2020-02-07 (F) Weekly Summary

I don't know if the tragic Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on PCB production from my usual fab house in China, but I should assume delays on all orders. Nevertheless, I will keep moving forward. All the parts found a home on a layout, but I was not able to fit them inside a 100mm x 100mm configuration. Perhaps if I tried harder, I could, but I wanted to place the order quickly.
First layout

I saw a few things I wanted to change before placing the order. I nearly forgot to expose the data pins. Conceivably, I could program the ESP-WROOM-32 module and never expect to connect it to a computer, but that would be less than ideal. I want to find if I can reprogram with only the data pins, or if I need a "RESET" and "PROGRAM" button. Of course, I could also jump the right pin to ground as necessary.
Rendered front view

The last bit I could do for this project was to model a button topper for the D-pad. Instead of leaving the buttons exposed, I wanted to place a plastic cover over them for a bit of flair and an excuse to run my printer and continue dialing in the printer settings.

ProjectHoneybee is not complete, but while I wait for PCBs, I will move on to other projects.
D-pad topper

I started a project to add an RFID scanner to a computer keyboard. At work, I use the RFID tag in my left hand to log into my computer, but the scanner is an awkward dongle stuck in the side of one of my monitors. After talking with another biohacker who had a similar issue, she brought up the idea of placing the antenna below the spacebar of a keyboard.

For starters, I wound an antenna so it would fit inside a spacebar. When I soldered the homemade antenna leads to the scanner, I couldn't get any good readings. Perhaps my homemade antenna was too far out of spec to work with the hardware. The wire may have been too long.
Spacebar with home-wound antenna

I decided to use a Numpad instead of a full keyboard where I should be able to fit the stock antenna. The one I chose had an integrated USB hub, so I would not need extra cords to the computer. A full keyboard might have had ample space for the scanner PCB, but the unused area was at a premium, so I removed the USB connectors and soldered the two boards directly.
Married PCBs

Some of the Numpad's plastic needed to come out to fit the circuit boards inside, but I got it all in there. Instead of mounting the antenna under a key, I used the area at the top of the device. Near the top, there is no movement, and I could fit the antenna with only a little internal modification. In the demonstration animation below, I scanned a card to prove it works because I didn't want the serial number from my implant to show up.
Working scanner inside a modified keypad

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6

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