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Equipment for Hobbyists

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by hugoender, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Okay so I am going with:
    1) RH63 Solder 1lb Spool, .031'' Diam, 63/37 ($15.90).
    2)CSI Deluxe Station w/Analog Display, CSI-STATION1A ($39.95).

    Now what size desoldering braid should I use for thru hole components? Also, does brand really matter? Should I buy Kester as opposed to the generic ZD brand stated above from Circuit Specialists?

    What do you guys think of this soldering station? Circuit Specialists Inc. - Auto-Temp Electronic Temperature Controlled Soldering Station (379UL)
     
  2. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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  3. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    A pound is a lot of solder.

    .031 or .032 is a good size for a lot of work. You are going to want a smaller diameter solder for fine work. I use Kester .015 in 63/37, it melts at a bit lower temperature. You can get it with an extra large flux core. Mine has the standard flux core and I find that it works better when I apply flux with a pen first. Maybe the larger flux core is a good idea?

    Liquid flux of some sort is handy. I use a flux pen but that is what I ran into first. Be sure to get on that does not require cleaning. A no clean flux.

    I find the solder braid that is finer (smaller denser wires) works better.

    Check Mouser of DigiKey if you can not get what you need from CS.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Speakerguy

    Speakerguy Active Member

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    I use the larger flux core Kester solder and I still find that extra flux helps. Flux just makes everything 'work' better.
     
  6. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    I want to thank all of you for your tremendous help. I really appreciate it.
     
  7. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  8. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    If you read the above you know as much as I do. Sounds good.

    While I am here a note about solder braid. It often comes in a special spool to keep it from oxidizing. Oxidized brade does not work well. For the most part you do not need to worry about this. Just advoid pulling out a bunch and not using it.
     
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  9. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Well I have a 1lb spool of .032" diameter 63/37 kester solder and a tube of kester tsf tacky flux. The only thing is that I do not know if the flux is No Clean or not. It does not say on the tube and I cannot find the item on the Kester page because the tube does not have a TSF model number. Oh well, I cannot complain since I got it for free :D
     
  10. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Nevermind, I think I found which one I have... it looks exactly like the big fat tube in the middle of this picture: Kester 57-0000-1225 - No-Clean TSF-6502 Paste, 30 Gram Syringe

    Man flux is pretty expensive! I just saved a lot of money.

    Now I just need a syringe tip so I can apply the flux in a small area.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  11. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Now to make my own printed circuits boards... what chemical is best? I am looking at this: Circuit Specialists Inc. - Ferric Chloride [Drop Shipped by UPS Ground Only] (415-4L)

    Is this etching chemical alright? Or is there something better? Also, one thing I have not found anywhere is how to dispose of the chemical once you are done etching. I believe the chemical is reusable but once you have used it enough times, how do you dispose of it properly?
     
  12. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    That is not liquid flux it is solder paste used to hold and solder surface mount parts to PCBs.

    Everyone has their own idea on how to make PCBs at home. What I use and teach to my students is the toner transfer system from httP://www.pulsarprofx.com. I recomend you use the system with a laminator rather then a clothes iron. The transfer paper they sell will transfer 100% of the toner to the copper. You etch is as good as your laser printer. A photo sensitive method may give better results but this has been good enough.

    [​IMG]

    I use a less nasty etchant called Sodium Persulphate from MG-Chemicals. 4101-1KG It does not rot holes in you lungs or stain the bathroom sink. If you have a real fume hood and a dedicated etching setup Feric Chloride is OK. I will not go back. When the etchan is spend I let it evaporate and store the crystals. When I get a gallon of them (some years) I will take them to a recycling drop.
     
  13. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Oh wow I feel retarded now. lol Oh well... I guess I have a tube of solder paste...

    As far as using Sodium Persulphate instead of Feric Chloride... what are the pros and cons? There must be a downside to using Sodium Persulphate since everyone seems to suggest using Feric Chloride.

    I do not own a laminating machine but I do own an iron... for general simple circuits... isn't it okay just to iron the toner onto the copper?

    Edit: Isn't it Ammonium Persulphate not Sodium Persulphate?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  14. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Maybe the cost. It is about $20 kg. Having said that I make more boards the most hobby types and I am still on my first kg. Both do the same job. Ferric Chloride has a lot of momentum in that it has been chemical of choice for a long time. It is not surprising to see that most people still suggest it.
    There are many people who do just fine with a clothes iron. There are also many people who do not. With the laminator you do not have to figure out how hot to make it or worry about how hard to press down. There is a tips section on the pulsar website. One guy suggested using a wood dowel rod under the PCB when ironing. It simulates the action of a laminator. I have not tried it but it sounds good. There may also be a section on how to set iron temperature.
     
  15. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Going back to the PICs... I am debating whether to get the PICKit2 Starter Kit ($49.99) or just get the PICKit2 Programmer by itself ($34.99). What do you guys think? Is the start kit worth the extra $15.00 or can I learn just the same without it?
     
  16. Speakerguy

    Speakerguy Active Member

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    For $15 extra the board that comes with the starter kit is nice.
     
  17. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Well I made my own dual power supply and logic probe. Saved a lot of money not having to buy those two things... although I do not think a logic probe is necessary. A multimeter can carry out the same function.
     

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