DMStudios' Digital Playground

Shumatech DRO-550 Build-Log

Shumatech DRO550 DIY Build

Shumatech DRO 500 DIY:



$75.00 (may go down... this is w/o taxes & paypal)
Shumatec DRO-550

DRO-550 Board (itself)
*all surface mount components pre-soldered
* extra's (below) are what needs to be soldered, (through hole/easy components)

$16.19 (extras)

9 RED 7-segment LEDs $7.47
5 RED 3mm indicator LEDs $0.77
23 Keypad tact switches $4.14
23 Black tact switch caps $1.84
1 Program tact switch $0.17
2 2-pin MTA headers $0.13
5 3-pin MTA headers $0.44
5 4-pin MTA headers $0.58
5 2x2 Header $0.35
5 Shunt jumper $0.30

Parts needed to complete DRO-550 kit/build: (outside from above parts)

DRO-550 Specific:

Hammond 1599HBK Unmachined Case: ... oductId=90

DRO-550 Internal Cable Kit: ... oductId=89

$19.99 x 1
DRO-550 (speciic) Case - Machined: ... oductId=88

$14.99 x 1
DRO-350 Faceplate ... roductId=6

$1.75 x ??
Mini-Din Plug ... oductId=24

$12.99 x 1
AC Adapter - 9vdc @ 1.2a ... roductId=7

If you want to be 'ahead' of the game.. maybe contact

(I did) and they told me they were going to stock DRO-550 specific stuff this week..

just checked for ya..

cases, internal cables..DRO-550 specific..

for you.. you may want the un-machined cases..and do them yourself to fit whatever specs you want/like?

unmachined: ... oductId=90

DRO-550 internal cables: ... oductId=89

DRO-550 specific machined case: ... oductId=88

update on FINAL costs:

Fixed Costs
Item Estimated Cost
NRE (Stencils, SMT programming, PCB tooling) $1,785.00
Setup (Manufacturing setup) $342.00
Prototypes (2 development prototypes) $525.96

Recurring Costs
Item Estimated Cost
Material (Raw parts costs) $47.42
Labor (Human labor costs) $30.08

Extra Component Costs
Quantity Component
Estimated Cost
9 RED 7-segment LEDs $7.56
5 RED 3mm indicator LEDs $0.25
1 Piezo Buzzer $1.28
23 Black tact switch caps $1.61
1 Program tact switch $0.33
2 2-pin MTA headers $0.08
5 3-pin MTA headers $0.30
5 4-pin MTA headers $0.40
5 2x2 Header $0.85
5 Shunt jumper $0.25
Distributor Shipping + Kitting Supplies (TBD) $2.00

Per-Board Costs (With Extra Components)
Item Estimated Cost
Fixed $4.82
Recurring $77.50
Extra Components $14.91
PayPal (3.9% + 2 x $0.30) $4.58

Per-Board Costs (Without Extra Components)
Item Estimated Cost
Fixed $4.82
Recurring $77.50
PayPal (3.9% + 2 x $0.30) $3.97


Adding some links and what not that we can use to refer back on when we get these things..

I want to be able to use this to its FULL potential..

I think once I get my mill..the bolt hole pattern feature will be a featured used quite often by me.

some of links will be to DRO-350 stuff.. user guides..etc.. because I feel useful info will still be there..

also some of these are un-official guides NOT form the developer (but were highly recommended)

I think the Users Guide of the DPU-550 will be the closest for what is in the DRO-550...Users Guide (which is coming any day now)

Rick Sparber: (unofficial docs)

Shumatec: DRO-550 Hardware Manual ... Manual.pdf

DRO-350 Users Guide: The official DRO-350 User's Guide for software release 4 ... /guide.pdf

DPU-550 User's Guide: Daughter board to DRO-350 ... RO-550.pdf

Chinese Scales:
A technical descrition of the Chinese scale protocol and their operation.

The Chinese Scale Experience
Bill Havins, a user of the ShumaTech DRO-350, wrote a great article on his experiences using Chinese scales. The artice covers where to purchase Chinese scales, their installation on equipment, and general troubleshooting. ... rience.pdf

OPEN DRO Project:

a nice feature/add-on was posted about using the two extra axis for a min LCD screen..

looks trick..


ok boys...

