implement in the new (and final) rev 1 and our final impressions with our new partner PCBWAY.
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.
Once we have an idea of the schematic and the circuit itself, it's time to test the simulations in real life: Depending on the project, we can test all the circuits or just the specifics parts that are in doubt. For this task, It is highly recommended to use tools such as breadboards, stripboards, some wires and a huge amount of patience.
This time we will have a look into the schematic and the PCB Design. Once the simulations are done and the schematic is fully validated, we need to elaborate the schematic into CAD software (In this case, KiCad as we support Open Source software) and to elaborate the PCB before sending the gerbers to the manufacturer. Let's start!
The first chapter of this simple project is simulation and software development. It is highly recommended that you simulate your project beforehand to avoid any mistakes or problems in later stages, as the mistakes become more expensive as the time runs. In addition, simulations can provide an excellent testing environment to try different scenarios for your solution, being a time/money saver for a good engineer.
Bytes Counter is just a Digital Tally Counter. The project was chosen to test some PCB manufacturer capabilities and experiment with both the XLP (Extreme Low-Power Technology) and the pic18LF14k50 itself.