Upgrading my T-962C surface-mount reflow oven using a Reflow Master Pro from Unexpected Maker.
Vlog 74: Maker Faire Monash
On December 4th, 2022, Maker Faire came to Melbourne! This event was huge, with many floors of exhibits across multiple buildings. 5 hours of walking and talking, and I still kept finding new things.
I bumped into a few old friends along the way including Mitch, who was kind enough to give me a detailed explanation of two of his recent projects including a boat autopilot and a yeast growth optimiser.
Another highlight was seeing Samuel’s project to link a typewriter to a GPT chatbot, so you can have a conversation with the typewriter. You type messages to it, and it prints out responses to you. Pretty cool!
Vlog 73: SuperLab Genesis
My Kayo A4 pick-and-place machines need somewhere to live, so I’m going to build them a nice new cleanroom. But first we need to make a mess.
Construction of the new SuperLab has begun!
Vlog 72: Pick-and-Place road trip!
My dad came over early Sunday morning so we could pick up a truck and begin our whirlwind adventure tour:
We spent Sunday driving to Canberra, where we stayed overnight with my aunt before going to Glen English’s factory on Monday morning. Glen has just purchased a huge new Samsung PnP that will replace all his existing machines.
It took a few hours to get everything packed and loaded, then we headed back to Melbourne and arrived late Monday evening. I unloaded all the feeders and other accessories, leaving just the chassis of the machines in the truck.
Tuesday morning I drove the truck over to my friend Lachlan’s factory in Bayswater where we unloaded the chassis and covered them up to keep them clean.
Now I need to set up somewhere for them to live!
I’m going to build a positive-pressure cleanroom so they have a nice environment to operate in, without any dust to get in and disrupt the party.
There’s a lot of work still to do but I’m really excited about this big new development.
Hopefully in a couple of months I’ll be well set up to do high-quality assembly fairly quickly, and I’ll be able to do production runs of SuperHouse boards to get stock levels up to a reasonable level.
Vlog #71: 100k subscribers!
Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!
Vlog #70: Making an illuminated SuperHouse logo
An epic tail of fail, where my original plan went totally off the rails and I ended up with something that looks cheap and nasty.
Vlog #69: Easy laser-cut PCB tray
I needed PCB trays to keep boards organised during the production process, so I laser-cut a simple design.
The trays used by professional PCB assemblers are usually made from static-dissipative material that can also withstand immersion in an ultrasonic bath. My design isn’t intended as a replacement for those, but just as a handy way for hobbyists to keep small batches of boards organised on the workbench or shelves. This is much better than stacking populated PCBs on top of each other because it saves the parts and boards being scratched or damaged.
The source files for this project have been published at https://github.com/jonoxer/PCB-Tray
The Fusion360 file includes parameters so that you can tune the material thickness and the slot size to suit your own requirements. There is also a parameter for board width, but it’s broken at the moment.
DXFs have also been included, for 3mm MDF and 2mm PCB slots.
Vlog #67: Production, packaging, and Patron rewards
I’m taking a big leap and paying to have SuperHouse boards produced in a factory, which costs a lot of money up front but hopefully will give me more time to work on videos. It also means that some products will now have awesome retail packaging.
I’m also clearing space in my lab by giving my Patreon supporters access to a special secret section of my online store, where they can buy clearance items for not much more than the cost of postage. To make this happen, the online store now has a password-protected category called “Members Only”. Patreon supporters will receive passwords from time to time, giving access to special discounted products that only they can see.
Vlog #66: Let’s define a standard ESP8266/ESP32 programming header
UPDATE: The definition of the ESPFlash header convention is now here:
If you don’t put USB on your project, you have to decide on a programming header to use. But everyone does it their own way: Sonoff has theirs, wESP32 has another, many projects have them and they’re all different!
That sucks, so let’s fix it by deciding what we think should be the conventional programming header format for our projects.
My goals are:
- Define a convention for programming headers on ESP8285, ESP8266, and ESP32 boards.
- Use that header in our own projects, so that it becomes common and interchangeable.
- Lobby ITEAD to use the same header in future Sonoff models.
And the stretch goal: Convince Espressif to document it as a recommended header format for new ESPxx projects.
If we’re super-lucky, maybe we can convince ITEAD to fix the incomplete Sonoff programming header by adding RESET and GPIO0, and make all our lives easier in future.
Places to discuss this
- Sonoff programming header usage guide
- wESP32-Prog by Patrick Van Oosterwijck
- ESProg by iohippo
- ESP32 Programmer by Mike Rankin
- A different ESP32 / ESP8266 Programmer by Mike Rankin
- ESP Prog by Espressif
We need to decide on a physical format, and also whether to supply 3.3V or 5V to the target board from the programmer. The pins we need are:
Physical format options include:
- 1×6 0.1″ header
- 2×3 0.1″ header
- 1×6 2mm header
- 2×3 2mm header
- Something else? Ideas please!
The design considerations for the physical format include:
- Similarity to existing designs including Sonoff, wESP32, ESProg, and ESP32 Programmer
- Cheap and easy to use, with easy to source connectors
- Small footprint on the target device
- Perhaps leverage some existing standard such as P-MOD
- Ability to mount permanently as a sub-board in the project if required
Considerations for the choice of 3.3V or 5V include:
- Sonoff already requires 3.3V on the header
- 5V can be useful in some cases
- Switchable voltage would be possible, but could be dangerous and would lead to fragmentation of the convention
- Connection of programmer directly to VCC on target, compared to input of onboard 3.3V VREG
This has the advantage that it’s well documented, and many people have made adapters for it.
Already implemented on the wEPS32. 5V supply means the input can be diode-isolated from other supply sources on the board. 4 of the pins match the Sonoff header, except that Sonoff requires 3.3V so it’s not a perfect match.
wESP32-Prog header, but with 3.3V
This is the closest we could have to matching the Sonoff header while extending it to add the GPIO0 and RESET lines.
Documented by Espressif. Uses a 2×3 header, which is nice in terms of compact size. Unfortunately there’s no useful overlap with the ESP-01 header.
Doesn’t seem to match up with anything else in terms of pin order, but is perhaps the closest match electrically in a 1×6 format: all the necessary pins, with 3.3V supplied.
ESP32 Programmer by Mike Rankin
Nice 2×3 format header. If power was added this would be a nice format, but it doesn’t have anything to differentiate it from the ESP-Prog format from Espressif.
Other ESP32 Programmer by Mike Rankin
This one has a 1×5 header, which has all the pins we want except power.
Vlog #65: SuperHouse now has a Discord server!
I’ve resisted for ages, so viewer Lorenzo took matters into his own hands and set up a Discord server for SuperHouse 🙂
Within 24 hours of being announced, there are now more than 200 people on the server! To join the discussion about SuperHouse projects, home automation, MQTT, Home Assistant, OpenHAB, Tasmota, and many other things, go to this link for an invitation: