Who's down for some SMD layouts?

jubal81

Well-known member
I use the Donegan Opti-Visor and sometimes a clamp-on swing light/magnifier.
optigrab-the-jerk.gif
 

jubal81

Well-known member
I have been using these for about a year and I like them: MagniVisor Deluxe Head Visor/Magnifier https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B007CDJKM2/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_NBVNV8Z53THBMEWG0YNS

It works well for me with the 1.5x and I wear it almost constantly while building because I have bad eyes and it is super handy to just be able to swing it down. The higher magnification lenses all work well, but the issue is how close you need to be to what you're working on in order to be able to focus, so I probably won't use them for SMD. I think I'll have to get a lighted magnifying glass on an arm for that.
I use the same one. It's a lot easier than the magnified lamp I used for years.
 

fig

Village Idiot
Do you use that on the visor, or is that with the lighted magnifying glass? Maybe I'm just misremembering how awfully close I had to get with that much magnification.
I missed this earlier Joe. That is on the visor. It's about 6-8" focal distance, so yeah pretty darned close with that on. The swing mag allows your actual skull to be farther from the object you're peepin' at, but it gets all up in the way.
 

finebyfine

Well-known member
Which one did you get? I open to anything that will speed up prototyping.
(Re: $15 amazon hot plate)

Got around to trying this tonight and here are my first impressions. Some are about the plate itself, some / most are thoughts on workflow. For reference, I’m comfortable smd soldering with an iron.

I soldered some sot-23 transistors to a son of benson and mofeta boards using chipquik’s low temperature solder paste.

I had never used paste before and practiced applying on a scrap piece of paper ahead of time. On the benson (first board) I placed flux liberally to the pads as if I were smd soldering by hand before applying the paste. On the mofeta I didn’t. The difference wasn’t huge but the fluxed one was cleaner, and I’ll continue to do that.

The plate heats up fast and while I didn’t measure the temperature I believe the low temp paste was overkill, and that because of how hot it gets there’s no reason to not just use regular with it.

Each board’s smd components (3 and 4 smd jfets) were done in maybe 3 minutes start to finish from shakingly applying paste to board cooled down.

Without a stencil I probably wouldn’t want to use this for anything other than 2 and 3 terminal packages unless I get a lot better applying paste over time. I can drag solder in my sleep once a components in place, but I am going to test some components that I would otherwise default to drag soldering for. The appeal of this setup is definitely for saving the headache of keeping small components (in overall size) in place while soldering with one hand more than a few times.

Not going to solder an sot-23 without this again :)
 

jubal81

Well-known member
Like a source for ordering, or tips for using? I always ordered mine from JLCPCB, I typically put 6 designs on one stencil since the smallest stencil is still huge. They're only about $8 if I remember right, but obviously they add to the shipping cost, especially if you get them with a frame (which I ABSOLUTELY recommend).

I'm always disappointed when I go to recommend a neat tool to someone and the price has gone up dramatically. I got one of these for my birthday a couple years ago, but it was a little less than $200 shipped then. WAY easier than hot air station or hot plate.

https://www.amazon.com/Happybuy-Soldering-Machine-Infrared-Automatic/dp/B01LZYEF90/
I've read reviews that say this machine pretty much requires mods out of the box. Mind telling more about your experience?
 

vigilante398

Well-known member
I've read reviews that say this machine pretty much requires mods out of the box. Mind telling more about your experience?
The only thing I did to mine was take apart the chassis and replace the masking tape with kapton tape. It's fairly well insulated, but masking tape wasn't designed for high temperature use and people that use it stock right out of the box have reported smoke from the melting tape.

I know some people like to replace the firmware, I didn't find that to be necessary and I still run the stock firmware on mine. I do have some cold spots as people mention in reviews, so I can't do a bunch of boards at once, but I can consistently do two reasonable size boards or three smaller ones without problem, just keep everything to the middle of the tray.
 

pcb rookie

Active member
Any chance PedalPCB SMD layout could lead to royal 300+ component project you have been working on for a moment? .... and I can't just begin to imaging the multiple step challenge from digging the gooped to access the compenent to functional PCB!
 
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coward

New member
YES!
I love through-hole but some SMD pedals would be fun. I am currently in the midst of a JSI PROGUE synth build that is almost entirely SMD and it was my first real taste of it. Bought a nice digital microscope with which to save my eyesight and it’s been a fun experience thus far. I’d def be down for some similar projects from PedalPCB
 

finebyfine

Well-known member
Bought a nice digital microscope with which to save my eyesight and it’s been a fun experience thus far.

Do you mind linking? I use 3x-6x readers on my bench but absolutely hate that it’s not just one set of adjustable glasses. 4 pairs of glasses (I swear they all get used) takes up such a silly amount of space
 

coward

New member
Do you mind linking? I use 3x-6x readers on my bench but absolutely hate that it’s not just one set of adjustable glasses. 4 pairs of glasses (I swear they all get used) takes up such a silly amount of space
I believe this is the one I bought.
I’d never heard of Banggood before but it was an easy purchase and no issues.
If this isn’t the exact one I bought then it’s at least pretty darn close. I’ve liked it thus far

 

vigilante398

Well-known member
I’d never heard of Banggood before but it was an easy purchase and no issues.
I've bought a handful of things from Banggood, they're a great option for Chinese equipment, especially when they have stock in their US warehouse. My first laser engraver came from there if I remember right.
 
Just thinking about how much more we can squeeze into an enclosure with SMD components....

How many folks would be interested in some SMD projects?

I'm not talking BGAs and 0402 passives, we'd obviously try to stick to reasonable package sizes that can be hand soldered without the need for an oven...

Working up the layout for the Raincoat Module spoiled me, sooo much extra room to work with and spread out! And factoring in lead forming and cutting I
 
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