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Ecnerwal
Guest

Mon May 21, 2018 4:45 pm   



In article <6ho1gdp0nm6k3j17mk9ckd5ju56vlt6akj_at_4ax.com>,
Ray Otwell <rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com> wrote:

Quote:
I'm continually improving my technique with soldering, but I have an
essential tremor that makes fine work difficult without having to
brace the iron against something.


The number one problem I see in students (of all ages) learning to
solder is getting them to actually (they've had the noises go in their
ear and out the other, rather than hearing it, usually) relax and rest
the tip of the iron on the work. Your hand can jiggle all over the place
(or as JL says, you can arrange your workspace with some sort of wrist
rest to reduce that motion) if the iron tip is on the place it needs to
be.

As training, solder without any "grip" on the iron at all - let the
handle lay on your flat, open palm - most folks start out with a death
grip on it, and if I do that, I can't hold the tip still, either. I
don't usually solder like that, but I have a very relaxed grip on it.

Even on SMT, I'm often using the side - on a well-designed pad, there's
often more room to apply heat to the pad (and let heat and solder flow
to the pin) than there is to apply heat to the pin. Given a desire to
get in, get done, and get out quickly, the most effective (thus, largest
area) transfer of heat is beneficial.

Quote:
It works
well, but it throws shade over my work area if I'm not careful and
lean in too close.


Under "modern approaches to work lighting" there are some stunningly
bright, small, LED flashlights (US = UK torches), and you can strap one
or two to your glasses or magnifier frame. (or purchase something where
someone in China has done that for you, but usually the flashlights are
inferior in that case.)

--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.

Phil Hobbs
Guest

Mon May 21, 2018 7:45 pm   



On 05/21/18 09:23, George Herold wrote:
Quote:
On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 6:11:45 PM UTC-4, Phil Hobbs wrote:
On 05/18/18 16:43, rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com wrote:
Greetings one and all


I am laying plans to start working with SMT for the first time. Would
0805 components be a suitable size for a beginner, or would another
size be appropriate?



I have been a sometimes hobbyist for a long time, since the mid 70's
when I was a teenager, but until now I have never ventured beyond
through hole construction, mostly due to a combination of tooling and
a complete lack of dexterity.

I have recently been convinced by someone that SMT has a much wider
availability of components and the prices are generally much less than
the equivalent THT components. The compactness of SMT construction is
also very attractive.

I plan to start with a small hot air station and then move up to a
more proper reflow setup if I ever get more ambitious.

I'd suggest 0805 or 1206 to start with. Hot air isn't a slam dunk for
assembly because it's easy to blow the components away--paste isn't very
sticky. I suggest using an adjustable hotplate from a chem lab (which
are cheap on ebay) with a _thick_ aluminum frying pan on top (also cheap).

For protos we use one of those plus a chunk of 1/2-inch aluminum jig
plate from McMaster-Carr. You really need the aluminum to spread out
the heat, or the board won't reflow uniformly. A thermocouple
thermometer is pretty cheap as well, but you need to really squash the
sensor against the hot plate, e.g. with a screw or a big binder clip.


My primary concern is the handling of components. The 0805 sized
components seem to be very common and I strongly doubt I could ever go
below that due to vision and dexterity issues.

Get some good lab glasses. If you were a teenager in the 1970s (as I
was) you'll be needing bifocals. My lab glasses are +0.75 (comfortable
for a desktop computer) and +2.25 for close work. Your reading
correction plus 1.25 or 1.5 diopter is the ticket. I pay about $40 for a
pair of those from Zenni Optical. Don't use drugstore ones unless you
happen to have the matching interpupillary distance--even a millimetre
of error makes a difference.

For small stuff, e.g. checking TSSOP packages for solder bridges, I use
an original Mantis microscope ($1400 used) with 4x and 8x lenses. There
are a lot of Chinese scopes on eBay for a few hundred bucks new.

Make sure you get a _stereo_ microscope and not just a _binocular_ one.
Stereo scopes provide normal stereopsis, i.e. your eyes look at the
field from different directions so that you get depth perception. It's
cool and useful to be able to look around stuff, and the Mantis is great
for that.

Also spend the money for decent stainless-steel tweezers, not the
Chinese or (especially) Indian ones. You want pointy ends with not too
skinny a taper, one pair straight and one pair curved. You'll use the
curved ones the most.
Phil, what's wrong with the cheap tweezers from India? I think that
is what I mostly use. Is there something I'm missing?


