The Akafugu Blog

pnp1 These are the default stand-offs that came with our MDC pick and place machine.

While assembling a medium-sized PCB panel, we found a problem with the stand-offs. The larger the PCB, the more flexible it is, and without proper support underneath, the PCB would move up and down as much as 0.5-1.5mm when the machine was placing components. This was enough to make some of the previously placed parts to bounce off the PCB and become unaligned.

After measuring, we saw that the PCB is located about 38.0 mm above the base plate of the machine. The height of the stand-offs is set by the securing the nut against the base of the stand-off. It is quite tricky to get the correct height, and a difference of only 0.5 mm can be quite substantial on a large panel. pnp2

To get our stand-offs better aligned, we prepped them with more bolts and washers. This makes it easier to come as close to 38 mm as possible. You can see the results in the picture below: pnp3 pnp4

Part1: DIY tray for MDC Pick and Place machine
Part2: Explaining CON/con parts for MDC Luna machines
Part3: Better precision with PCB stand-offs.

We’ve just updated the Arduino package bundled with Akafugu libraries to version 1.0.6.

You can use this package to install the Arduino IDE, and compile any of our firmwares hosted on Github.

If you already have the Arduino IDE installed, you can instead use the Akafugu Libraries package.

Arduino IDE with Akafugu Libraries included:

Akafugu Libraries package (use if you already have Arduino 1.0 or newer installed):

pnp0

For the MDC Pick&Place machine the unofficial guide from PLECTER LABS (link here) is very good to get you started. It has a wide range of parts explained very throughly. As a small contribution to the community here is our explaination of the CON/con part for connectors.

CON/con is checked with bottom vision (Lv=27) and just like other parts, Pt and W has special meanings. As with example CAP/cap, the difference between CON and con is only the orientation.

For our connector these are the values we used:

Part Nozzle X Y Pt W Thick LunaVis TS Level Type
Slide switch 2 6.7 3.7 1.3 0.4 1.1 127 60 1 con

pnp1 pnp2

Y describes the overall width of the component. X describes the length between the outer leads of the connector. Just as other LV=27 parts, Pt and W are here the dimensions of the checking window that limits the lead search field of view.

As you can see, we specified the overall length of the part instead of the length between the leads and thus had to increase Pt to get the leads in view.

Is seems that all MDC Luna machines (LUNA EXP NX (77xxFV), Luna PPP-1, Luna PPPII, etc) use the same format.

Here are some picture from the teaching window when checking this part:

pnp3 pnp4

Part1: DIY tray for MDC Pick and Place machine
Part2: Explaining CON/con parts for MDC Luna machines
Part3: Better precision with PCB stand-offs.

Now available in our store: VFD Modular Clock IV-4 6-digit and matching acrylic enclosure.

This new shield design for the VFD Modular Clock is a variant of the original IV-4 shield, but with 6 digits. IV-4 tubes are Russian 16-segment VFD tubes, and can display numerals and the letters A-Z.

We’ve also designed a completely new enclosure for the IV-4 6-digit shield. It uses 2mm semi-transparent blue acrylic, and is designed to give a low-profile rounded appearance.

Creating a 6-digit IV-4 shield without redesigning the base board presented a unique challenge: The HV5812 driver used to drive the VFD tubes has 20 channels. IV-4 tubes are 16 segment displays, 20 - 16 = 4, so in other words the HV5812 driver can only support 4 IV-4 tubes.

Fortunately, there are two free GPIO pins that are available for use by shields, so we decided to use those to drive the two extra digits. To drive VFDs, we need a push-pull driver, for example a combination of a NPN and a PNP transistor. We used the approach described for the In-Grid clock, on this page.

Compatibility:

  • Directly compatible with base board version 2.0 and above. Firmware version 1.3 or later required (released 2014.04.20) - Clocks in our shop already ship with the correct firmware.
  • Not compatible with base board version 1.0. (It is possible to get it to work, but will require some modifications and hacking both to the base board and the firmware)
  • Compatible with both IV-4 and IV-17 tubes. Currently we are shipping with IV-4 tubes.

