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PICList free PCB contest


Talk about supporting your PICList! Tsvetan Usunov <> of has offered to make a PCB free and ship it to the designer free every month for the PICList as a prize for a design contest. Contest entrys must be posted to the list and web site and will then always be available for all the members as reference designs. Tsvetan's idea is that this will encourage people to publish designs and get more good ideas out into the real world for everyone to see.


Board layout must not exceed: double side, 160x100 mm, soldermask, component print, and must be possible for Olimex to produce, see: for details.

The designs to be made with PIC microcontrollers (or code compatible). No one will be angry if dozens of CMOS or TTL IC will be used to help the poor PIC to solve the problem, but the design must use a PIC or code compatible processor. In the past we have been very loose with this and allowed some AVR and other boards that do not have any PIC related device, but new entires MUST have a PIC or SX chip.

To be non-commercial projects. By that we mean that you will not remove the design from the public domain and that you will not attempt to prevent other people from makeing it. You can still sell it if you want.

To be posted on the PICLIST web site as open source software and open design hardware so all PICLIST users may benefit from the knowledge.

Designs will be collected during a one month period. Each of the designs will have a link to vote for the design and votes will be tallied until the end of the following month. File downloads of the board layout will count as 2 votes. Actual (paid) orders for boards will count as 5 votes. The design with the most votes will be declared the winner and the designer will receive a free board soon after.

Fine print:

Entering the contest means you will probably not be making a lot of money off your design. No copyright. copyleft only. You are doing this to share your design and get a board made for free so you can build one.  The only exception would be that having a winning design in the contest might show someone what you are capable of and attract other work in the future. Some time, YOU the piclister or jallister must prove just to yourself you can do it.  NOW, YOU CAN DO IT HERE !

The design must include a board layout. Lots of help is available with that and free programs for board layout are available. The program you use must produce good Gerber files and NC drill files that can accept. See for exact requirements. The board layout will be on the site along with the rest of the design so anyone can download the layout and send it to anyone to make if they like.

After recieving boards, we expect the winner to let us know how the project worked out. If the design had a small error, we need to let others know so please let us know.

We will provide a link to make it easy to order the boards from olimex. This is a way of rewarding them for sponsoring the contest and it is MY idea not theirs. Remember: All the files will be available so if you want to order it from your favorite board house, you can. I just want to make it easy, and suggest that people reward olimex by ordering from them. If you are a competitor of olimex, sponsor your own contest.


  1. Use the form below to enter a description of your design. Change Question to Comment in the list above the text box and press the "Post" button. If you are a member, it will be an "Add" button. If you are not a member, I will review the post and allow others to see it if it is ok.
  2. Zip up your design files (including source and board layout) and ftp it to (a write only directory) or email it to STOPspamjamesnewton at and I will review it and link your description to it. This is necessary to prevent me from becoming an unwitting host of porno, etc...


March 2002 Entries:

SX o'scope Alberto Geraci of BTX Sistemas (Pje La Cordillera 1125 Dto 1, Buenos Aires, Argentina, postal code: 1407) has entered his "SX o'scope" design for a digital o'scope using the Ubicom SX (PIC 16C57 clone) processor, ADC 08831 serial A/D converter and PC EPP parallel port.
The board layout is here:


Dale Botkin Says: This PIC16F628 based yard light timer offers several features not found in the basic mechanical ON/OFF timers commonly sold with the transformers:

Code is provided in CCS C source and .LST files, schematics and board layout done with Eagle. All parts available from Digi-Key and most other sources.
The board layout is here:

May 2002 Entries:

Johan Viktor Strombom of JVS Produkterf Says:  PIC based Speed controller

This is a PIC16F870 based speed controller for electric radio controlled vehicles:

October 2002

Colin D Barnard Says: Sprinkler & Water Usage Controller.

This unit combines a 7 day, 7 event twenty four hour timer with a water consumption / cost meter written using the Wiz-C compiler from Forest Electronics or and a two line LCD is used as the display.


