Date   
Blank display on SBII

Don, ND6T
 

Trying to test SN144 and the display remains blank. I can turn the back light on and off, tune the VFO (and receive a signal) but there is no contrast.
I tried holding the Menu button for 4 seconds, released, rotated for more than 30 clicks Clockwise and...no display.
I tried holding down the Calibrate button for more than 4 seconds and less than 5, released and tapped the Menu button, waited for 5 seconds, pressed the encoder shaft briefly and turned off the power. When I re-power it just hangs (even while turning the encoder CW and CCW for more than 40 clicks each) until I press the encoder switch and then it starts but without the display. Without seeing the display it is difficult to tell where I am in the process. Quite blind.
Spent an hour doing this to no avail.
Looking at the vacant pins on the center-of-the-board end of the display (the non-connected end) I can see the correct voltages, data, and clocking except for the "Reset" pin (although I have good continuity from pin 26 of the '328). Perhaps the Reset only occurs on initialization?
Aside from me programming a new chip, is there any suggestions that could help me move forward? I have plenty of test equipment. This is my first experience with this display. Perhaps I should buy one, bread board it, and compare with the one on the SBII.
Is there a better way to do a factory reset?

Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

David Wilcox
 

I met a ham a few years ago (Jim... Missed you at FDIM) who is a professor of electrical engineering at a university in Cincinnati, Ohio and he had the same concern.  He had all his students build a NC40 from a kit (when they were available) and then would bring some of them to Dayton and sell them to us at FDIM. He said there were designers and builders in each company and they hardly ever worked together.... The designers designed and then the schematic went to the builders and they had to figure out what the designer was thinking.  Getting them to sit down and talk to each other.... Well that was another story. And the designers did it all on their computers, never having handled a part.

Another story of why/how ham radio can help ones career, no matter what direction it goes.  Same thing with the Eagle Scout award my son went back to scouting to get just before he turned 18.  In the Navy, having that on his resume, put him a step above the crowd for promotion.  It seems the Eagle Scouts hang together just like we hams do.  Show me a crowd of people anywhere in the world and let me find the one or two hams in the crowd and I will have a friend no matter what the language.

Thanks guys and gals for a wonderful life in ham radio and all the friends I have made.  Sorry for my thoughts running again.

Dave K8WPE since 1960.

On Feb 19, 2019, at 3:50 PM, Joe Street <racingtheclouds@...> wrote:

As fate would have it I am actually writing a tutorial today on the essential steps for a reliable solder connection to give to grad students in the engineering school where I work.  It might come as a shock to people on this list to learn that graduating electrical engineers these days, a shocking number of them it turns out, couldn't solder to save their lives!  The university has decided there are many cases where students lack practical skills when they leave and knowing how to solder is one of them that has been identified as an area we could improve upon. And here, I thought they were going to say spelling.   Most of our grad students come from foreign lands so apparently this lack is pretty wide spread in engineering schools.  Yikes.

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:51 PM Joe Street via Groups.Io <racingtheclouds=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I agree with you there Jeff. And I think if there is inconsistency in the amount of paste on each side then there is a difference in thermal mass and one side melts just befor the other.  My technique is a little different since I only have one good iron at home.  I bring the part close by its location and leave it sitting on the solder mask.  I swipe the pads with a rosin pen and then freshen the iron and put a small bump of solder on on pad then grab the part and slide it up against the bump and then re-flow the bump as I slightly slide the part into it.  Remove the iron while holding the part steady.  Now flow the solder on the other end of the part.  Finally I reflow the first end again just incase there was any slight movement of my tweezers during the crystalization phase which would be a cold joint.  It is easiest to do all the parts aligned in one direction first and then rotate the board 90 degrees and do the others.  Of course sometimes you have to plan ahead thinking of your access to things which are closely spaced with this technique.

