Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer clean up.

Good news, my first board ever, Chipcon CC1111 based USB radio, works fine. I bought an official TI's eZ430-Chronos with 915MHz transmitter, loaded transmitter firmware onto my board (it was designed maximally compatible with TI's for this purpose), and bingo - it works.

It is not only my very first board designed, it's also the most complex one. It has many 0402 components - radio reference designs frequently use this totally hobbyist unfriendly size. And having no network analyzer around the only hope is to follow someone else's design as close as possible.

But it works. I did not check the range compared to the official one, but I would not be surprised if it's not spectacular.

Check out my board compared to the official TI's. Mine is larger, breadboard friendly board.


  1. It looks very nice!

    Can you program it over USB?

    Please make an update when you test it deeply

  2. No, you can't (unless you write a bootloader ;-). I used GoodFET - you can see that low row of contacts on my version is longer - it is actually programming interface broken out. TI's native version has it on the back as a 2x3 pads.

    I plan to at least compare the range of my board against TI's one.

    Also I plan to bring the Eagle files in order, may be make another one and check it works also and publish the design.

  3. It was hard to solder it? Do you have special tools for it or a regular solder+hability was enought?

  4. I did not solder it in a strict sense, I baked it. It has too many 0402 components (which is not my choice - it is how reference design is made). So I covered soldering places with paste, which is actually mix of solder and flux, and placed about 40 small components manually. We did it together with a friend, and to fill even half of it was a torture for the eyes. Then I put it on the hot plate, and in 4-5 minutes it's ready.

    Actualy it was not that easy - I put too much solder on the cc1111 chip, so I took it off and resoldered it with fewer solder paste.

    But finally it works.