I know Alan, Erv & Goodman all got these DRO's (or are coming soon)..

they overlays on the shumatech sites are available wella sthe LCD add-on kit (and overlay for that as well)

that being said.. I gave it a shot at making my own overlay..

and Im releasing it here for anyone lse that may want to use it.. or in fact edit I am including the source .psd file as well.

Also included in the .psd is the BASE TEMPLATE for the enclosure milling specs (where the cut outs are)

alternately.. if anyone wants something custom done.. just let me know.. (ie: diamond plate background...... or you companies name in the corner.. different color scheme.......whatever)

this first version was me trying to be minimal and clean..

it is based off of my first 'mock-idea' (and is almost identical)

hope you guys like it.. (working a backlit idea/version currently) ...


my DRO-550 arrived..packed nice..and no problems so far..

still need to order my case/enclosure..internal cables..etc..

but the MAIN portion is here (I got two of them)

the 'kit' pic: (sorry its blurry)



man..getting those SMD components installed for us..and the buttons too for an extra $4 was WELL worth it..LOL

there are some polls up for some of the overlays..and some other questions (if you guys are interested)
I think by default..they come with RED numeric displays... anyone changing to green? (they look sharp).. or another color? I have been able to find a BLUE in the same package/footprint as the one for the DRO-550 uses.

figured Id post with the first update..Im curious to watch and discuss others builds too..

took some time last night.. to finally look into things more..

Im excited..and this 'project' looks very fun.

I have gathered the files needed for everyone else..

here are the links as well (which I recommend..they step by step walk you trough set-up)..

Construction: ... nstruction
PDF: ... 0Guide.pdf


PDF: ... 0Guide.pdf


PDF: ... Manual.pdf

OpenDRO Software:

SAM-BA: ... 0v1.13.exe

(Im also really diggin' this LCD add on for the other extra functions/axis..etc)

I took out 1 of my boards last night.. grabbed the "Construction Manual" (linked to above)

had done all prelim tests
(measured resistance at certain spots)
soldered in ALL headers & tact switch

hooked it up to my PSU using 9V @ 1.5A

metered certain points to check 5v, 3.3v, 1.5v, 1.8v, etc (all was perfect)

hooked up to USB port.. installed drivers to recognize chip/board

installed SAM-BA (linked to above)

flash Atmel chip

verified write

(everything was perfect)

I did all of this in about 30 minutes or.. I glanced over the documentation while cleaning up after dinner. knew what I needed.. (already had files downloaded & documentation printed out in binder as well)..

and that was that.

Im 'very' happy with not only the quality, but documentation as well.

This is EASY!!!!

I have NOT installed my display LED's for two reasons:

1.) I do not have an enclosure yet.. and I want to make sure I mount them to be flush and display/light well behind the overlay.

2.) Im not 100% sure I sticking with the ALL RED display LEDS..
(I have been looking for some BLUE one....anybody?)
but may get all green.. or even multi-color.
(ie: 1 color for each axis, X-red, Y-green, Z-amber)

also we can make our own custom overlays as well..the group has been having polls on tons of different versions..

I'll try and post some more pics..


I still have NOT ordered my case and internal cable kits..etc (nor scale plugs or power adapter)

anyways here are some pics.. the basic construction will take less than 1 hour.. (less on second units) people who posted it 'only' taking them 3 hours... I was thinking thats not too bad... but now Im like..what the fuck were they doing?

nothing but a ton of headers with through holes to solder to.

check out my soldering.. (not too bad) ;)

all the headers (overview)

there she is:

and lit-up:

man there is 162 solder 'joints' to do on the 9 x 7-segment led displays!! plus all the headers! hahaha

here was my submission to the overlay poll/post

can buy order one of the new ones... or make your own at a kinkos or whatever if you want custom color scheme or whatever.. there was some nice ones posted too


All completed.. (the first one at least)..

the second is all soldered up..just need to assemble case and attach internal cables!

Im digging it so far!

Im making my own if anyone wants to file(s)..let me know.

test scale I made..using $9.99 HF caliper...

the first overlay Im finishing up.. (all 300 DPI .jpg's..with included source .psd file)