Goal of the ElecX

The ElecX is a fast prototyping platform for electronic circuitries

Figure 1. The ElecX


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 using this strategy makes the breadboards reusable and even consider them to convert into etched PCB's (Printed Circuit Board), so at the end it will be faster. Therefore think about this packaging standard, when breadboarding, even for some small things!

The ElecX standard allows to start with a simple breadboard as if not 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 virtual serial com port via USB to be connected to a PC. Make a master board that contains a USB connector to communicate and get the 5V from the PC, so a PC becomes a master and a power-supply of a ElecX. Place the application specific electronic circuit on a second board. If it works, the PC's might be replaced by small micro-controller. Therefore just un-plug the USB card and insert the micro-controller card.

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 ElecX 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 ElecX 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.

Don't stick to ElecX, 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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