PC-powered thermometer

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

I make a real-size printout of the PCB in order to verify dimensions of all parts against it. Should a part be too big or small to match its PCB pads, I can adjust PCB layout or try to findia compatible part before the hard work starts. Once all parts are verified, I prepare the PCB. As the SMT layout is sing

PC-powered thermometer
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le-sided, you can easily etch one yourself. It takes less than an hour and no special materials with the method described here. The PCB must be spotlessly clean (no trace of oxidation of fingerprints) in order to etch and solder well. Clean it with a mild abrasive until shiny (kitchen scrubs, steel wool, and even a pen eraser work). Soldering requires a fine-tip iron, sharp tweezers and a steady hand. I tape the board to the desk to keep it in place while soldering. Actually, I tape it to the parts layout printout so its easier to check during soldering. In order to avoid inadvertent swaps, keep parts in their original packaging until needed. I suggest you to start soldering smaller parts (resistors, diodes ) and to end with the cumbersome ones (electrolytic), as tall components can make difficult to access and solder small part`s pins. Don`t apply too much solder, and be careful not to overheat parts (especially diodes and ICs). If necessary, let the part cool down before reworking. Most parts are polarised so be careful not to reverse them. Diode`s cathode (K) is marked by a black ring, and electrolytic capacitors negative pin is designated by a black strip. If you prefer to use tantalum capacitors, remember that their marking is reversed, with the black strip designating the positive leg! I clean soldering iron tip before each solder joint, and use smallest diameter soldering alloy in order to apply as little solder as...

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