BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

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bperrybap
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BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:27 pm

Paul,
I know the BBB is a "Arduino" type board, but not everyone will be using the Ardiuno s/w.
The current BBB only uses Arduino labels for the i/o pins.
It would be nice to be able to see the real Atmega pin names.

Silkscreening both would be ideal, but a quick and simple solution would be to make a small plastic/paper card
that could simply be placed on top of the BBB board that would have all the real pin names.

It would be a nice touch for the BBB to either include or even offer for sale,
a "pin overlay" card or decal for users of the BBB board that are not using/running the Arduino s/w.

This would allow people to see real the port and pin numbers of the Atmega chip vs the Arduino pin names.

This would save time and reduce connection errors for those that are not doing things the "Arduino way".

I'll be making one for myself but I thought that this might be something that might also help others.

--- bill

floresta
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by floresta » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:33 am

I want one!

Don

paul
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by paul » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:48 am

Maybe just forward me the file. I'll put it up on the site and people can just print or photocopy them on label stock or something similar for no-cost, no-fuss solution.

Paul

bperrybap
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:55 pm

paul wrote:Maybe just forward me the file. I'll put it up on the site and people can just print or photocopy them on label stock or something similar for no-cost, no-fuss solution.

Paul
That sounds like a good solution.
My BBB boards are actually in transit as we speak.
As soon as they arrive, I'll create a template file that people can use to print & create
their own overlay cards or decals. (I'll probably laminate mine.)

I'm not sure which tool I'll use to create it yet.
i.e OpenOffice Drawing, Gimp, paint.net, Photoshop, etc..
I'd like people to be able to modify the template if they would like
to make changes to it. Change colors or pin names, etc...)

(One thing for certain, I won't be using anything Microsoft based).

However, I'll provide jpeg (possibly gif as it might be better for the small text),
and PDF files of the initial template.
That way people can simply print it out and not have to fuss with any
sort of graphical application.

Sound ok?
Any preferences on the graphic tool & formats?

--- bill

paul
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by paul » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:35 pm

I think a pdf would be most universal.
It's not that much work if people want to type it again to make their own.
I guess my second choice would be some kind of image file, such as a gif, in high enough res to look good small.

Thanks for doing this, AVR fans everywhere salute you,

Paul

bperrybap
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:12 am

Well, I've played a bit with creating a BBB overlay "card".

NOTE: The analog labels actually do line up properly. The overlay is curling up
so the the overlay is not flush with the BBB board.

It is definitely doable but the space for labels is very limited.

I'll go ahead and finish up an overlay card,
but I think a better solution will be a BBB "cheat card".
This will be card that you hold up to the BBB board and the pin descriptions
will line up with the pins.
This way the space isn't constrained by the small distance from the header pins
and the other components. There will be enough room to put the full
pin descriptions as labeled in the Atmel datasheet.

I'm thinking of a card about the size of the card that is currently included in the BBB kit bag.
You hold the card up at an angle with the left side touching the 7x3 header
and the bottom edge will have pin descriptions that align with the bottom header.
Or tip it to the left against the 7x3 header and read the descriptions for those pins.

I think this will be much more useful solution and won't involve all the precision cutting
that is necessary with the overlay. It will be simple rectangle that can also be laminated for durability.
All in all a much better option.

I should have both ready in a day or so.

--- bill
Attachments
IMG_1717.JPG
First shot at BBB overlay.
(138.86 KiB) Downloaded 18738 times

bperrybap
Posts: 42
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:34 pm

So here is a first pass at a pin overlay card.
Turns out it is quite a bit more difficult than you would think. The problem is that different
components render slightly differently. So the exact image printed directly from OpenOffice Draw
prints at a slightly different scale than when Adobe prints the PDF.
There is some kind of scaling difference. - Kind makes things difficult when WYSIWIG isn't
really WIG.

Anyway, Attached is a photo of the overlay.
I'd attach a PDF file that can be used to print it but extension ".pdf" is not allowed
(Paul, If its ok, could you turn this extension on?)

--- bill
Attachments
IMG_1732.JPG
Non Arduino BBB pin overlay.
(153.28 KiB) Downloaded 18696 times

paul
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by paul » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:45 pm

bperrybap,

I'll be happy to turn pdf files on, but I'm out of town for a week at a wild open-source hardware conference. I don't have the passwords I need to get to the file that needs to be modified so it will have to wait till next Monday.

You could also email it to me as an attachment and I'll put it up on the product page too. Mention in your email to fix the pdf setting on the forum and that will serve as a reminder.

Sorry for the delay, but the template is beautiful - thanks for making it.

Paul

bperrybap
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:01 am

I put the PDF file into a ZIP file so it could be attached.
Have fun with the template.
Let me know if it doesn't print correctly
as I did have some issues with scaling.

-----------------------------------------------------
Now to start work on the "Cheat Card".....
This one will be easier to work with and won't require
an Xacto knife to cut it out. Scissors will work for this one.


--- bill
Attachments
BBBPinOverlay.zip
ZIP file that contains PDF file of BBB pin template.
(20.05 KiB) Downloaded 844 times

floresta
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by floresta » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:00 pm

It printed out just a little large on my ancient HP-4P but still quite usable.

Don

bperrybap
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:37 pm

floresta wrote:It printed out just a little large on my ancient HP-4P but still quite usable.

Don
This sounds like the problem I had with scaling.
Even on my machine, Open Office and Adobe Reader on Vista didn't print the template the same.
Maybe you could help me resolve this.
What OS and application are you using to print the template?

