10 Professional PCBs for $ 2 with JLCPCB – Ard-LoRa Prototypes

 

In my last tests I have used platforms like ESP8266 implementing LoRa modulation and in some applications with LoRaWAN, in this opportunity I will use the Arduino platform and I will manufacture a prototype I have contacted again to JLCPCB that they offer a PCB manufacturing service at a very reasonable price.

In this opportunity I will use an Arduino Pro mini and a LoRa module RFM95 for the creation of LoRa nodes and in more advanced applications to implement LoRaWAN, since I do not have the time, the skills and the quality. I have decided to do my design and send it to JLCPCB to manufacture my pcb.

Materials and Lora node connections

In this case I will not show you how to make a prototype … we will make 10 of 100mm x 100mm for 2 dollars !!! in 3 steps.

Recomendado: Versión de este articulo en Español: 10 PCB Profesionales por $ 2 con JLCPCB – Prototipos Ard-LoRa

About JLCPCB

JLCPCB (Shenzhen JIALICHUANG Electronic Technology Development Co., Ltd.), is the largest PCB prototype company in China and a high-tech manufacturer specializing in rapid PCB prototypes and PCB production of small batches, excellent for our projects.

How to make 10 prototypes at once

Only in 3 Steps:

1. Design

We can use the electronic design software we want, in my case I have chosen KiCAD as the most suitable design platform in my applications since it is free of restrictive licenses and has a wide range of libraries,

Schematic Diagram

  • Check design rules “Electrical Rules check”.
  • Export Netlist.

Assign components to their respective encapsulation

  • Note: Check the sizes in the viewer correctly.

PCB design

  • Import Netlist.
  • Perform DRC checks.

Finished PCB

  • 2 layers
  • Manually Routed

Top layer

Bottom layer

Both layers

Recommendation: For a more detailed explanation step by step I recommend watching the full video Both Layers 10 Prototypes PCB’s for $2 !!! JLCPCB – Ard-LoRa V1.0 #LoRa #LoRaWAN #IoT : PDAControl  available on our Youtube PDAControl.

KiCAD 3D viewer:

Viewer included in KiCAD that allows to preview the finish of our design.

Recomendado: Versión de este articulo en Español: 10 PCB Profesionales por $ 2 con JLCPCB – Prototipos Ard-LoRa

2. Generate GERBER File

Gerber is a file format that contains the information necessary for the manufacture of the printed circuit board or PCB. The most common standard today is the RS-274X, 1 although there are other less frequent ones.

 Wikipeda: Gerber

All PCB design software allows to generate them:

Generate a .zip compressed file, with the generated files, in my case these 8 files.

Recommendation: For a more detailed explanation step by step I recommend watching the full video Both Layers 10 Prototypes PCB’s for $2 !!! JLCPCB – Ard-LoRa V1.0 #LoRa #LoRaWAN #IoT : PDAControl  available on our Youtube PDAControl.

3. Create order and manufacture of pcb JLCPCB

Login to https://jlcpcb.com/

Sign up  JLCPCB .

Enter initial design parameters:

Upload gerber files.

Characteristics of the PCBs in my case:

I do not require any special or additional features on my pcb.

Add to cart.

 

Recomendado: Versión de este articulo en Español: 10 PCB Profesionales por $ 2 con JLCPCB – Prototipos Ard-LoRa

Delivery and Payment

Fill the form complete with data.

Package delivery address:

Select delivery method, have 2:

DHL very fast but expensive.

Registered Air Mail low cost but it takes your time but it arrives perfectly, everything depends on the personal urgency for the PCBs and therefore reflected in the cost of the shipment, I have used both services and perfect !!.

Select payment method, allow Credit Cards and Paypal.

Finally PAY and verify that the order has been loaded correctly.

Recommendation: For a more detailed explanation step by step I recommend watching the full video Both Layers 10 Prototypes PCB’s for $2 !!! JLCPCB – Ard-LoRa V1.0 #LoRa #LoRaWAN #IoT : PDAControl  available on our Youtube PDAControl.

The PCBs arrived

Some days later my pcb arrived.

Recomendado: Versión de este articulo en Español: 10 PCB Profesionales por $ 2 con JLCPCB – Prototipos Ard-LoRa

Assembly

We will use an Arduino pro mini and a module loRa rfm95.

 

Video: 10 Prototypes PCB’s for $2 !!! JLCPCB – Ard-LoRa V1.0

In this video the manufacturing process will be detailed step by step.

 

Conclusiones

In the next tutorials we will carry out basic LoRa communication tests and more complex tests with LoRaWAN and maybe connect it with the The Things Network platform.

Some pins for i2c and ADC’s have been made available in arduino pro mini.

Warning: the module RFM95 works at 3.3v should use an arduino pro mini to 3.3v, the version of 5v would burn the module LoRa, although I have not done tests in some forums indicate that removing the controller from the arduino, if you do not want complications buy it at 3.3v I recommend them.

To end thanks to JLCPCB for the excellent manufacturing service.

References

 

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