Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bus Pirate v4 Assembly

     I got lucky enough to get a free PCB from Dangerous Prototypes a little over a month ago. I finally finished assembling it last night. It was my first time soldering SMD components, but it was worth it. I also got to use my homemade hotplate for the first time with no problems. I used this solder paste. I really only used the hotplate for the TQFP (Thin Quad Flat Pack) PIC chip and it worked out very nicely. The rest of the components I hand soldered with a bunch of time, patience, and flux.

     I ordered all my parts from I ran into a problem with their website that really cost me a great deal of time. I ordered (what I thought was) a 10K resistor array. The website stated that it was a 10K array so I put it in my order. When I finally got the part, I was testing it with my multimeter when I realized it certainly wasn't 10K. Turns out they sent me a 100K resister array. I called their customer service number and told them that I received the wrong part and that I am ordering a few more components and I'd like them to check and make sure the parts weren't mislabeled. When I recieved my order a few days later, I got a few more 100K resistor networks. I checked the website and found the problem -- although it was under the title 10Kohm resisitor network, the part number was "CR0603-JW-104ELF". 104, clearly a 100K part. After calling them again they corrected the problem and sent me more 10K resistor networks than I'd ever need. Although customer service was very nice each time I called, make sure to really check what you think you're ordering before you place your order.

     The biggest problem is that, due to my excitement of finally getting a PCB coupon code, I ordered the Bus Pirate v4 -- a new prototype version meant for developers. Because nothing for this project is set in stone, I'm having a hard time finding information about it. I have a programmer, but I don't even know which bootloader I am supposed to use. If anybody has any information about programming this chip, let me know. Also, if a developer happens to want this board, I can sell it at cost of the components -- learning to solder it was worth it in itself.

     I know I'll be getting a user-friendly Bus Pirate v3 with my next PCB code.

Finished and powered on


  1. Until today there was no bootloader for this. Check back on the dangerousprototypes web site for the latest.

    Nice work putting it together. I'm just Kitting-up to start soldering SMD for the first time myself.


  2. Thank you, I just saw that post myself. I'll try and flash it this weekend and hopefully it'll work out. I'll probably write a new post with my results.

  3. Thanks for creating this great informational resource.