John's Build Log


Been programming for a number of years. Used to write code from embedded systems, but stayed on the software side of things. Interested in learning electronics in general, radio, FPGAs and PCB design. Can solder, but not a lot of experience with doing SMD. Tend to learn best by doing, so that is what I am working on. I did the Shine on You Crazy KiCAD project awhile ago which was the first time I had ever worked with SMD or made a PCB. In retrospect, used way too much solder.

Since then have built a kit radio, a slow kit osilliscope and an icezero (sump2 logic analyzer for raspberry pi using an FPGA). Will be working through the projects here along side some other things.


Welcome John. A bit of Solder-wick will fix your extra solder problem. You just have to watch that you don’t apply too much heat and move the part.


Thanks, that’s a good point and would probably be a good way for me to practice using the solder wick with SMD builds.


Been a little sick recently, so going a little slow. I think it is better to do a little bit every day so I decided to start working on the getting to blinky videos. It is a similar project to the one I already did, but I think it is still good practice. I got to the point of creating the actual layout, but at the moment the only real thing to show is the schematic.


Finished the getting to blinky layout, ordered boards and components.


While I am waiting for Getting to Blinky to arrive, I started the CE Header project. Not a lot to show at the moment.


Looks like a good start on the header project!


Finished the CE Header layout, should send boards off soon.

Non CE related, I used what I have learned so far to make a RF attenuator, still undecided about the connectors, may switch to a through hole BNC. Also messing around with the ground plane, not sure what would be best there.


Thanks. The layout video was a long one to get through, but I finally got through it.


Started the sensor board, was not able to finish schematic though. Still waiting for getting to blinky boards.


Been building a Prusa mk3 printer recently, finally finished it. Works great, didn’t run into any problems, which is great cause I had never built anything mechanical of that kind of complexity before.

Also built a beacon radio from a kit, was generally functional, but had low output power. Turned out to be a toroid that wasnt making a good connection. It passed my initial check due to me having the multimeter probes on the wire, but the enamel was not removed well enough to make a solder connection. This is apparently a common problem with the enameled wire used with toroids, but the point I learned was to check for continuity downstream and upstream of them to ensure a solid connection.

CE related I built the getting to blinky board today, which I think may have been some of the worst soldering I’ve done in a while, but it worked from the very beginning (I knew about the ground issue from the video before I sent to fab), so I can’t complain. I also got the CE Header border and tinsy so I can put some headers or something on that. Just started the sensor board videos.


You’ve got a lot of cool projects! How do you like your beacon radio? That’s something I’ve been wanting to build for a while.


I had a good time building it. I have had a lot fun playing with it and have learned a lot in the process so for me it has been worth it.


Getting back into sensor board for the CE Header, finished schematic symbol for temperature sensor.