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 Post subject: VU meter & PCB how to
PostPosted: 13.03.2005 01:20 
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Junior Modder
Junior Modder

Joined: 24.10.2004 01:34
Posts: 22
In this mod I will show you how to product your own PCB. We will make a Volume meter for Winamp (Check out an old VU meter guide for electronic elements info). I prepared PCB layout for you in bitmap format. You can download it here. The easiest method is to print that on a transparent foil. Look at the things we´re going to use for this mod.

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I bought ferric chloride in local store. It cost me 4 Euros, but we won´t use it all, just a lil bit. I printed my PCB layout on a foil and now I have to cut it. Use scalpel or whatever you want.


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Transparent foil is not so cheap so I printed 8 PCBs on it if something goes wrong. And it went wrong, I ruined two of them :P Now when you cut it, take a piece of copper board. Cut it by following PCB layout.

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Now when you´re done with cutting, take your foil and put it over board. Take a piece of paper and put it on a top.

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I took an old iron to heat a foil. WARNING: You will have to clean your board before transfering a foil on it, there shouldn´t be any grease on it. Now take your iron and adjust temperature to maximum. Put it on a board and press it down. Wait for a minute or two and then check it. Try to stick foil out of board and if you see that toner transfered to foil, you´re done. If it didn´t transfer very well, take Edding 3000 or some other tip pen and correct it. It will be OK, don´t worry.

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I had to correct few lines also ;) Now when it is over, we have to use ferric chloride to etch the board. It´s a bit messy, so use a ceramic or plastic sink for etching. WARNING: Use gloves and safety glasses and wash off any skin splashes immediately. Etching should look like this;

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Always pour ferric chloride into water, don´t do it counter way. You should warm the etchant so you don´t have to wait long. If you warm it to 50°C and if you use fresh ferric chloride, a PCB will etch in well under 30 minutes.

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When etching is done, you will have to clean toner with alchocol. When you´re done, your PCB will look like this. Not bad at all ;) Now we have to drill holes for components.

Typical hole sizes : ICs, resistors etc. 0.8mm. Larger diodes (1N4001 etc.), square-pin headers, D connectors, IDC connectors, TO-220 leads etc. : 1.0mm, terminal blocks, trimmers etc. 1.2 to 1.5mm. My board after drilling (LMAO I didn´t manage to drill all holes properly, but nevermind :P)

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And now the final product, it looks great IMHO;

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You can find everything you need for configuring Discolitez here.

You can download a sample movie @ Cro modders . Movie was taken with my cell phone LG U8120 :) Movie is in .avi format (3 MB) ;)
If you like this guide, let me know it :D Post ur comments :wink:
Please support my work by clicking on ads on my site. Tnx guys 8)
btw I am already selling these VU meters in Croatia and Slovenia and if anyone is interested in buying one, feel free to contact me :wink:

I made this one for a customer from Slovenia :D

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What do u think?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 13.03.2005 02:11 
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Site Admin
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Joined: 24.01.2002 10:09
Posts: 4683
Location: Finland
When I was still in school we used UV light to "mark" the traces to the PCB before ferrid chlorite bath. Simple boards were just drawn straight to the board with a pcb pen.

Just remember that the liquid is highly toxic and should be treated and disposed as such. Don't dump it in to your kitchen sink after you are done with it. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 13.03.2005 02:16 
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Junior Modder
Junior Modder

Joined: 24.10.2004 01:34
Posts: 22
Tnx for the tips Jani :wink:
I like to do use foil also with these simple circuits, tip pen is messy. What do u think about final product?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 14.03.2005 01:08 
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Veteran Modder
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Joined: 15.08.2004 17:57
Posts: 582
Location: Salo, Finland
[offtopic] Could the same method be used etching plexi??[/offtopic]

And yes, I'm a fool, and an idiot!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 14.03.2005 01:13 
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Junior Modder
Junior Modder

Joined: 24.10.2004 01:34
Posts: 22
NO :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 14.03.2005 05:42 
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Veteran Modder
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Joined: 15.08.2004 17:57
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Location: Salo, Finland
kinda thought so :oops:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16.03.2005 01:42 
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Junior Modder
Junior Modder

Joined: 16.03.2005 01:34
Posts: 17
Location: U.S.A.
I just made a Vu-meter (well it's almost finished) and I wanted to know on which number of the D-Sub Connector I should put the first green LED (which is the lowest, the highest is a red LED). I don't know whether I'm supposed to solder it to number 2 or to number 9. Please help me thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16.03.2005 03:20 
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Ultra Modder
Ultra Modder

Joined: 12.08.2003 04:52
Posts: 1633
Location: Maine
from the pictures above it looks like the lowest colored led connects to the leftmost side of the Dsub connector, if you are using one lige his then it should be pretty self explanitory.

also, dont post the same thing in two different places. somebody will answer your question eventually.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16.03.2005 16:26 
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Junior Modder
Junior Modder

Joined: 24.10.2004 01:34
Posts: 22
First LED is connected to pin 2 and it´s green if you want it to be the lowest :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17.03.2005 03:14 
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Junior Modder
Junior Modder

Joined: 16.03.2005 01:34
Posts: 17
Location: U.S.A.
Towar wrote:
First LED is connected to pin 2 and it´s green if you want it to be the lowest :wink:


Thanks! I just finished mine. But do you need any special sofware to use it? Oh and I made my VU-meter without the PCB. So I'm scared of getting a short circuit, do you have any recomendations before i plug it into my computer?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17.03.2005 04:21 
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Ultra Modder
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Joined: 09.06.2003 08:30
Posts: 1592
Location: Orlando, FL, USA
maybe use some hot glue on all the parts that are exposed, or even use some sort of epoxy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17.03.2005 06:27 
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Ultra Modder
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Joined: 12.08.2003 04:52
Posts: 1633
Location: Maine
build some kind of enclosure for it, then mount it to something, like your monitor... or your cat

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Praetorian wrote:
Nearly every finnish child can read and speak finnish, so it's very easy... :P


www.lsdiodes.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17.03.2005 06:34 
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Junior Modder
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Joined: 16.03.2005 01:34
Posts: 17
Location: U.S.A.
splinter_cell wrote:
build some kind of enclosure for it, then mount it to something, like your monitor... or your cat


All that has been done and I'm prety sure it's safe to try it, but I don't know the softwares I need to make it work, nor where I can download them. Could anyone help me out on this, then I'll probably stop bothering everyone with my retarted questions :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17.03.2005 12:41 
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Veteran Modder
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Joined: 15.08.2004 17:57
Posts: 582
Location: Salo, Finland
NOTE:Windows XP doesn´t provide control for LPT port.So you will have to download DLport IO program.Also,circuit won´t work without Disco Litez plugin for Winamp 5.Disco Litez configuring is very complex so I prepared my config for you.

You can download whole package here.

Oh and this is from Towars site.

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-Don't Drink And Drive, Get High And Fly-
-Lsdiodes- I am a believer too.
Project 2 Blue Sold


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17.03.2005 15:47 
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Ultra Modder
Ultra Modder

Joined: 12.08.2003 04:52
Posts: 1633
Location: Maine
.tk works for you??

they dont work for me. i think usa banned .tk's

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Praetorian wrote:
Nearly every finnish child can read and speak finnish, so it's very easy... :P


www.lsdiodes.com


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