Desktop Traffic Light

A goofy idea turns into a much bigger project.

3/10/2019, 4:29:59 PM

today's goofy idea.. modeling a USB-powered desktop traffic light to indicate Xcode build status: red -> failed yellow -> building/testing green -> success green+yellow -> success w/ warnings


3/10/2019, 6:12:49 PM



3/10/2019, 7:59:41 PM

well THAT is cute


3/10/2019, 9:01:22 PM

Traffic light pcb milling


3/10/2019, 9:46:00 PM

extremely Ace Ventura voice



3/10/2019, 10:11:17 PM

TADA 🎉🎉 Here is it! (still need to print a stand, but it works!!)

The Xcode traffic light!

3/10/2019, 10:38:38 PM

it's pretty amazing that with the current state of home manufacturing tech you can go from a goofy idea to a completely working prototype gadget in a matter of hours

3/11/2019, 3:39:25 PM

arduino/hardware peeps: what is the smallest microcontroller board with 5V logic, a few gpio pins, and USB serial support that you know of?

3/12/2019, 3:19:13 PM

@bikerglen i just picked up some PIC16F1459's to play with.. thanks for the rec (and your blog post)!

3/14/2019, 8:03:56 PM

Ok, so.... I have a few of these USB connector through-hole components... but the leads are super short and don’t go through the board...??!? What do???


3/15/2019, 10:53:10 AM

from the manufacturer: "we recommend a pcb thickness of 1.0mm" lol, okkkk......

3/15/2019, 3:29:39 PM

Quite the small Arduino.  for scale /cc @Jon_Raymond_


3/18/2019, 5:48:52 PM

I am terrified of soldering SMD components


3/18/2019, 6:05:43 PM

that ended.... poorly

3/18/2019, 6:48:34 PM

well, until i get the SMD stuff figured out, i'm using an arduino as the motherboard (for some reason terminal blocks make any project feel legit)


3/19/2019, 11:09:52 PM

been learning to program bare metal PIC16F1459 uC (with prodding and help from @bikerglen) and have a nice blinking led to show for it! (also made an ICSP programming circuit, seen in midground next to battery)


3/22/2019, 5:27:33 PM

Ok, breakout boards from @oshpark arrived.. time to see if the solder will wick through the holes to the tiny leads... those are the smallest THT pads I’ve ever seen 😳


3/22/2019, 6:38:13 PM

Narrator: It did.


3/24/2019, 10:34:34 PM

USB breakout board in action. Works great.


3/25/2019, 6:10:15 PM

Baby’s first successful SMD solder. Took forever and looks super ugly, but by some miracle it works! 🤷‍♂️

3/29/2019, 5:46:15 PM

A tragedy in 4 acts:

1) I received these beautiful boards from @PCBWayOfficial and excitedly set out to solder them and conquer my fear of SMD

3/29/2019, 5:47:20 PM

2) I manage to do a much better job soldering the SMD pads this time around.. I'm actually proud of them! I add the other through-hold components..

3/29/2019, 5:48:57 PM

3) I start trying to program the PIC with the ICSP headers, and I'm getting all sorts of errors about communicating with the chip... uh oh...

3/29/2019, 5:52:11 PM

4) Stupid me decided to move the resistor right before sending to the fab and didn't run DRC which would have yelled at me for the FOUR shorts I created by moving it... UUUGGGGHHHHHH!!! Not @PCBWayOfficial fault, but I am truly bummed at myself. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

3/31/2019, 5:34:52 PM

PIC16F1459 DIP breakout/prototype/flash board arrived from @oshpark


3/31/2019, 6:44:02 PM

Populated. Looks great on a breadboard and the programmer fits perfectly on the ICSP headers

3/31/2019, 8:25:10 PM

Went ahead and soldered an SOIC breakout while the iron was hot


4/4/2019, 9:07:20 PM

I am no longer terrified of soldering SMD components.

4/8/2019, 6:45:11 PM

4 desktop traffic lights completely printed, soldered, and assembled. Powered by PIC16F1459 @MicrochipMakes @MarkAtMicrochip

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