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Breadboard Hints

All of the Vector parts should be available from All • New • Digi • Mouse. As always do not forget your best friend --- FindChips
  • Layout your circuit on graph paper prior to breadboarding.
  • Use Vector K24A pins for external wires. Make sure you get the epoxy-glass Vectorboard (part number 169P84WE) and not the paper core. The K24A pins press in hard and you could break the paper core board.
  • Use 28AWG buss-wire for the small holes in the T42-1 (aka flea-clips), 22AWG buss-wire for the large hole and the slot. The 28AWG buss-wire can be cut with an Xacto knife. If you pull your wires straight you can run perpendicular wires, without insulation, using the flea-clip slots and large holes.
  • Use the P149 tool for inserting the T42-1 clips.

SMD Assembly Hints

SMD components are not difficult to hand solder provided you do not design with components that are too small or components that have too fine a pitch. SMD assembly goes fairly quickly. Make sure to use plenty of flux and clean up fine pitch components with solderwick. If you are using water-soluble flux you will need to periodically (usually every hour) clean off the flux. Pictures of some of the boards that I have done are here Another benefit of SMT is the ease of storage. Pictures of my component storage trays are here

SMD Soldering Procedure

  1. flux the PCB pads of a small group of components
  2. For each component:
    1. reflow solder onto one corner pad of each component
    2. while holding the component with tweezers solder the corner component pin to PCB pad with the reflowed solder on it.
    3. solder the component pin in the opposite corner
    4. solder the remainder of the unsoldered component pins

Soldering Stations

Soldering Station Metcal SP200-11
   Metcal Tips SSC-754A30deg bend, 20mil wide
   Base Mount Panavise 308
   Board Holder Panavise 315
   Low Profile Base Panavise 305
Magnifier Luxo 17113 KRM Series, 22W fluorescent lamp, 3 diopter lense
Wrist Strap 3M 2214 One Size, 5ft coiled cord
Anti-static MatACL Staticide 8085BM24602x5ft elastomer dissipative mat

Hand Tools

Tweezers Wiha 493767A SA ESD 120mm long
Needle nose pliers
Cutters Lindstrom 8160
Wire StrippersIdeal 45-616
Ideal 45-09820-30AWG
Knife X-Acto x3201No. 1 Knife
   Blades X-Acto x411No. 11 Fine Point Blade

Soldering Supplies

Solder Kester 24-6337-6422 15mil diameter solder, SN63PB37, water soluble flux
Flux Pen Kester 2331-ZX Water Soluble Flux
Solder Removal Braid Chemtronics 5-25L 50mil width, 25ft long
Chemtronics 10-25L 100mil width, 25ft long