I’ve finally set about building the USB mail alert.
In my previous post, I showed the bread board prototype of my cube hack. Here is the adapted circuit diagram.
Note: There is an error in the diagram 2 is actually D+ and 3 is D-
When laying out circuits, it is a good idea to, start with the largest component first, in this case, the ATTiny45. I want to program the chip first so I am using a DIL socket. This also has the advantage of protecting the chip from excessive heat when soldering. I’d also like to use as small a board as possible so I am limiting the width to six tracks. Place all the components on the board before soldering so you can get an idea of how large the board needs to be. I followed the layout of the breadboard, however I want to make the circuit small so I have mounted the resistors and diodes vertically, with one leg bent back.
I also tried to avoid cutting tracks with the spot cutter and instead used a knife to allow components to be closer to each other. This requires a sharp knife and care must be taken to cut only one track. Soldering is also more challenging, solder sparingly, to avoid bridging across your cuts.
I cut the tracks under the chip; note that the reset pin is left disconnected. If you needed extra IO you can flash the chip to use it as such but after that you can no longer reprogram it so I avoid that as I may use the chips from previous devices in future things.
I soldered the LEDs at the end of their leads, towards the end of the PCB. This means they will be in the center of the difuser. They also have a series resistor to reduce the AVR output voltage from 3.6V to the approriate level. This resistor may not be required with some ultrabright LEDs.
To fit in the cube, I have removed the circuit, the coin cells and cover. The cube is going to be used as a cover for the new circuit so I have just cut a space using a sharp knife allowing space for the LEDs to fit into the diffuser. The circuit is slotted into the empty cube to complete the device. Plug it in and test it using the libusb command line tool, mentioned in a previous post.