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Learning From Others' Mistakes: a Case Study of a PCB Design Error

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Aeroengineer
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Re: OSH Park
Aeroengineer   4/13/2014 10:07:09 AM
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That is a fine example of ingenuity there!  Soldering the .5mm pitch parts has not been a problem.  I just do an inspection of the edges of the part after they are reflowed. I had one part have a solder bridge that I cleared up by running the soldering iron across the edge of the part and draging away.  I have a bit extra on the pads that is exposed that allows me to do this.

 

Adam

MSimon0
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Re: OSH Park
MSimon0   4/13/2014 5:19:04 AM
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Thanks! I have a home made hot air toll that I use. It takes a few minutes to heat up but works pretty well. I have also found Chip Quik Fluz to be invaluable. I'm going to try doing some .5mm pitch parts soon. Thanks!.

 

Home built hot air iron instructions:

http://spacetimepro.blogspot.com/2013/06/hot-air-iron.html

 

Aeroengineer
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Re: OSH Park
Aeroengineer   4/12/2014 2:33:20 PM
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Msimon,

Sorry for the late response, I have been recovering for a lot of travel.  The soldering I do with a hot air rework tool.  Because the boards are so small, they reflow almost the entire board at once.  It really works pretty well.  I am in the process of converting a toaster oven, but I have to get through a few other things first. 

 

On the design rules. OSHPark really can do down to their 6/6 spacing.  They can even do smaller, they have margin built in, but do not expect to have 100% yields at a lower spacing.

MSimon0
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OSH Park
MSimon0   4/9/2014 1:23:40 PM
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I have been using them for several years. They are excellent.

 

Two things I do to make life easy.

 

1. Check the Gerbers. I do that with a Gerber reader or from OSH Park renderings when I enter a board.

 

2. 10/10 design rules. That adds margin to what ever margins OSH Park has to get their 7/7 promised.

 

I don't use the minimum via. I use 30 pads and 15 holes. That gives a 7.5 mil annular ring vs their minimum of 7 mils. And I do what I can in layout to fatten the pads - i.e. wide traces where I can.

 

How do you hand solder .5mm lead spacings? The best I can do is .65mm.

type6
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OSH Park
type6   3/5/2014 1:28:09 PM
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I've been using OSHpark (previously Dorkbot/Laen PCB) for several years. The price and turn around time is pretty darn good. Being 'down under', affordable fab houses are non existant. I couldn't find anyone who could come close with my design's requirements - 4 layer, 5/5mil track/spaces, 4mil annulars and 10mil holes.

Their prices are unbeatable if you want lots of boards too. 

Aeroengineer
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Re: KL02
Aeroengineer   2/28/2014 2:29:09 PM
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I love that you can send out a design and have it back in a few weeks for under $10!

Aeroengineer
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Re: KL02
Aeroengineer   2/28/2014 2:28:17 PM
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Yeah, I find the small boards a nice challenge.  I love trying to fit everything on them that needs to get there.  What is your current project that you are doing that is that small?  I would love to hear about it.

 

On the KL02, I am just exploring being able to use it.  Once I find a way to do it, then I will find what to do with it ;)

 

 

Aeroengineer
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Re: OSH Park
Aeroengineer   2/28/2014 2:26:17 PM
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That is probably a good thing to do in the furure.  I like the suggestion!

jsloan256
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Re: KL02
jsloan256   2/27/2014 4:06:15 PM
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I agree about how much easier board building has gotten.  I'd never use some of these quick and dirty techniques when I'm on a strict timeline, but it has really opened up pathways to build quick, 'usually' reliable prototypes.

DeeCee430
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KL02
DeeCee430   2/27/2014 3:21:52 PM
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If you want to play with the KL02 microcontroller, the evaluation board only costs U$12.96 at DigiKey.

The 3x3mm QFN-16 package wouldn't fit on your 0.38"x0.38" board?

Like you, I design very small boards. My current project is only 0.29" x 0.31", and has parts on both sides. It's easy and fun to design these projects, but what a pain to build and test and debug something that tiny!

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