Give Thanks for Zipit Breakout Boards

While most Americans were probably eating turkey and watching football today, I was eating sushi and finishing up the layout on a Zipit breakout board. It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully it’ll be here before Christmas.

Way back when, projectgus designed a breakout board for the Zipit in Kicad. His board breaks out the gpio’s to a camera interface, i2c, misc gpio, pwr pins, and has a 3.3V-5V regulator for USB host. The board is very well designed but was not produced in any substantial quantity.

I recently decided to revive the idea and got started on my own board. I’ve played with EagleCAD and Kicad before but they both seem clunky and over complicated. This board will be the third board I’ve ever designed which makes me definitely not an expert and therefore needed something easy. In my searches for other CAD software I found Diptrace which has a free version available. Diptrace is available for Windows and Mac but ran very well for me under Wine on Linux. The tutorial videos on their site were short, to the point and got me going quickly.

After some talk on #zipit I decided on a board with these features:

  1. 3.3V to 5V Regulator
  2. USB Host Port
  3. Micro USB port for OTG & Charging
  4. Jumpers for USB PWR and USB Host/OTG
  5. Misc GPIO header
  6. Audio / I2C Header
  7. Power Header (3.3V, 1.8V, DC IN, USB IN, Regulator 5V Output, GND)
  8. 3 x 5V Relay Control Header

I went with OSH Park to fabricate the board since I can order small quantities at a reasonable cost. The images above are provided by OSH Park after uploading the gerber files. The boards cost $5 each in quantities less than 50 then it drops to $3. The total cost of parts and board is about $19 without the 0.1” headers populated (jumpers are populated.) I’ve only ordered the minimum 3 boards for now so I can build and test them to make sure I didn’t screw anything up. If there’s enough interest and all the testing goes ok I may do a larger batch. Please post a comment if you’re interested. You are welcome to modify and/or make your own with these:

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