steveastrouk @ instructables.com writes:
This is useful tip for anyone making or using surface mount components on PCBs. It relies on access to a laser cutter, so if you don’t have one, look away now….. I cut a plastic stencil on the laser, align it with the PCB pads and then squeegee a thin layer of solder paste through the holes. Peeling away the stencil will leave a perfect pattern of pads with the correct amount of solder on each one. I have just successfully used this process on components with a 0.025″ pitch (0.65mm) – that’s VERY small,
Soldering stencils for DIY circuit boards - [Link]
By: Alex Danovich,President San Francisco Circuits
We live in an exciting time where we see a resurgence in electronics as a hobby. Mass production has wiped out a generation or two of kids learning to build radios from scratch with their mom or dad. In the good old days, not sure when, you had companies like Heathkit walk you through building a full size color TV at home, for example. “Yes, I made that!” you’d proudly exclaim to yourself after hours of work.
What’s causing this hobbyist resurgence?
- Television shows such as How it’s Made, Mythbusters and other programming on TLC.
- Websites such as instructables.com, hackaday.com, and specialized hobbyist blogs.
- Interest in RC cars, robotics, gaming, computers etc.
- Advent of Arduino boards, modules and free software.
- Open source software/hardware.
- The whole maker movement in general.
So what does this have to do with making circuit boards? Read the rest of this entry »
FluxProbe is a test prod for measuring currents without touching the conductor it is flowing through. More acurately it is measuring the magnetic flux. This way you can measure currents on PCB traces without having to put a resistor in between. This test gear enables you to trace faults in your PCB (for example search for a short circuit). This is usefull for commissioning of you circuit for example.
FluxProbe – measure currents without touching the conductor - [Link]
Philip designed a simple component size and silkscreen reference board:
since I kept checking old projects to figure out which silkscreens worked, and which didn’t, I made myself a simple reference board. I also included some common SMD component sizes, just to keep me from thinking 0402 was a viable default size.
Simple silkscreen reference board - [Link]
Tom Hausherr’s blog is dealing with component package technology and libraries standards and providing lots of great and clear information. If you are designing your own libraries for your next project you definatelly have to check it out!
Tom Hausherr’s Blog - [Link]
The Vetinari Clock comes as an easy to solder kit with everything you need to create your own analog clock that ticks randomly, but still keeps accurate time! The kit comes with a small PCB and all required parts, that you will solder. Also included is a medium-sized wall clock, that you will disassemble and modify, and then connect to the completed PCB board.
Vetinari Clock – A clock that ticks randomly, but still keeps accurate time – [Link]
A new PCB design web application was released this last week called PCBWeb. The website states that PCBWeb is a free browser-based CAD application for designing and manufacturing electronics hardware. The tool is currently released in BETA and allows you to create a schematic, full circuit board layout, and then export to gerber format for manufacturing. The application is supported on Windows and Mac using Silverlight.
- Multi-sheet schematics
- Custom Ports
- Digi-Key Part Library (+100K components with symbol and footprints)
- Cut/Copy/Past and full undo/redo
- Multi-layer board
- Support for all units (mm/inch)
- copper pour
- DRC (design rule checking)
- Gerber Export
Bill of Material Manager
- View real-time pricing
- Order Links
PCBWeb – Free Online PCB Design Software - [Link]
You can use this cutter to cut very accurate PCB stencils on your home:
Are you sick and tired of using a tooth pick to apply solder paste? Are you still using through hole components because you don’t want to deal with soldering surface mount devices (SMD)? If so, this post provides you with guidelines for building your very own laser cutter for cutting PCB stencils. With a total cost of approximately $200 (it can be significantly less if you already have parts laying around), this project can pay for itself very quickly. While you can get “low cost” stencils for your PCBs, they still can be quite expensive if you are only creating one or two boards.
DIY Laser Cutter for PCB Stencils - [Link]
Christian Aurich developed a script to import Eagle boards into FreeCAD. This way he is able to design custom enclosures.
The common solution until now is to export your board with eagleUp and assemble it with a case in Sketchup. This also gives you some drawbacks. The most important to me was that the Sketchup files are mesh based like the data used for 3D printing usually, but for further use in CAD systems this is not really usable. You also will not be able to get a STEP model that you can give to your costumers out of this data.
Script lets you import Eagle boards for use in FreeCAD - [Link]