Florin made a head to head comparison of Seeed and ITead’s inexpensive PCB services. He made the orders with the same design files, on the same day. While the Seeed order came in after 4 weeks, ITead’s came just 15 days after the order was made. The author however suspects it might have been a fluke, since all his earlier orders from ITead took around 4 weeks to complete too.
Seeed Studio vs ITead Studio PCB service head to head – [Link]
Some PCB fab houses (like SeeedStudio, with their Fusion PCB service) will allow you to panelize smaller PCBs. For example, if you have a 2.5cm x 5cm board, you could panelize two of them on to a single 5mm x 5mm PCB. Or, put a 7cm x 7cm board and a bunch of 3cm x 3cm boards onto a 10cm x 10cm panel. Seeed will allow up to 5 sub-boards on a panel.
The freeware and light versions of Cadsoft Eagle limit the design area of the PCB to 10cm x 8cm. This is enough to do many projects, but when you want to try and panelize to fill a 10cm x 10 cm board, it won’t work. Plus, maintaining separate projects and updating them on the panel, and maintaining consistency of labels and reference designators can be a pain.
Panelizing PCBs for Seeed Using Eagle Free – [Link]
Luca wrote a step-by-step guide to Seeed Studio’s Fusion PCB service. It covers how to export files from Eagle and get your PCB built. It’s available both in English and Italian.
We like Fusion PCB service, it’s cheap and pretty fast. It starts at $10 for 10 PCBs ($1 per board), plus a few bucks of shipping. We’re biased though, so take our recommendation with a grain of salt.
A guide to Seeed Studio’s Fusion PCB service – [Link]
Lithium-polymer battery charger chips @ Dangerous Prototypes – [via]
Lithium-polymer batteries are an excellent choice for portable projects. They are relatively cheap, hold a significant charge, and last for a long time. The drawback with these batteries is that they require rather complicated charging protocols. You have to watch out for overcharging, undercharging, overheating, etc…
We are looking for a standard part to use in our projects, so we decided to do a roundup of open source lithium polymer chargers from SparkFun, Seeed Studio, and Adafruit. With the exception of Seeed, all the chargers are based on Microchip’s MCP738xx family of battery management ICs that come in SSOP and DFN packages. They handle all the charging algorithms and usually only require a single external capacitor.
Lithium-polymer battery charger chips – [Link]
This oscilloscope is a wearable one that is currently under development by Seeed Studio. It’s a two analog channel oscilloscope with 20mV to 10V/div resolution, h36Msps sampling rate and approximate 30Mhz bandwidth. It also has 2 Digital channels, ext. trigger source etc. This is still an early review of the product. It needs at least 2-3 months for mass production and target price is >150$ [via]
DSO QUAD: Powerful and Wearable Oscilloscope – [Link]