Here is the progression from breadboard to protoboard of the transmitter I mentioned in the last post. There are a couple of minor differences in layout between the two, given the protoboard is half the size, but the only obvious change is that I opted for a 3 pin connector for the status LED, instead of soldering it in. This leaves the option open to use a Neopixel in the future – but probably only one, as I had to really trim back the code to get this stable on the Atmel Attiny 84 micro controller.
I’ve also used the Adafruit Perma-Protoboard for this. Yes, it’s probably a whole dollar more for a board this size, but it’s worth it. The mask makes it really clean and easy to work with, the through-holes are plated and not too small, and it’s rigid and thick enough that you know it’s as good as permanent.
Although this transmitter / Vex RC decoder isn’t really needed as part of the operational rover plan, it’s a handy first step in field testing by enabling simple remote controlled drives. I should be able to provide a demo video of both halves of the transmit/receive pairs range performance in the next few days. Long range isn’t a requirement, however I need to know what kinds of limits I should be working within when directly driving the rover.
It’s not bad for an evenings tinkering. There are a couple of things I would do differently, but as a proto board it’s not really important, and it’s unlikely I’d bother to do a PCB version, as the data rate is so slow. For the time investment compared to performance I should have used Synapse wireless modules, and I still might, once I can demonstrate that it’s worthwhile to pursue.