Hacking COMPLETED My dongle project, internal/external SAMD Loader with CR2032 Holder

electronrancher

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Hi folks,

Like many here, I spliced a trinket onto a CR2032 battery holder to lash up an external loader dongle. It works, but I decided to whip up a board with SAMD on top and CR2032 holder on bottom to make things a bit easier.

Boards arrived today and I am programming the pick and place to build some up. If it all works out, I'll check the code into github and offer them to folks that are interested.

My intention is to make an external dongle, but I added big D+, D- pads to make an internal install easier as well. Of course, an internal install won't need the CR2032 and some other components, which the board is set up to do as well.

I'll give updates as the project makes progress.

EDIT - The project is done! I'll use this space to give updates. Keep reading the whole thread to enjoy the technical details of the development.

Batch 4 is in stock! Hekate 4 payload below!




What is it? It's a small SAMD21 board with an onboard CR2032 battery holder. It can be used to send fusee gelee payloads

Why did you build it? I wanted a board that was instantly-on, and that I could reprogram with open source tools

How do I get one?
You can PM me or go searching on Tindie. I will sell them here on the site once my account is approved for that, shouldn't be long

How big is it? 24 x 25mm

Can it fit inside my console? Yes, with the battery clip and other tall stuff omitted. I made the USB pads big for easy soldering. PM me, it's easy to set up the build to skip those components.

What do I need to get injecting? A CR2032 battery, a USB micro b to C cable, and an RCM jig. All can be found on ebay or Amazon for a low cost, but I am working on getting both included


Firmware Source Code: (Compile and flash with Arduino, forked from sam-fusee-launcher) (you probably want this one if you want to hack on stuff)
https://github.com/electronrancher/sam-fusee-launcher

Multiloader Source Code: (Compile and flash with Arduino, forked from the V1.0 firmware just above)
https://github.com/electronrancher/SAMD_Fusee_Multiloader

Bootloader Source Code:
(Compile with GCC and flash with SWD, forked from uf2-samdx1) (You probably don't ever need to touch the bootloader, so you may not care about this one)
https://github.com/electronrancher/uf2-samdx1

Pre-Compiled Firmware: Available below. To flash, plug into USB and double click reset. A flash drive will open on PC called FIRMWARE. Take the 3 files from one of the zips and drop them onto the flash drive. Programming takes place as the files are written, so as soon as the transfer completes you can eject and go launching.

Optional Multiloader firmware is also below
  • To use - plug in normally and power on. While searching for Tegra, the device will show 1, 2, or 3 quick blinks to signify which payload is active.
  • To change payload, Ground D1 and hold - The blinking cycle will increment through 1, 2, and 3 blinks. Let go when you desired loader is selected.
  • To store your selection to flash, Ground D0 momentarily. The Activity LED will light for ~1 second to signify your selection being stored.
Get the multiloader UF2 below, all other firmwares below are single-boot.
 

Attachments

  • SAMD21_Loader_hekate_v3p2.zip
    107.3 KB · Views: 130
  • SAMD21_Loader_ReiNX.zip
    70.8 KB · Views: 156
  • SAMD21_Loader_SX-Launcher.zip
    34.3 KB · Views: 170
  • SAMD21_MultiLoader.zip
    164.8 KB · Views: 190
  • SAMD21_Loader_hekate4p0.zip
    103.2 KB · Views: 134
Last edited by electronrancher,

electronrancher

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Ahh, here we go.

Step 1 - pics of the raw boards!

IMAG0512.jpg
 
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electronrancher

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I have an oven but if I did it all again I would honestly just get a toaster oven and use an external reflow controller. If you're going to be doing a bit of smd work but no huge runs, toaster oven is way cheaper and takes up less bench space. :)

And let me know if you ever need anything picked or placed, I would be happy to help.
 

MatinatorX

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I have an oven but if I did it all again I would honestly just get a toaster oven and use an external reflow controller. If you're going to be doing a bit of smd work but no huge runs, toaster oven is way cheaper and takes up less bench space. :)

And let me know if you ever need anything picked or placed, I would be happy to help.

Oh really? I was in the middle of designing a reflow controller for a toaster oven last year but at that point I wasn't doing more than a few boards with no smaller than 0805 components, so I ended up scrapping it and hand soldering everything. The ones on eBay just looked way nicer than my hacked Black & Decker. Do you happen to have a recommended external controller?

