Desoldering braid makes an invaluable service at development or rework.
Everyone who´s ever tried to suck off a solder from a solder pad by means of a solder absorbing braid (wick) will probably confirm, that this tool belongs to a “must have” equipment of every professional or amateur workplace. What´s the charm of a desoldering braid? Above all in the fact, that it´s able to absorb almost all the solder from a given place, thus the most of components can be loosened very easily. Hand (pneumatic) pump surely has its place, mainly when working with bigger components, but at comparison with a desoldering braid it´s similar like if we compared a broom with a vacuum cleaner.
A quality desoldering braid is usually able to absorb a solder so thoroughly, that only a microscopic layer of a solder will remain on a PCB – as if a board was new, unused. It is very advantageous even at a hand rework of SMT components, because it´s desirable the component to lay directly on a board – not askew in a thick solder layer causing a mechanical tension and able to cause even a malfunction of a component (often at SMT capacitors).
To reach a good functionality of a desoldering wick it should be made of a fine gauge copper wires (without oil residues end similar) and it must be treated with a high quality flux. The cheapest braids usually contain only a rosin-based flux, the better ones have a synthetic flux based, which produce less fumes.
A novelty in our portfolio is the novelty from company CRC Industries – braid SOLDABSORB. We keep Soldabsorb in a width of 1.5 and 2.5mm, packed in a blister in 2 pcs (the price is for 2 pcs). Soldabsorb represents a top-level in this segment and is made of a highly pure copper, fine gauge wires and contains a synthetic NO-CLEAN flux. It means, that the flux residues are non-conductive and non-corrosive and they can be left on a PCB. Very fine wires contribute to a high wicking (absorbing) ability.
The usage of the wick is very simple and is based in 4 steps:
- Place the Soldabsorb wick on the solder joint
- place the tip of the solder iron on the wick and hold shortly
- absorbed solder will change a color of a braid, showing that the process was successful
- when a joint contains a big amount of solder, it may be necessary to cut off a used end of a braid (2-5mm) and repeat the process
In praxis it approves well to adjust temperature of a soldering iron to a slightly higher, than we´d normally need for a given pad and eventually also to use a thicker soldering tip. In especially difficult cases (vias at ground planes of a PCB) it helps to put a small amount of a new solder on a soldering tip, which will decrease an absorbing ability of a braid, it will significantly improve a heat transfer from a tip through a braid to a PCB, thus improving and speeding up an absorption. Before another use of a braid, it´s sufficient to cut off only a very end of a braid (a few mm) fully sucked by a solder.
At the end it´s worth to mention, that after desoldering, it´s good to apply a small amount of solder on a soldering tip to protect it from oxidizing.
Detailed information will provide you the Soldabsorb datasheet.
Desolder professionally with NO-CLEAN flux wicks – [Link]
High mechanical stability is one of benefits of a new „SMT“ version of the popular Lantronix xPico WiFi module.
Lantronix xPico WiFi module may be already familiar to you from our articles, for example: xPico WiFi is a dream come true for producers and customers where we also mention the HW compatibility with the xPico module ( wired, serial-to-Ethernet modul). New version – xPico WiFi SMT brings the same functionality as xPico WiFi and as the name saysm it´s intended for a direct soldering by an SMT (reflow) process, together with other components on a PCB. In contrast to original version which has an SMT (board-to-board) connector, SMT version is designed similarly like many GSM/GPS modules, i.e. as a module on a carrying PCB with soldering pads on PCB sides (half-vias, plus gnd on a bottom).
At the same time, SMT version is also available with integrated small ceramic antenna, so no external antenna is required. Just this version XPCW1003100B we keep as a standard stock item. Perhaps the biggest advantage of SMT version is this possibility of a direct soldering bringing a very high mechanical stability – also suitable for applications with a higher risk of vibrations.
xPico WiFi SMT is the same powerful („device server“) as a previous version and offers easiest way how to add WiFi connectivity into a target device, practically without a necessity to write a single line of code.
