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Thread: bILDA users?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Posts
    80

    Default bILDA users?

    Has anyone here experience with the bILDA (linux-laser.org) USB DAC, and how do you like it?
    From where did you get your boards made?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    490

    Default

    I don't have any experience with the bILDA DAC, but I just did a once over
    to see what they implemented and it seems quite sane.

    I don't necessarily like how they implemented their USB, but that's probably
    just because two engineers and I have spent literally 2 years slaving over
    dozens of various implementations to select the one we wanted...
    I would also consider their buffers undersized for the requirements,
    but if you're using this system enough to run into the issues, then
    you may want to consider going "pro" with a high-end board.
    (This hobby sucks if you're a perfectionist)

    I am very fond of National's DAC0830 line of chips though so I can't say
    anything bad about them, but any future designers should keep in mind
    the 0830 series "rings" for 1 microsecond (which is forever in laser terms)
    while settling.


    This image is a very optimistic take on the ringing...

    In terms of manufacture, their PCB layout is a very clean single-sided
    design, the couple traces on the top layer notwithstanding... One gotcha
    is that there is a high-pitch Cypress SMT chip on the bottom layer which
    may or may not be a pain to hand-solder depending on your experience
    and hand stability.


    The bilda PCB

    The red is the top layer, the blue is the bottom layer. The red top layer
    can be replaced with wires attaching the vias. Again the only gotcha
    is the fine pitch chip on the bottom layer. This means that a semi-
    experienced (or ballsy first timer) can easily etch this one at home.

    In terms of manufacturing, if you're looking outside of MIT's PCB fabs,
    pcbexpress,com accepts eagle files. Short runs tend to be expensive
    so go in with some friends if you're interested.

    It's a rewarding and addictive hobby, so go for it!

    (Oh yeah, I have no affiliation or even talked w/ any bilda guys, I just
    followed the link you provided and saw their schematic and pcbs)

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