Related products:

Blog Archive

  • APR 28 2014: Updated Product - The Akafugu Nixie Clock 3.0
  • APR 28 2014: SO, SOP, TSOP, which is which?
  • APR 22 2014: Coming Soon - Akafugu Nixie Clock version 3
  • APR 10 2014: Xmegaduino beta5 released!
  • APR 07 2014: DIY tray for MDC Pick and Place machine
  • JAN 05 2014: New Product - Diet Nixie
  • DEC 09 2013: New Product - VFD Modular Clock IV-18
  • NOV 24 2013: New products from Freetronics
  • NOV 06 2013: To customers who bought VFD Modular Clock at Maker Faire Tokyo
  • OCT 23 2013: Halloween Spooky Eyes Decoration
  • SEPT 12 2013: VFDDeluxe Firmware v1.1 Released
  • AUG 20 2013: Vetinari Clock Rock
  • AUG 10 2013: Obon Sale
  • JULY 28 2013: New Product - Cmoy Headphone Amplifier Kit
  • JULY 18 2013: New Product - RGB LED Cube
  • JULY 08 2013: Product updates - VFD Modular Clock and The Akafugu Nixie Clock
  • JULY 01 2013: Visit to Fab Cafe in Shibuya
  • JUNE 04 2013: Alternate firmware for LED Candle
  • MAY 30 2013: VFD Modular Clock Raspberry PI Edition Sneak Preview
  • MAY 01 2013: New Product - IV-22 6-digit VFD Modular Clock Shield
  • APR 17 2013: Akafugu products on display in Osaka
  • APR 16 2013: Raspberry Pi Reference Sheet from Surrey Hampshire Hackspace
  • APR 02 2013: New Product - Vetinari Clock
  • MAR 14 2013: New Product - Four Letter Word Generator add-on
  • FEB 27 2013: Diet Nixie Sneak Preview
  • FEB 07 2013: Reprogramming the VFD Modular Clock
  • FEB 04 2013: VFD Soldering Class Pictures
  • JAN 31 2013: Arduino Spectrum Analyzer
  • JAN 30 2013: Nixie Clock Firmware Issue Discovered
  • JAN 30 2013: Reprogramming the Akafugu Nixie Clock and Simpleclock
  • JAN 21 2013: Nixie clock back in stock
  • JAN 20 2013: Nixie and VFD clock classes at Tokyo Hacker Space
  • JAN 05 2013: Nixie Clock Out of Stock
  • JAN 04 2013: VFD Modular Clock IV-4/IV-17 and IV-6 Shield Pinouts
  • JAN 02 2013: Awesome VFD Modular Clock Case
  • DEC 21 2012: Christmas and New Year Break and Sale
  • DEC 10 2012: New firmware for Simpleclock
  • DEC 08 2012: VFD Modular Clock kit contents update
  • DEC 05 2012: Thank you everyone that visited us at Maker Faire Tokyo 2012
  • DEC 05 2012: Using TWILCD with Adafruit RGB displays
  • DEC 04 2012: Interesting blog - Using an Arduino to program ATTiny chips
  • NOV 28 2012: Preparing for Maker Faire
  • NOV 21 2012: Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale
  • NOV 15 2012: Testing serial devices with Akafuino L
  • NOV 13 2012: New Version 1.0.2 of Arduino Released
  • OCT 29 2012: Nixie Clock enclosure
  • OCT 28 2012: Halloween Sale
  • OCT 17 2012: Teensy 3.0 support for our TWI/I2C products
  • OCT 13 2012: Our shop is now available in Japanese
  • OCT 08 2012: New Nixie class at Tokyo Hacker Space
  • OCT 06 2012: Akafugu at Maker Faire Tokyo 2012
  • OCT 05 2012: Two new schematics added
  • OCT 01 2012: VFD Modular Clock - Problem Fix Advisory and Firmware Update
