Topics

SB II Tools?

Al Clark
 

Just got my SB II kit.  I have done some surface mount work but so far all hand soldered.  I actually like soldering the surface mount parts.  Getting the little critters from package to PCB is sometimes a challenge though.  So now that I have the SB II kit I want to use paste, hot plate, and hot air.  Anyone have specific recommendations on a hot plate, air embosser gun, and brand of soldering paste?  Also, what size/type solder (right now I have Kester 44 in .032 diameter) for the few hand soldered parts - I assume .015 Kester 44?

Thanks for your help!

Al W1ALC

Stephen Wandling
 

What I found to be useful, if not absolutely necessary, is something to hold the board solidly. I glued replacement jaws for a PC board holding vice to a little clamp on vice. 

And having my circular desk lamp with the magnifying glass in the middle.

For the 'hotplate' I used the base from the common drip coffee maker. They keep the coffee at about 90° F. 

I think any hobby store embossing hot air gun will work. They are $15 to $20.

4" to 5" sharp-pointed tweezers worked well for me.

Process-wise, I usually placed 8-10 parts at a time, putting the little 'hershy kiss' of paste on each pad. I soon learned that I did not have to 'perfectly align each part when I placed it on the two dabs of solder paste. They align themselves through the magic of surface tension, when you hit them with the heat gun and the paste melts. Fun to watch.

Have fun!

72
Stephen
VE7NSD


On Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 7:15 PM Al Clark <hotdogx@... wrote:
Just got my SB II kit.  I have done some surface mount work but so far all hand soldered.  I actually like soldering the surface mount parts.  Getting the little critters from package to PCB is sometimes a challenge though.  So now that I have the SB II kit I want to use paste, hot plate, and hot air.  Anyone have specific recommendations on a hot plate, air embosser gun, and brand of soldering paste?  Also, what size/type solder (right now I have Kester 44 in .032 diameter) for the few hand soldered parts - I assume .015 Kester 44?

Thanks for your help!

Al W1ALC

Gwen Patton
 

I have a WEP hot air station and one of those TS100 micro soldering irons with an ILS tip (long, thin, with a wedge-shaped end), and a "ReflowR" programmable hotplate. For solder, I need some really thin wire solder, but am using Kester 44 .031" for most of my soldering uses...but not for SMD. I'd want something thinner for that. For paste, I use MG Chemicals 63/37 No Clean, Leaded Solder Paste. When I need extra flux, for hand soldering I use MG's 835 liquid rosin flux, either from their flux pen (that I refill as necessary), or from needle-tip dispensers, but I also have some Amtech NC-559-V2-TF Tacky Flux that I really like. I haven't tried Amtech's solder paste, but might give it a go at some point.

MG Solder Paste: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TH2FMQE
MG Liquid Flux: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DNR01Q
MG Flux Pen: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0080X79HG
Amtech Flux: https://store.rossmanngroup.com/index.php/amtech-nc-559-v2-30-cc-16160.html
Amtech Paste: https://store.rossmanngroup.com/index.php/amtech-syntech-solder-paste-sn63-pb3735g-syringe.html
(I get flux from Louis Rossmann in NYC because he's an authorized Amtech dealer. Much of the stuff on Amazon or Ebay is fake.)

For dispensing either the tacky flux or solder paste, I use an i-Extruder stepper-motor powered syringe. It's much cheaper and just as effective (maybe more so) as one of the compressed-air powered auto syringes. You can also reverse it and use it as a vacuum pick-and-place wand. To change the stuff you're dispensing, just switch syringes. I have Luer-lock adapters to load 10cc syringes from larger 30cc tubes, so I waste less.

https://www.i-extruder.com/en/

If you have a lot of boards to build, some of these tools can help. I bought them because they came highly recommended, and while most of them were worth it, the ReflowR was a bit annoying. I got it on an Indiegogo campaign, and the creator miscalculated his costs, especially in shipping. I wound up paying more to get the thing, as shipping from South Africa to the US was really pricey. There are probably other similar devices available that wouldn't cost as much now, though I haven't researched them. I know of at least one crowdfunded reflow oven project out there, but have no idea if they've shipped. The biggest headache with the ReflowR was that he started selling them on Tindie before he finished shipping to his backers, which annoyed the hell out of us all. He HAD them, he just couldn't afford to SHIP them, so he was selling more on Tindie for a higher price and rolling the profit into the shipping costs for his backers...slow, and based on his ability to sell units on Tindie, which was limited because many of his potential customers had already backed it on Indiegogo in the first place. As in all things, YMMV.

