Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [softrock40] Ensemble Kit and Intimidation From Nubee

Expand Messages
  • richard
    On Mon, 30 Apr 2012 18:30:09 -0400 ... There are plenty of good comments, BUT, when it comes to tweezers, a littl care needs to be taken. The main reason
    Message 1 of 9 , May 1, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      On Mon, 30 Apr 2012 18:30:09 -0400
      Richard Lawn <rjlawn@...> wrote:

      > My kit just arrived today and I have to admit to being more than a
      > little intimidated by it as I've never worked with such small
      > components and surface mount devices. I've been watching video
      > tutorials and reading articles on soldering methods. Still looks
      > rather daunting but I want to give it a try. I just retired and need
      > things to keep myself busy, and hopefully not frustrated. Any tips
      > from people who remember their first time at this would be
      > appreciated.
      >
      > Rick
      > W2JAZ

      There are plenty of good comments, BUT, when it comes to tweezers, a
      littl care needs to be taken.
      The main reason components fly is too much pressure, so dont get long
      ones with very fine tips.
      Try to limit the length to 4", and the width of the tip to the same as
      the length of the smallest component 0805 1/10" is close enough.
      For the brave if the xyl plucks her eyebrows, you will find eyebrow
      tweezers have a flat at the end, but its too wide.
      File it down to 1/10" and about a 30 deg angle. so that the tip is flat
      when holding at an angle, makes it easier the use.
      You can get the specialised smd tweezers, but $15 ++
      If you are afraid of the xyl these eyebrow tweezers are very low cost
      from anywhere that sell make up, cosmetics etc
      You can also buy more than one pair, bend them a little and they are
      great for SOIC packages.
      HTH

      --

      --
      Best wishes / 73
      Richard Bown

      e-mail: richard@...




      Escaped from gmail, mail hosted by SimplyMailSolutions :) ;)
      Please avoid using old e-mail address of richard.bown@...

      nil carborundum a illegitemis
      ##################################################################################
      Ham Call G8JVM . OS Fedora FC16 x86_64 on a Dell Insiron N5030 laptop
      Maidenhead QRA: IO82SP38, LAT. 52 39.720' N LONG. 2 28.171 W ( degs
      mins ) QRV HF + VHF Microwave 23 cms:140W,13 cms:100W,6 cms:10W & 3
      cms:5W
      ##################################################################################
    • PJ
      I had been out of ham radio and electronics for over 20 years when I came back to it a couple monyhs ago. I m also retired. I became completely taken by SDR
      Message 2 of 9 , May 1, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        I had been out of ham radio and electronics for over 20 years when I came back to it a couple monyhs ago. I'm also retired. I became completely taken by SDR and purchased a Softrock 40-R. I also had had no experience with SMT devices. I took about a week to get it done as I had to purchase some supplies and a soldering iron, etc. After a few 'flying' component searches and a lot of confidence building I found it to be as relaxing as back in the days of 'regular' components in HeathKit kits.

        Point is to relax and give it a go. You'll very soon get the hang of doing SMT and if you are careful and meticulous it will fall into place quickly.

        PJ Hicks, N7PXY
      • Sid Boyce
        Advice given earlier - a decent pair of tweezers is very important. You are the lucky one as many of us have never found components once they were launched. I
        Message 3 of 9 , May 1, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          Advice given earlier - a decent pair of tweezers is very important.
          You are the lucky one as many of us have never found components once they were launched.

          I thought I saw where a 3.3V regulator had landed on my large antistatic mat on my desk but I have never found it.

          I found a pair of curved tweezers in the company's toolkit, obviously of quality and I've never lost a component since when building an array of SMD kits like 2 Mobos, 2 SR63ng's, 2 UHFSDR's, 2 SDR-Widgets, si570 Controllers, UBW's and a SDR2GO.
          73 ... Sid.

          On 01/05/12 17:30, PJ wrote:
           

          I had been out of ham radio and electronics for over 20 years when I came back to it a couple monyhs ago. I'm also retired. I became completely taken by SDR and purchased a Softrock 40-R. I also had had no experience with SMT devices. I took about a week to get it done as I had to purchase some supplies and a soldering iron, etc. After a few 'flying' component searches and a lot of confidence building I found it to be as relaxing as back in the days of 'regular' components in HeathKit kits.

