Assembling the board

In order to assemble the board, you will need some solder, soldering iron, and some wire. Having extra tools like pliers, wire cutters, third hand, are also useful. Here are all of the pieces that come inside the RoboBrrd Brain Board packet:

Here is the RoboBrrd Brain Board PCB (it's fun to colour it in with some permanent markers!)

  • Front:
  • Back:

All components

Below are listed all of the components for the RoboBrrd Brain Board and where they go on the board. For the items whose place is 'Inside RoboBrrd', we mean that it does not go on the board, but rather connected with wire and mounted inside of the chassis.

Quantity Item Place
4 1k Ω R1, R3, voltage divider w/photocells
1 10k Ω R2
2 150 Ω Red leads on RGB LEDs
4 68 Ω Green & blue leads on RGB LEDs
15 Screw terminals Near outer edge of board (marked with the silkscreen)
1 28 pin socket U1
1 ATmega328-PU Inside socket - U1
1 PCB (It's the pcb!)
1 1N4001 D1 (band towards bottom)
1 Reset switch S1
2 RGB LEDs Inside RoboBrrd
1 LM7805 U2
1 MCP1700 U4 *
5 0.1 uF C6, C7, C8, C10, C12
2 3mm LEDs D3, D2 (square pad is positive)
1 TMP36 Inside RoboBrrd
1 Piezo speaker Inside RoboBrrd
2 Photocells Inside RoboBrrd
2 18 pF C4, C5
1 16 MHz Crystal U3
2 100 uF C3, C11
1 10 uF C9
2 Shorting blocks On J6, J11
1 1x6 M header CONN2
2 2x3 M headers J6, ICSP
1 2.1mm DC jack CONN1
2 1x20 F headers J1, J3, J4, J5 (break to fit)
1 1x40 M header J11, inside RoboBrrd
* Please note that U4 (MCP1700) has its first two pins reversed on the board. We corrected the mistake by soldering it in for you, and covering the exposed leads with hot glue.

Learn Soldering

If you don't know how to solder, here are some resources that you might want to take a look at! Soldering is easy once you know how to do it, and get over the fear of holding a very hot object near your hands. :)

Also, if there is a Maker Faire in your area coming up, check out the Learn to Solder area. There will always be someone there to teach you how to solder, and you will get a cool blinky badge!

Learning to solder is like having a new trick up your sleeve! Oh yeah, and there is a skill badge too!

Once you know how to solder, it's important to know that for this board (and any board for that matter), if you have any cold solder joints or solder bridges (two pads connected to each other when they shouldn't be), it can lead to weird glitches and malfunctions. So always double and triple check your soldering before going on to the next step ^_^

Soldering - Step 1

First four components

The resistors are not polarized, they can be entered into the board any direction. The diode only works in a specific direction: the silver band on the outside of the diode should match with the silkscreen image. In this case, the band will be closer to the southern edge of the board (see photo for illustration).

  • 1. The first components: 10K ohm resistor, 1N4001 diode, and 2x 1k ohm resistors
  • 2. Add components to R2, D1, R3 & R1 respectively. The band on the diode is closest to the bottom edge of the board (see picture and silkscreen)
  • 3. Flip board over to see leads poking through, solder in the leads
  • 4. Cut the leads
  • 5. Inspect soldered pads to ensure they are good (no cold solder joints)- Done!

Soldering - Step 2

Five 0.1uF Caps

Use the capacitors that are not attached to any tape, they are just loose in the bag. These capacitors are not polarized, you can enter them in any direction. They go in to C6, C7, C8, C10, C12, careful to not put them in C4, C5.

  • 1. 5x 0.1uF capacitors. Does not matter what direction they are placed in. Add them to C6, C7, C8, C10, C12
  • 2. Flip board over to see leads poking through, solder in the leads
  • 3. Inspect the solder joints, then cut the leads
  • 4. It should look like this when done

Soldering - Step 3

Crystal and Caps

These caps are different from the ones above, as they are 18pF. They are attached to some tape. These caps are also not polarized, so they can be inserted any way.

  • 1. 2x 18pF capacitors and a 16MHz crystal. Does not matter what direction they are placed in
  • 2. The two caps go in C4 & C5, the crystal goes in U3
  • 3. Solder in the leads
  • 4. Cut the leads
  • 5. Flip board over, this is where the components should be- Done!

Soldering - Step 4

LM7805, Reset Switch, and 1x6 M Header

The reset switch can be entered any way. The LM7805 is entered with the silver part down onto the board. The circle in the silver part should line up with the circle on the silkscreen. See the photos for illustration.

  • 1. 1x6 M 90 degree header, reset switch, and LM7805
  • 2. Place LM7805 into U2 as seen in picture
  • 3. Place male header into CONN2, and reset switch into S1 as seen in picture
  • 4. Tip: solder in one of the first pads of the male header to keep it in place when you flip the board over
  • 5. Flip board over and solder in the components
  • 6. Solder in the LM7805 as well
  • 7. Clip the leads of the LM7805
  • 8. Flip board over, this is where the components should be - Done!

Next: Soldering - Part 2

There's still more components to be soldered! Keep going, on to part 2!

Soldering Part 2