Thanks for the offer! I might just take you up on that some day. The SAMD21 looks like it's going to be a pain to solder by hand. I'm planning to get a pick and place in the next 2 years if budget allows as long as some other shiny something doesn't knock it lower on my "want" list!

Edit after watching the video: AAAAAAAAH I WANT ONE
 
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electronrancher

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Oh really? I was in the middle of designing a reflow controller for a toaster oven last year but at that point I wasn't doing more than a few boards with no smaller than 0805 components, so I ended up scrapping it and hand soldering everything. The ones on eBay just looked way nicer than my hacked Black & Decker. Do you happen to have a recommended external controller?

Thanks for the offer! I might just take you up on that some day. The SAMD21 looks like it's going to be a pain to solder by hand. I'm planning to get a pick and place in the next 2 years if budget allows as long as some other shiny something doesn't knock it lower on my "want" list!

Edit after watching the video: AAAAAAAAH I WANT ONE

It's fun to watch, isn't it? What I didn't show was the 5 hours of programming and tuning to make sure all the heights and directions were right. Lots of sticking components to double sided tape, swearing, and pulling them off for another try. :)

A good entry level placer is the zbt3245. No vision, but it's not needed for most components. Still $2500 bucks tho :(

For oven, I use a t962a that I reflashed with the ab engineering firmware. It works well now, but was really hard to calibrate - out of the box it was wrong by +80C and was melting push buttons and switches and scorching my boards. So if I did it again, I'd start with a toaster oven and controller but I have not looked at them for a while so I don't know who's controller is best (and cheapest) these days.

The samd is a pain because the leads don't extend to the sides so you can't verify placement easily before reflow. It should center itself up as long as you get close, but I just use the neoden to place and I can be sure it will be right. But again, a machine like that isn't a good deal unless you make a lot of boards.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Awesome dude Great work there.....

am i still first inline for test board :bow::rolleyes:

Thanks for the kind words, and sure - IF it works and if you want to pay shipping! I'm in the US.
 

Canna

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It's fun to watch, isn't it? What I didn't show was the 5 hours of programming and tuning to make sure all the heights and directions were right. Lots of sticking components to double sided tape, swearing, and pulling them off for another try. :)

A good entry level placer is the zbt3245. No vision, but it's not needed for most components. Still $2500 bucks tho :(

For oven, I use a t962a that I reflashed with the ab engineering firmware. It works well now, but was really hard to calibrate - out of the box it was wrong by +80C and was melting push buttons and switches and scorching my boards. So if I did it again, I'd start with a toaster oven and controller but I have not looked at them for a while so I don't know who's controller is best (and cheapest) these days.

The samd is a pain because the leads don't extend to the sides so you can't verify placement easily before reflow. It should center itself up as long as you get close, but I just use the neoden to place and I can be sure it will be right. But again, a machine like that isn't a good deal unless you make a lot of boards.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------



Thanks for the kind words, and sure - IF it works and if you want to pay shipping! I'm in the US.

Sure were arrange something ... send it as a greeting card tho. those import charges are f king stupid
 

MatinatorX

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It really is fun to watch! Reminds me of the time I saw my first 3D printer do its thing.

I probably spent around 5 hours just prettying up the traces on my own dongle project - I think people like us are just used to long boring hours of swearing and facepalms. :lol:

Really appreciate the feedback, I'm making more and more boards these days in my free time and my employer is thinking about having me make some tester products, so I might find myself with a need to purchase sooner than I thought. I'll likely get one with vision just so I don't need to upgrade again in a few years. I guess the vision sensor only aligns the X and Y axis without any idea on component polarity, kind of like a silhouette? Most of my parts come on 8mm reel these days. Do you make your own stencils for the solder paste?

I see those ovens everywhere on eBay, didn't know you could reflash them to a better firmware. Was it the thermocouple itself that was bad or just software shenanigans? There are some nice looking pick and place machines with 28 feeders, 2 heads and vision that come with that oven as a "gift" for around $4000 on eBay. Not sure how reliable they'd be.

Currently I have a set of PCB grips, tweezers, a magnifying glass and a TS-100 for all my SMD soldering needs, but I'm about one sneeze-and-everything-flies-across-the-room away from changing that.
 
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Status update: Two built up for testing and (almost) all is well.

Turns out the LDO I had leftover from another project are 1.8v, not 3.3v and won't work - Doh, can't believe I spaced on that! Gave me a bit of a heart attack when the power LED didn't even light up, but it was easy to debug once I saw everything was running at 1.8v instead of 3.3v.

