Category Archives: Soldering & PCBs.

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

Soldering iron tip erosion — Weller WMRP RT3

I’ve been having difficulty soldering properly with well-established settings for quite some time now. I’ve had to set the temperature to 400°C – just to get borderline decent operation. I measured the temperature as well and it was fine. Looking … Continue reading

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May the proper FLUX be with you! — ALWAYS

I’ve been working with a liquid flux dispenser pen (EDSYN FL-88) for all my projects so far, be it through hole or SMD or both. Although I use ‘well-behaved’ SnPb solder with rosin core (I tried lead-free SAC solder, but … Continue reading

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Truly useable OSHW logo for KiCAD

Yes I do know that there are others available as well, but I didn’t like it. It is HUGE (about 6MB) and I couldn’t easily scale it. Using ‘Bitmap2Component’, which is included in the later versions of KiCAD, I’ve created … Continue reading

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Bleep Labs Nebulophone — Chiptunes

First a note: If you want to use a standard headphone, you’ll probably go deaf. You need something with a volume knob! You’ll also most likely need an adapter from 6.3mm to 3.5mm, and get one that can handle “6.3mm … Continue reading

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More light! — Prolly my LAST large perfboard prototype

I’m still alive — physically that is. Recently I felt the urge to do some soldering an I promptly succumbed to it. 3 days later I was done and totally fed up with having to solder using the “W-word”. The … Continue reading

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Weller WSM 1 Soldering Station — A short review

Summer is finally over it seems. Yesterday was the first noticeably colder and terribly rainy day and I have a feeling in my gut that I’m already incubating a nasty cold. I got soaked again while riding my bike back … Continue reading

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Bad soldering day — A rip-off (literally)

Once in a while I sell one or two of the RGB LED RING boards. As not everybody feels comfortable with soldering SMD parts (and I’ve explicitly warned that it’s not that easy and that the RGB LEDs die easily) … Continue reading

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MSOP10/TSSOP8 – DIP adapters — they’ve finally arrived

I’ve waited almost 8 weeks… and finally the reward ;-) And I’ve already managed to solder the LT1618 boost converter chip to one of these. Compared to soldering TQFP-32 packages this screams for solder paste and a hot air station. … Continue reading

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RGB LED Toy — It works

Well… sort of. I finally got the PCBs from sparkfun! Almost 6 weeks, 9 days only for the “air mail” letter to get to me. Maybe my “dear friends” at the customs office were “busy” again. Unfortunately my request to … Continue reading

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RGB LED Toy — first order at BatchPCB

For quite some time I have 19 SMD RGB LEDs sitting in one of my electronics boxes. It used to be 20, but I’ve ruined one while trying to solder it to perfboard. They are 3 single LEDs put into … Continue reading

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Who needs cheap MSOP10/TSSOP8 to DIP adapters ?

Hi, I’ve been planning to build a prototype driver for the Seeedstudio LED module (1, 2) for quite a while, but I just cannot get MSOP-DIP adapters that are reasonably priced. The cheapest single one I could find was 2.50€! … Continue reading

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Note to self: 26.0V >> 2.60V — A short ChipQuik review

Nothing good can come from a freak idea after midnight !

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V3.04 PCBs from MakePCB have arrived

I’ve waited for 5 weeks for the 2nd batch of the 64-pixel RGB matrix controller boards. This time I ordered from MakePCB as I wanted to test another PCB manufacturer. Also I couldn’t get gold plated pads from GoldPhoenix for … Continue reading

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8×8 RGB Matrix V3 + KICAD + SMD — part 2

Lost in some office, surrounded by clueless clerks, and low on patience… This is my adaption of the famous tag line of Army of Darkness: “Lost in time, surrounded by evil, and low on gas…”, which describes what I’ve been … Continue reading

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8×8 RGB Matrix V3 + KICAD + SMD — part 1

Now that I’ve started to work with KICAD, I’ve made the transistion to SMD parts and finally got my switch back. I hade to remove it in V2 as the DIP parts took too much space. The quartz is back … Continue reading

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Creating schematics and PCB layouts with open source tools

On my quest to build the electronics for my LED RGB matrix gadget, I’ll be dealing with gEDA and KICAD for the next few weeks. For windoze users, there’s also FreePCB. The prototype will still be finished using perfboard and … Continue reading

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RoHS compliant soldering

When I decided to revamp my old hobby called electronics, I decided to be RoHS compliant and bought lead-free solder. make: Edsyn type: SAC8250 alloy: Sn95.5Ag3.8Cu0.7 flux: F-SW34 (no-clean) melting point: 217°C As my good old soldering iron works at … Continue reading

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Modding a GBC-H212 Laminator

Objective: proper toner transfer for 2 sided 1.5mm PCBs Steps: check if 1.5mm PCBs pass through the unmodded laminator: (NO) remove paper guides to prevent PCB from getting stuck (OK) check if proper refusing takes place after about 2-4 passes: … Continue reading

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Making PCBs with the toner transfer method

Well… I thought this would be fun. I even got the pulsarprofx toner transfer paper and a laminator (GBC H212) because I couldn’t get proper results with my tiny clothes iron, but It did not work. The transfer paper itself … Continue reading

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