2012-03-04

BusPirate breakout free PCB build

Several weeks ago I got lucky and got a free PCB code from Dangerous Prototypes. Since I was currently working mostly with my BusPirate, and hadn’t any chips available for the other PCBs, I choose to get one of the BusPirate breakout boards. It took a while for shipment, but after Ian put into a letter, it arrived faster than expected (when looking at the address I realized than he lives nearer then expected :). I was surprised - the board was smaller than expected:

PCB

So on last weekend I took some time to build it up. I did not really check before how it was designed to be attached to the BP, but it seems Schazamp uses a 10-pin ribbon cable. Since I had no connectors available, I decided to solder a female header on the bottom of the connector, so I can put it directly on my BusPirate. One thing I learned at this instant was that one should always check beforehand that all parts are available: I had neither a two-row female header there, not a angled single-row male header. So I soldered 2 single-row headers to the bottom, and bend the angled header myself (to attach the breakout to a breadboard). Turned out fine:

finished breakout

The female headers (which cannot be seen here) were long enough to properly fit to the BP connector. And the angled connector is also long enough to fit into a breadboard with the BP still attached (though I suspect that the strain on all the connectors will be too high in this constellation). (Yes, that’s a SparkFun BP. It was more easily available in Germany, and when I can avoid hassle with the customs office I try to, and don’t buy in China or the United States. The case is an old Maxim sample box, which just has the right size). So, I’m pretty pleased with this board, and can only recommend it. The only drawback is that the SPI/ISP header is not labeled - when building a JTAG cable for my CPLD breakout board I will need to look at the eagle schematics to find out the right connections. Maybe they can go to the bottom?

Posted by Hendrik Lipka at 2012-03-04 (Google)
Categories: electronics tools