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  1. It's been a while, the Autobots have appeared on the silver screen. Finally they are returning to the big screen in their upcoming Transformers movie "Rise of the Beasts". This inspired me in making a PCB Badge to complement my enthusiasm and love towards the Autobots. In this tutorial, I am going to show you guys how to design this "Transformers PCB Badge" and how to solder the components to it. Components Required For this tutorial you need: 1 x 555 Timer IC 1 x 47KΩ Resistor 1 x 220Ω Resistor 1 x BC548 NPN Transistor 1 x 33µF Capacitor, and 1 x Few Blue LEDs Quick Recap In my last tutorial I created a "IC555 Led Fader Module" and explained how the circuit works. In this tutorial, I am going to use the same LED fader circuit to create a fading effect for the eyes of the badge. So before going ahead, lets do a quick recap and find out how the LED fader circuit works with the help of an animation. Circuit Diagram The heart of this circuit is the 555 timer IC. Pin No.1 of the IC is connected to GND. By connecting Pin 2 and 6 of the 555 timer IC, we put the IC in astable mode. In astable mode, the 555 timer IC acts as an oscillator (re-triggering itself) generating square waves [PWM Signals] from the output Pin no. 3. 3 other components connect to this junction. 1st one is the 33µF capacitor. The positive pin of the capacitor connects to the junction and the negative pin is connected to the GND. 2nd one is the 47KΩ resistor. One of its legs connects to the junction and the other leg connects to the Output pin, Pin No.3 of the IC. 3rd one is the Base of the BC548 NPN transistor. The collector of the transistor along with Pin 8 and 4 of the IC connects to the +ve terminal. of the battery. The LED along with its current limiting resistor is connected to the Emitter of the transistor. That's+- How The Circuit Works When Pin 2 of the IC detects voltage LESS than 1/3rd of the supply voltage, it turns ON the output on Pin 3. And, when Pin 6 detects voltage MORE than 2/3rds of the supply voltage, it turns OFF the output. This is how the trigger pin (Pin2) and the threshold pin (Pin6) of the 555 timer IC sense voltages and controls the output at Pin 3. The Capacitor attached to the circuit will be in a discharged state immediately after firing up the circuit. So, the voltage at Pin 2 will be 0v which is less than 1/3rds of the supply voltage, this will turn ON the output on Pin 3. Since Pin 3 is looped back to Pin 2, it will start charging the Capacitor via the 47KΩ resistor. At the same time the base current of the transistor also increases causing the LED to slowly "fade-in". Once the voltage across the capacitor crosses 2/3rds of the supply voltage, Pin 6 turns OFF the output. This causes the capacitor to slowly discharge causing the base current to fall and hence the LED starts "fading-out". Once the voltage across the capacitor falls below 1/3rd of the supply voltage, Pin 2 turns ON the output, and the above cycle continues. You can hook up a multimeter to the circuit to measure the charging and discharging of the capacitor. Designing The PCB Sorting Out Images To start the designing process, I need a transparent PNG image of the "Transformers Logo". So I went online, and did an "image search" and downloaded a black-and-white images of the Transformers Logo. Now, using the "Paint.Net" application I opened up the PNG file. The image onscreen will be used for: 1. Creating the border outline of the badge 2. and also for creating the face on top of the top silk layer To generate the "Border Outline" I need a DXF file. Looking at the image, we can see that the image is split into multiple parts. If I load this to generate a DXF file it will generate multiple