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Kevin Townsend
1,490 followers
1,490 followers
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Some good advice here

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I mostly work with 0603 discretes since it's the best tradeoff for me between board size and reliable placement on the pick and place ... but had to go to 0402 to reduce problems with parasitics on this antenna front-end.  I forgot how painful it is working with 0402 by hand ... never braved 0201 with a pair of tweezers.  I'm sure it can be done, but not interested in going there myself.  Found those 0402 inductors kind of cute under a microscope, though!

For reference sake, that big part on the bottom is an 0805 10µF ceramic cap.
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What are those two green lights, you ask? The most time consuming blinky ever!  

Weekend is off to a good start after finally getting blinky firing on both cores of the LPC4357 (ARM Cortex M4 plus ARM Cortex M0 running @ 204MHz, 1MByte flash, 136kB SRAM and high-speed USB).
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Couldn't post images in the comment to +Matthew Griffin's post below, but I'm +Kevin Townsend, Lead Engineer @ +Adafruit Industries. My job basically consists of messing around with overpriced toys all day, endlessly wondering when the kind folks at Adafruit will wise up tell me play time is over and to get back to the classroom.

1. Are you working on a project right now?
There's probably a half-dozen neglected projects somewhere on my desk staring back at me accusingly -- looking right now there's an LPC4357 board I want to get USB working on (personal weekend project), a few BT LE boards that I've almost tortured into playing nicely with each other, and a webcam+LCD+SD-card Arduino mess-of-wires I've almost but not quite tamed (avoiding debugging that that with this post right now).

2. What are your go-to, grab-at-hand tools for making what you make?
Oh, yikes.  Really depends.  I kind of hoard test equipment just because everyone needs an expensive hobby, but a lot of it is kind of specialized and doesn't get used all the time (Electronic Load, Function Generator, etc.).  Hard to over-estimate a good bench-top power supply (Rigol DP1308A), a decent DMM (Agilent 34410A and U1253B both sitting on my desk) and a good oscilloscope (Agilent MSO-X 2024A here), I also pull out my Saleae Logic pretty regularly, and couldn't imagine writing SW without it.  Being half-blind, I'd never get any work done without a stereo microscope for soldering and inspection, but that's just my miserable eye-sight. There's a Weller WX-2 hidden back there beside the scope, and it's overkill but I love it. I don't use the SMT tweezer things all the time, but no regrets splurging to get them.

3. What's on your bench that you'd really like to fix?
The marital discord between this web cam and the LCD would be a good start (VSYNC and HREF on the scope now), but if it's on my desk it inevitably isn't working so just about everything.  But then ... that's half the fun of working in electronics: If you don't enjoy  solving odd problems, you might want to find another line of work. :)

What I'd really like to fix is all this disorder!  It always feels like mission impossible to keep my small workspace clean and well-organized since tools and wires build up pretty quick. :(
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