DIY Modules?

I can’t believe no one has already asked this, so I know my ability to come up with good search terms must suck for this as I have looked for the last few nights. Anyway…

Is there some basic starter information on how to build your own module? I haven’t found information on the pinouts or how the drivers need to be built or anything like that. I’m sure I’m missing something obvious somewhere, but if someone could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Check this out

Scoket types and pinouts:

There are about 20 of more community made modules already. They are even offered for sale.

@ PintSize.Me

and here is the link:

I saw all the community modules, just couldn’t figure out how to do my own.

Those documents look like what I needed, thanks.

@ -

I found the easiest way to get going was with the Extender module and protoduino board GHI has. After a couple attempts with those, a made a baby step and created my MakeBreads to make it really easy to breadboard pretty much anything. Next was working through more complicated (than a straight up 10 pin header) PCB design and having those made by a service like oshpark. I was a complete hardware n00b not that long ago (and still am to a large extent :slight_smile: )

Depending on your comfort level with a design app like Eagle, you can jump in anywhere in that progression and quickly put together your own module. There are a ton of examples here that work great as starting points.

My problem was just how to map the pins through to the driver level. I still have some stuff to figure out on the code end, but the electrical end looks like I should be able to just use a couple jumper cables and be done enough to test.

I went from being a relative newb to the hardware game last fall, to creating my own IR LED Array module, with a lot of help from folks like @ architect and @ ianlee74 and others. I went back to find some of the relevant threads, which may help illustrate the process that I went through, from the problem I was looking to solve (poor IR LED output) to the eventual solution.

Part of the problem definition:

Here’s where I start playing around with some simple efforts to hack an updated IR LED from a GHI eblock:

And the thread where I showed off my prototype module, and got a TON of great advice on moving to a manufactured PCB:

And the thread where I announced the v1.0 hardware:

Unfortunately, the images that accompanied the threads were lost in a forum upgrade, but there’s still lots of good info to be had on getting started with custom modules.

Good luck!

Any hints or suggestions for a n00b (myself) with Eagle or the like?

I want to make a module, just to do it.

@ mhectorgato - I’m in the same boat, have used the Sparkfun tuts on eagle and it’s even starting to make sense :smiley:

Thanks - I looked that over myself in the past.

The initial layout part makes sense, but the extra steps to prepare for manufacture seemed way complicated! I have a schematic to work from, so that makes this process so much easier.

@ mhectorgato - Which bits are you scratching your head with in particular?

Some services will take an Eagle board file directly, like oshpark. They have a file available on their website that you import into Eagle to check specific manufacturing tolerances on the board. When you do an error check (Erc on the menu), Eagle will point out any issues you need to correct, or at least acknowledge as within tolerance.

For services that take a Gerber file, there are a few script hoops to jump through to export that. I have not done this, but others here surely have.

1/2 way down on this page it gets a bit wonky for me. Once I step through the process with my module, then it may click.

@ mhectorgato - ping me an email justin dot wilson at eprint dot net

I started from one of the eagle files for an existing module from the Gadgeteer Codeplex site. In the end, I had a few issues around lines not being properly connected, and I give big props to @ Architect for helping me clean that stuff up. Also got lots of great feedback in the thread I posted earlier.

I would definitely encourage you to post pics of your design as you go along, and you’ll get good feedback from folks.

Forgot to give proper credit to @ Gus as well, as he pointed out the need for a current-limiting resistor on the mCu pin to ensure I didn’t trash anyone’s mainboards with the module.

Thanks devhammer!

Another good route to start with is to use a proto module to layout your test module and develop the driver while you are designing your pcb. That way you can test the electronics etc before committing the pcb to oshpark.
Here are two nice ones
Forum member GMods site (I’ve ordered one of these )

Love electronics (these are just announced and I’m ordering one of each)

Appreciate it the tip!

I’ve got my future module breadboarded - connected to the Spider using an Extender. I’m able to get it working just fine dealing with the pins directly.

My next step is to write the Gadgeteer driver I guess and have the Eagle work done - may need some help with that; but I’ve got an expert resource lined up for that already. :wink: