I have a background in software development, mostly in C/C++ and Java. I spent my career building software and teaching software development best practices.
In 2013, I purchased an Arduino Uno board just for fun. I wanted to do some embedded systems programming, which I never did at work. Big mistake! 🙂 I purchased sensor shields and breakouts that can be found on eBay and I created some projects. But, if using an Arduino is nice for prototyping, it’s not convenient as a permanent solution because it’s too easy to disconnect a wire (not to mention the cost). I looked for an alternative and found smaller Arduino boards (Arduino Pro Mini) that could easily be fixed on a breadboard, for prototyping and the on a PCB as a permanent solution.
But, wait! What’s a PCB? I ended up reading books about how to design my own circuits and PCBs. I also learned how to use a software called Eagle to design my boards. Then, I started etching PCBs and learned how to solder through-hole components. I soon realized that even Arduino Pro Mini boards were too expensive and were doing too much for most of my projects. This is when I started using Attiny micro-controllers directly.
Using Attinys was a different beast and brought it’s own set of challenges including the program (firmware) limited space (1Kb to 8Kb). After some research, I learned that I could accomplish the same things with much smaller C programs by using the Attiny registers directly. Something else to learn about!!!
In the mean time, I purchased a CNC machine (ShapeOko 3). After some experimentation, I realized I could stop using chemicals to etch PCBs by using my CNC instead. It toked a lot of experimentation but I am now able to produce PBCs in a reliable manner.
Now, I am about to start experimenting with SMD components. I just acquired a T962 PCB reflow oven and a whole bunch of SMD components. Once I receive everything, I will definitively start posting about that!
I hope you will enjoy my site. My goal is just to share about what I learned so it can help others in their journey. I would also enjoy learning new stuff from you!