I just found out that schmartboard.com, has released a new PSOC development board priced at $25 (does not includes a PSOC) and if ordered before april 7th using a coupon it will come with a free PSOC5 with a bootloader on it.
What makes this board unique is that it can accomodate diferent PSOC3 or PSOC5 devices (and I suspect also PSOC4s) that can be easily soldered using their EZ technology.
The board also includes a nice bost converter, but unlike the freesoc it does not include a programmer/debuger so you will still need a miniprog or a bootloader.
What I dont like is tha it is too wide. I would have liked if they used a blade style board.
What do you guys think about it?
A balde layout also useful.
For dip style you can get proto blocks that are also wider so more available
female pin connection holes exposed.
The board looks quite nice, and with $25 it's rather inexpensive. But shipping is really expensive - to get this to Germany I would pay additional $37 😞
Schmartboard sent me a sample already and I've ordered a PSoC 3 to try in it. The board is very clean and well made. I'm not sure about the logic in the pin out arrangement, but I expect all to be revealed. And I'm about to buy a couple of the specials from their site -- the unit with a PSoC5LP for $25 bucks. (Note that on first attempt the free upgrade didn't work yet. But the offer is good through Sunday.)
Us developers now have a terrific tradeoff between the Schmartboard offering and the FREESOC product. It's great to have the choice. With the FREESOC you get the unit with a chip and bootloader installed. With the Schmartboard you get to pick your chip -- any of the 68L QFN parts including PSoC3 and, we presume, PSoC 4. So all of a sudden it's low cost prototyping heaven.
Anybody who is skittish about hand soldering on the Schmartboard needn't be worried. Soldering 68 pins is a little tedious, but requires only a good quality soldering iron. I use a trusty rusty Hakko 928 with an S tip, but there are good, less expensive solutions.
My only problem now is that I have a queue of about 15 PSoC projects I want to work... So many IO pins... so little time.
Here's a link to the schematic of the new Schmartboard:
the key to solder schmartboards is to use good quality flux. The chip aligns itself with the traces, apply some flux and all that is needed is to pass a tinned tip over the traces and it is done. quite easy you can't fail.
When soldering SMT packages like PSOC do not put ANY force
on pins/solder, as pins will mnove off pad. Get some junk parts off
SMT off ebay, and try soldering to some boards. You may be able to
get reject boards from a PCB house to practice on.
There are some youtube videos using solder paste/flux combo, and a
toaster oven, for reflow, bare as well as partially populated boards.