The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

SMD Soldering at a Hackspace

IR Re-Flow Oven
IR Re-Flow Oven
IR Re-Flow Oven

The soldering of SMD devices is something that no normal person would want to do by hand for fun, I can’t even believe that normal people would do it anyway (it is a cruel and unusual punishment).

Hackspace Manchester has recently thanks to Matt bought an Infer Red IC Oven Like this one.

So the challenge now is getting grains of sand onto a PCB with solder under them.

I know 0805 and larger are not really grains of sand, but I don’t think any one would really call them large.

Bob showed me how to make my life easer, taking advantage of Eagle and the laser cutter to make a stencil.

Most people use Inkscape to edit the SVG files, however I got a copy of Autodesk’s Graphic and despite silly DPI problems with SVGs and VisiCut it works mostly 😀

The Mylar stencil material is available from eBay, I buy the Solder Paste from Amazon.

Instructions for the Hackspace Manchester Infer Red Oven are on the Hacman Wiki.

Ragworm Vs AllPCB

The first bunch of PCBs I had made were a batch of 25 4 layer boards by a Chinese company called AllPCB and the total came to about $85, due to design changes and the ilk, I needed some more PCBs made after the redesigns, I needed some more boards made. With Chinese New Year in the way it looked like I would need to go with a UK company, RagWorm is a company who often turn up to UK geek events. 15 x 2 layer PCB came to about £180… and to be honest I feel that the AllPCB ones feel of higher quality (ignoring the extra coper), and at the better price point I would definitely recommend AllPCB and use them again.

The list of components I have got is here: Components list, it may save you hunting down farnell part numbers.

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