Joe

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:38 PM dyerhard1972 via Groups.Io <Dyerhard1972=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just my nickel tomb stones are caused by surface tension if one pad melts before the other it wets one side first and the surface tension of the puddle pulls the part tomb stone. I work in an electronics plant for 15 years 5 of which I repaired in process pcbs. It takes practice but the best way I found to put chip parts on is to use 2 soldering irons. Put solder on both pads place part close to where it's needed use soldering iron like chop sticks only one in each hand move part on pads with irons same time melt both pads pull away surface tension pulls part center. Sounds more complicated than it is but does take practice. 
Jeff ke4fwe 


Re: SOTA Station with LNR Mountain Topper

W6IPA
 

Rob,

this is great ! few questions/suggestions :
   - it seems that the clip for the log is inside - why not put it outside to operate with the cover closed ?
   - if you want to protect the MTR buttons, i have a small 3D printed cover that you case use : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3414361 - some people use foam (e.g. WS0TA)
   - is the arborist rope the zing-it ? Also, I am looking at making a throw weight without the weight to be able to use local stones/dirt.

JC/W6IPA

On Feb 18, 2019, at 6:35 AM, W3DX via Groups.Io <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I’m attaching photos of a SOTA station built into a Pelican 1060 microcase. The idea was to have a waterproof, shockproof all-in-one station that doubles as a clipboard for logging. The antenna is a QRPGuys EFHW which is tunable. That way you can tune for minimum SWR (LED is dimmest) and never have a high SWR on the MTR. (The QRGuys EFHW tuner prevents the MTR from seeing an SWR higher than 2:1).

You’ll notice the arborist tree rope along with a 4 ounce arborist throw weight. The paddle is a set of touch paddles (that’s the circuit board on the right inside of the case) along with two touch pieces cemented to the front right corner of the case.

All of the holes through the case have been filled with silicone cement, so the case is submersible. 

The whole thing weighs 1 lb, 14 ounces. 

73,

Rob, W3DX <BBC99348_95BB_498F_9690_CCD767BF1F42.jpeg><98E0AAA3_EAEA_475B_8CDA_F5BEFA90B1F6.jpeg><D38994D0_E5B9_485F_BCAA_E2D656D04E22.jpeg><678F585B_E8D9_4F9F_883C_106318FE0777.jpeg><E801F6BF_52AF_48F3_8283_7B841F3662F1.jpeg>

Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

Joe Street
 

As fate would have it I am actually writing a tutorial today on the essential steps for a reliable solder connection to give to grad students in the engineering school where I work.  It might come as a shock to people on this list to learn that graduating electrical engineers these days, a shocking number of them it turns out, couldn't solder to save their lives!  The university has decided there are many cases where students lack practical skills when they leave and knowing how to solder is one of them that has been identified as an area we could improve upon. And here, I thought they were going to say spelling.   Most of our grad students come from foreign lands so apparently this lack is pretty wide spread in engineering schools.  Yikes.

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:51 PM Joe Street via Groups.Io <racingtheclouds=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I agree with you there Jeff. And I think if there is inconsistency in the amount of paste on each side then there is a difference in thermal mass and one side melts just befor the other.  My technique is a little different since I only have one good iron at home.  I bring the part close by its location and leave it sitting on the solder mask.  I swipe the pads with a rosin pen and then freshen the iron and put a small bump of solder on on pad then grab the part and slide it up against the bump and then re-flow the bump as I slightly slide the part into it.  Remove the iron while holding the part steady.  Now flow the solder on the other end of the part.  Finally I reflow the first end again just incase there was any slight movement of my tweezers during the crystalization phase which would be a cold joint.  It is easiest to do all the parts aligned in one direction first and then rotate the board 90 degrees and do the others.  Of course sometimes you have to plan ahead thinking of your access to things which are closely spaced with this technique.

Joe

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:38 PM dyerhard1972 via Groups.Io <Dyerhard1972=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just my nickel tomb stones are caused by surface tension if one pad melts before the other it wets one side first and the surface tension of the puddle pulls the part tomb stone. I work in an electronics plant for 15 years 5 of which I repaired in process pcbs. It takes practice but the best way I found to put chip parts on is to use 2 soldering irons. Put solder on both pads place part close to where it's needed use soldering iron like chop sticks only one in each hand move part on pads with irons same time melt both pads pull away surface tension pulls part center. Sounds more complicated than it is but does take practice. 
Jeff ke4fwe 


Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

John AE5X
 

Re: SB2 #118 Update

Steven Weber
 

I guess putting it on the wrong side of the board would make it not work so good, hi.

Surprised that didn’t hurt it.

Glad your on the right track now.