An inexpensive heat gun might do exactly what you want, but a temperature and airflow controlled hot air station isn't all that expensive. I don't know how much of an advantage the controllability of airflow and temperature is in a hot air station, but I do know that being able to control the temperature of my iron has been a godsend.

Even with the fancy stuff I got, I didn't pay a lot. The WEP cost me about $60 or so from Amazon. The TS100, about the same, with a power supply and the ILS tip. The i-Extruder cost a bit, but far less than an air-powered solder dispenser, and it'll also do pick-and-place, so I don't have to get a separate vacuum pump run pencil. The only gadget that cost me more than I should have had to spend was the ReflowR, but it's programmable via smartphone, so you can set a precise heating and cooling profile to keep from overheating or too quickly cooling your boards and components. An electric skillet might work, and with skill can work well, but unless you rework it to let you set a heating and cooling profile, it's kinda bodgy, and you run the risk of setting fire to your expensive components, or simply ruining them from heating them too much or cooling them too quickly.

But you do you. You might be fantastic at hand-soldering the things. Me, I can't even SEE the things without a microscope half the time, much less tack 'em properly with an iron.

73,
Gwen, NG3P

Michael N6MST
 

Embossing heat tool: https://www.hobbylobby.com/Scrapbook-Paper-Crafts/Stamping/Heat-Guns-Tools/Embossing-Heat-Tool/p/13519
Small griddle: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Brentwood-Non-Stick-Electric-Skillet-SK45/206754112

Disclaimer, I have never used either of these, but I intend to for the IC on my VK3PE analyzer kit as well as (HOPEFULLY!!) a Soda Pop II :)

Steven Weber
 

If you don’t already have an electric griddle you never actually use for pancakes, try the local thrift stores. You’ll often find a selection there for a few bucks.

 

Steve KD1JV

 

 

Embossing heat tool: https://www.hobbylobby.com/Scrapbook-Paper-Crafts/Stamping/Heat-Guns-Tools/Embossing-Heat-Tool/p/13519
Small griddle: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Brentwood-Non-Stick-Electric-Skillet-SK45/206754112

Disclaimer, I have never used either of these, but I intend to for the IC on my VK3PE analyzer kit as well as (HOPEFULLY!!) a Soda Pop II :)

 

Michael N6MST
 

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 09:43 AM, Steven Weber wrote:
try the local thrift stores
I wondered if I would do well to check a few thrift shops first, guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend.

John AE5X
 

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 07:15 AM, Stephen Wandling wrote:
Process-wise, I usually placed 8-10 parts at a time, putting the little 'hershy kiss' of paste on each pad.
I guess there are no ill effects from having the circuit board on the hot plate for the length of time needed to do this? My plan was to place half the parts, heat everything and then repeat with the other half of the parts with the idea of minimizing the time the board was on the hot plate.

Dennis Shubitowski
 

FWIW, I just did a bunch of SMD work and used only the Hobby Lobby embossing gun and Kester solder paste. I did not preheat with a griddle. The paste keeps the parts in place and you can work about the size of a US quarter at a time. It take about 10 seconds for the solder paste to liquify. You can work a small area then move over the next. You can part out the board by sections, but I wouldn't go by component.

