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19 Dec 2012


This project is “NanoUtils Xtal” – a crystal oscillator breakout board. The board is designed to be interfaced with microcontrollers that have their oscillator pins next to a ground pin. [via]

This board is a breakout containing a SMD crystal, two caps and a resistor meant to be used in breadboards when building something with an Atmel ATmega or a Microchip PIC that have the two crystal pins next to a GND pin. For instance the atmega328 or pic18f2550.

Crystal oscillator breakout – [Link]

19 Dec 2012

Our friend Vasilis posted a video story of a successful SMD reflow process… at his home, amazing!

Powered by the Low Budget Manual Pick and Place : http://vpapanik.blogspot.gr/2012/11/low-budget-manual-pick-place.html

SMD reflow at home – [Link]

16 Dec 2012

Action video of the Low Budget Manual Pick and Place Originally posted in : http://vpapanik.blogspot.gr/2012/11/low-budget-manual-pick-place.html

Low Budget Manual Pick and Place (HD) – [Link]

24 Nov 2012

Our friend Vassilis decided to build his own manual Pick & Place machine to facilitate his work with 0402 SMD and other fine pitch parts. He used plywood, a pen microscope and a vacuum pump to build this dirty cheap Pick and Place manual machine:

If you are dealing with tiny SMD parts (e.g. 0402 resistors and capacitors), a manual pick and place machine is a helpful piece of equipment for prototyping and small-batch manufacturing. On the other side, traditional SMD placement using precision tweezers not only requires an ultra-steady hand but also becomes a tiresome drill, especially when working long hours upon fine-pitch PCB footprints.

Low Budget Manual Pick & Place – [Link]

29 Oct 2012

Super Simple SMT: Stencil8 – [via]

Over the years, I’ve soldered a fair number of boards. I’ve also seen how professional factories produce their boards. This is my technique for doing it myself, and I hope it works as well for you as it does for me. :) Note: the files needed to make the fixture, custom pcb setup, and stencil are on Github – Stencil8. This whole project is OSHW.

Super Simple SMT: Stencil8 – [Link]

20 Sep 2012

winneymj writes:

My inspiration for developing this gas gauge was after purchasing a new car (Scion Xa) and wondering what MPG I was getting. After much research on ODBII protocols (Scions support CAN-BUS), and looking into open source software that already existed (OBDuino32K) I delved into my first Arduino project.

This project has taken me over a year to put together from building my own CAN-BUS shield, learning to design a circuit board, soldering SMD parts and then building my own enclosure so I could mount it in my car.

Arduino CAN-BUS OBD Gas Gauge – [Link]

19 Sep 2012

Thanks to their very low equivalent serial resistance (ESR), they provide a very worth function in power supply parts of various devices. In many cases, there´s no need to add any other types of filtering capacitors anymore. 

SMD ceramic capacitors are nowadays commonly available in relatively very high capacities of units to tens of uF, while keeping small dimensions (0603 – 1210). There are also available higher capacities in bigger packages, but the offer of producers is especially reach at these small packages (0603-1210) and prices are significantly better in comparison to a recent past.

Why to use a ceramic capacitor? First, it has a substantially lower value of ESR than electrolytic capacitors and also lower than tantalum ones. This is reflected in low losses and outstanding filtering properties even at high frequencies and high currents, what is especially beneficial at power supply of fast semiconductors and in switch-mode power supplies. Low power consumption of modern components enables to decrease an overall capacity of capacitors in a power supply part, that´s why in many cases a few uFarads are sufficient. A big advantage is a long lifetime too, because they don´t contain any liquid electrolyte. Naturally, in devices, where high current peaks occur, it would be economically inefficient to use ceramic capacitors only. In such cases a combination of ceramic and tantalum or electrolytic capacitors is ideal.

In our offer can be found more types, also a novelty in our offer – 2,2uF/10V/0805 from the X7R mass from company YAGEO (please note a significantly lower price at purchase of 50 pcs and more). The X7R mass ensures very good properties in a wide range of temperatures and voltages. Detailed information will provide you the X7R, X5R and Y5V documents. In case of interest about any YAGEO component, please contact us at info@soselectronic.com

Do you utilize ceramic capacitors for power supply filtering? – [Link]

10 Jul 2012

Akafugu writes:

We’ve added a new sheet that covers most of the chips that were missing in the Atmel ATmega and ATTiny families, specifically the ones that come in only SMD packages. The chips included are ATtiny 4/5/9/10/20/40/24a/44/84a/43u/87 and 167. We’ve also added the ATmega8/48/88/268/328 in TQFP package which has a different pinout than the DIP package covered in the original reference sheet.

Microcontroller Reference Sheet SMD v1.0 – [Link]

27 May 2012

Giorgos Lazaridis writes:

I have began working with SMD chips and especially with my favorite QFN package some time ago, and i have already manage to radically reduce the size of my PCB to minimum, thanks to the tiny footprint of those packages. Slowly i began replacing my titanic through-hole parts with SMDs (whenever possible). One problem that arises with QFN PIC packages is that the microcontroller must be programmed after being soldered to the PCB. I know that there are QFN sockets that i can use to make a QFN chip programmer, but they are still very expensive to get, almost $100 each.

I turned using 0.1 pitch headers on each PCB, but this was totally inefficient, because this connector occupies more PCB space than the PIC itself. Taking also into account that the programming connector will only be used once, i decided to design something better, smaller and somehow faster for programming the PICs.

PIC ICSP Instant SMD Connector with Pogo Pins – [Link]

2 Apr 2012

The SMD Codebook is a comprehensive internet database of the two and three letter codes used to mark small surface mount parts. This is an indispensable resource for repairing and reverse engineering SMD circuits. [via]

SMD devices are, by their very nature, too small to carry conventional semiconductor type numbers. Instead, a somewhat arbitrary coding system has grown up, where the device package carries a simple two- or three-character ID code. Identifying the manufacturers’ type number of an SMD device from the package code can be a difficult task, involving combing through many different databooks. This HTML book is designed to provide an easy means of device identification. It lists over 3,500 device codes in alphabetical order, together with type numbers, device characteristics or equivalents and pinout information. Sometimes I’m asked to put IC information in the codebook. There is some information about ICs – but first and foremost the codebook is intended for discrete devices. Some ICs have been included, usually these are 3/4 pin devices or RF circuits I’m interested in.

Identify surface mount part codes online – [Link]





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