For now, see if your printer driver has options to "shrink to fit", "fit printable area" or somethings like
that when you print the file.
This PDF file version seems to print best under Vista with the "shink to fit" option selected if printing from Adobe Reader.

This is so frustrating. I think I'll move it over to my linux machine so that I can get completely away
from anything Microsoft and see if I can figure out how to disable all the scaling
and make this thing print the same for everyone.

I'll post a new one when I have the "cheat card" ready.


--- bill

floresta
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by floresta » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:04 pm

bperrybap:

I am using Adobe Reader 8.1.5 running on XP Pro SP3.

The printer driver offers no scaling options. Adobe puts it at 94% when choosing either "Fit to printable area" or "Shrink to printable area".

When I look at the output after printing at 100% I see that everything seems ok from 'rst' through 'd7'. The spacing seems to get wider for port b, especially between b2 and b3.

Don

bperrybap
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:27 am

Ok, so I finally decided to create what I think is a properly scaled PDF image.
There are so many different components in Windows that try to make your life "easier" by doing
auto scaling that this turned out be more difficult than it should have.
At least for me now, if I print the PDF from Adobe Reader and
Set the Page Scaling to [None]
and disable the Auto Rotate & Center option,
it prints out properly.

NOTE: For some reason uploads are not working now.
.pdf extensions are not allowed and .zip fails with a:

Could not upload attachment to ./files/3132_34411fc19e0bc36476e6d253099f57fe
error.

I'll work this out with Paul, and update the post with the PDF file as soon as I can.

--- bill

paul
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by paul » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:30 pm

We've got a fab lab here now - I might try and stack a few up on card stock and see if it can get through 10 at a time.
Good give-aways!

Thanks again for your efforts Bill

bperrybap
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:06 pm

Attached is a zip file with the latest BBB pin overlay card.
There are two files in the archive.
A PDF image and the original OpenOffice writer document used to create it.

See previous post for how to print it and avoid scaling issues.

Enjoy,

--- bill
Attachments
BBBOverlay.zip
Zip file of BBB pin overlay in PDF format and the original OpenOffice Writer
(30.34 KiB) Downloaded 811 times

bperrybap
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:09 pm

paul wrote:We've got a fab lab here now - I might try and stack a few up on card stock and see if it can get through 10 at a time.
Good give-aways!

Thanks again for your efforts Bill
So does it come out die cut or is this just for printing?

I was thinking that there is enough room on the existing cardstock card already enclosed
inside the kit that it would be possible to print it on that and let
those interested cut it out.

--- bill

paul
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by paul » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:16 am

I was thinking that there is enough room on the existing cardstock card already enclosed
inside the kit that it would be possible to print it on that and let
those interested cut it out.
Thanks Bill, it's a nice eco-friendly idea - I guess it would depend on how well my printer will register when printing on the backside - and also how opaque the paper is for two-sided print job. Experiments in order.

It also reminds me of my theory of why biscotti are so expensive in cafes. They are baked twice, so the baker has two chances to screw them up.

Paul

bperrybap
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:58 pm

paul wrote: Thanks Bill, it's a nice eco-friendly idea - I guess it would depend on how well my printer will register when printing on the backside - and also how opaque the paper is for two-sided print job. Experiments in order.
Paul
I understand the need to keep labor and material costs down,
thats why for the BBB Pin overlay, I was actually thinking it could be put
directly on the the front of the existing enclosed BBB card to avoid having to do multiple printings
or include a 2nd card.
- it would essentially be "free" (well except for a bit of additional ink)
The image is small enough to fit within the existing white space on the card
if you move the existing logo and text either up or down just a bit.

My idea for the "bingo card" was to put a pinout along the bottom edge
of a card such that when you held up the left side of the card against
the right side of the analog pins/header that the bottom edge of the card
would have the standard AVR pin labels for the digital pins.

Then put another pinout along the left edge of the card so that you could
hold it up along the right side of the analog pins/header and see the pinout
for the analog pins.

It should also be possible to make the existing BBB card a "bingo" card by
simply printing this pin information along the left and bottom edges of
the existing card.

So the overall concept was to print a bit more information on the existing
BBB card and that additional information could be the pin overlay image,
or it could additional pin information along the bottom and left edges
of the card that could be held up to the BBB board to identify
the AVR pins in Atmel terminology.


--- bill

bperrybap
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Re: BBB pin overlay card for non Arduino users

Post by bperrybap » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:50 pm

BINGO!
Here is a simple way to use the existing card for both the bingo card and a pin overlay and
still do single side printing.

Having the full bingo card is actually kind of nice as you can hold the card up to
your breadboard to make sure you didn't offset your wires.

Users who want the pin overlay to attach to the BBB, can cut it out themselves.

Ideally the entire card would be regenerated digitally/electronically in OpenOffice writer
but for this quick test, I literally cut and pasted the overlay on top of an existing card, scanned it in
and reprinted it to take a few photos to show what I'm talking about.

Unfortunately, I stupidly grabbed an old overlay printout I had laying around,
where the digital pins weren't quite scaled properly, but you get the idea.

The full image of the BBB card cold be crushed down into a single image (jpg, or giff) with
cut marks so that it could be combined into larger sheets or allow users to download
and print their own.
IMG_1997.JPG
bingo/overlay card showing digital pins.
(127.09 KiB) Downloaded 18446 times
IMG_1996.JPG
bingo/overlay card showing analog pins
(117.03 KiB) Downloaded 18445 times
I'll redo the full combo bingo/overlay card in OpenOffice writer and post
a new PDF file of the combo card that people can print for themselves.

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