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Re: Plated via in Eagle

 by nickersonm ¦  Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:49 am ¦  Forum: PCB Design Questions ¦  Topic: Plated via in Eagle ¦  Replies: 2 ¦  Views: 939

That sounds like the way to do it, unless you mean you're placing a pad over the via. Vias come with their own pads (view the Via layer, and note that it's included in the top copper CAM job). Manually placing vias should be fine, as long as they have the right signal name. However, an easier way to...

Re: Copying component layer to silk

 by nickersonm ¦  Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:36 am ¦  Forum: PCB Design Questions ¦  Topic: Copying component layer to silk ¦  Replies: 2 ¦  Views: 875

The silkscreen layer is just defined when you process your CAM job. After opening the CAM job, look at the top silkscreen tab - there you can select what EAGLE layers you want to make up the silkscreen. Personally, I use the Dimension, tPlace, tNames, tValues, and Document (for my own annotations) l...

Re: PCB Design Check

 by nickersonm ¦  Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:42 pm ¦  Forum: PCB Design Questions ¦  Topic: PCB Design Check ¦  Replies: 8 ¦  Views: 2220

The PCBs came in on Monday, and look good. I just soldered the SMT parts on one of them today (paste syringe + IR oven), and it surprised me how easy it was, not having worked with either solder paste or SMT parts before. The process is a lot more forgiving than I expected - and the 0603 parts are a...

Re: Forum Issues

 by nickersonm ¦  Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:03 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Site Questions/Comments ¦  Topic: Forum Issues ¦  Replies: 25 ¦  Views: 10460

Sparkfun IT had me request a password reset, and that fixed it for me.

Also, is this why the forum link has disappeared from

Re: PCB Design Check

 by nickersonm ¦  Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:27 pm ¦  Forum: PCB Design Questions ¦  Topic: PCB Design Check ¦  Replies: 8 ¦  Views: 2220

Thank you! I am trying to make it as neat as I can. I did just notice that the bus on the bottom copper was needlessly crooked, so I straightened that out. I used the minimum drill size for vias because the next larger is 16 mils, which causes clearance problems with the vias. I bumped up the power ...

Re: PCB Design Check

 by nickersonm ¦  Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:51 pm ¦  Forum: PCB Design Questions ¦  Topic: PCB Design Check ¦  Replies: 8 ¦  Views: 2220

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! I had some problems with the Sparkfun forum, so couldn't post earlier, but I redesigned the board over the weekend. Using several of the suggestions (especially rotating the MAX307s - not sure why I didn't before), and with SMT parts where it was possible (I f...

PCB Design Check

 by nickersonm ¦  Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:38 pm ¦  Forum: PCB Design Questions ¦  Topic: PCB Design Check ¦  Replies: 8 ¦  Views: 2220

I'd appreciate it if I could get a check on a PCB design. While I have some small previous PCB design experience, I've not done a multilayer board before, or one with such dense traces, so I want to make sure I'm avoiding any major mistakes. This project is a thermistor measurement board using Wheat...

Re: Specific Frequency Filtering

 by nickersonm ¦  Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:40 am ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Specific Frequency Filtering ¦  Replies: 6 ¦  Views: 782

I second Horowitz & Hill. Read up on some filter basics first, then determine what you need. Linear has an easy to use filter design tool as well, but you should be familiar with filter methods before using it.

Re: Sparkfun PCB Manufacturing Question

 by nickersonm ¦  Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:20 am ¦  Forum: SparkFun Site Questions/Comments ¦  Topic: Sparkfun PCB Manufacturing Question ¦  Replies: 2 ¦  Views: 1719

I believe Sparkfun uses Gold Phoenix.

Re: sweeping a Laser electronically

 by nickersonm ¦  Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:20 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: sweeping a Laser electronically ¦  Replies: 14 ¦  Views: 1437

Edit: ScottH beat me to it while I was writing up my post. That second link is a good overview of LC steering methods. One of the more common ways to steer lasers nonmechanically, at least in optics labs, is with an AOM . This isn't strictly solid state, as it uses a piezo to create acoustic waves i...

Re: ... hahaha

 by nickersonm ¦  Wed May 25, 2011 9:33 am ¦  Forum: SparkFun Site Questions/Comments ¦  Topic: ... hahaha ¦  Replies: 2 ¦  Views: 1310

IRC is not an http protocol. You need an IRC client:

Or you can read the site to find their webchat client, which is a java application that allows your browser to act as an IRC client.

Re: Processing large data files?

 by nickersonm ¦  Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:43 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Processing large data files? ¦  Replies: 18 ¦  Views: 1423

While not open source, the Visual Studio Express editions are pretty good and very easy to get started with. And free.

Re: Processing large data files?

 by nickersonm ¦  Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:28 pm ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Processing large data files? ¦  Replies: 18 ¦  Views: 1423

When I need to do stuff like this repetitively, and there's one or two operations I need that are not easily covered by standard utilities, I find it simplest to write a very small quick and dirty program. You're welcome to use the attached dataaverage.cpp if you wish. It just bins and averages a ta...

Re: The Curse of the Disappearing Shipping Options

 by nickersonm ¦  Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:06 pm ¦  Forum: BatchPCB ¦  Topic: The Curse of the Disappearing Shipping Options ¦  Replies: 17 ¦  Views: 5086

I don't know if it's relevant to BatchPCB, but another online store I frequent mentioned on their blog that USPS changed their rates and broke their API in early January. That seems to be the time that these complaints started here.

Re: Rocket project

 by nickersonm ¦  Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:23 am ¦  Forum: SparkFun Product Questions ¦  Topic: Rocket project ¦  Replies: 4 ¦  Views: 461

esklar81, I'm sure jopiek is referring to the links in the news article. The two local links at the end of the article, the first of which he posted, result in Error 403s.