Finished the first PCB design of the Helvetios boardgame

posted in: Helvetios, Projects | 0

These last months I’ve been finishing the design of what will be the first circuit of the programmable electronic boardgame Helvetios. It has been a little slow process, due doing it in my free time but mostly due doing it in only one circuit to save cost. In later designs I will continue with the concept of circuits of rows of cells, connected between them. This will allow bigger boards and with more and bigger cells.

The design of this boardgame have 91 cells, and it will be used to develop the control firmware. This software will manage the RGB lightning of the cells, the magnetic Hall sensors and the USB communication with the game master circuit.

Some screenshots of the finished circuit:

Finished circuit, with semitransparent layers.
Top view, with the RGB leds and the Hall sensors.
Detail of the top layer.
Bottom layer, the the leds drivers, microcontroller, power supplies and the connectors.
Detail of the bottom layer.

In the bottom layer there are the connectors. It has an input power supply connector, a micro USB to communicate with the game master circuit, and a power supply output connector to supply this other circuit.

Now starts the manufacturing process of the circuit, that will also be complicated due the lack of components supply situation. It’s very possible that I could not get some critical components like the led drivers or the microcontroller in all this year 2022. The lead time is 2023 for some of them. Also the fact that the circuit has components in both sides implies that not any factory could mount them, it needs two reflow processes to solder all the components.

I will use this this board circuit assembly time to develop the game master circuit, and make designs of the enclosure to house the circuits. So the next updates will be about how I’m doing designing this game master circuit, that will have a raspberry Pi Zero, an oled screen and a button interface so the user could choose the actions and movements. I will also advance some of the boardgame software, mostly the USB driver to test the communications with the Raspberry.

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