Share tips you have come across

Make yourself a simple but very useful Logic Probe with Logic Pulser.
Resistors, diodes and LEDs are 1206.

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I find there are many times when I need to access an Arduino header pin with several external devices.

You can make a simple interface with male and female headers.
Cut a 6X1 male header and two 6X1 female headers.
Solder them as shown in the images below.

If you have a long pin (stackable) female header, you ‘don’t need the male’ header. :confused:

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Neat... :) :) :)

Got to get my inventory under control. :confused:

I did have some stackable female headers.

These turned out much better.

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If you have access to a Logic Analyzer or a Storage Oscilloscope, you can use them to time events when troubleshooting your code.
A write to pin D13 on the Arduino using the PINB command, toggles that pin’s state.
Toggle: if the pin was ON it goes OFF, if it was OFF it goes ON.
examples:
PINB = 0x20 // Toggle D13 ATMEGA 328
PINB = 0x80 // Toggle D13 ATMEGA 1284 or the ATMEGA 2560
Having two of these commands in a row gives a pulse of ~62.5ns (nano seconds) for 16Mhz clocks.
Creating a pulse on D13 can be used to mark the being of some code.
Adding a second pulse on D13 at the end of that code times how long that code took to execute.

  • The first image shows the timing relationship between the two PINB = 0x20; instructions, ~60ns.
  • The second image shows how long it takes to go from the end of loop() back to the beginning ~1.13us and it shows the time it takes to go between the two pulses ~100us.

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PCB price comparisons. <----<<<<

Online gerber viewers:

Upload your zip file
https://circuitpeople.com/ <----<<<<

Upload your zip file
http://www.gerber-viewer.com/default.aspx <----<<<<

Upload gerber files, one at a time (not zipped)
http://paragonrobotics.com/halo-s/#website/free-tools/gerber-viewer/ <----<<<<

EDIT
This site needs you to drag your non zipped file(s) onto the web page.
You then re-assign your files to equivalent surface names.
You can then orbit the 3D PCB rendering using your mouse.
http://mayhewlabs.com/webGerber/ <----<<<<

http://mayhewlabs.com/3dpcb

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The little bits of sealant that you clip from IP68 LEDs make really good anti slip feet. Just add some double sided tape to the (conveniently) flat side.

See photos (if they work) and check video…

Free feet!

Ipad photos are too big you have to crop them to under 1 Mb size.

Boardburner2:
Ipad photos are too big you have to crop them to under 1 Mb size.

It wasnt the size…iOS labels them “jpeg”…same as jpg, but not recognised here… fixed now and uploaded.

The old SMD hold down tool worked well but it was a bit tall and moved too easily.

This new hold down is much better and puts more pressure on the SMD devices.

The SS rod is made from a 2mm bicycle spoke.
A 3/4" magnet gives more holding power.
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The work surface is a 403 stainless steel sheet.
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The hold down works better with 3/4" magnet.
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For such jobs I’ve normally used solder paste, hotplate, and a hot air gun.

Works well.

Alan

allanhurst:
For such jobs I’ve normally used solder paste, hotplate, and a hot air gun.

Works well.

Alan

Yes, hot air is great at soldering SMD boards.

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For one small PCB, it can be effective to solder it with an iron, some magnification and the hold down tool.

Note:
When mounting parts on the opposite side of the board, it may be easier to hand solder them.

Hi, @larryd where do you put the kitchen sink mate.... :) :)

TomGeorge: Hi, @larryd where do you put the kitchen sink mate.... :) :)

Kitchen sink??? Oh! You mean the PCB etching tank...

Henry_Best: Kitchen sink??? Oh! You mean the PCB etching tank...

No surely you mean the PCB leaking tank. :)

Making a high-quality Flux applicator.
A 2 in 1 White-Out bottle makes an excellent flux applicator tool.
These bottles have a spring-loaded metal point that seals off the contents when not pressed.

  • clean out the old white paint with IPA.
  • cut off the applicator brush at the location shown.
  • rinse bottle and cap with Varsol.
  • once again, clean the assembled unit with IPA until no white is seen in the alcohol.
    Let dry, then fill 3/4 full of liquid flux.

You can easily apply a single drop of flux to the location needed or run a bead the length of a trace.

Make one of these for IPA and oil application too.

I was hoping this would be a good applicator for solder paste but the paste is too thick to work in this setup.

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Larry, A syringe of solder like this https://www.cmlsupply.com/kester-ep256-lead-solder-paste-63-37-syringe-dispenser/ |500x397 can be cleaned out when empty (I just use alchohol) and then refilled from a tub of solder paste.

I’ll pick some up.

Thought it might be nice to have a small palm held unit that you squeeze between thumb and pointer finger.