I suggest you drop $25 on a Swiss pair and see. ;)

Mainly the poorly-ground points that aren't reliably parallel, so that
parts tend to squirt out like the way kids shoot cherry pits from their
thumb and fist. Also they tend to be magnetic stainless, which is a
pain with nickel end caps.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs


--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
ElectroOptical Innovations LLC / Hobbs ElectroOptics
Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics
Briarcliff Manor NY 10510

http://electrooptical.net
http://hobbs-eo.com

Phil Hobbs
Guest

Mon May 21, 2018 7:45 pm   



On 05/21/18 11:13, Ecnerwal wrote:
Quote:
In article <6ho1gdp0nm6k3j17mk9ckd5ju56vlt6akj_at_4ax.com>,
Ray Otwell <rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com> wrote:

I'm continually improving my technique with soldering, but I have an
essential tremor that makes fine work difficult without having to
brace the iron against something.

The number one problem I see in students (of all ages) learning to
solder is getting them to actually (they've had the noises go in their
ear and out the other, rather than hearing it, usually) relax and rest
the tip of the iron on the work. Your hand can jiggle all over the place
(or as JL says, you can arrange your workspace with some sort of wrist
rest to reduce that motion) if the iron tip is on the place it needs to
be.

As training, solder without any "grip" on the iron at all - let the
handle lay on your flat, open palm - most folks start out with a death
grip on it, and if I do that, I can't hold the tip still, either. I
don't usually solder like that, but I have a very relaxed grip on it.


Like these folks?

https://electrooptical.net/www/sed/HowNotToSolder.jpg
https://electrooptical.net/www/sed/HowNotToDesolder.jpg

;)

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
ElectroOptical Innovations LLC / Hobbs ElectroOptics
Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics
Briarcliff Manor NY 10510

http://electrooptical.net
http://hobbs-eo.com

Dimitrij Klingbeil
Guest

Tue May 22, 2018 12:45 am   



On 20.05.2018 05:06, Ray Otwell wrote:
Quote:
From time to time I have wondered if a very narrow tip could be used
for the larger SMT items. I've seen tutorials on how to do the SOP
and SSOP packages with larger tips.. It doesn't look easy at all,
but doable. ...


In principle, both ways are possible. You might be surprised how small
those narrow tips can be made.

Weller makes one called the "LT 1S" - it's 0.2 mm (<8 mil) round tip.

I've used it a while ago, it works reasonably well (*). With some care
and dexterity it can even fit between the pins of a 0.5 mm pitch TQFP
to remove an accidental solder bridge. It should however be considered
a precision tool and treated accordingly - avoid application of force,
overly high temperature (below 370 C is reasonable) and make sure that
it's maintained wetted at all times to prevent surface oxidation.

This type of fine tip does not tolerate abuse at all well.

There are special-purpose tips with even smaller dimensions. A Weller
"LT 1SCNW" has a 0.1 x 0.3 mm rectangular tip geometry, but it's not
designed for general-purpose soldering use. It's non-wettable, so you
can't actually apply solder to it. It can only heat up an already tinned
area and melt the solder that's already present there. It may (or may
not) be useful to clean up a mistake with a 0.4 mm pitch TQFP, I don't
really know. So far I've been lucky and never needed one.

It is quite possible to solder a part in a 0.5 mm TQFP100 package with a
"LT 1S" tip, working carefully pin by pin. If you made a layout mistake
and created a very tiny pad geometry where the pads do not extend enough
outward past the pins, and the traditional large flat tip sweeping all
pins approach will no longer work, this may be the only remaining way.
Be warned however that it's really labor-intensive, prone to mistakes,
and requires great care.

If the pad geometry allows it, working with a larger gull-wing type tip
and "drag soldering" a row of pins at once is certainly the far more
productive and less frustrating approach, and it places less demand on
manual dexterity too.

Regards
Dimitrij


(*): Considering its size and the circumstances where it's likely to be
needed, that is.

Helmut Wabnig
Guest

Wed May 23, 2018 12:45 pm   



On Fri, 18 May 2018 16:43:36 -0400, rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com
wrote:

Quote:
Greetings one and all


I am laying plans to start working with SMT for the first time. Would
0805 components be a suitable size for a beginner, or would another
size be appropriate?



I would start with the 0301 and then slowly move to the bigger ones.


w.