KD1JV

 

 

You know, a picture's worth 1000 words, or approximately one awshit.

I did have to replace the IRF510, but only to the other side of the PCB.
That's what I get for building past midnight...

I'll tweak it at the office and see what it looks like on the SA.
I did see the my power meter peaking up to around 4W just
playing around a bit.

Where's the best place to check the modulation with a scope?
At the gate of the IRF510 or the antenna?

Thanks for your patience!

John


On 2/18/2019 8:06 PM, Steven Weber wrote:

It’s kind of hard to cook those fets. If it’s not shorted, it’s probably good.

It would take a pretty good static spike to cook the gate.

 

Do you have 12V on the tab?

Your not seeing any current increase with the bias pot?

You sure the voltage is making it to the gate?

 

Take  a close look at T1 and T2 and make sure their installed correctly.

Transpose the ends of the windings and it doesn’t work anymore.

 

Just going down the check list. This is when having a ‘Scope saves a lot of time.

KD1JV

 

The diodes were good.  5.1V supply was good.

I think I cooked my IRF510 somewhere along the line.
No shorts. 
Power out with the modulation pot at it's highest is 5-10 mW.
Bias pot doesn't make any difference to the output despite raising
the gate voltage.  I did start fully CCW.

I think I'm getting a pretty good signal to the gate, but not much
is happening at the output.

I'll replace the IRF510 and try again.

John

On 2/17/2019 8:41 AM, ajparent1/kb1gmx wrote:

Check to be sure you didn't put the zener diode (d1) in backward.

FYI the crystal for the 5351 will age and move in frequency with time
so retest in a month or two. 

Allison

 

 

 

 

Re: SB II Enclosure Dimensions

Steven Weber
 

 

The absolute thinnest you could make it would be 0.75”.

1” would allow for better clearance.

KD1JV

 

Hello All,

I will be building one of the SB II units but not until a little bit later date. I do have a chance to make an enclosure out of aircraft aluminum where I work at Bell Helicopter. I am good with the 4" by 4" dimension but am not sure about the height. What would be a good height? I am not planning on putting batteries inside but may mount and on/off switch. I would like to make it as small as I can without crowding too much. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

George, N9DXP
Johnson City, TN

 

SB II Enclosure Dimensions

n9dxp
 

Hello All,

I will be building one of the SB II units but not until a little bit later date. I do have a chance to make an enclosure out of aircraft aluminum where I work at Bell Helicopter. I am good with the 4" by 4" dimension but am not sure about the height. What would be a good height? I am not planning on putting batteries inside but may mount and on/off switch. I would like to make it as small as I can without crowding too much. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

George, N9DXP
Johnson City, TN

Re: SOTA Station with LNR Mountain Topper

David Wilcox
 

YOU DA MAN!  I need to build something like this for our travels.  I would use the solid black case though to keep prying eyes from asking too many questions.  When I am out I my concentration is easily broken by questions from bystanders.  If the top was closed and I was tapping out code on the corner key I would look just like any other old man with a tremor listening to my iPod or whatever was in the box. Ha!

Beautifully done.  Thanks for the eye candy.

Dave K8WPE

On Feb 18, 2019, at 9:35 AM, W3DX via Groups.Io <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I’m attaching photos of a SOTA station built into a Pelican 1060 microcase. The idea was to have a waterproof, shockproof all-in-one station that doubles as a clipboard for logging. The antenna is a QRPGuys EFHW which is tunable. That way you can tune for minimum SWR (LED is dimmest) and never have a high SWR on the MTR. (The QRGuys EFHW tuner prevents the MTR from seeing an SWR higher than 2:1).

You’ll notice the arborist tree rope along with a 4 ounce arborist throw weight. The paddle is a set of touch paddles (that’s the circuit board on the right inside of the case) along with two touch pieces cemented to the front right corner of the case.

All of the holes through the case have been filled with silicone cement, so the case is submersible. 

The whole thing weighs 1 lb, 14 ounces. 

73,

Rob, W3DX
<BBC99348_95BB_498F_9690_CCD767BF1F42.jpeg>
<98E0AAA3_EAEA_475B_8CDA_F5BEFA90B1F6.jpeg>
<D38994D0_E5B9_485F_BCAA_E2D656D04E22.jpeg>
<678F585B_E8D9_4F9F_883C_106318FE0777.jpeg>
<E801F6BF_52AF_48F3_8283_7B841F3662F1.jpeg>

Re: SB2 #118 Update

 

You know, a picture's worth 1000 words, or approximately one awshit.

