PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest
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The Most Popular Design, Solar Powered WiFi Weather Station V2.0 by Debasish Dutta

by: Jun 08,2020 557 Views 1 Comments Posted in Activities

weather station Solar power Wifi Shared Project PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest PCB PCBWay

Summary:       Debasish Dutta's Solar Powered WiFi Weather Station V2.0 wins the first prize of The Most Popular Designs in PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest.


PCBWay Team: “ Could you please briefly introduce yourself? Many other PCBWayers in the community want to know more about you.”

Debasish Dutta: “I am an Electrical Engineer from India and I usually design Solar PV Plant during my day job. I pursue my electronics hobby during the night and weekends. ”


PCBWay Team: “ When did you start making and how did you learn the skill of PCB Design?”

Debasish Dutta: “I started making from my childhood. Though I can’t remember the age precisely, I can guess when I was 9 to 10 years. I learned the PCB designing by watching YouTube tutorial videos."


PCBWay Team: “ When did you get involved in the maker movement? Do you remember what first drew your attention?"

Debasish Dutta: “My real maker journey started when I won an Instructables contest in the year 2014. My projects got featured in Make, Adafruits, Atmel blogs that motivated me to dive into the maker world."


PCBWay Team: “ How did you know about our 3rd PCB Design Contest? And what drove you to attend this contest?”

Debasish Dutta: “I have already participated in the earlier PCBWay contest. So, I constantly keep my eyes on for the upcoming contest. 

The main motivation is that they are allowing to bring the maker's ideas into reality. I was searching for this opportunity from the last few years but never found, PCBWay bridge that gap."

PCBWay Team: “ About your award-winning work, Solar Powered WiFi Weather Station V2.0, could you please tell us more details about it or the story behind? And why did you choose it as your entry?” 

Debasish Dutta: “My weather station project was started in the year 2017 and won first prize in the Instructables Microcontroller Contest. The project becomes very popular among the makers, which motivated me a lot to develop the V2.0. I have taken inputs from the community and incorporated them into this version. 

I will give credit to Keith Hungerford who helped me a lot to improve the software. I will also give credit to the maker community who contributed a couple of interesting 3D printed enclosures for the project, which is a great help to improve my project.

As my project was very popular in PCBway shared projects and other educational websites, I thought my project has the potential to participate in the 3rd PCB design contest. "


PCBWay Team: “What part of the project process excites you the most?”

Debasish Dutta: “The most exciting part of this project was to deal with the power consumption. In version 1.0, the battery used to power the project get discharges completely within a week, so a lot of effort was given to reduce power consumption. Now my project can run a year if the solar panel receives adequate sunlight."


PCBWay Team: “ In your opinion, what comes first - the existing technology or the design idea?”

Debasish Dutta: “In my opinion existing technology comes first. It inspires me to think about new project ideas. I usually prefer to work on existing products/technology and then tried my best to add new features to it."


PCBWay Team: “ What makes you different/ unique from other makers?”

Debasish Dutta: “Frankly speaking, I never thought that I am different or unique from other makers. 

But as per the community feedback, my simplicity in project documentation unique that it attracts people from the diversified field ( especially those who are not from electrical / electronics background ) to read my project work and recreate it by themselves.

I always prefer to make projects on renewable energy and sustainability to save the planet."


PCBWay Team: “ How did you feel when you found that you were one of the winners?”

Debasish Dutta: “I was curious to see the winning projects but, when I saw my project was also in the winner list, I got surprised. I didn’t expect to win when I entered into the contest."


PCBWay Team: “ What do you think is the most important inner traits to be a good PCB designer?”

Debasish Dutta: “One must have the ability to understand the schematic, a lot of patience and interest to learn."


PCBWay Team: “ What do you think of Open Source Hardware? And how do you look at the future of open source community?”

Debasish Dutta: “I am a big fan of open source Hardware. The open source community has unlimited potential and ability to rapidly improve contributions to science, art, and technology around the globe."


PCBWay Team: “ What do you think of our website or the community page? PCBWay will contribute to the open source community more. Do you have any suggestions for improvement?” 

Debasish Dutta: “The PCBWay website is great for makers requiring small quantity PCB for their prototypes. The community pages are also great resources for learning and taking ideas for new projects. 

An improvement I would like to see is a 3D view of PCB after uploading Gerber files. The comments on the shared projects should be editable after posted ( if any mistakes during typing )."


PCBWay Team: “What are ingredients of a good maker space? If you were to create and equip a new maker space for a school or library, how would your ideal solution look like?”

Debasish Dutta: “A good maker space must have facilities for Prototyping, Electronics, Robotics, Woodworking, and Digital fabrication.

I will find a dedicated space that includes appropriate tools, work areas, and materials. Apart from these, I would like to make a small library for enhancing the knowledge."


PCBWay Team: “ PCBWay 4th PCB Design Contest has been in our to-do list, will you join in again? And would you like to suggest to your friends to attend as well?”

Debasish Dutta: “ Currently, I am working on my Solar Weather Station V3.0 if I will finish this project in time, I will participate in the upcoming contest.

I will recommend to my friend who has a good project to share among the maker community. "


PCBWay Team: “ Do you have any suggestions for the contest? Regarding the participation process, display of works, voting, etc."

Debasish Dutta: “Winner declaration should be on the same contest page instead of a blog. Because, in general, participants visit the contest page to see the results."


PCBWay Team: “ If a reader who is inspired by this interview wants to get started with making, what are some good tools and resources for beginners?"

Debasish Dutta: “Basic Tools Required : 

1.  Hand Tools ( Screwdrivers/wire stripper/nose plier / tweezers etc.)

2.  Soldering kit 

3.  Arduino learning kit

4.  Hot glue gun 

5.  Hobby knife

6.  Drill

I will also recommend learning the following skills:

1. Arduino Programming

2. PCB designing

3. 3D printing 

For learning resources, I will strongly recommend using Instructables and YouTube."


Link: Winner List of PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest

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