Diyouware TwinTeeth is an open-source PCB mini-factory targeted to the electronic hobbyists. It is an innovative fabricator of Arduino™ shield-size PCBs which will help you to make PCB prototypes at home.
It includes the following functions:
- UV Laser photoengraving on sensitive film or presensitized boards using an ultraviolet laser.
- Drilling vias and holes using any mini-rotary tool like Dremel® or Proxxon®.
- Dispensing solder paste with precision on SMD PCB pads.
- Plotting circuits with a permanent pen-maker (if you prefer this method).
- 3D printing knobs, casings, front-panels, even print circuits with conductive filament, or make circuits supports.
- Milling/Carving soft materials or etching PCB copper with a v-bit (if you prefer this etching method).
- And much more… because it is extendable and you can use any other tool you can fix on it.
Diyouware TwinTeeth: The PCB mini-factory - [Link]
Pico Technology has announced that its 3000D Series oscilloscopes launched in October last year now offer deeper memory. This comes on the back of last November’s release of beta drivers for Mac OS X and Linux operating systems for their range of oscilloscopes and data loggers adding to the existing Windows driver. This makes them suitable for use with the BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi development boards.
All scopes in this range feature deep memory, allowing high sampling rates to be maintained even at slower sweep speeds for capturing long waveforms in fine detail. Sampling at 1 Gsample/s it can capture a 500 msec waveform (half a billion samples) while hardware acceleration takes care of smooth display updating.
PicoScopes with Deeper Memory - [Link]
I try to have a few different projects on the go at any time — a big, long term project (like the Arducorder), a shorter-term fun project (like the Open Source CT scanner), and a bunch of smaller weekend or few-weekend project (like the open mini spectrometer). Having a few projects of varying time scales allows you to switch projects when you’re burned out on one, and make more headway on creative pursuits when you’re at the mercy of inspiration. A project I’ve had on the backburner for some time is building a small, open source pick-and-place machine. In the past year or so there’s been a lot of interest in this space, and different groups (e.g. openpnp, firepick) have been working on designs to help folks assemble boards quickly and inexpensively. I thought I’d take a moment to show my progress on a pick-and-place vacuum head, given that I haven’t found a great deal of consolidated information on the topic.
Towards a tiny pick-and-place vacuum head - [Link]
Vassilis over vpapanik.blogspot.gr has build a nice and simple tool to help him soldering tiny SMD parts on a PCB. The tool consists of three metal parts you can easily find on your parts box and it can be proven to be really helpful as it keeps the SMD parts steady while you solder them. The build is easy, all you have to do is to bend the main rod, file the tip to conical shape and drill the other two rods. All steps can be done in under 30 minutes without special tools. Sure it can be your third hand while assembling your PCBs. He writes:
I ordered this awesome N|Watch kit the other day, which requires some serious SMD hand-soldering skills. There’s always the easy alternative to use a reflow oven, but guess what, there is no stencil included (and no, I don’t have a paste dispenser). In a desperate need of a third hand (!) in order do a neat job, I saw some similar DIY solutions (thumbs up for Google images) and managed to build my own version in less than 30 minutes, just using junk metal parts : the SMD beak !
The SMD beak - [Link]
Clamp multimeters are not only practical, but also highly safe at measuring a current. One of them is also the compact Voltcraft VC-521.
Clamp multimeter can be marked as an “old known thing”. AT the same it can be said, that this widely spread type of measuring devices is still more compact and new models are usually able to measure all basic parameters.
From this point of view, the VC-521 can replace a common multimeter, as it´s able to measure voltage, current by means of jaws (even the DC!), frequency, duty cycle, capacity (already from nF), resistance, temperature, diodes and continuity. A useful additional feature is also a non-contact detection of AC voltage (100-600V). User comfort is also increased by functions HOLD and REL. The REL function can serve for a classic measuring but also to null the offset at measuring of DC currents caused by a residual magnetism in the jaws – this can temporarily appear after measuring of high DC currents or also by influence of external magnetic field (magnet, loudspeaker,…).
Plastic lug on one of the jaws is in fact a sensor for non-contact AC voltage detection. This lug also enables easier “separation” of a desired wire from other wires – for example at measuring in a distribution box. Maximum reading is 3999, what´s naturally better than classic „1999″.
“Wireless” measuring is always safer … - [Link]
by Michael Dunn @ edn.com:
Version 2 of the desktop Othermill milling machine is now available, and it’s accurate enough for a range of machining tasks, including double-sided PCBs.
