Michael Ceraso Build Log

Hello World!

My name is Michael Ceraso, I’ve been active in the University of New Orleans Robotics Club for the past three years. For the past five years, the club has consistently won multiple awards at the IEEE Region 5 Robotics Competition. Our Github documents our basic motion library, some of our stepper motor controller PCB designs, and links articles about the club: well, I can’t post the link yet!

I feel confident in my ability to program Arduino and Particle projects. I’ve designed a handful of stepper motor controller boards and an Arduino shield. I’m looking to expand my skills in electronics design and network.

Just finished my finals for this semester and am looking forward to crushing a bunch of this content. I’ve used Eagle but am looking forward to learn KiCad. I’m also looking forward to learn board design with more surface mount components. Pretty much all of my board designs thus far have used through-hole components exclusively.

Good luck! I found Kicad pretty intuitive which is helpful.


Once you start using SMDs you can’t go back! It’s so much simpler than PTH, particularly if you stick to the “big” packages: 1206 and 0805 for passives, SOIC for ICs etc.
Plus with the cost of PCBs and stencils nowadays, I would never solder SMDs with a soldering iron anymore. It’s WAY quicker with a cheap hot air gun and solder paste and just reflow the whole thing in one go :slight_smile:
When you progress you’ll get down to the smaller packages: 0402, QFNs, SSOPs and one day maybe BGAs (that day hasn’t arrived for me yet ^^). It’s so much fun :smiley:


Today I finished going through the LTSpice videos. At first, I installed LTSpice to my mac directly. I noticed the UI was different from what Chris was using in the tutorial. After poking around online, I discovered that LTSpice for Mac isn’t as well fleshed out as LTSpice for Windows. I followed this tutorial to install Wine Bottler and the windows version of LTSpice onto MacOS. This method gives me all the same features as Chris showed in the videos.

I wish I had known about LTSpice as I was going through my electronics and digital logic courses. It seems just as capable as Multisim and gives me a freeware tool to use from home. What’s interesting is that Wikipedia says Multisim uses the original Berkeley SPICE simulator. If what Mike Engelhardt says is true, LTSpice is superior to Multisim because it addresses many of the problems that Berkeley SPICE didn’t account for. So, it’s arguably better and free.

It’s definitely a nice tool. I just wish it was available natively for Linux, so I didn’t have to run it in Wine! I can’t help feeling that it might be too slow under Wine to do any bigger simulations. It’s perfect for learning though.

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