Goal of the ElecBox

The ElecBox is a fast prototyping platform for electronic circuitries

Figure 1. The ElecBox

elecbox


In prototyping, the same circuitries have to be breadboarded again and again.

(Breadboarding = soldering electronic components manually onto a prototyping universal PCB and wire them up).

What follows here takes longer than breadboarding. However if this strategy has been accepted, you find after a while circuits to be reused and other circuits even have etched PCB's (Printed Circuit Board), so you will end up to be faster. Therefore think about this packaging standard, when you breadboard, even when you do some small things!

The Elecbox standard allows to start with a simple breadboard as you would do it without knowing this standard. But when knowing this standard the breadboard will fit into a mechanical box next to nicely modules.

Example 1. Do it better?

Lots of of simple electronics make use of the PC's parallel port. Make a master board that contains a Parallel Port connector and probably a USB connector to get the 5V from the PC, so a PC becomes a master and a power-supply of a ElecBox. Place the electronic circuit on a second board. If it works, you might replace the PC's parallel port interface with a small micro-controller. Therefore you just have to un-plug the Parallel Port PC card and insert the micro-controller card.

Writing this, I have to ask myself, how many PC parallel port adapters, I already have soldered and most of them ended up in the trash. Next time I promise to do it properly and do it the ElecBox way!


Some modern components are just available in SMD (Surface Mount Device) and therefore it is a significant effort to solder them. It would be nice to have a etched PCB for that. Working with small adapter PCB is the way out when breadboarding, but it is quite a hack and fragile. Therefore solder them to a ElecBox card and use them in different applications is very desirable.

The result of the prototype should have some aesthetic aspects and also have a certain robustness.

The aim of the ElecBox is to have modules that can be reused to increase efficient prototyping. If volume goes up or some of the PCB's satisfy, they could be replaced by etched PCB's.

You don't have to stick to ElecBox, if once a configuration satisfies, it could be easily repacked in to a smaller mechanical enclosure.

Copyright stuff

An other goal is to share this specification with other people to create an open hardware platform. Once reached a certain quantity, the tool cost can be shared as well as the volume discount.

As usual when money gets involved, some thoughts should be made before:

The intellectual property stays at the developer and the usage of it remains free. The design can be copied, distributed and modified, however the original developer has to be indicated. New and modified designs shall also be free. When hardware (etched, PCB, mechanical parts and full function devices) is sold, it shall be allowed to resell it.

In simple words it should be something as Open Hardware and GPL for hardware.


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