73 -
Dennis NS8H

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 3:15 PM John AE5X <ae5x@...> wrote:
On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 07:15 AM, Stephen Wandling wrote:
Process-wise, I usually placed 8-10 parts at a time, putting the little 'hershy kiss' of paste on each pad.
I guess there are no ill effects from having the circuit board on the hot plate for the length of time needed to do this? My plan was to place half the parts, heat everything and then repeat with the other half of the parts with the idea of minimizing the time the board was on the hot plate.

Jim Sheldon
 

Steve,
You might want to update the FILES section with SB-II the manual that reflects the LCD display rather than the older LED array.  I'm building the kit for a friend who sent it to me.  Went looking for the manual but didn't find the right one in FILES.   Fortunately he did have the correct one and emailed it to me.

Bottom side of the board is going to be fun (not - LOL).

Jim, W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "Steven Weber" <steve.kd1jv@...>
To: "kd1jvdesigns@groups.io" <kd1jvdesigns@groups.io>
Sent: 2/12/2019 11:43:39 AM
Subject: Re: [kd1jvdesigns] SB II Tools?

If you don’t already have an electric griddle you never actually use for pancakes, try the local thrift stores. You’ll often find a selection there for a few bucks.

 

Steve KD1JV

 

 

Embossing heat tool: https://www.hobbylobby.com/Scrapbook-Paper-Crafts/Stamping/Heat-Guns-Tools/Embossing-Heat-Tool/p/13519
Small griddle: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Brentwood-Non-Stick-Electric-Skillet-SK45/206754112

Disclaimer, I have never used either of these, but I intend to for the IC on my VK3PE analyzer kit as well as (HOPEFULLY!!) a Soda Pop II :)

 

Steven Weber
 

 

The SB-II manual is in the Slop Bucket II folder.

 

The original Slop Bucket is in the “Slop Bucket” folder.

 

Sorry about no silk screen on the bottom. Just makes you have to really pay attention.

KD1JV

 

 

Steve,

You might want to update the FILES section with SB-II the manual that reflects the LCD display rather than the older LED array.  I'm building the kit for a friend who sent it to me.  Went looking for the manual but didn't find the right one in FILES.   Fortunately he did have the correct one and emailed it to me.

 

Bottom side of the board is going to be fun (not - LOL).

 

Jim, W0EB

 

------ Original Message ------

From: "Steven Weber" <steve.kd1jv@...>

To: "kd1jvdesigns@groups.io" <kd1jvdesigns@groups.io>

Sent: 2/12/2019 11:43:39 AM

Subject: Re: [kd1jvdesigns] SB II Tools?

 

If you don’t already have an electric griddle you never actually use for pancakes, try the local thrift stores. You’ll often find a selection there for a few bucks.

 

Steve KD1JV

 

 

Embossing heat tool: https://www.hobbylobby.com/Scrapbook-Paper-Crafts/Stamping/Heat-Guns-Tools/Embossing-Heat-Tool/p/13519
Small griddle: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Brentwood-Non-Stick-Electric-Skillet-SK45/206754112

Disclaimer, I have never used either of these, but I intend to for the IC on my VK3PE analyzer kit as well as (HOPEFULLY!!) a Soda Pop II :)

 

 

Al Clark
 

Thanks All for the inputs.  A local Ham friend let me know what he's been using (similar to what most of you guys have stated).  I ordered a hot plate and hot air embossing tool off Ebay.  Got ones which have good reviews so hopefully they will be OK - I know these inexpensive items sometimes have spotty quality control.  Just have to run down some paste now - I'm not gonna need much.

Al W1ALC

Stephen Wandling
 

I did not ever have a problem with putting the board on the 90° (coffee) heater numerous times. 

And as Steve says, thrift stores are a great place to find things like a counter top coffeemaker. And you can use it for making coffee, on your breaks from populating the board!

72
Stephen
VE7NSD

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 12:15 PM John AE5X <ae5x@... wrote:
On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 07:15 AM, Stephen Wandling wrote:
Process-wise, I usually placed 8-10 parts at a time, putting the little 'hershy kiss' of paste on each pad.
I guess there are no ill effects from having the circuit board on the hot plate for the length of time needed to do this? My plan was to place half the parts, heat everything and then repeat with the other half of the parts with the idea of minimizing the time the board was on the hot plate.

