Monthly Archives: September 2007

  • Stick a screwdriver or hex wrench into one of the chuck key holes. Then use it as a fulcrum with a regular / flat screw driver to tighten or loosen the chuck. There's probably a good chance this could harm your chuck if you do this regularly, but you need that hole NOW--new chucks can come later.

  • When soldering a lot of surface mount chips, or when you don't have a clamp handy, sometimes the best solution is just a piece or two of double-sided tape between the board and desk. "De-stick" the tape a little by touching it with your fingers to avoid permanent additions to your desk and to make it easier to rotate the board when needed. Only a small amount of tape is needed.

    double_sided_tape

  • Don't want to send out for a PCB when you just have a couple surface mount parts that need prototyping? Make your own surface mount PCB. Dremel a copper-clad board into regions, cover them with solder, and then drop in components. You could only add solder under the exact component locations, but shellacking the whole board is more fun and gives you more flexibility.

    closeup_done

    • First, sketch a quick diagram showing component locations and connected regions--the regions will be nodes in your circuit.

    layout

    • Next, transfer lines over to the copper with a sharpie and lightly dremel off the top copper layer.

    dremel

    • Brush on some flux. If you use a thick enough solder, it may contain enough flux in the core already.

    apply_flux

    • Now coat the regions with solder. The higher wattage the iron, the better, since you're essentially soldering to a giant heat sink. A 30W will do the job, but it'll take a while.

    spreading

    • Add components:

    overview

3 Item(s)