It was been a while since the last update. I’ve been improving the software drivers for the LED matrix IC. I was waiting until I finished that to publish the follow-up to the last blog post.
But in the meantime, I was contacted by PCBWAY’s marketing department about the project. PCBWAY found my project on Github and was impressed by the project and offered a partnership for this project.
PCBWAY suggested on making a new version of the badge. So for the following weeks I redesigned the PCB in order to fix some bugs of the last version.
After the design was finished, I contacted PCBWAY again and made an order online from their website. PCBWAY Quick Order website.
PCBWAYS quick order form is really easy to use, I just uploaded my GERBER files and everything is automatically filled out. This time PCBWAY was generous enough to let me order a stencil for the LED matrix in order to make the assembly of the 351 LEDs easier!
After a few days my PCBWAY pcbs arrived in a nice white box
Everything was nicely packed, heres the contents:
They even were nice enough to include a PCB ruler!
Here’s a better look at the stencil, everything looks great
Now, the most important: The PCBs
The new PCBs look amazing, specially with the black soldermask, really makes the artwork standout. One issue I had with other manufacturers was the misalignment of some parts of the PCB, but here, the silkscreen looks really good.
The same thing goes for the soldermask, with another manufacturer I got a soldermask misalignment that bad enough to cause problems with soldering high pin-density ICs. I will post an image comparison the next time I’m at my microscope.
I’m currently waiting for the components to arrive and I’ll be building this new version and updating the blog with new updates and hopefully the long awaited part 2 of the badge’s design process.
All and all, I’m pretty happy with PCBs, this has been a step-up both in my part in terms of PCB design but also on the quality of the PCBs. A special thanks to PCBWAY and Gloria Hu from the markting department that has been handling the partnership program.