Tag Archives: SMT

Arduino Motorized SMT Solder Paste Dispenser


by zapta @ thingiverse.com:

This is a motorized solder paste dispenser for soldering SMT boards. The home directory of this project is on github here https://github.com/zapta/misc/tree/master/paste_injector and it include hardware and firmware design of a compatible controller board that is Arduino compatible (it looks to the Arduino IDE as an Arduino Pro Mini).

Arduino Motorized SMT Solder Paste Dispenser – [Link]

Surface-mount device prototyping in education


In this article Vassilis K. Papanikolaou explains how SMD prototyping practice can be used in learning environments using simple and wide available tools and equipment:

A feasibility study is herein attempted, towards the adaptation of modern surface-mount device (SMD) prototyping practice to learning environments. This necessity emerges not only from the profound advantages of the above technology (e.g. component size, availability, low cost etc.) but also from the fact that contemporary designs often require special board layout considerations, which may be incompatible with through-hole components. In addition, the long process between prototyping and product finalization can be greatly shortened. Nevertheless, the employment of surface-mount techniques in education may be discouraged by both the unappealing part sizes (i.e. handling difficulty) and the excessive cost of commercial supporting equipment. The main objective of this study is to suggest practical and low-cost solutions for all different SMD prototyping/manufacturing stages, which can demystify and render this procedure welcome and easily applicable in laboratory classes.

Surface-mount device prototyping in education – [Link]

Desolder professionally with NO-CLEAN flux wicks


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]

xPico WiFi SMT doesn’t require connector neither antenna


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.

Detailed information will provide you the xPico WiFi SMT brochure, xPico WiFi SMTi datasheet and the xPico WiFi SMT integration guide.

xPico WiFi SMT doesn’t require connector neither antenna – [Link]

VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT



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]

Wago 2060 terminal blocks don’t overtop LEDs


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

EnFilm – rechargeable solid state lithium thin film battery


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]

Using Paper Protos to Check Footprints with EAGLE


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]