pieces of the PCB. And obviously that's not what I am after. So, I joined all the small pieces into a single image. Generating DXF File Then, I uploaded the images to "https://convertio.co/" to generate the DXF files. This website allows 10 free conversions in a day unless you have a paid account with them. Creating the Badge Now, lets go ahead and add a "New PCB" to our project and remove the default board outlines. Then import the DXF files via File > Import > DXF menu. Make sure you have the "BoardOutLine" selected under layers when you import the DXF file. Now, lets import the image that will go on the Top Silk Layer. Select the "TopSilkLayer" and then import the image and move it inside the board outlines. Before going ahead, lets have a look at how the board looks like in 3D. As we can see the eyes and all other holes still have the blue PCB bits inside. So, let go ahead and remove them from our design. To do so, select the "MultiLayer" from the "Layers and Objects" panel. Then select "Solid Region" from the "PCB Tools" panel and start drawing the region you want to exclude from your PCB. That's it as easy as that. Checking the PCB in 3D, we can see that the top bit has now a see-through hole in it. I repeated this step, for all other bits that I wanted to excluded from my PCB design. Once the PCB design was sorted, I added all the electronic components to the board. Since I don't want any hole on my PCB, my choice was to either add SMD components on the board or to design the board in a way that I can solder THT components on it. I chose the second option and added all the THT components "however" without their holes. Instead of the holes I added some rectangles and circles from the "PCB Tools" panel on the "BottomLayer" and then exposed the copper. To finalize the design, I connected all the exposed pads as per the circuit diagram. That's it, all done. So, this is how the final design looks like. The Board So this is what came in the mailbag. Have a look at the quality, its absolutely mind-blowing. At the back of the board are all the exposed copper parts for soldering the electronic components. As mentioned earlier, I could have designed the board with SMD components, however I wanted to design something that someone with "0" SMD soldering knowledge can also do. Soldering Alright, now lets go ahead and solder the components to the board. Lets first soldered the 555 Timer IC to the board, then lets soldered the two resistors to the board. Next, lets soldered the 33µF Capacitor followed by the NPN transistor to the board. To conclude the setup lets soldered the 2 x LEDs to the board. You can power this circuit by providing voltage between 5V to 15Vs. Demo So, this is how the final setup looks like. You can insert the bottom bit of the badge to a wooden-plank and put this on your desk to give your desk a flashy look. Thanks Thanks again for checking my post. I hope it helps you. If you want to support me subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tarantula3 Video: Visit Full Blog Post: Visit LED Fader Using 555 Timer IC: Visit LED Fader - With or Without Arduino: Visit Adjustable Single/Dual LED Flasher Using 555 Timer IC: Visit Other Links: Gerber: Download Github: Visit Simulation: Visit What Is Forward Voltage: Visit Support My Work: BTC: 1Hrr83W2zu2hmDcmYqZMhgPQ71oLj5b7v5 LTC: LPh69qxUqaHKYuFPJVJsNQjpBHWK7hZ9TZ DOGE: DEU2Wz3TK95119HMNZv2kpU7PkWbGNs9K3 ETH: 0xD64fb51C74E0206cB6702aB922C765c68B97dCD4 BAT: 0x9D9E77cA360b53cD89cc01dC37A5314C0113FFc3 LBC: bZ8ANEJFsd2MNFfpoxBhtFNPboh7PmD7M2 COS: bnb136ns6lfw4zs5hg4n85vdthaad7hq5m4gtkgf23 Memo: 572187879 BNB: 0xD64fb51C74E0206cB6702aB922C765c68B97dCD4 MATIC: 0xD64fb51C74E0206cB6702aB922C765c68B97dCD4 Thanks, ca again in my next tutorial.
