Dan Maloney on the Hackaday blog:
Simple Mechanism Gives Support for SMT Assembly
To fight the shakes, you can do one of two things: remove the human, or improve the human. Unable to justify a pick and place robot for the former, [Tom] opted to build a quick hand support for surface-mount work, and the results are impressive considering it’s built entirely of scrap.
It’s just a three-piece arm with standard butt hinges for joints; mounted so the hinge pins are perpendicular to the work surface and fitted with a horizontal hand rest, it constrains movement to a plane above the PCB. A hole in the hand rest for a small vacuum tip allows [Tom] to pick up a part and place it on the board — he reports that the tackiness of the solder paste is enough to remove the SMD from the tip.
Everyone needs a helping hand in the shop once in a while, and most of us have gone the traditional route and bought one of those little doohickies with the cast iron base and adjustable arms terminated in alligator clips.
via Coolant Hoses Retasked to Lend a Helping Hand — Hackaday
Timothy Woo has launched a Indiegogo campaign to manufacture his open-source, Arduino-compatible, wireless PCB reflow oven controller:
Reflowduino is the first completely open-source, Arduino-compatible reflow oven controller of its kind that enables practically anyone to assemble their own beautiful circuit boards at home!
Reflowduino comes loaded with features, all in a compact Arduino-compatible package, with full documentation, example code, demo app, and comprehensive wiki on Github.
Reflowduino is designed to be extremely easy to use! The general concept is to switch the power of the appliance on or off with a solid-state relay as shown below, measuring the temperature by placing the thermocouple tip inside the oven during the whole process.
If nothing else, please share this campaign to your friends, family, and anyone who might be interested on social media! Remember that every view counts for me, and I’m depending on you to make this happen!
Jeremy S Cook writes on the Tindie blog:
Weirdly, one problem with memory now being so small is that these drives can be placed in areas that are difficult to access. Usually this means some sort of USB adapter (another amazing improvement over serial or parallel ports), but if you just want an actual SD extension cable in the form of a micro SD card, here it is! This device was conceived of when programming a BeagleBone Black, and could have lots of other applications.
I designed this little tool while compiling a software installation on BeagleBone Black. I needed to repetitively remove/inset the micro SD card. The BeagleBone was installed in a hard-to-reach area. So much time was wasted trying to inset the card with tweezers.
This simple tool plugs into the hard-to-reach socket, and provides a flexible extension.
We’re looking for a variety of flex designs to test. The specs will be the same as our normal 2 layer service but on Kapton:
6 mil minimum trace width
6 mil minimum trace spacing
10 mil minimum drill
5 mil annular ring
Please send us an email with “flex” in the subject: [email protected]
The ATXMega32E5 is the next step up for those experienced with the AVR series of microcontrollers from Microchip (formerly Atmel). They use the same compilers and libraries as the rest of the AVR 8- and 16-bit families, but they can run at 32 MHz and have an amazingly powerful set of internal peripherals that can take your projects to the next level and beyond.
For prototyping, however, the disadvantage is that the XMega chips are not available as through-hole parts. That’s where this breakout board comes into play.
nsayer has shared the board on OSH Park:
From mcu_nerd on Hackaday.io:
A small, easy to assemble board that makes use of old wall warts.
Like many of us, I had a bunch of various wall-warts lying around, but sadly though none of them produced a regulated 5V/3.3V. I had some 78xx regulators around, so I went into KiCad and made a board to make those wall-warts useful! Changing the world by saving old wall warts from the dumpster!