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emdarcher

Would anyone be interested in a "BreadPad" and/or small 3.3V LDO board?

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I have been working on a breadboard compatible Launchpad-based board for the DIP value-line MSP430s. I have finished an initial design in KiCAD, and am wondering if there is enough interest in this product before I get any PCBs fabricated, and to gauge how many I should produce.
 

The main focus is to make MSP430G2 launchpad - like board that eases prototyping on a solderless breadboard, making small robotics platforms, etc. I originally designed this because I rarely use the Launchpad + boosterpack scheme, but instead usually use a value-line DIP ic on a breadboard and use the Launchpad's SBW to program them. This board will remove the breadboard setup step and let you get prototyping with some extra space on your breadboard!

for a pcb + parts, my goal is around $7-8 and for bare pcb $3-5.

For the option with parts, a MSP430G2452 will be the default ic to keep costs down, but if there is enough demand and I can make more, then the MSP430G2553 may be reasonable.

 

 

here is a picture of a 3D render in KiCAD ( note missing push-buttons in the render ):

post-37479-0-70593400-1402945074_thumb.png

 

This is only the second PCB I have ever designed, so there could be some improvement needed. Not sure if back GND plane or front Vcc plane are necessary. The back GND plane makes the most sense.

 

Another product / accessory for this board is a small [LP2950-33] based 100mA 3.3V LDO board for breadboard power. It only has a 380mV dropout, so it can be used with 3.7V Li-ion/Li-poly batteries, so I will include a JST-PH receptacle for attaching them ( it is the connector that adafruit's li-polys use ).

 

cost will be around $1-2 for bare pcb

and around $2-3 for pcb and parts.

 

here is a 3D render (note missing input header and JST jack, also the output header should be facing down, into the breadboard, but is facing up in this render):

 

post-37479-0-66654900-1402947014_thumb.png

 

[LP2950-33]( http://www.ti.com/product/lp2950-33 )

 

[Tindie]( https://www.tindie.com/ )

 

I am planning on selling these products on [Tindie], and also in the 43oh Store if that is possible.

 

I think Tindie has a fundraising feature so I will probably use that to get funds ( don't have enough money, just a teen still looking for a job for the summer ).

 

Seeing the products by @@RobG on Tindie kind of inspired me to design some boards of my own.

 

Any feedback/tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Isn't the DIP format MSP430 already breadboard friendly? I'm not sure the PCB really adds enough that there would be much demand for them. It's great that you're getting started on your own PCBs and I'd encourage you to get some made for your own use. I'm not sure they'd be a great seller though. I hope that's useful feedback.

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the little 3.3v module I am kinda interested in, looks perfect for my setup (and well, most breadboards in general). The breadboardable MSP430, not so much I must say, its not that its a bad board (it isn't) but I do have my own plans for a small form factor MSP430 board and on a breadboard I am perfectly happy with a regular MSP430 DIP, otherwise it does look like a nice small form factor MSP430 breakout.

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@@SixSixSevenSeven

@@dubnet

@@Fred

 

Yeah, I wasn't too confident about the MSP430 breadboard breakout, but was just interested.

 

The 3.3V LDO board is small enough that I may squeeze it in the extra space with some later PCB designs.

It is only around 3x1cm so could fit a couple in a 5x5cm board or in the empty areas on a 10x10cm board fabrication.

 

When I design some other boards to get fabricated in the future I will probably add some of these small LDO boards in the layout.

If I made a SMD version I could fit even more, just haven't ventured into SMD quite yet ( but some g2210 & g2230 ICs are coming as samples, so might try it as these are SOIC-8 packages).

 

Still trying to coming up with ideas to make on PCBs and maybe some kits to sell.

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Personally I'd be interested in something that broke out a higher end chip (eg f5xxx, cc430f5xxx, g2955) to a 40 pin dip footprint, probably with no other support circuitry, or maybe just pads for a crystal, but wouldn't be interested in breakouts for chips already available in dip, as I don't really see a point.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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@@emdarcher I'd concentrate on having some fun and making boards just for yourself before thinking about trying to sell any. Be prepared to make a few mistakes along the way. (Personally I've swapped VCC and GND a couple of times now. Doh!)

 

I'd thoroughly recommend getting into SMD. I only did so recently and it was far easier and more rewarding than I thought. It's not even that expensive to start. You'll need a hot air gun. I went for a low end 898D+ solder station (as my existing soldering iron needed replacing too) and that seems fine. I got a selection of 0805 resistors and capacitors from a Chinese eBay seller. TI seem happy to sample MSP430s and ancillaries like regulators. Along with some PCBs, that's all you need.

 

 

@@grahamf72 - If you don't want any support components, breakouts for standard form factors like TSSOP are already available commercially. If specifically for MSP430 use then I think that a few support components (VCC decoupling capacitors and a pull up resistor and capacitor on the RST pin) are useful. I just made a MSP430AFE breakout along those lines for some quick testing.

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