Building the Receiver Board

This is a very minimalistic board- it has been reduced down to the absolute simplest construction and design possible. With one exception, all components are ‘thru-hole’ so they are very easy to solder. One surface mount component, a voltage regulator is required, but with the help of an alligator clip, it’s also quite easy to solder.

Building the Receiver Board

All the components for the Control Board. Microcontroller, connectors, PCB, voltage regulator, crystal and caps, sockets and headers.
Hardest part first. You will need an alligator clip or other clamp to hold the regulator in place. If you have some rosin, this helps but it’s not required. Solder the three leads of the regulator, don’t worry about the main tab, it’s not connected.
After the regulator is in place, solder in the clock circut. Two caps and the crystal.
With the clock circuit in place, solder in the two resistors. The one with the paper tab is the 20K one. The board is marked for both the 10K and the 20K. Don’t mix them up.
Solder the microcontroller in. It helps to gently bend the pins so it will fit in the board. Hold it against a flat surface and bend both sides in. Test fit until it will go into the board easily. Turn it over carefully and solder one pin. Verify that it’s in the correct orientaion (notch and pin one) and then solder the remaining legs of the chip. Once this is all done, you will have to burn the proper firmware into the board (I need to document this!)

Solder in the pin headers. It’s best to do these across like pictured. Snap off one row, solder in, repeat for all three. As with the others, solder one pin, verify the alignment, adjust if required and then solder the remaining pins.
The finished board with all headers and sockets in place.
The Bluetooth module installed. Note the footprint of the network module. It is identical to the Xbee. Several networks are available in this form factor.