I did have to replace the IRF510, but only to the other side of the PCB.
That's what I get for building past midnight...

I'll tweak it at the office and see what it looks like on the SA.
I did see the my power meter peaking up to around 4W just
playing around a bit.

Where's the best place to check the modulation with a scope?
At the gate of the IRF510 or the antenna?

Thanks for your patience!

John

On 2/18/2019 8:06 PM, Steven Weber wrote:

It’s kind of hard to cook those fets. If it’s not shorted, it’s probably good.

It would take a pretty good static spike to cook the gate.

 

Do you have 12V on the tab?

Your not seeing any current increase with the bias pot?

You sure the voltage is making it to the gate?

 

Take  a close look at T1 and T2 and make sure their installed correctly.

Transpose the ends of the windings and it doesn’t work anymore.

 

Just going down the check list. This is when having a ‘Scope saves a lot of time.

KD1JV

 

The diodes were good.  5.1V supply was good.

I think I cooked my IRF510 somewhere along the line.
No shorts. 
Power out with the modulation pot at it's highest is 5-10 mW.
Bias pot doesn't make any difference to the output despite raising
the gate voltage.  I did start fully CCW.

I think I'm getting a pretty good signal to the gate, but not much
is happening at the output.

I'll replace the IRF510 and try again.

John

On 2/17/2019 8:41 AM, ajparent1/kb1gmx wrote:

Check to be sure you didn't put the zener diode (d1) in backward.

FYI the crystal for the 5351 will age and move in frequency with time
so retest in a month or two. 

Allison

 

 


Re: SB2 #118 Update

Steven Weber
 

It’s kind of hard to cook those fets. If it’s not shorted, it’s probably good.

It would take a pretty good static spike to cook the gate.

 

Do you have 12V on the tab?

Your not seeing any current increase with the bias pot?

You sure the voltage is making it to the gate?

 

Take  a close look at T1 and T2 and make sure their installed correctly.

Transpose the ends of the windings and it doesn’t work anymore.

 

Just going down the check list. This is when having a ‘Scope saves a lot of time.

KD1JV

 

The diodes were good.  5.1V supply was good.

I think I cooked my IRF510 somewhere along the line.
No shorts. 
Power out with the modulation pot at it's highest is 5-10 mW.
Bias pot doesn't make any difference to the output despite raising
the gate voltage.  I did start fully CCW.

I think I'm getting a pretty good signal to the gate, but not much
is happening at the output.

I'll replace the IRF510 and try again.

John


On 2/17/2019 8:41 AM, ajparent1/kb1gmx wrote:

Check to be sure you didn't put the zener diode (d1) in backward.

FYI the crystal for the 5351 will age and move in frequency with time
so retest in a month or two. 

Allison

 

 

Re: SB2 #118 Update

 

The diodes were good.  5.1V supply was good.

I think I cooked my IRF510 somewhere along the line.
No shorts. 
Power out with the modulation pot at it's highest is 5-10 mW.
Bias pot doesn't make any difference to the output despite raising
the gate voltage.  I did start fully CCW.

I think I'm getting a pretty good signal to the gate, but not much
is happening at the output.

I'll replace the IRF510 and try again.

John

On 2/17/2019 8:41 AM, ajparent1/kb1gmx wrote:
Check to be sure you didn't put the zener diode (d1) in backward.

FYI the crystal for the 5351 will age and move in frequency with time
so retest in a month or two. 

Allison

Re: TR switching pick off point.

ajparent1/kb1gmx
 

I did that one to the SB-1 and it helped the RX a tiny bit and no adverse effects.

At the other side of C23 the polarity of the input signal is not important.

I'll try it.  It is an easy etch cut and jumper.

Allison

SOTA Station with LNR Mountain Topper

W3DX
 

Hi Everyone:

I’m attaching photos of a SOTA station built into a Pelican 1060 microcase. The idea was to have a waterproof, shockproof all-in-one station that doubles as a clipboard for logging. The antenna is a QRPGuys EFHW which is tunable. That way you can tune for minimum SWR (LED is dimmest) and never have a high SWR on the MTR. (The QRGuys EFHW tuner prevents the MTR from seeing an SWR higher than 2:1).

