I was pretty chuffed with myself for coming up with the idea for my mini Button Breakout Board
. I was pretty happy with how it came out. It’s only been a few months and already it has come in handy a few times. It’s just that it could be a little better. Everything can always be better!
I redesigned the PCB to make it even smaller. I did so by moving the pull-up resistors to the back of the board, along with the text.
Here's a size comparison between the two versions. What a difference!
Although the first version was small, there were only a few positions on my breadboard that it would fit and still leave some open rows to run jumper wires.
It fits a lot better on the breadboard now. It plugs directly into the power rails without having to run jumpers to Vcc and GND. I managed to size it down so that it’ll fit even on a single column breadboard.
I also changed the name. Instead of “Button Breakout Board”, it’s now called the “Mini Breadboard I/O” board. The LEDs are completely independent of the switches, so they do serve as outputs for a project. Since the buttons are the inputs, it made sense to change it to “I/O” board.
I placed my order with OSH Park. Being so small, the boards were really cheap: 3 for $8.45. It’s the waiting 2 weeks that’s the killer.
The PCBs came out great:
Assembly was a snap. I had it put together in 15 minutes or so. Here you can see the final results side-by-side with the old version. The new boards aren’t as dark as the previous version. That sometimes happens with OSH Park. Their signature purple color seems to be inconsistent at times. They must use multiple fab houses who’s recipes differ slightly.
It’s hard to see what’s going on after shrinking the images down. It just looks like a bunch of solder blobs, but there’s 6 x 0805 SMD resistors in there.
For the test I just loaded a simple sketch that lights up the LEDs when the buttons are pressed.
It works like a charm. I really like the way that it plugs right into the Vcc and GND rails and fits within one row.