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Lessons Learned in V2 Assembly

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:14 pm
by AB1RW
I hosed the pins on the PSOC on my first attempt, and had to order another kit. I should have got a practice kit first.
I found this practice kit - which gives plenty of experience opportunities with fine pitch packages: The Dice looks nice, but the extended practice kit was very helpful to build confidence.

1. Radio Shack still sells a 0.015" diameter Sn/Pb/Ag fine solder that is ideal for this project. It's not ROHS, but
it does melt at a much lower working temperature (which buys safety margin on some package leads).
2. A flux pen is instrumental when cleaning solder bridges on the packages,it lets the wick more efficiently.
Also, a pen of flux remover (ethyl acetate) is helpful too.
3. The solder-test-solder-test iterative assembly in the directions works. I found small errors - i.e. unsoldered pad - during
my assembly. The iterative approach finds and fixes problems early.
4. You will get early viability. Once you get a solid Green LED and can see the PCM3060 as an active USB device on you computer, you are out of the toughest parts of the assembly, and the rest of the project gets alot easier and more predictable.
5. I learned to stop worry about solder bridges on fine-pitch SMD once I get experienced at cleanup with lots of flux, a braid, and the right temp
on the soldering iron. In my case - my Iron is set for 525F.

-- Jim