You’ll notice the arborist tree rope along with a 4 ounce arborist throw weight. The paddle is a set of touch paddles (that’s the circuit board on the right inside of the case) along with two touch pieces cemented to the front right corner of the case.

All of the holes through the case have been filled with silicone cement, so the case is submersible. 

The whole thing weighs 1 lb, 14 ounces. 

73,

Rob, W3DX

Re: TR switching pick off point.

Steven Weber
 

 

Because during transmit, the ‘510 drain is always a positive going signal. If connected to the filter side of the PA, when the output signal goes negative in respect to ground, the coupling cap would charge to a positive voltage at the drain due to the intrinsic diode junction in the S-D junction of the MOSFET. When the output signal goes back positive, it is added to the voltage already on the cap, so it’s possible to exceed the 60V S-D spec of the 2N7002, especially since we can do 10 watts.

 

I could have connected to the T2/C19 junction, but it was a cleaner board layout to connect to the Drain side of the coil.

 

Anyway, that’s my rational.  Would it work at the output side of C10? Probably, but a little risky I think.

 

 Steve

 

Steve,

Why pick off RF for the RX tr switch (C24) from the drain of the IRF510 rather than at the junction of C10 and C12?


Allison

 

Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

Joe Street
 

I agree with you there Jeff. And I think if there is inconsistency in the amount of paste on each side then there is a difference in thermal mass and one side melts just befor the other.  My technique is a little different since I only have one good iron at home.  I bring the part close by its location and leave it sitting on the solder mask.  I swipe the pads with a rosin pen and then freshen the iron and put a small bump of solder on on pad then grab the part and slide it up against the bump and then re-flow the bump as I slightly slide the part into it.  Remove the iron while holding the part steady.  Now flow the solder on the other end of the part.  Finally I reflow the first end again just incase there was any slight movement of my tweezers during the crystalization phase which would be a cold joint.  It is easiest to do all the parts aligned in one direction first and then rotate the board 90 degrees and do the others.  Of course sometimes you have to plan ahead thinking of your access to things which are closely spaced with this technique.

Joe

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:38 PM dyerhard1972 via Groups.Io <Dyerhard1972=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just my nickel tomb stones are caused by surface tension if one pad melts before the other it wets one side first and the surface tension of the puddle pulls the part tomb stone. I work in an electronics plant for 15 years 5 of which I repaired in process pcbs. It takes practice but the best way I found to put chip parts on is to use 2 soldering irons. Put solder on both pads place part close to where it's needed use soldering iron like chop sticks only one in each hand move part on pads with irons same time melt both pads pull away surface tension pulls part center. Sounds more complicated than it is but does take practice. 
Jeff ke4fwe 


Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

dyerhard1972
 

Just my nickel tomb stones are caused by surface tension if one pad melts before the other it wets one side first and the surface tension of the puddle pulls the part tomb stone. I work in an electronics plant for 15 years 5 of which I repaired in process pcbs. It takes practice but the best way I found to put chip parts on is to use 2 soldering irons. Put solder on both pads place part close to where it's needed use soldering iron like chop sticks only one in each hand move part on pads with irons same time melt both pads pull away surface tension pulls part center. Sounds more complicated than it is but does take practice. 
Jeff ke4fwe 



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: Joe Street <racingtheclouds@...>
Date: 2/17/19 12:12 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: kd1jvdesigns@groups.io
Subject: Re: [kd1jvdesigns] Not all solder pastes are created equal

My two cents is use a chisel tip iron with a solder well in the tip and heed Alison's advice to clean it and freshen the well before each use, not after.  After experimentation with hand application of paste, initially thinking it was great and then being alarmed by the number of parts flipping on end (the term is "tombstoning") on me I realized that the paste process is really that, a process, which was developed in conjunction with the use of stencils and a squeegee which makes for a uniform application of the paste, and there's no point going to all that trouble for onesies and twosies.  Yes you can learn to get fairly consistent with a given batch of paste and develop a somewhat consistent dispense technique but my guess is that the inconsistency there is the cause of the tombstoning I witnessed.  Having a screen printer and an RTC belt furnace in my lab at work I am not just talking out of my hat here.  Anyways, for hobby projects I realized it is actually faster and less rework to solder SMD's with an iron.  I built an mchf with over 500 SMD's in about a week of evenings a few hours per night and it worked off the bat. Yeah it's pretty cool to place a board on a hotplate and watch the paste do its thing when all goes right, but for me at least, I'm leaving the paste for the kind of equipment it was designed for.  Your mileage may vary.

