I’ve got buttons, a rotary encoder, a touch-sensitive antenna, and a fancy RGB LED. Now it’s time to tie everything together with a custom circuit board!
It’s been a long road to get to this point, but I’m finally at the stage where I can design the printed circuit board (PCB) for the time circuit display.
I’ve chosen the LED displays, found a matrix driver, and determined the final positions for each LED display on the faceplate. The next step in the time circuits project is to build a dedicated circuit board for each display. This process starts with creating an electrical schematic.
With power taken care of, the next step is to connect the data lines (step, direction, and drive select) to the Arduino. The easy way to do this is to carefully count the pin numbers, attach a female header cable to each pin, connect the step / direction pins to the correct Arduino numbers, and join the grounded connections on a breadboard.
That’s the quick and easy way. But it’s also:
A.) Tedious to set up / take down
B.) Possible to make a wiring mistake
C.) Prone to disconnects
How do we fix all three of these problems? We build a breakout board!
So far the hardware side of the Adalight setup has been a nest of wires on my desk, with the Arduino on a breadboard and the power running through a terminal block. Now it’s time to wrap up this project by getting everything off of the breadboard and onto a dedicated PCB in its own custom case!