Tuesday, 9 December 2014

PocketQube PQ60 Breakout and Prototyping board - ProtoQube!

I haven't added a blog post for a while, so I thought I'd put something out there on the PocketQube front.
I've posted various updates on the OzQube-1 Twitter and Facebook pages, but I'll try an put a bit more info around things here.

Apart from all the PCBs and subsystems I'm making for OzQube-1, I wanted to build something to promote the PocketQube PQ60 form factor, to show that it can be a versatile form factor, not only for satellites. The best way to do this is to make something that people can actually use.

So what better way than to create a breakout and prototyping board based on the PQ60 form factor!
I call it - "ProtoQube!"

The normal backplane connector for a PQ60 is a Hirose FX8C-60 (P or S, depending on whether it's the top or bottom connector). There's a few issues using it as an every-day board though:
  • The pin pitch is .6mm , so it can be a bit tricky to attach wires to the connector pins.
  • There are a choice of connector heights, so specifying one won't suit all purposes
  • It's relatively expensive ( depending on supplier, but some are over $10 each in Australia)
  • It has a limited number of insertion cycles
So I've broken out all the individual circuits to a 1.27mm ( 0.05") pitch connector along the edge of the board. The board can be used with or without a pin header. You could put some female sockets on the top of the board, just like an Arduino. 
In the middle is a regular 2.54mm (.1") pitch protoboard area. All the contacts are gold plated ( ENIG ....)
The board has footprints for both the top and bottom Hirose connector, and each circuit is passed through the board from bottom to top, so they could be used in a PQ60 stack

I'm going to be selling these for $25 through Tindie once they arrive, so send me a message or join the waitlist on Tindie if you're interested! They should be here by Christmas if I'm lucky.

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