November 2002

Kevin Timmerman says: This is an electronic digital caliper to computer (RS-232) interface. This will work with the inexpensive calipers, micrometers and height gauges that are typically made in China. The connector on the measuring instrument will have 4 pins, and the owner's manual will typically describe the output as 24 bit 90 kHz synchronous. This does not work the name brand instruments - Fowler, Mitutoyo, Brown & Sharpe, etc..
The code contains examples of:
 * 9600 bps asynchronous receiver/transmitter
 * 90 kHz synchronous receiver
 * host command processing
 * tables for data and text
 * sending text to host
 * 24 x N bit fractional multiplication
 * 24 bit addition
 * binary to BCD conversion
 * BCD to ASCII conversion
 * ASCII transmission with leading zero suppression and fixed decimal place
 * operational mode set by jumpers or override by host
 * Use of watchdog timer

The circuit contains examples of:
 * +5V/-1.5V power from serial port
 * 1.5V to 5V logic level conversion
 * minimal PIC to RS-232 interface

-- Kevin Timmerman

P.S. An updated version is available at:


May 2003

Dimitar says:

I'm sending my project - a small robot. Hope it won't be rejected because it uses AVR. By the way AVR is listed on the page that describes PIC alternatives.

{ed: beggars are not choosers, hope you enjoy your boards!}:

Aug 2004

STOPspamrwt33 at

My project is a 3-phase induction motor powered go-kart using 2 avrs with PWM connected to igbt drivers to drive the motor and a another avr in a ps2 controller with a uhf transmitter for remote control.

It is a three part project,
-One board for control of the pwm outputs connected to high current igbt switches with voltage, current and speed sense.
-Second board for general control with LCD screen, dual pwm power supplies and a pwm charging circuit, twi or uart transmission to igbt controller, connections for pedals and rs232 interface, and an onboard uhf receiver
-Third board is drop-in replacement for playstation dual-shock controller for remote control using all controller buttons and potentiometer joysticks.

The project can use simple software algorithms to implement a sine wave on the pwms for simple control, or an intensive software program (that I am currently writing) can be used to greatly enhance the available speed, torque and control.

(ed: Robert later contacted us saying: "I do not require to be entered into the contest anymore as I have already placed an order with Olimex to get the boards made, and a few more too. But by all means list my boards and schematics for others to use."}

Feb 2005

Flames [odditytv at] says:

"An experiment in absentee gardening "
"a PIC16F84 based network control module"

This design is based around Denis Petrov's "WWW server in a PIC16F84". This is designed to control upto eight outputs from a computer network. Such uses are buzzers heaters or small motors.

To be perfectly honest I was planning on using it in my green house with a web cam so I don't have to water anything. I will be getting some silicone pipe (with holes in it from a thumb tack) and a water pump and essentually, tending my tomatoes and cress from my bedroom. (Although I do understand that the current draw from the pump motor will surely damage the 7805 or at best cause the current to drop and reset the 'F84. I plan to use a solderless breadboard and some discreet componants for that purpous. Could anyone lend some helpful critisism?

As of the moment I plan to operate the pump with a darlington pair chip I salvaged from a VCR. (this will be mounted off-board on a solderless bread board.) (The pump motor is rated at 500mAh which is supprisingly low, but it is a very small one from a wind-screen washer mechanism I belive)

It also utilises a pair of independantly operating 7805 regulators to not brown-out the PIC and to drive other small devices.

Schematic and all board files

We are still hoping that Flames can send us board files that can be produced. At this point there are problems with the layout that need to be fixed before we can make the PCBs.


March 2005

Comments: {ed: Nothing for months and then when it rains, it pours! I hope we can find a way to do all of these...}

April 2005

With no new entires for April, we have re-entered the following from last month:

May 2005

With no new entires for May, we have re-entered the following from last month:

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

Feb 2006

March 2006

April 2006

Leon F Heller of LFH Associates Says:

Another USB project!

I've designed a little USB prototyping system using the PIC18F2455. It basically consists of the 18F2455, crystal, USB connector, and ICD 2 connector (it's laid out for either the Microchip version or Olimex's clone), with a small prototyping area. I made a simpler single-sided PCB at home, which works OK with Brad Minch's Lab 1 software:


Leon F Heller of LFH Associates replies: Just got my PCBs from Olimex, they look fine! Leon Leon F Heller of LFH Associates replies: Details of the project (including software) are here: I've also provided details of how to order PCBs from Olimex. Leon +

May 2006

October 2006

Feb 2008

April 2008

May 2008

Oct 2008

Jan 2009

Feb 2009

Sep 2009

Oct 2009

May 2010

Jun 2010

Recieved after the contest closed:


Leon F Heller of LFH Associates Refers to: "a dsPIC33FJ12GP201 development board. This is a little development board for the little 18-pin dsPIC33FJ12GP201 (or the similar dsPIC24 part). "


See also:

file: /Techref/piclist/pcbcontest.htm, 39KB, , updated: 2013/7/22 13:56, local time: 2017/3/30 03:56, owner: SV-INCDTIM-A35a,

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