Home arrow About
About | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Monday, 18 February 2008

Welcome to my site. My name is Chris, but go by Akiba on this blog. I am living in Tokyo with my wife and my dog. I’m a hopeless geek that makes frequent trips to Akihabara (a.k.a. Electric City) to check out the latest components and surplus at the plethora of stores there. Akiba is actually my wife's maiden name but also Japanese slang for Akihabara.

I'm fascinated by all things electronic, but mostly about the potential for wireless and wireless sensor networks to make huge changes in how everyday things are done. I'm also very interested in open source software, open source hardware, and the recent phenomenon of micro-manufacturing. I believe that these days, individuals are able to design, manufacture, and sell things that are very innovative, but large corporations would never even touch. This is because of the proliferation of things like open source hardware, software, cheap(er) tools, and vast amounts of technical information are right at everybody's fingertips. This site is dedicated to wireless sensor networks and the open source software, hardware, and information to build those networks. Enjoy :)

Also, here are some pics of my lab equipment that I keep in my room. It's quite possible that my tool addiction is getting a little out of control...

Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
Click image to open!
 

Hits: 51592
Trackback(0)
Comments (16)Add Comment
...
written by Christian, June 30, 2009
Hi Akiba,
how much does the pick-n-place machine cost? What brand is it?
How much does the network analyzer cost?

Thanks,
Christian
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Akiba, July 01, 2009
The desktop pick and place cost about $20k and its manufactured by a local company in Japan that is luckily near my apartment. Hence I got a lot of training and free shipping and installation. The company is called MDC and its website is here. It's a bit ugly tho...
http://www.mdc-smt.co.jp/

The network analyzer was a used machine I picked up off of ebay and it cost about $6k including the s-parameter test set. You'll also need to spend an additional $1-2k to pick up a calibration kit since you'll need to calibrate the system before you run any testing on your RF circuit.

I guess this kind of takes things out of the realm of hobbyist design...
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +9
...
written by Akiba, August 11, 2009
Damn...somebody gave me a negative vote on my comments... smilies/angry.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +6
...
written by Christian, August 13, 2009
Hi Akiba,

thank you for your reply.
I wonder how I could ever afford those machines. Did you buy all this stuff as a hobbyist or do you run a small company?
I hope that can at least afford a few things when I am a retired person in 30 years. ;-)

Best Regards,
Christian
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -1
...
written by Akiba, August 14, 2009
Ha ha ha...I don't recommend buying them all at once. What you're seeing is an accumulation of effort over a few years. I'd suggest buying things slowly and looking for bargains on ebay or other used equipment sites. The pick and place isn't needed unless you're planning on making and selling boards. In that case, you'd be better of buying a small reflow oven which is much cheaper and getting solder paste stencils made. Assembling by hand is not too bad and if things start going well, you'll know that its time to buy a pick and place. Otherwise, if you have about $10k burning your pocket and you want to make wireless devices, I'd recommend the network analyzer. The CNC machine is really handy, but you can survive by just having your boards fabbed at Olimex or GoldPhoenix. The only exception is for RF boards where there's a lot of trial and error involved on the hardware side.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
Interesting stuff...
written by Ady, October 20, 2009
Anything and everything you do seems to be very very interesting. I'm an electronics engineer (from India) working in Japan. Good to know people like you exist in this country.

While in college I used to do a lot of weird stuff with Atmel microcontrollers.
e.g. http://www.fuzakeruna.com/blog...ing-robot/

If you're ever hiring lemme know. Would love to help out if I can find some free time.

Ady
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Akiba, October 24, 2009
Nice blog. If you're in Tokyo and into hardware hacking, you should check out Tokyo Hackerspace (www.tokyohackerspace.org). Good fun for geeks.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
Pick n Place
written by Lawrence Curtin, November 03, 2009
We have a Pick n Place for sale. It comes with a 4 foot indexer table that is anodized Al. It is Wiess equipment. It is all brand new. It also has a 400 KiloHertz 5000 watt RF generator with a Thermo Fischer chiller. This is also brand new. We built it to make solar cells in a high speed process. It is all located in Ft. Pierce Florida. Pictures are on our web site.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Akiba, November 03, 2009
I think that is the wrong type of pick and place. It sounds like some type of process manufacturing equipment. A pick and place that I'm talking about shouldn't require a chiller and RF generator.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
Hi
written by Dom, September 08, 2010
Hi Akiba, i m from Italy. I m trying to create a lab. My hope is to design and build devices in the wireless field. I m looking for a 8753d but for now the prices are to high.

bye
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
Nice
written by Gaetan30, January 25, 2011
Hi Akiba,

I just start to read your site and it looks good. I'm a french guy which try to develop some wireless applications... You spoke about micro-manufacturing and I'm totally aware with it (i'm electronic engineer) but no word about plastic/box manufacturing. Do you have some idea to develop this type to put our electronic board into this one?

Thanks for help site

Gaëtan
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
...
written by Akiba, January 30, 2011
Enclosure design is a completely different beast. That require mechanical engineering skills, tools, and an understanding of the manufacturing methods. Plastic injection is the most common, but it requires making a mold and getting that mold into the hands of manufacturers. Its a pretty expensive route to take. I prefer taking pre-made enclosures like from Hammond or Takachi and designing my PCBs around them. It saves a huge amount of upfront costs and time.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
Guide and books
written by Yad S. Tahir, December 20, 2011
Hi Akiba,

My name is Yad. I am actually a software engineer. I really love your website and the tutorials you posted. My knowledge in Electrical Engineering is very limited. I would really be grateful if you could guide me how to develop the skills required to develop boards like 'chibiArduino'. Providing a list of books is really appreciated.

Thank you for your answer in advance.

BR,
Yad
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -1
Solder paste
written by Dan185742, July 26, 2012
Dude,

great site.

Any idea where I can pick up some Solder Paste in Akihabara?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Akiba, July 27, 2012
I don't believe they offer solder paste in akihabara. You probably have to buy it online.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by David G-Shock , November 08, 2013
Hi Akiba,

Thanks for posting this information. It is very useful.

I have experienced similar issues in obtaining a CTL1616 replacement in both Ireland and China.

Have you scoped out the feasibility of deactivating the charge function on the watch?

Best Regards,

David
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0

Write comment

busy