2017-05-29 (M) Pi0 Laser Tag PiTagErrUs

All the necessary hardware was installed on the PCB. Small tactile switches from breadboarding were attached to the trigger and reload screw terminals. The LED strip was connected using the header pins that had already been soldered to it. The infrared receiver was connected through a breadboard and wires. All the LEDs were simply given visible light LEDs right into the screw terminals.

Board assembled for testing

The LED strips were tested by connecting the Arduino to a computer and sending commands via a serial terminal. There was no difficulty getting the LED strip to change color. This was a straight connection between the Arduino pins and the screw terminals where the LED strip was connected.

Testing the LED strip

The infrared receiver was also connected straight to the screw terminal pins. These connections were tested by blasting the receiver with a remote and checking for serial output. There were no problems.

Testing infrared reception

An accelerometer was connected to its port and the computer called for a reading. Without any trouble, the Arduino sent back the desired information. One of the readings including a call while the accelerometer was being jostled to confirm that it was reading the accelerometer and not simply receiving static information. The test confirmed the accelerometer's viability.

Test data and the accelerometer

The switches, trigger and reload, were tested. The reload button worked well but a trace for the trigger signal was broken with another microscopic break on the board.

As items were tested and verified, they were circled on the diagram sketched in a notebook. The trigger input was broken and all the outputs with transistors were broken.

Good and failed test results

It wasn't possible to confirm if the circuit was viable for a couple reasons. Too many of the traces were broken to know if any of the circuits were usable. The footprint pads for the transistor were so small that it was difficult to know if they were properly mounted.

There are two clear options at this point. The first option is to order professionally made boards and hope their quality is far above the ones made in my kitchen. For a second option, it would be possible to rework the board again with thicker traces and make more boards in my kitchen with the hope that this time the copper will withstand the etching process.

Switching a transistor around


The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1 
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3

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2017-05-25 (Th)