The machine can handle a range of materials, like brass, aluminum, wood, and plastic. For PCBs, FR-1 is recommended over FR-4. With a small milling bit, footprints as fine as TSSOP & TQFP can be created. Solder paste stencils can also be cut using the mill.
For a good walkthrough of PCB creation, read this blog by Tom Simon, a user who liked the Othermill so much he joined the sales team.
Desktop milling machine creates PCBs and packaging - [Link]
by Mike Senese @ makezine.com:
Typically when electrical engineers wants to make a new circuitboard, they need to send their design files to a manufacturer and wait for it to be produced and mailed back. Hardware startup Voltera aims to expedite this process by putting it in on your desk with its V-One consumer circuit board printer.
Print Your Own Circuit Boards and Reflow SMD Components with the Voltera V-One - [Link]
by sdudley @ instructables.com: Mini – Table Saw / Router / Shaper for Dremel rotary tool.
Mini-Tablesaw / Router / Shaper for Dremel rotary tool - [Link]
Even a simple, well-designed tool can help significantly – we´ll introduce to you some of them …
Sometimes, only a little bit is necessary to make our work more happy – a good ergonomic chair, workbench in a suitable height, good lighting … and last but not least also a good screwdriver, magnifying lens, tweezers, or „something“ what can help at extraction of a component from a PCB or at cleaning of a suspicious place with a possible shortcut.
If we´d start by the smallest one, then it could be the ZD-151 set – i.e. six various “surgery” tools serving for bending of THT components leads, extraction of components from a PCB, cleaning of a joint (brass brush) as well as interruption of unwanted connection on a PCB. Especially suitable for work with SMT components is the set of four stainless steel tweezers 816748. By the way, for a work with sensitive components it´s certainly worth to use antistatic wrist band (suitably earthed).
If you already find a place, which should be resoldered or a component should be extracted, then there will be certainly useful desoldering pumps ZD-192 or ZD-108 from an ESD plastic. For a thorough removing of all solder residues, especially at exchange of SMT components, it´s usually necessary to use a desoldering braid, for example Toolcraft – in various thicknesses (1.0-3.0mm) or a top-quality braid with a synthetic flux Soldabsorb.
Soldering tool – that should be laid off into a reliable holder – for example ZD-10 but we´re also able to supply you various original parts from Weller, Ersa and other.
At soldering and especially at a lead-free process, it often happens, that even a relatively new soldering tip gets covered by a thin oxide layer and the tip then “doesn´t catch” solder (poor wetting). If a mild cleaning on a soft-wetted sponge (ZD-937), doesn´t help, or often better – on a dry brass or stainless steel wool – AT-A900, then it might be good to use something more efficient – regenerator of tips Stannol Tippy or Weller TIP ACTIVATOR (T0051303199).
It´s known, that solder smoke and fumes are harmful and your health is surely worth much more than the ZD-153 fumes extractor.
Do you need to extract a hard-to-reach component from a PCB? - [Link]
Do you like tools usable for several jobs? Gas soldering tool Dremel VersaTip 2000 in a “Decorating kit” edition certainly belongs to such record breakers in the versatility of usage.
Multifunctional gas tool Dremel VersaTip 2000 usable for technical but also creative works was introduced to you in our articles. Soldering, melting, hot-cutting, welding and wood burning (pyrography), bending of metals, application of heat shrinkable insulations, releasing of junctions locked by an anaerobic sealant (bearings and screws) and now also various creative works can be done with a special edition „Decorating Kit (DremelVersaTip2000-6)”. This set also contains a few additions to develop creativity of a user (of families :-)), namely: embossing pen, 3 embossing powders, embossing stones and 2 wooden sheets with pre-cut shapes to try this technique.
Embossing pen contains a slow-drying glue. If we put some embossing powder on to an ornament painted by this pen, it will get sticked in a thin layer. Then it´s only necessary to heat it up by a hot air from the VersaTip tool and an attractive color layer is done. Possibilities of usage of this technique are wide – after some exercise it´s possible to use it for example to mark your own „hand made“ products giving them a mark of unique. In general, the embossing lacquer (glue) can be applied also by a suitable rubber stamp (sold in specialized shops), what can give us a relatively very quality, sharp result.
DREMEL® VersaTip in a limited edition serves for work and also for fun - [Link]