Easy PCB Question

  • I've only build build nodes so far using prototype board.

    Mostly powered with 18650 lithium and 662K regulator for pro mini 3.3 with regulator and LED removed.
    Voltage is measured with resistor divider.
    I get great battery life - probably around 2 years.
    Simply, will the easy PCB allow my to build this setup?? Looking to save some time.

  • Mod

    Have you included self-discharge in your calculations? If you're using li-ion rechargeable batteries (most common type of 18650 - but you might be using some other variant?), self-discharge is 5% in 24h and then 1-4% per month (depending on temperature).

  • @mfalkvidd Thanks for that. Not sure if I worded my question well but I am more concerned that the PCB will take the required components such as 662K so I can still run 3.3 arduino with a LIPO battery. I didn't want to order a stack of them only to find I have missed something!

  • Hi @grumpazoid,

    I just ordered some of the Easy PCB for the first time, as I am also tired of dickering with spaghetti mess. Therefore I was studying the board recently. Design in general seems quite adaptable to various powering scenarios (battery, 3.3v, 5v, raw, etc...) which I suppose is the point.

    Space on board for resistor divider is built in, although you may need to calculate different values for 18650 as I think what pre-calculated values are for (2x?) AA maybe(?). Not really sure about that part.

    To your specific question, have you examined the information presented about the board over at OpenHardware.io? There is quite a lot of very useful information there. For example, look closely at the regulator part of the board, and the BOM. It appears to be made to accommodate LE33ACZ, which were what I ordered. Not as cheap as the 662K (plus you already have them) but I figured they are only buck or two for 10 of them (shipped), so in my view for the money probably not worth the hassle (my opinion).

    Back to your specific question, I guess your options are:

    • Study pin outs of board, your regulator, and size (662K are quite tiny!) and see if you think you can make it work with those... Or...

    • Do what I did and just order some of the LE33ACZ which I think were designed to be exact fit.

    If you were hoping for some direct confirmation from someone who has done it already, sorry I can't provide that, but since we are roughly in the same ball park I thought I would share my experience / thoughts.

  • @TRS-80 Thanks for the info. That is very useful especially about the regulator. I had found the open hardware page but am clearly feeling lazy today and hadn't seen the BOM part. I am a huge cheapskate so loved the fact I could get 50 x 662K for 99 pence delivered (before China put of their delivery prices). I am sure these could be made to work. Yes they are very fiddly! I have lost a few in the carpet I am sure 😊

  • @grumpazoid said in Easy PCB Question:

    I am a huge cheapskate so loved the fact I could get 50 x 662K for 99 pence delivered

    You are not the only one! I very nearly did myself. 😄 In the end, I decided against for 2 reasons:

    • They are just so dang small!
    • I did a little research on regulators, and realized those tiny ones are actually rated for less amperage than the bigger ones (usually). For radio / microcontroller, they are fine, just be aware of if you think of using them for something else.

    If you keep doing this for long enough time, I think the trend is to keep going smaller and smaller, start designing your own boards, etc. which I am sure I will too, eventually... But for now, through hole is good enough for me, I am still learning a lot.

    Even the Easy PCB I thought was "too big" relative to some of the super tiny ones I also saw and was quite enamoured with at first, however someone said in some comment (I can't find it now) that Easy PCB (as opposed to JBoard) is from very active forum contributor, has seen several revisions, etc. whereas other guy kind of left his design (although thanks to him for sharing!) and basically has not been back ever since... Which made me decide to get the Easy PCB and then I realized that 5x5 cm is really not that big, and (I think?) might even fit into these sort of very inexpensive project boxes I already have.

    And finally, I do think it will make assembly quicker and easier, almost like one of those old electronics kits you would order in the mail, in fact I think assembly is going to be quite enjoyable (for a change)! 😄

  • @TRS-80 Those cases look good value. I have a quite a few PIRs. Luckily I have access to a 3D printer so printed off a few boxes for them with the appropriate hole cut out for the sensor. I've started addding temp sensors to them now as well. I don't actually need the regulators to be so small at all but I think price took over.
    Think I'll get some PCBs ordered so I am ready next time I get the urge to build some more. I see latest version supports signing as well so that could be interested. I have tried to read the docs in the past on signing / encryption but still can't work out if it is easy or not. Thanks to @sundberg84 for all the hard work.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @TRS-80 - who needs to be here wathing your hardware questions when you have such a good community - thanks 🙂 @grumpazoid - thanks for your kind words.
    I read through it all - it seems all questions was answered? EasyPCB isnt designed for 662K but as said, if you look at the pinout on the board compare it to EasyPCB pinout you will be able to figure out if you can rotate and/or bend the leads and solder it somehow. But... its not designed for that regulator so its going to be some... diy 😉

    Pinout LE33 (EasyPCB design).



    If i read this right, you accually have to put this upside down if tou want to use this footprint and its going to be... not the most easy soldering job.

  • @grumpazoid said in Easy PCB Question:

    Those cases look good value.

    They are even cheaper on AliExpress, IIRC. I buy through the MySensors store affiliate links whenever possible, but if the price difference is big enough, well... Also some times the store links are not always up to date (thinking further now, I guess the real solution is to probably ping someone about that somehow, in order to get them updated?).

    Often I prefer to directly financially support projects I care about by simply making a donation. Haven't done that in the case of MySensors yet, as they seem to be doing "OK" (although I have no idea really) but I'm sure I will at some point when I am back to work.

    @grumpazoid said in Easy PCB Question:

    Luckily I have access to a 3D printer

    Very nice. This is the best option, of course. I keep thinking about it, and certainly I will pick up (or build) one, sooner or later... For now though, it's still boxes for me. 😄

    @sundberg84 said in Easy PCB Question:

    who needs to be here wathing your hardware questions when you have such a good community - thanks

    Helping out in whatever small way I can is the least I can do in return of the spirit in which so much thought, research, work has been carried out before I came along, and then shared freely here! Cheers! 🍻

    I certainly do not act this way towards proprietary, closed source solutions and their dinosaur business models, and personally I strongly encourage others to take the same approach. Not a single ounce of my valuable resources (time, thought, mindshare, money, etc.) to support them! In fact I would not so much as urinate on those sort if they were on fire! 😄

  • @sundberg84 Thanks for those regulator pics. Great service there - I don't even have to look up the pinouts.
    @TRS-80 Totally agree what you say there - I've switched to open source solutions wherever able.

  • @grumpazoid said in Easy PCB Question:

    I've switched to open source solutions wherever able.

    Good for you! 👍

    Personally I prefer the term Free/Libre Software to "Open Source." They are very similar ideas, but not exactly the same. 😉

    Cheers! 🍻

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