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 11:36 AM ajparent1/kb1gmx <kb1gmx@...> wrote:
I have liquid rosin.  Its pour-able but still has a bit of tack to it.  A small paint
brush puts down a film rather than a puddle.  I don't use it all that much.

Generally I use my Kester 44 rosin 63/37 and the SMT parts I find my larger (1/4")
tip Weller easier but there is a lot of technique and experience.  Been doing SMT
for a few decades.  I do hate the 0402 parts though, I wear a dust mask so I
don't accidentally blow them away breathing.

Biggest thing I see keep the iron tip clean, do not clean it before replacing it in
the stand, clean when you go to use it, and put it back dirty.  Putting it in the stand
clean allows it to sit there and oxidize, it will be harder to clean then.  I've told people
that and then videoed them doing exactly the opposite.

Allison

Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

Joe Street
 

My two cents is use a chisel tip iron with a solder well in the tip and heed Alison's advice to clean it and freshen the well before each use, not after.  After experimentation with hand application of paste, initially thinking it was great and then being alarmed by the number of parts flipping on end (the term is "tombstoning") on me I realized that the paste process is really that, a process, which was developed in conjunction with the use of stencils and a squeegee which makes for a uniform application of the paste, and there's no point going to all that trouble for onesies and twosies.  Yes you can learn to get fairly consistent with a given batch of paste and develop a somewhat consistent dispense technique but my guess is that the inconsistency there is the cause of the tombstoning I witnessed.  Having a screen printer and an RTC belt furnace in my lab at work I am not just talking out of my hat here.  Anyways, for hobby projects I realized it is actually faster and less rework to solder SMD's with an iron.  I built an mchf with over 500 SMD's in about a week of evenings a few hours per night and it worked off the bat. Yeah it's pretty cool to place a board on a hotplate and watch the paste do its thing when all goes right, but for me at least, I'm leaving the paste for the kind of equipment it was designed for.  Your mileage may vary.

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 11:36 AM ajparent1/kb1gmx <kb1gmx@...> wrote:
I have liquid rosin.  Its pour-able but still has a bit of tack to it.  A small paint
brush puts down a film rather than a puddle.  I don't use it all that much.

Generally I use my Kester 44 rosin 63/37 and the SMT parts I find my larger (1/4")
tip Weller easier but there is a lot of technique and experience.  Been doing SMT
for a few decades.  I do hate the 0402 parts though, I wear a dust mask so I
don't accidentally blow them away breathing.

Biggest thing I see keep the iron tip clean, do not clean it before replacing it in
the stand, clean when you go to use it, and put it back dirty.  Putting it in the stand
clean allows it to sit there and oxidize, it will be harder to clean then.  I've told people
that and then videoed them doing exactly the opposite.

Allison

Re: SB2 #118 Update

ajparent1/kb1gmx
 

Check to be sure you didn't put the zener diode (d1) in backward.

FYI the crystal for the 5351 will age and move in frequency with time
so retest in a month or two. 

Allison

Re: Not all solder pastes are created equal

ajparent1/kb1gmx
 

I have liquid rosin.  Its pour-able but still has a bit of tack to it.  A small paint
brush puts down a film rather than a puddle.  I don't use it all that much.

Generally I use my Kester 44 rosin 63/37 and the SMT parts I find my larger (1/4")
tip Weller easier but there is a lot of technique and experience.  Been doing SMT
for a few decades.  I do hate the 0402 parts though, I wear a dust mask so I
don't accidentally blow them away breathing.

Biggest thing I see keep the iron tip clean, do not clean it before replacing it in
the stand, clean when you go to use it, and put it back dirty.  Putting it in the stand
clean allows it to sit there and oxidize, it will be harder to clean then.  I've told people
that and then videoed them doing exactly the opposite.

Allison