  2. Intro My 5-year old son asked me to create a Police Car like flashing light that he can put on top of his nerf-gun, while playing around with his mates. No worries mate, sounds like a plan to me. Bang, weekend sorted. In this tutorial I am going to create a Police Light themed LED Flashing circuit using the 555 timer IC. This circuit alternatively flashes between the Red and the Blue LED's while blinking each of them individually similar to the police strobe lights. To add some spice to this project you can also add a police siren to this circuit. However, I just wanted to keep it simple. Watch this video (https://youtu.be/4vDtWafMF0M) for detailed step by step instructions on how to build this circuit and for a complete instruction on how the circuit works. Disclaimer: This tutorial and the linked video are for educational purposes only. Components Required For this project we need: 6 x RED LEDs 6 x Blue LEDs 2 x 555 Timer ICs 2 x 1K Resistors 1 x 680K Resistor 1 x 100K Resistor 1 x 10uf Capacitor and 1 x 100nF Ceramic Capacitor (104) Depending upon the input voltage and the way you connect the LEDs (series or parallel) you will have to use different values of resistors in series with your LED’s. Please checkout http://ledcalc.com/ to calculate the resistor values based on your LED arrangements. How The Circuit Works Now, let's try to understand how this circuit works. This circuit has 2 parts. Part 1: Where the Blue and Red LEDs alternate and flash at a regular interval Part 2: Where a cluster of similar color LEDs flash like a strobe light In my previous tutorial "Adjustable Single/Dual LED Flasher Using 555 Timer IC", I showed you guys how to configure 555 timer IC to operate in an astable mode. In astable mode, the 555 timer IC acts as an oscillator (re-triggering itself) generating square waves [PWM Signals] from the output pin no. 3. Later I also showed you guys how to connect 2 LED’s in opposite polarity at the output pin Pin-3 so that they toggle ON and OFF at regular intervals of time. In this tutorial, I am using two copies of the previously shown "astable circuit" configured at different frequencies. The first 555 timer IC, uses a higher value capacitor and hence it takes more time to toggle the output. The second 555 timer IC uses a lower value capacitor and hence it toggles the output very fast. So, pretty much that's exactly what we want. The 1st 555 timer IC will help us in toggling between the LED clusters and the 2nd 555 timer IC will produce the strobe light effect. Now, lets connect the LED clusters to this circuit. The first LED cluster of the Red LED’s turns ON when the anode receives a positive voltage and the cathode is grounded. This happens when the output of first 555 timer IC is ON and at the same time the output of second 555 timer IC is OFF. Similarly, the second cluster of the Blue LED’s turn ON only when the output of the first 555 timer IC is OFF and the output of the second 555 timer IC is ON. Now, when the first 555 timer IC is ON it turns on the first cluster of Red LED’s and they blink at the speed at which the second 555 timer IC oscillates the output. Similarly when the first 555 timer IC turns OFF, the second cluster of Blue LED’s turns ON and blinks at the speed at which the second 555 timer IC oscillates the output. This cycle continues as long as there is power in the circuit creating a cool LED flashing effect similar to the flashing lights used on police cars. You can change the frequency of "toggling" between the successive LED groups by changing the higher value capacitor. Increasing its value will increase the time between the successive toggling between the two LED clusters and vice versa. Similarly, changing the value of the lower value capacitor will change the "blinking rate" of the LED clusters. Demo On Breadboard The Board So, this is how my board looks like in 2D and 3D. I have placed both ICs and all other electronics components to the middle of the board. To give the assembly a bit nicer look, I have placed the LED clusters on both sides of the board. Alright, now lets start soldering the components to the board. Soldering Since I care a lot about my ICs and microcontrollers I never solder them directly to the board. In case of ICs, I always try to use IC bases or if a base is not available I use female pin headers. After soldering the IC bases, I am soldering all the resistances to the board. Next, I am soldering the capacitors to the board followed by all the LEDs to the board. I am also soldering a female micro USB port to power this circuit board. Always check the polarity before soldering the socket to your board. To conclude the setup, I am installing the ICs to the IC bases. Final Demo So, this is how my final setup looks like. Do comment and let me know if there are any scopes of improvement. Thanks Thanks again for checking my post. I hope it helps you. If you want to support me subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tarantula3 Full Blog Post: Blog Post Video: Video Link Related Videos 1. Adjustable Single/Dual LED Flasher: Video Link 2. 555 Pulse Generator Module, How it Works: Video Link Gerber File: Download Schema: Download Resistor Value Calculator: Open Website Support My Work BTC: 1M1PdxVxSTPLoMK91XnvEPksVuAa4J4dDp LTC: MQFkVkWimYngMwp5SMuSbMP4ADStjysstm DOGE: DDe7Fws24zf7acZevoT8uERnmisiHwR5st ETH: 0x939aa4e13ecb4b46663c8017986abc0d204cde60 BAT: 0x939aa4e13ecb4b46663c8017986abc0d204cde60 LBC: bZ8ANEJFsd2MNFfpoxBhtFNPboh7PmD7M2 Thanks, ca again in my next tutorial.
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