Category Archives: Soldering & PCBs.

Making printed circuit boards and mastering the art of soldering. Well… or trying to :-)

ERSA I-Con Nano — A pico review

Well… the device I got at work was a sad case of “dead on arrival”. Temperature regulation was totally crazy, touching the case moved the measured value from about 350°C to 60°C, with a subsequent massive overshoot. So we have … Continue reading

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Printed Circuit Boards — MIL-TFP41

It smell something… sniff sniff … yes, I smell BS!

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Small project #11 — “674”

Don’t you just hate it when you run out of holes and have to use a bridge wire to some free patch on the proto-board? I thought so.

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Small project #8 — ATtiny13 DFN10 programming adapter

There are DFN10 / QFN10 test-sockets, but these things cost close to 100 bucks, which I’m not (yet?) willing to spend on this. If this should work, I would be able to add preprogrammed chips to some SMD DIY kits … Continue reading

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — reverse engineering #6

Adding some more stuff is always fun.

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — reverse engineering #5

The lack of an ISP connector on this board has given me a lot of grief. This little adapter board will solve that problem once and for all. It also provides a couple of through-hole pads for potentially adding some … Continue reading

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More Stencils from OSH-Stencils — Panellize this!

My first ‘real’ panel.

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — reverse engineering #4

Possibly (and hopefully) the last post in this little hot-air station series. I’ve opened and closed that device far too often – and popped out the chip multiple times in each instance. You see the designer failed to add a … Continue reading

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — reverse engineering #3

After tweaking some control loop parameters and adding a hard-limit for the temperature (heater cut-off + resetting the error term, effectively restarting the loop), the massive temperature overshoots are a thing of the past. I declare this a success. “Some … Continue reading

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — reverse engineering #2

In part one I dealt with the very basics: fan control, buttons and the display. Now it is time to attack the business end of this device! Safety warning / disclaimer: Please understand that operating a device powered by line-voltage, … Continue reading

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — reverse engineering #1

The YOUYUE 858D+ I have in my possession uses an AVR ATmega8 microcontroller to control the fan-speed, drive a 7-segment display, read 2 buttons and drive the TRIAC via an opto-isolator.

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — usage & quirks

In a previous post I had taken a look at the innards of said soldering station. Now it is time to see if it is usable. I tested it in several ways…

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YOUYUE 858D+ hotair station — teardown

This device seems to be a clone of several other branded ones out there. The Atten / Aoyue 858 come to mind ;-) I bought it on ebay for 38€ delivered.

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KiCad push & shove router — CERN code-contribution

https://code.launchpad.net/kicad

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Soldering DFN10 packages by hand — quite simple !

If you use the right footprint!

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Prototype stencils from OSHStencils

First generation (now obsolete) stencil from OSHStencils.com:

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Tiny PCBs vs. large ISP headers — Pogo-pins to the rescue

As of late I’ve been making smaller and smaller circuit boards, fighting for every mm² of space. The typical 6pin ISP connector used for programming a lot of the AVR micro-controllers has been getting in the way more and more.

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Weller WMRP RT4 — 1.5mm chisel tip

Fancy packaging.

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MBI5030 starter board — build instructions

Now that the ‘customs-guys’ have finally released the LED-driver ICs, I can finish this project. 4 Weeks is a looooong time for ‘air-mail’. If you’re thinking about 100% hand-assembly, start with the LEDs first! Then add all the other small … Continue reading

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Weller WMRP RT3 — teardown

As I told you in the previous post, the tip has had it. The plating has eroded away, which makes the tip unusable. Sadly there’s no way to replace just the tip, the perfectly healthy heater has to be trashed … Continue reading

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