  • SEPT 30 2012: Akafuino X schematic
  • SEPT 28 2012: Soldering classes at Tokyo Hacker Space
  • SEPT 25 2012: QR-code on invoices
  • SEPT 24 2012: Nixie Clock schematics and firmware
  • SEPT 21 2012: New Product - The Akafugu Nixie Clock
  • SEPT 15 2012: New Product - ProjectBox for Arduino
  • SEPT 14 2012: Suntory Espressoda - review
  • SEPT 09 2012: Sneak preview
  • SEPT 08 2012: Back in stock! VFD Modular Clock - Enclosure - IV-17/IV-4 and TWI 7-seg Display compact stand
  • SEPT 07 2012: From the mail...
  • SEPT 06 2012: VFD Modular Clock Update - Now shipping with IV-4 tubes
  • SEPT 04 2012: TWILCD together with OLED
  • SEPT 03 2012: MENWIZ together with TWILCD
  • AUG 31 2012: Making a Pick & place machine, part 2
  • AUG 22 2012: Tokyo HackerSpace Moving In Party
  • AUG 14 2012: Back in stock! TWILCD and Akafuino X
  • AUG 10 2012: New Product - TWIDisplay 8-digit LCD
  • AUG 09 2012: New Reference Files for VFD Modular Clock, part 2
  • AUG 08 2012: New Reference Files for VFD Modular Clock
  • JULY 20 2012: Summer break
  • JULY 06 2012: Making a Pick & place machine, part 1
  • JULY 05 2012: Microcontroller Reference Sheet SMD v1.0
  • JUNE 27 2012: New Product - Akafuino L
  • JUNE 16 2012: New Product Reviews
  • JUNE 13 2012: USB and serial ports on Arduino Leonardo
  • MAY 23 2012: New Product - DS3231M Real Time Clock Breakout
  • MAY 22 2012: New Product - Simpleclock
  • APR 24 2012: New Products
  • APR 19 2012: 4x40 display and big numbers
  • APR 16 2012: TWIDisplay .net Micro Library
  • APR 09 2012: Xmegaduino beta4 released!
  • APR 09 2012: Avr-gcc 4.5.1, Avr-libc 1.7.1 and delay problems
  • APR 06 2012: New product - TWILCD 40x2/40x4/RGB edition
  • MAR 22 2012: New Product - Smoke Black Acrylic Stand for TWIDisplay
  • MAR 16 2012: New Microchip 25AA02E48 arduino library
  • MAR 15 2012: ATXMega Reference Sheet v1.0
  • MAR 05 2012: TWILCD Compatibility
  • MAR 02 2012: Electronics Reference Sheet v1.0
  • FEB 29 2012: Four Letter Word Generator PART 2 - EEPROM Programmer
  • FEB 13 2012: VFD Modular Clock Review
  • FEB 08 2012: Four Letter Word Generator
  • FEB 02 2012: New version of the Microcontroller Reference Sheet with Arduino-tiny pinouts
  • JAN 20 2012: Xmega Overclocking
  • JAN 10 2012: New Product - Shift Register Breakout Board
  • JAN 05 2012: Now in stock - Akafuino X
  • JAN 02 2012: VFD Clock Updates
  • DEC 22 2011: Opening Hours During the Holiday
  • DEC 20 2011: New Product - TWILCD
  • DEC 17 2011: Now In Stock - Serial and ISP Breadboard Adapter
  • DEC 03 2011: New Products
  • DEC 01 2011: Arduino 1.0 is out
  • NOV 25 2011: Using the Wire library with the Xmegaduino Arduino IDE
  • NOV 20 2011: VFD Modular Clock
  • NOV 15 2011: Meet the Akafuino X
  • OCT 31 2011: Eagle 3D models with EagleUp
  • OCT 01 2011: Microcontroller reference sheet
  • SEPT 28 2011: uA-meter Thermometer