          Point is to relax and give it a go. You'll very soon get the hang of doing SMT and if you are careful and meticulous it will fall into place quickly.

          PJ Hicks, N7PXY



          -- 
          Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
          Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
          Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
          Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
          
        • Tom
          Rick, Fear not (well, not too much). Yours is a familiar story - I retired back in December, and had a couple of SoftRock kits purchased several years ago
          Message 4 of 9 , May 1, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            Rick,
            Fear not (well, not too much). Yours is a familiar story - I retired back in December, and had a couple of SoftRock kits purchased several years ago sitting on the shelf. I was a bit concerned about the size of the parts, but took the leap and now have built 6 SoftRocks, and have a couple more in process. I had surgery on my right hand this morning, and am currently working on an Ensemble RxTx, even with my hand all bandaged up and the anesthesia still wearing off! What fun!
            Others have offered good advice on the mechanics of doing it. It takes a little practice, a steady hand, and if your eyes are like mine, good magnification. I bought one that you wear on the head, has 3 levels of magnification, and flips up. It was only about $10. I found that an iron with 1/64" conical tip and adjustable temperature is a huge asset. A home made tool for holding parts in place while tacking the first end works great and is nothing more than a piece of wood carved off of a popsickle stick. When going to hold a place in part, it is most important to sneak up on it very slowly. These parts have eyes on all sides, and are a bit skittish, but if approached slowly and deliberately, will stay in place nicely while you stick them in place.
            For most newbie builds, I think it is important to follow the fantastic instructions that WB5RVZ put together, and test each stage as it is completed. He deserves HUGE kudos and thanks for all the effort he has put into the instructions.
            While building, also review the schematic and try to understand what the device is doing and how it works. It will really help if you need to troubleshoot anything.
            Most importantly, take your time - it is not a race - double check every part value and placement before it is permanently in place. Measure every resistor with an ohmeter - it is easy to misread the color codes on some resistors.
            I just finished building a KD1JV MTR which is almost almost all surface mount with parts much smaller than the SoftRocks. Working on the Ensemble RxTx now, these parts seem huge!! It's the natural progression of the addiction to building with surface mount devices that you too will no doubt quickly succumb to. You will also need to start putting $ away for the acquisition of an endless stream of kits.
            Dive in - good luck. If you have a question, ask it here - there are so many astoundingly knowledgeable and helpful people here that will gladly help.
            73, Tom N0BS

            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Richard Lawn <rjlawn@...> wrote:
            >
            > My kit just arrived today and I have to admit to being more than a little
            > intimidated by it as I've never worked with such small components and
            > surface mount devices. I've been watching video tutorials and reading
            > articles on soldering methods. Still looks rather daunting but I want to
            > give it a try. I just retired and need things to keep myself busy, and
            > hopefully not frustrated. Any tips from people who remember their first
            > time at this would be appreciated.
            >
            > Rick
            > W2JAZ
            >
          • PJ
            Some things I found to be very very helpful during my build. I had read somewhere that a cake pan with 1 sides was good to corral those flying parts... it
            Message 5 of 9 , May 2, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              Some things I found to be very very helpful during my build.

              I had read somewhere that a cake pan with 1" sides was good to corral those flying parts... it damn sure is let me tell you! I got mine (18" x 24") at Costco for about $7.00

              A fixture of some sort to hold that PCB in place so both hands are free is a gods send. I built mine but they are available at reasonable cost; very handy.

              A toothpick or some other sort of 'hold down' to 'clamp' those pesky SMTs in place is indispencible.

              And magnification is a must evfen if you see well because you will want to check every solder joint and connection for splashes and bridges and cold joints. I use a large 6" magnifying glass that is part of my articulated lamp but I have a cheap headband type also for those 'closeup' jobs.

              Lastly I love the temp controlled iron I got from Fry's for about $25.00.

              Now get going... I love the Softrock 40-R; a completely new dimension in listening to CW. I hear signals that my Icom wont pull out of the mud. I'm starting on an Ensemble RXTX in a few days and I have a Cube in the works. I can't stop, I can't stop, Help me, I can't stop!!! LOL
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.