John Larkin
Guest

Wed May 23, 2018 5:45 pm   



On Mon, 21 May 2018 14:10:19 -0400, Phil Hobbs
<pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

Quote:
On 05/21/18 11:13, Ecnerwal wrote:
In article <6ho1gdp0nm6k3j17mk9ckd5ju56vlt6akj_at_4ax.com>,
Ray Otwell <rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com> wrote:

I'm continually improving my technique with soldering, but I have an
essential tremor that makes fine work difficult without having to
brace the iron against something.

The number one problem I see in students (of all ages) learning to
solder is getting them to actually (they've had the noises go in their
ear and out the other, rather than hearing it, usually) relax and rest
the tip of the iron on the work. Your hand can jiggle all over the place
(or as JL says, you can arrange your workspace with some sort of wrist
rest to reduce that motion) if the iron tip is on the place it needs to
be.

As training, solder without any "grip" on the iron at all - let the
handle lay on your flat, open palm - most folks start out with a death
grip on it, and if I do that, I can't hold the tip still, either. I
don't usually solder like that, but I have a very relaxed grip on it.

Like these folks?

https://electrooptical.net/www/sed/HowNotToSolder.jpg


Her name is Daenerys.


--

John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc

lunatic fringe electronics

Phil Hobbs
Guest

Wed May 23, 2018 6:45 pm   



On 05/23/18 12:37, John Larkin wrote:
Quote:
On Mon, 21 May 2018 14:10:19 -0400, Phil Hobbs
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

On 05/21/18 11:13, Ecnerwal wrote:
In article <6ho1gdp0nm6k3j17mk9ckd5ju56vlt6akj_at_4ax.com>,
Ray Otwell <rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com> wrote:

I'm continually improving my technique with soldering, but I have an
essential tremor that makes fine work difficult without having to
brace the iron against something.

The number one problem I see in students (of all ages) learning to
solder is getting them to actually (they've had the noises go in their
ear and out the other, rather than hearing it, usually) relax and rest
the tip of the iron on the work. Your hand can jiggle all over the place
(or as JL says, you can arrange your workspace with some sort of wrist
rest to reduce that motion) if the iron tip is on the place it needs to
be.

As training, solder without any "grip" on the iron at all - let the
handle lay on your flat, open palm - most folks start out with a death
grip on it, and if I do that, I can't hold the tip still, either. I
don't usually solder like that, but I have a very relaxed grip on it.

Like these folks?

https://electrooptical.net/www/sed/HowNotToSolder.jpg

Her name is Daenerys.



The last TV show I followed was probably Hogan's Heroes, so I had to
search the interwebs to find that one. ;)

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

(Who only watches TV in hotel rooms, and even then only when he's too
cooked to read a book or slag people off on Usenet)

--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
ElectroOptical Innovations LLC / Hobbs ElectroOptics
Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics
Briarcliff Manor NY 10510

http://electrooptical.net
http://hobbs-eo.com

Gone Postal
Guest

Wed May 23, 2018 7:45 pm   



Thank you everybody for all the great advice!

I really appreciate all the input and I will try to pay it forward to
someone else that needs help learning.

Ray

Ray Otwell
Guest

Wed May 23, 2018 7:45 pm   



On Wed, 23 May 2018 14:01:09 -0400, Gone Postal
<gone_postal_at_it.doesn't.exist> wrote:

Quote:
Thank you everybody for all the great advice!

I really appreciate all the input and I will try to pay it forward to
someone else that needs help learning.

Ray


Yarg. There I go again. Sorry about that.

Ray

John Larkin
Guest

Thu May 24, 2018 4:45 am   



On Wed, 23 May 2018 13:18:26 -0400, Phil Hobbs
<pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

Quote:
On 05/23/18 12:37, John Larkin wrote:
On Mon, 21 May 2018 14:10:19 -0400, Phil Hobbs
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

On 05/21/18 11:13, Ecnerwal wrote:
In article <6ho1gdp0nm6k3j17mk9ckd5ju56vlt6akj_at_4ax.com>,
Ray Otwell <rayRemoveThisotwell_at_gmail.com> wrote:

I'm continually improving my technique with soldering, but I have an
essential tremor that makes fine work difficult without having to
brace the iron against something.

The number one problem I see in students (of all ages) learning to
solder is getting them to actually (they've had the noises go in their
ear and out the other, rather than hearing it, usually) relax and rest
the tip of the iron on the work. Your hand can jiggle all over the place
(or as JL says, you can arrange your workspace with some sort of wrist
rest to reduce that motion) if the iron tip is on the place it needs to
be.

As training, solder without any "grip" on the iron at all - let the
handle lay on your flat, open palm - most folks start out with a death
grip on it, and if I do that, I can't hold the tip still, either. I
don't usually solder like that, but I have a very relaxed grip on it.

