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Month / September 2016

Soldering for Show

This article is about soldering for show. While usually you solder electronic components to make the best possible connection and keep everything working, this is just to make a great visual result. If you want to take photos from your projects or would like to impress a customer with a nice looking prototype, you have to solder with more care to the detail.

In the next sections I will describe a few things which are worth to think about, using Boldport Project #4 as an example. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to add a comments to this article. Also feel free to ask about any other technique I use, about which you would like to see another article.

Equipment

To get great results you need the right tools.

lucky-resistor-4

First, you really need a good soldering station. The brand does not matter, but the performance does. The solder iron should actually transfer the required heat to the solder joint and this in a very consistent and reliable way. For this reason, the temperature sensor should be as close to the tip as possible. I personally use products from the Weller WT Series.

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Boldport Tap — Second Try

If you already saw the soldering video, here two photos of the result. To get this result, I was inspired by the way Saar from Boldport was soldering his own projects, I adapted his technique. After initial soldering, I flush cut carefully the wire as close as possible to the board. Cutting off any solder […]

Outmoded Sequencer Live Demo Video

Today I made a short live demo of the Outmoded Sequencer. I just added briefly some audio effects at the end of the video, so you can hear the real sound of the device. Adding effects is a really great way to turn the beep sounds in interesting music. You can also see the connection problems […]

Outmoded Sequencer Finished!

Hurray! I just finished the final Outmoded Sequencer device. The tuning of all frequencies was way faster than I expected, because I used a new method. Have a look at the following photo gallery before I tell you some details. You can see the device is build like a control desk, with the PCB a […]

Video: Assembling Final Outmoded Sequencer PCB

Here a short update on the progress with the final Outmoded Sequencer project. I did the whole assembly of the final PCB and connected everything. You can see part of the soldering process in the following video: I accidentally cut a route on the bottom of the PCB, so I had to fix this with […]

PCBite Arrived

I recently ordered a set of “PCBite”. These are special PCB holder as shown in the images in this post. To solder components into PCB I sometimes used one of this many “helping hands” products with two clamps, but they are no real use in most cases. PCBite seems to solve some of the problems […]

Building a Magnet Matrix

I did many tests with the Outmoded Sequencer how to use steel balls as switches. While this is working very well from the electronic point of view, one problem was the steel balls tended to fall of the PCB easily and roll under furniture.

To hold the small steel balls into place I am building a matrix of 8×8 neodym magnets. This magnet matrix is later mounted below the PCB, so there will be one magnet for each pad on top.

I am using these small, but very powerful neodym magnets. They have a diameter of 4 mm and a length of 5 mm. You can get this magnets, any many other shapes, from Supermagnete, they deliver the magnets to almost all European countries.

magnet-matrix-02

I started by using the holes in the PCB as a template to put marks onto a piece of plywood. Best is using a stitching awl, to create small holes. Next I drilled 64 holes with a diameter of 4 mm into the plywood.

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The Final Outmoded Sequencer PCB

The final black and gold PCBs for the Outmoded Sequencer arrived. They really look great with a nice contrast between the solder mask and the silk. The surface is somehow glossy and the routes are barely visible under the black solder mask. Now I really hope I will not find any further problems with this […]

Steel Balls Arrived

Today the steel balls for the Outmoded Sequencer arrived. They look very nice. For the first version, I will use these steel balls to program the sequencer matrix. Below the matrix there will be small magnets to make them “click” into the right places.