to design my own boards and have them made into PCBs.
I was able to find some help on various forums from users
of the Eagle software (see sidebar), so that’s the program I
chose to go with.
After many nights with little sleep, I felt I finally had a
PICAXE board that was ready to share. I proudly posted it
so all my mentors could see it and sing its praises. Sadly, it
was not to be. Suggestions included cleaner layout
options, better ways to run my traces, and improvements
to consider in future revisions. I quickly learned that you
must be ready for alternate ideas and constructive
criticism if you’re going to make your designs public.
Although I was a little disappointed, I took my list of
suggestions and made the necessary adjustments, and the
EZ4 came to be. As a result, I had a better board design
and I had learned some valuable lessons.
The board worked fine but new ideas for its
improvement came to mind, and now the board has a
power light, a download jack instead of header pins that
require an adapter, dual power inputs, and access to six
pins instead of only four (Figure 4A and Figure 4B).
This board has many uses. I primarily utilize it to run
LED lights like my fireflies and bat eyes, or to run a
random head code for a three-axis skull (Figure 5) or other
servo projects like my Parrot (Figure 6). When I began
70 September 2014
FIGURE 4A. The original EZ4. Basic, but still useful.
FIGURE 4B. The current upgraded EZ6 has come a long way
from its humble beginnings.
FIGURE 5. The inside of the skull using the Triaxial skull kit
for the three-axis mechanics.