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Boards in Good Quality from SeeedStudio Fusion

SeedStudio offered me a coupon to evaluate their PCB service “Fusion“. I am currently working on a new project, so I gave this service a try. I used the following options ordering the two boards:

PCB Dimensions 68mm*108mm
Impedance Control No
Surface Finish HASL Lead Free
Minimum Solder Mask Dam 0.4mm↑
Copper Weight 1oz.
Plated Half-holes / Castellated Holes No
Minimum Drill Hole Size 0.3mm
PCB Color Blue
Base Material FR-4 TG130
No. of Layers 2 layers
PCB Quantity 5
Blind or Buried Vias No
PCB Thickness 1.6
Trace Width / Spacing 6/6 mil

I payed $27.40 for five boards with the option shown above and there were additional $20 shipping costs.

My board design has a very low quality class B4: Minimum drill size is 0.35mm, minimum trace size and spacing is 0.2mm.

Ordering and Shipping

The order process was very simple. The website provides an assistant with all possible options and calculates a quote in real time. I just noticed these minor things:

  • The shipping cost is not displayed in this quote.
  • The dimensions were not correctly extracted from my Gerber files.

The production of the boards and the shipping was quite fast, the whole process only took 10 days until the packet with the boards arrived.

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The boards were well protected in the package, so there were no scratches from the shipping of the boards.

Quality

The boards have a good quality for the chosen options and the price. The alignment of the layers is not perfect, but everything is in an acceptable range.

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The front side of the two boards. Continue Reading

Weller WT Solder Station – Great Tool with Great Issues

Update: Weller solved the problems I describe in this article with a new design of the retainer. This new retainer solves all the problems described in this article. The new retainer looks very different and uses a spring to pull the tip to the heating element.

A little bit more than a half year ago I bough a Weller WT solder station. This solder station has a very smart design and there are many features I like.

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  • The solder pencil is very small, but has exactly the right weight and grip to solder for a long time without fatigue.
  • The cable between the station and the pencil is very flexible, soft and never gets tangled magically.
  • The tip heats up to working temperature in seconds.
  • After a programmed time, the station goes into power saving mode and automatically wakes up as soon you touch the solder pencil again.
  • It has a large nice display, just showing the info you actually like to know.
  • Even digital, temperature can be quickly and precisely changed.

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  • The solder pencil is very modular, you can actually have multiple heat elements with different tips and change them in the middle of the work.
  • The tips are small and relatively cheap, but from a high quality.
  • The stand is heavy and does not slide away. You can switch between brass wool and a sponge if you like.

Yet, there are two annoying issues…

Continue Reading