An Arduino-compatible smart outlet designed to instantly turn your toaster oven into a reflow soldering station.
Advances in technology continue to shrink the size of components. Hobbyists, who have traditionally worked with through-hole parts, are finding these parts harder and harder to come by as more parts become unavailable in through-hole variants.
Soldering surface mount components with a soldering iron, while possible, can be a rather tedious task. In particular, when you’re working with densely packed pins like those of a microcontroller, hand soldering a board quickly becomes a daunting task.
Reflowster – Soldering Controller for Surface Mount PCBs - [Link]
This is a walk-through for making cheap high quality SMD metal stencils at home, using commonly available materials.
DIY home-made SMT metal stencil - [Link]
Reflow soldering of resistors, capacitors, diodes, controller, and other surface mounted components using a hot air gun. This is a prototype PCB of a custom designed mechanical keyboard, GH60.
SMD soldering by hot air - [Link]
This project is a simple LED tester and LED polarity checker. It can be used to check 1206, 0805, 0603 and 5mm LEDs. All parts are readily available and they are very cheap. Usage is very simple. Just press the tack switch to first check the battery is good. The blue led will turn on. Now you are ready to test your leds and check their polarity.
Simple SMD LED tester - [Link]
Home built Arduino powered SMD Reflow oven based on a toaster oven.
Home built SMD Reflow Oven - [Link]
An in depth tutorial showing how to solder surface mount parts. Covering the tools, techniques and tips that can really help learn how to properly solder electronics! If you are new to soldering this video should have you soldering SMD components in no time!
With just a bit of pratice it becomes much easier to solder SMD then through hole soldering. As shown in the video the main key is lots of flux, but be sure to properly clean your work once you are finished soldering it.
HowTo SMD Soldering - [Link]
Nick Leijenhorst build a 555 PWM circuit to dim his room LED lighting. He writes:
I wanted to dim my room LED lighting with a potentiometer, and decided on creating a solution from scratch to make it more fun and educative. I decided to go with the fairly well-known 555 PWM circuit. To decrease size and for learning purposes I decided on using surface-mount components for the first time. The reason I wanted to make this 555 PWM circuit is actually just to see if I could solder SMD components on home-etched PCB’s, and to see how hard it actually is.
Surface-mount 555 PWM circuit - [Link]
Resettable fuses are a very useful complement significantly increasing a safety of devices.
Polyswitch-es provide a big service at protection of devices, where they behave like „resettable“ fuses. How many times it is suitable or necessary to use a fuse in a device, but a relatively bulky fuse socket simply doesn´t have a space in our device (or it would spoil a device design) and we also don´t want to use a PCB fuse holder, because a device would have to be constructed as user accessible… Then and not only then, is the ideal solution to use a Polyswitch. Such „fuses“ are available from various producers (for example also under names Polyfuse, Multifuse), Polyswitch is a trade name of company TE Connectivity/ Raychem, representing a top level in this segment. In a principle, a Polyswitch is a PTC resistor with a Polymeric structure designed for a big change of resistance in a narrow temperature range. Conductive particles are dissipated in an amorphous polumer, which changes its structure at a higher temperature (melts), increases its volume resulting in a rapid increasing of a component resistance. In this point (tripping point) a very rapid increasing of resistance appears, which is high enough, so that a leakage current is practically negligible and won´t cause a damage to a protected circuit. Each Polyswitch has a defined holding current (I hold), nominal resistance at a given temperature and tripping (switch off) current (I trip). By a current flowing through a Polyswitch, it gets calorified (I2R), until a certain current it will reach a level, where a rapid increasing of its resistance appears. An exact current at which this change arises naturally depends also on an ambient temperature (at higher temperature a lower current is sufficient). This behavior is digestedly illustrated on an enclosed graph (Fig.4). In the A region, a Polyswitch is switched off (tripped) and a device is disconnected. In the region B the Polyswitch allows for normal operation (on) at any combination of a current and ambient temperature. In the region C can the component go tripped (off) so to say “anytime” depending on a concrete resistance value of a given piece. Read the rest of this entry »
alexglow @ instructables.com writes:
Note: By “beginner’s guide”, I mean a guide written by a beginner. (I made it at TechShop SF, during my first weeks!) I have some technique tips to share, but for more in-depth questions, Google is your friend.
Solder paste allows you to populate a board with many tiny components, without straining your eyes and fingers. Using minuscule components saves space, and you can dramatically cut down the space between them when you don’t have to solder every connection by hand.
Beginner’s Guide to Solder Paste - [Link]