Getting started with PCB hardware for beginners

Hi all,
I’m a newbie I guess, though I have read 1000’s + of posts in Combine forum. I have had no trouble downloading the software, plugging it in to my Greenstar GPS system and using/playing with it for coverage and guidance.
The area I am struggling with is the hardware side for Autosteer. I wish to install it on one of my older Tractors eg JD8300.
Is this the basic procedure? After downloading and extracting the software from github

  1. Decide on Hydraulic or Wheel Motor system.
  2. Find Gerber files in PCB folder of Github download and send them to a PCB manufacturer.
  3. Find PartsList.xlsx in PCB\AutoSteerPCB_Gerber and send/upload to BOM Manager
    (Bill Of Materials) at DigiKey. As per FarmerBrianTee Video
  4. Order Non Digikey Specific parts from “PartsList” eg. “Arduino Nano v3” from Ebay or Preferred supplier.
  5. Wait anxiously for parts !
  6. Place and Solder PCB parts to PCB board. Place PCB in Box
  7. Open AutosteerPCBv2.ino in Arduino IDE. chose/change ino settings as per FarmerBrianTee Video
  8. Compile and upload Sketch to Arduino Nano eg. AutosteerPCBv2.ino
  9. Connect/Mount to Battery, PC, GPS and external sensors eg WAS “wheel angle sensor”
  10. Connect motor Drivers to steer motor or Hydaulic valves.
  11. Setup Machine, Fields, AB lines etc. in AgOpenGps. as per Video tutorials
  12. Calibrate as per AgOpenGPS Wikki
  13. Turn AutoSteer ON and we are good to go!

I know this is very simplified, but is it in the ballpark? what steps have i missed?



You can do a very simple basic setup before you start with that pcb…

Arduino Nano, a connector board, Wheel angle Sensor and a Motor driver (take a cytron). + phidgets Motor.

But I together and learn from it in your office.

Then put it on your tractor.

You can build that pcb after it and use all the parts and you can add sensors for heading, roll…


Yes this is the idea. Although step 13 takes a lot more doing getting those settings dialed in is a little bit finicky. Good on you for reading the whole archive of posts. Andreas’ idea is a good one to do a desktop run before mounting everything on a tractor. Start with one input like the WAS connected to your arduino and see if you can get a reading in AOG. Then try with a motor driver and steer motor etc. You can get a lot of bugs worked out ahead of time by trying components on a bench using a power supply (car battery or AC adapter etc.) You got it though. Building the PCB is the gold standard that we are trying to get everyone on board with. (pun intended)


For a beginner or someone with limited experience (like me) i think the PCB actually simplifies things quite a lot. I built my first (present) system on stripboard and boy was it hard getting it right! I’ve ordered 5 PCB’s now. They cost very little and assembly will be much easier. Also if things don’t work, the more experienced on here will know roughly what you have in front of you.


Building the PCB is the gold standard that we are trying to get everyone on board with.

@wilberttalen I’m just getting familiar with the process as well and haven’t dug too deep into the forum. Are you saying there is currently development on a PCB that we should be able to buy “off the shelf” so to speak?

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It’s nearly as easy as buying ‘off the shelf’, or at least I hope it is! I’ve just uploaded the gerber files ( from the PCB/AutoSteerPCB_Gerber directory ) to and they will make and deliver me the PCB(s). They cost me about £16 for five PCB’s delivered.

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Oh awesome!!

There are a few folks in the community here that are working on selling fully assembled boards with all components but would need to have a good idea of how many people are interested. Some PCB manufacturers will assemble the board but need a certain minimum quantity in order to make it cost effective.

The problem is that some manufacturers don’t have all the parts.

And you also need double side soldering…

I hope I will get mine asap…

Interesting. I have experience with the software side of things but hardware not so much. I have never soldered anything so what are we looking at for my barrier of entry? I’m thinking I better order 50 pcb’s so I can hopefully have one good one by the time I mess a few up!


What do you mean with double side soldering? I believe the PCB board have necessary connections from side to side where needed.

Is there a solution to use PCB V2 with BNO ?

Hi Alan,
I also just ordered 5 pub boards from Jlc. Do you have yours or you still waiting.
I guess you are based in the UK. I am in Shropshire.

No, just use the Brick if you want to use the BNO.

If someone is building a board, set up a video camera and record it. Put it on YouTube! Once winter rolls around I have more time to do some of these things


Is it really that easy?
What dimension ist recommended?
Did you choose some other configuration than the default ones?

I uploaded the Gerber files and the dimensions were amended to what I assume is the size in the files.

I used the default settings.

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Yes. Cheshire. I’m waiting. Ordered 6pm yesterday.

This is apparently where my order is up to.

I have the boards but the Cytron 13A Motor Driver from DigiKey is on backorder until November (in Canada). I plan to put the assembly up on YouTube.


That would be very helpful. Please let me know when to look

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