Got to get some new ones, but in the meantime I can still run from battery power.



Anyone in San Jose want to run to Halted and pick me up some 3.3v LDOs for FedEx? I'll make it worth your while..
 
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Canna

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Status update: Two built up for testing and (almost) all is well.

Turns out the LDO I had leftover from another project are 1.8v, not 3.3v and won't work - Doh, can't believe I spaced on that! Gave me a bit of a heart attack when the power LED didn't even light up, but it was easy to debug once I saw everything was running at 1.8v instead of 3.3v.

Got to get some new ones, but in the meantime I can still run from battery power.

Anyone in San Jose want to run to Halted and pick me up some 3.3v LDOs for FedEx? I'll make it worth your while..

Cause of the Battery im guessing this is a dongle...

Why not add the c type connector directly to board ?

Looks good tho
 

electronrancher

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Cause of the Battery im guessing this is a dongle...

Why not add the c type connector directly to board ?

Looks good tho


It can be either! If I leave off the battery clip and some other components, it can be an internal install. I added big D+/D- pads to make it easier to solder.

And I decided against the C type connector for a couple of reasons:
1 - Because I wanted to plug it into PC to debug and use the virtual flash drive to drop new firmware on, and none of my PCs are type C.
2 - For internal install, the USB port will be left off entirely and doesn't really matter much
3 - I use a b to c cord, and it makes me a lot less nervous about accidentally busting the connector off if I bump it while it's plugged in

I could make a type c version pretty easily if there is demand. But personally, I think B offers a lot more flexibility.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Status update: It's alive! Got some code tweaks I'd like to make, proof video later. Here is the output of flashing a board with the combined UF2 bootloader + fusee launcher.

 
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electronrancher

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It really is fun to watch! Reminds me of the time I saw my first 3D printer do its thing.

I probably spent around 5 hours just prettying up the traces on my own dongle project - I think people like us are just used to long boring hours of swearing and facepalms. :lol:

Really appreciate the feedback, I'm making more and more boards these days in my free time and my employer is thinking about having me make some tester products, so I might find myself with a need to purchase sooner than I thought. I'll likely get one with vision just so I don't need to upgrade again in a few years. I guess the vision sensor only aligns the X and Y axis without any idea on component polarity, kind of like a silhouette? Most of my parts come on 8mm reel these days. Do you make your own stencils for the solder paste?

I see those ovens everywhere on eBay, didn't know you could reflash them to a better firmware. Was it the thermocouple itself that was bad or just software shenanigans? There are some nice looking pick and place machines with 28 feeders, 2 heads and vision that come with that oven as a "gift" for around $4000 on eBay. Not sure how reliable they'd be.

Currently I have a set of PCB grips, tweezers, a magnifying glass and a TS-100 for all my SMD soldering needs, but I'm about one sneeze-and-everything-flies-across-the-room away from changing that.

It sounds like you've got all you really need for SMD soldering. And I know what you mean about the sneeze, I had a strip of 0603 LEDs pop up off the sticky tape and probably lost about 40 of them! Well not lost, but I need a jewelers loupe to be able to see which side has the green dot, so they might as well be lost as it will take me an hour to put them back in the tape!

For stencils, I just buy them from the board shop I use, pcbway. Stainless steel stencil with aluminum frame etched custom for your board - $15. Kind of hard to beat, I just order one when I make a new project and if you keep it clean it'll last forever.

As far as the vision placer goes, mine is a neoden 4 and it takes a pic of the bottom of each component to measure if it's rotated a bit or off center or anything. Then it knows what correction it needs to make when placing.
The problem is that when I set up components taped down to that board I'm using, I don't know if their original orientation was considered 0 or 90 or what. I usually just guess, then run a placement onto double face tape on the board, and go back to correct orientation on whatever I guessed wrong on!
 

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Status Update - SAMD Loader is alive!

I did most of the code debugging last week as I waited for boards to arrive, so I'm happy to say that the SAMD Loader project is officially up and running (and launching)!



I have firmware files built for hekate and sx launcher, and changing is as easy as any UF2 boot loader - just double reset while connected to PC, and drop the new firmware onto the virtual flash drive that pops up.

My code is spawned from the original UF2 boot loader code, and the trinket launcher. I will clean it up and post to github in a day or so, complete with h files for hekate and sx.

Now it's time to relax and raise a cold one to a fun project with no (big) gremlins. A truly rare occasion!
 
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