Stephen Wandling
 

Why are my posts showing up twice?

72
Stephen
VE7NSD

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 1:54 PM Stephen Wandling via Groups.Io <swandling=gmail.com@groups.io wrote:
I did not ever have a problem with putting the board on the 90° (coffee) heater numerous times. 

And as Steve says, thrift stores are a great place to find things like a counter top coffeemaker. And you can use it for making coffee, on your breaks from populating the board!

72
Stephen
VE7NSD

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 12:15 PM John AE5X <ae5x@... wrote:
On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 07:15 AM, Stephen Wandling wrote:
Process-wise, I usually placed 8-10 parts at a time, putting the little 'hershy kiss' of paste on each pad.
I guess there are no ill effects from having the circuit board on the hot plate for the length of time needed to do this? My plan was to place half the parts, heat everything and then repeat with the other half of the parts with the idea of minimizing the time the board was on the hot plate.

Mike Olbrisch
 

Did you set something to send your E-mail back to you?  I only saw your message once, not doubling up at least to me…..

 

 

Mike – KD5KC -- El Paso -- Texas.

 

The canyons are calling, colorful and deep.  But I have promises to keep.

And miles to go still in my Jeep...   And miles to go still in my Jeep...

 

Big Bend JEEP Rear

 

 

 

From: kd1jvdesigns@groups.io <kd1jvdesigns@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Wandling
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 3:03 PM
To: kd1jvdesigns@groups.io
Subject: Re: [kd1jvdesigns] SB II Tools?

 

Why are my posts showing up twice?

 

72

Stephen

VE7NSD

 

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 1:54 PM Stephen Wandling via Groups.Io <swandling=gmail.com@groups.io wrote:

I did not ever have a problem with putting the board on the 90° (coffee) heater numerous times. 

 

And as Steve says, thrift stores are a great place to find things like a counter top coffeemaker. And you can use it for making coffee, on your breaks from populating the board!

 

72

Stephen

VE7NSD

 

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 12:15 PM John AE5X <ae5x@... wrote:

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 07:15 AM, Stephen Wandling wrote:

Process-wise, I usually placed 8-10 parts at a time, putting the little 'hershy kiss' of paste on each pad.

I guess there are no ill effects from having the circuit board on the hot plate for the length of time needed to do this? My plan was to place half the parts, heat everything and then repeat with the other half of the parts with the idea of minimizing the time the board was on the hot plate.

Steve
 

A non-contact IR based thermometer is useful to check the griddle temperature.  I’ve found the usual consumer temperature control not particularly accurate.

Steve
aa8af


On Feb 12, 2019, at 12:43 PM, Steven Weber <steve.kd1jv@...> wrote:

If you don’t already have an electric griddle you never actually use for pancakes, try the local thrift stores. You’ll often find a selection there for a few bucks. 
 
Steve KD1JV
 
 
Embossing heat tool: https://www.hobbylobby.com/Scrapbook-Paper-Crafts/Stamping/Heat-Guns-Tools/Embossing-Heat-Tool/p/13519
Small griddle: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Brentwood-Non-Stick-Electric-Skillet-SK45/206754112

Disclaimer, I have never used either of these, but I intend to for the IC on my VK3PE analyzer kit as well as (HOPEFULLY!!) a Soda Pop II :) 


Steven Weber
 

 

The trouble is, you never know what other treasure you’ll end up coming home with too 😊

 

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 09:43 AM, Steven Weber wrote:

try the local thrift stores

I wondered if I would do well to check a few thrift shops first, guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend.

 

Stephen Wandling
 

How could anyone not buy two $5 bread machines? 


On Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 9:02 PM Steven Weber <steve.kd1jv@... wrote:

 

The trouble is, you never know what other treasure you’ll end up coming home with too 😊

 

On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 09:43 AM, Steven Weber wrote:

try the local thrift stores

I wondered if I would do well to check a few thrift shops first, guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend.