Friday, September 4, 2015

"Canned Frog" finished

I had a bit of a delay in getting the Canned Frog finished when my feline helper decided that the little plastic bags of parts for this and some other projects would make great Kitty Toys.  For several days I kept finding electronics parts spread throughout several rooms, and am still looking for several parts.  After finishing the transceiver board it was time to mount the VFO board and see about putting it in the can.

I soldered a couple small strips of .020" double sided circuit board to the new Arduino VFO board and then to sides of the transceiver board.  Also attached the input filter to the side of the transceiver board.  All in all it made a nice package that fit perfectly into the Armour Treat can. 

One of the biggest problems I have had in the past was how to label the panels. The best luck I have had was with press on lettering, but that limits what you can do and is a pain to get straight.  I thought I would see if the same toner transfer method I used for the boards would work for lettering panels.  I  cut and drilled a front panel from some more .020" circuit board material.  I cut out most of the bottom of the can so I could also make a rear panel from the same material.  Gave them a coat of Gray primer and let dry.

Using  MS-Paint I did up a set of panels and printed them in reverse on the same Hamermill Glossy Color Laser paper  I use for making circuit boards.  A half a dozen passes through the laminator, and a quick soak and the panels came out better than I had hoped.  The lettering looks like it is melted right into the paint.   A couple of heavy coats of Grey Hammer Tone paint on the can and then put it all together

One of the Kitty Toy parts I couldn't find was the final transistor for the transceiver, so I stuck in the closest I had on hand.  Power output was a little low, but I will not worry about that.  The receiver works well except that the audio is fine for phones, but not enough for an un-amplified speaker.

The project accomplished what I wanted.  A small dual output VFO with display that will be the basis for another transceiver some time in the future.


  1. Great looking job !! I have the frog,arduino and display I would like to learn how you mated them to the frog. schematic arduino code.... thank you.

  2. Can you elaborate more on how to transfer the lettering from the paper to the case. I don't understand the laminator. You laminated in clear plastic or use the heat of the laminator to transfer to the case?

  3. The front panel was made from .020" circuit board material and painted. The Lettering was printed on the same paper I used for toner transfer PCB. I passed the board and paper through the laminator several times, and then soaked and removed the paper from the panel. Works great if you have something flat and can pass through the laminator. Recently I have been using clear Laser printer water slide decal paper. Just print with a laser printer cut to size and soak in water, and slide in position. It is available through several e-bay suppliers, and probably office supply stores.