29 September 2014

DIY component tester (kit) - reading the microcontroller

Since the component tester kit was shipped with firmware version 1.05k, I would like to flash the newest 1.11k code available online from the original developer.

I do not have a spare ATmega328P at home, only ATmega168P's, so first I tried to dump the original 1.05k firmware: the chip is fully locked. I cannot even read current fuse settings without erasing it.

Too bad. I will now study limits of the code running on ATmega168 which has half the program space available of an ATmega328. Then, in case, buy (online, sigh) another microcontroller to experiment with.

27 September 2014

DIY component tester (kit) - assembled

The aforementioned component tester kit can be assembled in 60-120 minutes, depending on your soldering skills.

Not much to say about it. Components must be inserted on the side with solder mask ("top") and soldered at the other side. Just keep transistors close to the PCB and mount both the socket for IC and the pin-header for display.

There is no specific assembly order since the board is pretty wide. Sit down and have fun.

25 September 2014

DIY component tester (kit) - arrived

In just 17 days the kit of the DIY component tester has arrived (by non-Registered letter).

The envelope contained the bag with components and PCB, nothing else. PCB markings are clear enough, so you only need to identify the part, put it in place and solder.

I suggest using an ohm-meter to identify resistors, and a magnifier for transistors and capacitors.