New case and PCB Design - Prototypes

I've been upgrading the case and PCB design into a new form factor, one that looks much more like a gun. Compared to the first prototypes, this has a number of advantages:

  1. Easier to aim
  2. Easier to see the OLED screen while aiming
  3. Has indicator LED's to indicate if you have tagged someone or have been tagged yourself, and these indicator LED's are also easy to see
  4. Uses three AA's instead of six, using a boost converter
  5. Easier to hold with one hand

I made a quick prototype on a perforated breadboard, and it's starting to come together:

Prototype Version 0.98_0

Also, I've been adding more hardware since the last PCB's that I've made, like the OLED, indicator LED's, and the HC-12 wireless transceivers. So, I added the new hardware, changed the size to fit in the new case and uploaded the files to OSH park.

$104 for three boards!

I'm used to these being $20 to $50 depending on how big they are. So I tried PCBWay. $95 for 5 boards. If I was making a couple hundred, then the price per board would be lower, but that was more than I wanted to spend on the prototype. So, I redesigned the board a little bit so that it was a bit smaller. It came in at a more manageable $60 at OSH park. Plus, when I have more time, I can panelize it to make the boards more cost efficient, as there are now three boards per device. But, I'll do that later after I've tested the thing and determined if the design actually works. I ended up getting them a Seeed Studio, as they had the cheapest boards for these dimensions. 


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