Open sourcing the PCB of the ultimate cloud cat feeder
Dirty cheap PCB will make your life MUCH easier.
The ultimate, cloud cat feeder
If you haven’t seen it before, this post is about the ultimate cloud cat feeder. See the product demo here.
As I was putting the electronics together while testing it with Arduino on a breadboard, I went ahead and soldered it permanently, creating this disgusting spaghetti:
One day, something there failed… and this event immediately gave me undoubtful hint that it’s time to design a PCB. I’ve downloaded Fritzing - a Grasshopper friendly, open-source program for designing circuits, boards, etc. Few hours later, I’ve created this:
After ordering PCB and waiting… a while, I got this:
Putting it together was a bliss. Given prices of a double-sided board these days - imported, with shipping = ~15$ for 3 pieces (!!!), I really wish I didn’t do it before. Here is the end result:
Find the files here: TheUltimateCloudCatFeeder-PCB - GitHub repository
Bill Of Materials
|1||Stepper Driver - Pololu A4988||link|
|9||Jumper cap, 2.54mm||link|
|4||JST Connector, 2.54mm, 3pin||link|
|2||JST Connector, 2.54mm, 4pin||link|
|2||JST Connector, 2.54mm, 5pin||link|
|1||JST Connector, 2.54mm, 7pin||link|
|1||DIP8 Socket, 2.54mm||link|
|1||MH-ET LIVE ESP32 Development Board||link|
|few||Female&Male Pin Headers, 2.54mm||link|
|1||28BYJ-48 Stepper Motor + ULN2003 Driver||link|
|~0.5m||WS2812B RGB LED Strip, 144 pixels/m, 5V||link|
|1||DC-DC Step Down Power Supply Module, 3A (9V->5V)||link|
|1||200g Load Cell||link|
|2||10kg Load Cell||link|
|4||Ceramic Capacitor, 100nF, 6.3V|
|4||Electrolytic capacitors, for example 250uF|
|2||A3141 Hall Sensor|
|1||DS18B20 Temperature Sensor||link|
|1||9V 2A Power Supply|
|1||100mm x 5mm Stainless Steel Ground Shaft Round Rod||link|
|1||32DP 5mm 17T Motor Pinion Gear||link|
Note: the links are non-affiliate. Do not treat them as a recommended source of parts. Those are just to get details about the element, in case I forgot to include any details here.
What needs improvement?
Opsss, I forgot to add the temperature sensor to the board! Next version should for sure include it. Also, when programming the microcontroller, one need to press the button on the ESP32 board, which - taking into account how hard it is to disassemble the cat feeder - can be cumbersome.
What worked well?
So far, the cat feeder works with this electronics version for 3+ months, continuously. Fingers crossed for the future!
You can find more details on the cat feeder (building progress, features, technical details) here - all posts with cat-feeder tag.
Please note: the views I express are mine alone and they do not necessarily reflect the views of Amazon.com.