Like these folks?

https://electrooptical.net/www/sed/HowNotToSolder.jpg

Her name is Daenerys.



The last TV show I followed was probably Hogan's Heroes, so I had to
search the interwebs to find that one. Wink


I basically never watch TV, but I have seen snippets of GoT on
Youtube. Lotta killing. Some really great voices.


--

John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc

lunatic fringe electronics

Ecnerwal
Guest

Mon May 28, 2018 3:45 pm   



In article <GPSdnemlv6ERlp7GnZ2dnUU7-dnNnZ2d_at_supernews.com>,
Phil Hobbs <pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

Quote:


Uh, nope. Nutting like ignorant photographers and models. Let's plug
those in, shall we?

--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.

Ralph Mowery
Guest

Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:45 pm   



In article <zPGdnf7RzPsE0mLHnZ2dnUU7-eXNnZ2d_at_supernews.com>,
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net says...
Quote:

Make sure you get a _stereo_ microscope and not just a _binocular_ one.
Stereo scopes provide normal stereopsis, i.e. your eyes look at the
field from different directions so that you get depth perception. It's
cool and useful to be able to look around stuff, and the Mantis is great
for that.




A good micorscope it one of the keys.

I recommend an Amscope SE400z for the price of just under $ 200 shipped.
With it and the 10x lenses I have no trouble with the smaller parts.

If th eparts are close together on the board, some kapton tape works
well to shield the other parts. Just put a big piece over the area and
take one of the xacto knives and cut out the tape over the part you want
to use the hot air on.

Get some old computer boards and practice on removing and replacing the
parts.

I am 68 and have no real problem working on the boards. My main problem
is that I take off the glasses to look through the scope and have
trouble seeing the parts to pick up and move from the holders to back
under the microscope.

Phil Hobbs
Guest

Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:45 pm   



On 06/03/2018 01:50 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
Quote:
In article <zPGdnf7RzPsE0mLHnZ2dnUU7-eXNnZ2d_at_supernews.com>,
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net says...

Make sure you get a _stereo_ microscope and not just a _binocular_ one.
Stereo scopes provide normal stereopsis, i.e. your eyes look at the
field from different directions so that you get depth perception. It's
cool and useful to be able to look around stuff, and the Mantis is great
for that.




A good micorscope it one of the keys.

I recommend an Amscope SE400z for the price of just under $ 200 shipped.
With it and the 10x lenses I have no trouble with the smaller parts.

If th eparts are close together on the board, some kapton tape works
well to shield the other parts. Just put a big piece over the area and
take one of the xacto knives and cut out the tape over the part you want
to use the hot air on.


I normally use hot tweezers for small stuff (Rs, Cs, SOT23s) and an
axe-blade tip for two-row IC packages. For inconvenient stuff such as
PLCCs I usually just cut the leads with a scalpel (from underneath, so
as not to damage the board). I do use hot air occasionally, but it
isn't my go-to tool.

There are other cute tricks, such as threading some stainless steel
music wire between the leads and the package of a big SOIC, and running
the iron down the row while pulling on the wire. Works like a zipper.

Quote:

Get some old computer boards and practice on removing and replacing the
parts.


+1.

Quote:

I am 68 and have no real problem working on the boards. My main problem
is that I take off the glasses to look through the scope and have
trouble seeing the parts to pick up and move from the holders to back
under the microscope.


I don't know if Amscope has high eye-relief eyepieces, but other makers
do. Those let you keep your glasses on while using the scope.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs


--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
ElectroOptical Innovations LLC
Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics

160 North State Road #203
Briarcliff Manor NY 10510

hobbs at electrooptical dot net
http://electrooptical.net

Ray Otwell
Guest

Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:45 am   



On Mon, 4 Jun 2018 13:02:45 -0400, Phil Hobbs
<pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

Quote:
On 06/03/2018 01:50 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
In article <zPGdnf7RzPsE0mLHnZ2dnUU7-eXNnZ2d_at_supernews.com>,
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net says...

Make sure you get a _stereo_ microscope and not just a _binocular_ one.
Stereo scopes provide normal stereopsis, i.e. your eyes look at the
field from different directions so that you get depth perception. It's
cool and useful to be able to look around stuff, and the Mantis is great
for that.




A good micorscope it one of the keys.

I recommend an Amscope SE400z for the price of just under $ 200 shipped.
With it and the 10x lenses I have no trouble with the smaller parts.

