Original HEXBUG Delta power switch repair

Recently my son brought me his Hexbug with a broken power switch. If you are not familiar with the Hexbug it feels its way around sensing objects in its path and avoiding them using its bump sensor feelers.

Hexbug Delta in need of a new power switch

The power switch is located on the rear of the bug and has a long plastic actuator. After so many uses the plastic broke off and the only way you could turn the bug on or off was with a sharp pointy thing. Having a peak under the cover of the Hexbug it looked like something that could be replaced. Here are the steps I took to repair the power switch on the original Hexbug.

Remove the battery cover and batteries.
Remove the battery cover and battery

Remove the top cover of the bug.
I was able to pop out some of the plastic connections from the top without breaking them but others wouldn’t come out. For those I cut the remaining connections off with a utility knife. The cover still went back on OK and stayed connected after I was finished.
Remove the top of the Hexbug

Cut the leads of the old switch.
Cut the pins off the old power switch

Remove the old switch from the circuit board.
The original switch is attached with solder on each side of the switch.
The power switch removed

Using solder wick clean up the old solder from the switch holes on the PCB.
Remove the solder from the power switch solder pads

Find a new switch with the same pin spacing
The closest switch I had on hand was from E-switch part number EG1218. The pin spacing matched but the switch was a straight pinned version instead of a right angled one. Bend the leads of the switch prior to installing it on the board to work at a right angle.
Replace with a new switch from E-Switch P/N:EG1218

Solder the new switch onto the PCB.
The two pins on the right are on the same net so it’s OK to connect them together.
Bend the leads of the switch to make it right angle. Then solder the pins into the PCB. The two pins on the right can be soldered together.

Re-install the top, batteries and battery cover.
We have a working Hexbug again!
Fully operational Hexbug again!

Photos from the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire

Another great year at the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire! Check out my photos from the event on Flickr.

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Raspberry Pi add-on board prototypes

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014
For the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire I decided to display the Raspberry Pi add-on prototypes we currently have in development. We created a display for Maker Faire with the prototype cards running to get people’s feedback and help us decide what projects to put into production. The goals for these add-on cards are to be small, educational and inexpensive. These add-on cards will retail for prices ranging from $8 to $15.

We got great feedback at Maker Faire and plan to put a couple of the projects into production. But we would like to get even more feedback, so have a look at the projects below and let us know what you think of them. Which ones you like, which ones should go into production and if there is anything you would change.

PI-Traffic

PI-TRAFFIC
The Pi Traffic light is a vertical add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with three 10mm LEDs connected to the GPIO header. This add-on card could be sold as a kit or fully assembled. The LEDs are connected to GPIO pins GPIO9, GPIO10 and GPIO11.

PI-LEDSMT

PI-LEDSMT
The PI-LEDSMT is a vertical add-on card for the Raspberry Pi that has LEDs on all of the GPIO pins of the GPIO header. This add-on card would be sold fully assembled. Using this add-on card allows the user to see all the activity on the GPIO pins.

PI-LED4

PI-LED4
The PI-LED4 is an add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with four right angle surface mount LEDs connected to the GPIO pins on a horizontal PCB that fits over the GPIO header. This add-on card would be sold fully assembled. The four right angle surface mount LEDs are connected to GPIO pins GPIO02, GPIO07, GPIO08 and GPIO11.

PI-LEDRAKIT

PI-LEDRAKIT
The PI-LEDRAKIT is an add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with three right angle through hole LEDs connected to the GPIO pins on a horizontal PCB that fits over the GPIO header. This add-on card uses all through hole parts and would be sold as a kit. The three right angle LEDs are connected to GPIO pins GPIO07, GPIO08 and GPIO11.

PI-LEDKIT

PI-LEDKIT
The PI-LEDKIT is an add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with two through hole LEDs connected to the GPIO pins on a horizontal PCB that fits over the GPIO header. This add-on card uses all through hole parts and would be sold as a kit. The two 5mm LEDs are connected to GPIO pins GPIO07 and GPIO08.

PI-BUTTON5

PI-BUTTON5
The PI-BUTTON5 is an add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with five input buttons and two output LEDs connected to the GPIO header. This add-on card would be sold fully assembled. The five input buttons are connected to GPIO07, GPIO08, GPIO09, GPIO10 and GPIO11. The two LEDs are connected to GPIO02 and GPIO03.

PI-IRKIT

PI-IRKIT
The PI-IRKIT is an add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with an IR receiver IC to enable the use of standard infrared remotes with the Raspberry Pi. This add-on card uses all through hole parts and would be sold as a kit and fits over just half the GPIO header pins. The IR receiver is connected to GPIO18 of the Raspberry Pi GPIO header.

PI-IRSMT

PI-IRSMT
The PI-IRSMT is an add-on card for the Raspberry Pi with an IR receiver IC to enable the use of standard infrared remotes with the Raspberry Pi. This add-on card would be sold fully assembled and fits over just half the GPIO header pins. A surface mount LED is included on the card that flashes when there is activity on the IR input. The IR receiver is connected to GPIO18 of the Raspberry Pi GPIO header.

Please leave a comment below or send a tweet to @LowVoltageLabs.

2014 Bay Area Maker Faire starts today

The 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire starts today. The Low Voltage Labs and Samurai Circuits booth is located the Expo building, booth #330. Hope to see you there.

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Visit Low Voltage Labs at the Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

The Bay Area Maker Faire is only a few days away. Visit the Low Voltage Labs booth located in Raspberry Pi section of the Expo building.

http://makerfaire.com/makers/low-voltage-labs/

Come by and see some of the new products we will be showing off.
Flashlight PCB kit

Raspberry Pi GPIO business card in orange

Basketball medals

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