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View Full Version : A Carrier Board for Gadget Gangster Propeller Platform



schill
11-17-2010, 07:57 PM
I’ve designed a set of carrier boards for the Gadget Gangster Propeller Platform. I’ve attached some pictures as well as several versions of the drawings that were used to create them. I had these laser cut out of 3mm acrylic (“plexiglass”) which is similar to that used in the new cases from Parallax. I had mine cut by Pololu ( www.pololu.com ). If you want to make your own boards, any of the drawing files should be sufficient for most places to cut them (or to cut them yourself if you have access to a laser cutter). I expect you could also use the drawings to machine the plates instead of laser cutting them. Of course, they can also be used as templates to make the plates by hand.

There are two sizes of plates. The larger plates are the same size as the original propeller platform boards and the smaller ones are the size of the new boards. The larger plates also have additional mounting holes that match the spacing of the smaller boards.

There are two types of plates. The first has cutouts so that it can be mounted on the component side of the board without covering the headers running along either side of the board. This board can also be mounted on the bottom of the pc board to provide a protective cover or a base for mounting to something else. Because of the cutouts, it will leave some areas exposed. The second carrier board design has no cutouts at all and is primarily designed to be used as a base plate or protective cover for the bottom of the board. A combination of plates on the bottom and component sides of the board will create a minimalist “case” for the platform boards.

The carrier boards can be used to hold additional hardware above the platform boards – similar to an expansion board or shield but with not electrical connections to it or within the board. I have included some pictures showing solderless breadboards mounted on the carrier boards. The female headers on the platform boards are accessible and wires can be connected from them to the breadboard.

Standard standoffs and other hardware are used to attach the carrier plates to the board. I’ve been using 4-40 hardware with threaded and non-threaded standoffs.

The holes in the carrier plates (other than the board mounting holes) are based on the pattern used by the Servo Erector Set parts from Lynxmotion ( www.lynxmotion.com ). Other hole patterns can be drilled in the plates if desired – or the drawings can be changed and parts can be cut to exact specifications. I chose to use this particular pattern because I have a use for it and it’s more complicated to drill by hand and get the hole locations exactly to spec than other patterns are.

I have attached quite a few pictures – although most of them are just different views of the same hardware. I have had parts cut in two different material colors – smoke grey and translucent (not transparent) red.

I have designed similar carrier boards for the Parallax Propeller Servo Controller and have posted about those in another thread. They have the same hole pattern as these boards. You can see pictures of those boards mounted to Lynxmotion hardware in that thread.

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?t=127218

The three drawing files are based on the same original drawing but are in three different formats. The DWG and DXF files follow Autocad (R14) standards and can be read by many programs (and can probably be used directly by most places that will laser cut parts). The PDF file is a standard Acrobat PDF file.

NOTE: This text was copied and edited from my post about similar carriers for the Parallax Propeller Servo Controller USB.

Update on cost:
As mentioned above, I had these cut by Pololu. They describe the cost structure on their web site but basically you pay for the time it takes to cut and for the materials. I don't have a breakdown for what each board would cost since the cutting time for each will be a little different and I ordered them together. The cost will also vary depending on the material. I expect these boards would run from $3.00 to $4.00 each depending on style and material (but not including shipping). Pololu has a $25.00 minimum for laser cutting.

The turnaround from Pololu is usually pretty quick. I've received orders shipped USPS from Nevada to Ohio two days after I accepted their quote. Other orders have taken a few days longer.

I also neglected to mention that my board design is definitely inspired by the electronics carrier board that Lynxmotion sells:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-501-ses-electronics-carrier.aspx

schill
11-17-2010, 08:00 PM
Some more pictures and the drawing files.

Tubular
11-16-2011, 04:46 AM
Nice work, schill. Not sure how I missed this post.