If th eparts are close together on the board, some kapton tape works
well to shield the other parts. Just put a big piece over the area and
take one of the xacto knives and cut out the tape over the part you want
to use the hot air on.

I normally use hot tweezers for small stuff (Rs, Cs, SOT23s) and an
axe-blade tip for two-row IC packages. For inconvenient stuff such as
PLCCs I usually just cut the leads with a scalpel (from underneath, so
as not to damage the board). I do use hot air occasionally, but it
isn't my go-to tool.

There are other cute tricks, such as threading some stainless steel
music wire between the leads and the package of a big SOIC, and running
the iron down the row while pulling on the wire. Works like a zipper.


Get some old computer boards and practice on removing and replacing the
parts.

+1.


I am 68 and have no real problem working on the boards. My main problem
is that I take off the glasses to look through the scope and have
trouble seeing the parts to pick up and move from the holders to back
under the microscope.

I don't know if Amscope has high eye-relief eyepieces, but other makers
do. Those let you keep your glasses on while using the scope.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs


Thank you both!

Sadly, $200 is very outside of my basic budget I'm have to with. If I
get into this in much depth I will certainly consider saving up for
one.

I now have a 0.5 mm tip for my iron and I've practiced using the sides
for my regular soldering. As soon as I make some sort of fulcrum to
steady my iron against I will move to the surface mount items and
practice, practice, practice!

I've also been watching various You Tube videos on soldering SMD. I'm
also starting to pick up on which ideas might work and which ones
probably won't.

I've saved up a few boards to practice with that have a number surface
mounted components, I'm planning to hit that this weekend!

Thanks a lot!


Ray

Tom Gardner
Guest

Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:45 am   



On 09/06/18 01:21, Ray Otwell wrote:
Quote:
On Mon, 4 Jun 2018 13:02:45 -0400, Phil Hobbs
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net> wrote:

On 06/03/2018 01:50 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
In article <zPGdnf7RzPsE0mLHnZ2dnUU7-eXNnZ2d_at_supernews.com>,
pcdhSpamMeSenseless_at_electrooptical.net says...

Make sure you get a _stereo_ microscope and not just a _binocular_ one.
Stereo scopes provide normal stereopsis, i.e. your eyes look at the
field from different directions so that you get depth perception. It's
cool and useful to be able to look around stuff, and the Mantis is great
for that.




A good micorscope it one of the keys.

I recommend an Amscope SE400z for the price of just under $ 200 shipped.
With it and the 10x lenses I have no trouble with the smaller parts.

If th eparts are close together on the board, some kapton tape works
well to shield the other parts. Just put a big piece over the area and
take one of the xacto knives and cut out the tape over the part you want
to use the hot air on.

I normally use hot tweezers for small stuff (Rs, Cs, SOT23s) and an
axe-blade tip for two-row IC packages. For inconvenient stuff such as
PLCCs I usually just cut the leads with a scalpel (from underneath, so
as not to damage the board). I do use hot air occasionally, but it
isn't my go-to tool.

There are other cute tricks, such as threading some stainless steel
music wire between the leads and the package of a big SOIC, and running
the iron down the row while pulling on the wire. Works like a zipper.


Get some old computer boards and practice on removing and replacing the
parts.

+1.


I am 68 and have no real problem working on the boards. My main problem
is that I take off the glasses to look through the scope and have
trouble seeing the parts to pick up and move from the holders to back
under the microscope.

I don't know if Amscope has high eye-relief eyepieces, but other makers
do. Those let you keep your glasses on while using the scope.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

Thank you both!

Sadly, $200 is very outside of my basic budget I'm have to with. If I
get into this in much depth I will certainly consider saving up for
one.

I now have a 0.5 mm tip for my iron and I've practiced using the sides
for my regular soldering. As soon as I make some sort of fulcrum to
steady my iron against I will move to the surface mount items and
practice, practice, practice!

I've also been watching various You Tube videos on soldering SMD. I'm
also starting to pick up on which ideas might work and which ones
probably won't.

I've saved up a few boards to practice with that have a number surface
mounted components, I'm planning to hit that this weekend!


If you have a basic budget and don't know what you really
need, then it is probably worth doing quick cheap experiments.

Look for head mounted magnifying visors. There are many
available under many names, but here's one example:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Professional-Headband-Magnifier-Magnifying-battery/dp/B01D86CQF4

I find them sufficient for my 7th-decade eyes.

Key points:
- use with/without any reading glasses
- variable magnification for different tasks/eyes
- works at any orientation, e.g. peering horizontally
into cabinets
- cheap

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