Chris Gammell Build Log

Hello world!

My name is Chris and I’ve been working on electronics for 10+ years. I’m hoping to learn more about embedded and do a bunch of fun electronics projects while on CE.

I’m creating this post as a template for others getting started on the forum. The first thing new members should be doing is posting to the build log as a placeholder and introduction.


Excellent, I’ve been doing software for 20+ years and learning electronics, I’ve done some embedded software development and would love to help out where I can.

This weekend I’ll be building up the “Shine On You Crazy KiCad” boards (videos here: Early look for forum members - Community - The Contextual Electronics Forums). I just got all the parts in today:

I also will be building up my Whizoo reflow oven and posting more videos here!


Still need to build up the Shine On boards, which shouldn’t take too long. The RPi programming will likely take me much longer.

I also decided to take on a project with RS485 transceivers. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and decided i needed to stretch my layout muscles (without filming it). Will update as it gets built:

Repo if you want to follow along:

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Too lazy to make a 3D model for the connectors, but here’s the view in 3D

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Just got two of these beauts in the mail, time to start playing around. Maybe another CE header breakout?

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Update: the blink has blonked!


Just realized my notifications were all messed up on the site, so I haven’t been subscribed to certain topics. If you w ere waiting for a response from me, I’m sorry about that! Also, if you call out my username with an @ symbol, (ie @ChrisGammell) it will ping me even faster.

Achievement unlocked! :slight_smile:

Built up a new RS485 board for the CE header. Not actually planning on making this first rev into a course, just wanted to build some electronics for myself. Excited to test it out, hoping the CE header continues to be a good fit for future projects!

Of note for future boards…need to add some kind of “legs” to the edge of the board if I’m going to have a significant overhang like this, it doesn’t balance under its own weight.


Nice, I’d be interested to try RS485. I’ve not used it before.

Also, I noticed your Isopropyl alcohol in the background. Do you use that to clean flux?

Yep, I do. But this is particularly weak isopropyl (72%) so it’s not that great.

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Should be able to get at least 91%+ up to 99% at any local drugstore, if I was closer I’d pick some up for you.

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Yeah, think I got this with my grocery delivery, need to stop by the drug store next time.

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What is the best way to apply to the board?

I’ve heard toothbrush. Thus far I’ve used eye glasses wipes but they don’t work very good. I ordered these from Amazon yesterday so look forward to trying them out:

I’ve seen many examples on YouTube using KimWipes with a brush. I picked some up a few weeks ago, they seem to work as advertised.


Hi Chris can you send me your email, I wish to refer an advertiser to you.

Hey @ChrisGammell, I’m excited to see how these Beaglephone-Pocket boards turn out. Are these going through the Whizoo reflow oven?

Got my PCBs back, look decent. Parts come in today.

— Chris Gammell (@Chris_Gammell) October 24, 2017

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Actually planning to take those to the reflow oven at mHub, think it’s a Manncorp