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Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:37 pm
by Tony
Suggestions for improvements, mistakes, hints here please.

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:05 am
by Salt Maple
So I dove into this head first. I am starting with the display PCBs. I'm not sure if it is my skills or the new soldering iron but it was easier then I thought it would be.

Tony, there is a small issue with your instructions that you could maybe fix. The pictures of where to solder the capacitors is the issue. You show in the picture with all the capacitors attached but the diode packs haven't been attached yet, the caps that are directly counter clockwise of the diodes are too far clockwise in the picture and this leaves no room for the diode packs.

Does this make sense?

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:32 pm
by Tony
Yes, I misplaced them in the first picture, I'll replace it when I boild the next batch.
It may be better to solder them on after the diode packs as it's easier to see how much space there is and exactly where they fit.

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:55 pm
by Salt Maple
For anyone that is apprehensive about soldering what I have been calling grains of sand (capacitors) on the PCBs. It gets easier, and fast. My first two display PCBs took me over two hours. After eight it was down to 25 minutes each and with eight left it is less then ten minutes apiece (with searching for a grain of sand that popped out of my tweezers). Another hint: sweep your floor before you start a soldering session. I forgot once and now I lost a grain of sand.

I figure it will have taken me about six to seven hours to solder the display PCBs without the pins.

Instead of buying a magnifying light to inspect my work, I found a free iPad app called Mag. Light that works quite well when I put my iPad hanging over a stack of books. Just slide the PCB under and I have a giant view of it. If you don't have an iPad the magnifying light is probably the cheaper solution :lol:

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:38 am
by SpankyMcSpank
Salt Maple wrote:For anyone that is apprehensive about soldering what I have been calling grains of sand (capacitors) on the PCBs. It gets easier, and fast. My first two display PCBs took me over two hours. After eight it was down to 25 minutes each and with eight left it is less then ten minutes apiece (with searching for a grain of sand that popped out of my tweezers). Another hint: sweep your floor before you start a soldering session. I forgot once and now I lost a grain of sand.

I figure it will have taken me about six to seven hours to solder the display PCBs without the pins.

Instead of buying a magnifying light to inspect my work, I found a free iPad app called Mag. Light that works quite well when I put my iPad hanging over a stack of books. Just slide the PCB under and I have a giant view of it. If you don't have an iPad the magnifying light is probably the cheaper solution :lol:


Great hint (Mag. Light), sounds like you're having fun :)
Have you been testing each display piece after construction with the main board?
Must be exciting, can't wait !!

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:16 am
by Salt Maple
I haven't tested one yet. I don't have a power supply (I haven't gotten up the courage to go through my box of tangled wires and wall warts) and I am looking for a good deal on a multimeter to buy.

I am having fun. It is easier and less tedious then I thought it would be. I am almost sad I will be done the display PCBs tonight. Then it's onto the board. I will wait to wind the coils until I find a power supply and multimeter.

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:46 pm
by The_Ed
Just get a "Fluke 87-V", they're awesome.

As for power supplies get a "Mean Well SP-100-12". Then you could use it as a benchtop power supply when you're not powering the chessboard.

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:48 pm
by Tony
One thing that is guaranteed to improve the ease of soldering - throw out that crap I sent you and go buy some multicore 60/40. ;)

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:41 am
by The_Ed
Kester 44 63/37 for PCB work. 60/40 for soldering wires together.

Re: Piece display PCB discussion

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:54 am
by SpankyMcSpank
The_Ed wrote:Just get a "Fluke 87-V", they're awesome.


Agree, the Flukes are very nice bits of gear, I'm using a 187.