2017-2018 TEI4M Flex Circuit Page


Flex Circuit Page. Even though this description is a little long, please be sure to take it ALL in before deciding on a circuit you will be proud to reflect for years to come.


So, here's the basic concept. Download, consider, and complete the FlexPageProposal.docx when you're ready to commit.

For the third consecutive year, Sr. ACES are asked to embed within their Engineering Report a unique, live, solar-powered microcontroller-based circuit. In the future, when you show your ER the light of day, readers will marvel at what you accomplished in high school. A photo of Ryan Power's effort from 2016 follows the formatting of all the other pages in his ER except the cutaway is an intersection circuit that goes live when placed in sunlight due the to MPT3.6-150 solar panel laminated into the page. Ryan's report continues on the backside of the page. Check out the results of all the 2015-2016 ACES.

In maintaining the ACES' tradition of improving on already terrific intiatives, you are asked to design and outsource the production of a flex circuit as a base for SMT page. ACES from the previous two years have used copper tape for traces, ATtiny85 flexible breakout boards or thin Surfboards from Digikey. You, the 2017-2018 ACES, have the privilege of setting the bar even higher in that you will be the first to incorporate a flexible circuit into your Flex Page, laminating it together with a Powerfilm solar cell to power either an SMT ATtiny84, ATtiny85 or ATmega328P microcontroller. The programming language is up to you but since the complexity of the circuit is not the real priority, I know you'll consider putting your assembly language skills on display in your circuit and your pages. Supporting components should be designed for the 1206 Package as that's what the DES manitains in its inventory. Below is a closer look at a Flex Matrix Oliver L. undertook while in Grade 11. A stencil is highly recommended as it dramatically simplifies and shortens the hot-air soldering process and time.

Oliver's Finished Flex Matrix Oliver's Flex Circuit Stencil
Flex Circuits & Thin Film OLED Dirty PCB Ordering


Hardware Provided
Within reason, the hardware parts will be supplied to you. For example, you will be provided with the solar flex cell, the SMD microcontroller, as well as simple 1206 passives such as resistors, capacitors, buttons and LEDs. Just be sure to answer my call for Digikey orders promptly.

In return, you can be responsible for the cost or your flex panel. On this score, since your microcontroller must have an ISP capability, be sure to design in a 6-pin connection that will interface with the Chibitronics device pictured to the right.


ACES: Common Flex Page Parts
Minco: Flex Circuit Design Guide
ACES: 2016-2017 TEI4M Logs
PowerFilm: Flex Solar Cells
Adafruit: SMT (Medium) Test Socket for SOIC-8
Chibitronics: ATtiny85 Sticker Tutorial (that ISP Adapter would be a good board to have in the DES!)
Quad Industries: Screen Printing
Sparkfun: IC Packages Explained




The MPT3.6-150 Solar Module, (Specs)
Pro SMT Hand Soldering: Part 1, Part 2
Soldering Powerfilm
P. Bagga's (ACES' 17) SMT Soldering of his DC Power Breakout Board (a little too much solder paste but it still worked)
J. Russett's (ACES '16) Flex Page Circuit: Induction
A. Elder's (ACES '17) Flex Page Circuit: Infrared Receiver
O. Logush's (ACES '18) Flex Page Circuit: 'Charlie'flexed Matrix


ATtiny85 SOIC-8 PowerFilm Solar Cell / Surfboard 9081


  1. It is never a bad idea to develop a through hole prototype when the final target is a PCB. Use the Powerfilm solar panel provided for power as your circuit must run on no more than 3.6V and draw no more than 100 mA. If you do, be sure to obtain still and video media for your ER.
  2. You may wish to assemble a breadboard ISP circuit using your ISP Breakout Board and the SMT Test Socket, upload and test your code. Obtain media for your ER.
  3. Review the reference videos above prior to soldering the components to your Flex circuit. Test with your solar cell. Obtain media for your ER.
  4. Plan the content and layout of your final, two-sided ER page to include the solar cell and solderd circuit.
  5. Confirm your working circuit prior to the weekend submission of Flex Page 2 and your preseantion on Tuesday May 2. HAnd you working circuit to me after your preseantion and I'll take it from there. I'll keep them until June, when I have your ERs printed and bound.
1796-ADA SMT Test Socket - Medium SOIC-8 (ATtiny85) 1283-ADA SMT Test Socket - Narrow Breakout SOIC-16 (ATtiny84)

DC Power Jack. Your experience with electric circuits has been largely limited to components that use through-hole technology (THT). To round out your proficiency with all components, your next few projects will require the use of devices that use surface-mount technology (SMT). As the graphic reveals, the smallest size that is reasonable for hand-soldering techniques is the 1206 family, so this is what we carry in the DES inventory.

1206 LED Package


  1. P. Bagga (ACES '17) redesigned his original RSGC ACES DC Power Jack to include an optional power LED and resistor. You will be given a small parts kits that includes the PCB, a THT DC Power Jack, and a 2x3 male header pin. You can choose your 1206 SMT LED colour from our inventory of red, green, blue, or amber and your 1206 resistor from our inventory of 330Ω, 1kΩ,or 10kΩ.
  2. Using a digital soldering station for the THT components and either of the AOYUE 968 Hot Air Rework Stations for the SMT parts, you are asked to assemble your DC Power Jack.
  3. Submit your device to Mr. D before the indicated deadline.