Building my first through-hole board

This week for Homemade Hardware, we finally began to mill our through-hole boards. We are making a marquee sign that reads “It worked before”, and I am going to make an O.

First, we used Eagle to design our schematics and our board.

My circuit board:

My O:

Milling my board was not as hard as I thought it’d be. The only issue I ran into was when the mill encountered a piece of my board that wasn’t taped well to the machine. The bits and everything else worked great!

Soldering everything together was the biggest pain. I appreciate all the practice I’m getting though, and I definitely have noticed an improvement in my soldering skills as this project progressed. Beep testing my boards and hearing that everything is working is one of the most satisfying feelings ever.

I ran into one problem where the copper connecting my AT-tiny85 to the transistor was scratched off, so I soldered a connection together and it ended up working.

Here’s a video of my working board & letter.