Craig's Picture of the Day

Get Yer Motor Running
Time to solder. Got out my 0805 parts, here's my resistor selection, about 2000 resistors.
Most of my designs use 0603 parts (0.063" x 0.031" or 1.6mm x 0.79mm). For Trackduino I opted for 0805 parts, a little larger just in case I had issues with my homemade circuit board. 0603 parts are about as small as I can place by hand. 0402 and 0201 parts exist, can you imagine a 0201 part, its dimensions are 0.02"x0.01", that's crazy small and your cell phone is full of them!

Here's a box of 50 270Kohm, see the 274 printed on each one, 27 * 10^4 or 270,000ohms. Got it, a 27 with 4 zeros? Good, there be quiz later. I've stopped buying the variety packs like this. Its just cheaper to buy what you need. For example, $2.21 will buy a 1000 1K resistors. That should last you a while.
In the olden days, you'd fire up your dad's Weller and scrounge
about for solder. Today, you go to fridge and get your solder paste.
You squeeze a tiny drop on each pad,
just like frosting a cake.
Like this. No need to be careful, once you heat this
solder paste, it will wick to the copper.
Then pick up your parts with tweezers and place them down. Simple as that.
Put your board in a 'reflow oven'.
Personally, I prefer the Toastmaster QuickCooker with the DTB4824 mod. The convection fan is bit hot, so to speak. It sometimes blows parts off the board. Set for 190C, the entire reflow process takes about 5 minues.
Now that's some mighty-fine solderin'
Oops, missed a part, no worries mate!
Quiz time, how many ohms is 474 and 103?
I'll just break out my Aoyue 768 hot air rework station and tack
down the missing capacitor. You know, just like Mom used to do it.
Surface mount soldering is amazingly simple with superior results. DO NOT fear SMT!

Eagle is free, the bare board $3, etchant is $5, any toaster oven will work, you can rework parts with a decent soldering iron, there's tons of sites dedicated to helping you, Sparkfun, Adafruit, Makezine, Hack a Day, youtube and Instructables for example. Today's garages rock compared to Heathkits of the 70s.
Its a great time to re-kindle your tinkering heart.
Trackduino P1213
Idea to completion 5 hours.
Up Next - The Trackduino P1213 Result
Photography © 2012 Craig Hollabaugh
Craig's Picture of the Day © 2012 Craig Hollabaugh
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