Simultaneous AP (Access Point) with a DHCP server and Client mode also enable a direct access – communication with other WiFi device, for example with a tablet or a smartphone.
xPico WiFi SMT doesn’t require connector neither antenna – [Link]
VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT edition is a special solder-free kit version of the original VFD Modular Clock . The firmware is mbed based and is freely available at http://developer.mbed.org/teams/Akafugu/code/vfd_modular_clock_mbed/
- IV-18 8-digit Russian VFD Display Tube
- Open source mbed based firmware
- LPC1347 ARM Cortex-M3 64kb microcontroller
- GPS (option)
- Four Letter Word
- Easy to update firmware with no special drivers required (LPC1347 usb bootloader)
VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT – [Link]
EEVblog #684 – Ness SMT Manufacturing & Assembly Factory Tour – [Link]
With a height of only 4.5 mm are new terminal blocks able to connect LED modules and LED panels aesthetically and with a maximal reliability.
There are numerous SMT connectors on the market, which are suitable for usage on LED panels but even in other applications. That´s why it´s a logic question – why just Wago 2060?
Firstly it is because of a sophisticated construction of a terminal block with a globally known and million times proven screwless spring clamp CageClampS. This clamp has an optimum pressure on a wire ideally responding to a wire diameter, i.e. the thicker wire, the bigger pressure. Also thanks to this is the max. allowed current up to 9A (!). Further, it´s possible to install solid and ferruled wires even without tools. By a simple pressing to a terminal block (for example by a screwdriver), it´s possible to insert even fine stranded flexible leads and by similar way also to disengage. Features of a clamp don´t get worse neither after multiple disengaging of a connection and they remain stable even after a long period of operation.
From other positives it´s necessary to mention a “balcony” construction of an input portion, which makes installation of wires easier and faster. Sufficiently big flat area ensures a reliable application on assembly machines (pick-n-place). And finally – an aesthetic curved shape and a white/cream color cause, that connectors are inconspicuous and they don´t disturb on a PCB.
Terminal blocks are available in 1,2 and 3-pole version. You needn´t be in doubt that you missed development and you still don´t know a circuit operating on 1 pole – naturally the single-pole version is intended for connecting of several modules into series. A big plus is also availability of interconnecting both-sided pins enabling easy and aesthetic creation of a row (string) of several modules.
Pin spacing is 4mm and there´s also available a version with 8mm pin spacing with operating voltage of up to 600V. Connector casing is made of an advanced material (glass fibre reinforced PPA) with a very wide range of operating temperatures.
Novelty is also a newer version – Wago 2061 with up to 12A max. current. Detailed information will provide you the Wago 2060 brochure.
Wago 2060 terminal blocks don’t overtop LEDs – [Link]
by Graham Prophet @ edn.com:
STMicroelectronics has announced limited production of its EnFilm advanced rechargeable batteries that are less than 0.25 mm thick. These paper-thin batteries free designers from the constraints of standard battery sizes for personal technology and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
At 220µm thick and measuring 25.7 x 25.7 mm, ST’s EFL700A39 EnFilm solid-state lithium thin-film battery is suited for use in ultra-low-profile devices. Surface-mount terminals allow direct attachment to the circuit board, which simplifies assembly and eliminates wires and connectors. Optional tape-and-reel packaging allows high-speed automated placement.
EnFilm – rechargeable solid state lithium thin film battery – [Link]
Just a short video to show how I hand solder a ceramic leadless chip carrier (CLCC) package to a circuit board, in this case, a Si570. Typical surface mount soldering techniques, including the use of flux, fine gauge solder, and a fine tipped iron.
How to solder a leadless ceramic surface mount package – [Link]
by Dave Young
Anyone who has learned a layout package like EAGLE and sent a board off to a fab knows the trepidation felt when submitting the final gerbers. It doesn’t matter if the order is for 3 PCBs or 3,000 PCBs. The time lost from an error can ruin a project’s momentum, especially if it is a boneheaded error.
There is a better way to check all of the footprints with a layout: Paper PCB Protos. This low-tech technique only takes an hour, but can provide 100% confidence in the footprints checked. Thanks to proper scaling of the PCB, it is possible to create a PDF and print out an exact representation of the board. The designer can then place parts on the paper to quickly determine if a component’s footprint will be suitable, at least for a pilot production build.
Using Paper Protos to Check Footprints with EAGLE – [Link]
Instructions for Soldering and Desoldering SMDs featuring up-close shots of fine-pitch soldering.
Surface Mount Soldering 101 – [Link]
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]