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CTB16PC - first one working


MikeLand
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I completed my first kit the other night. I have never soldered anything before. I powered it on and a blinking LED brought joy :( and relief. I was so afraid to power it on but I finally did and no smoke or circuit breaker pop.

I ran it through some tests and it all works on all channels. I thought I might have problems since I had a little rookie mistake with the neutral spade lugs - http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum84/16988.html . Thanks again to everyone who helped out in that thread.

I thank Dan and his team for doing a great job with excellent documentation and product. Like he has said many times that even a beginner can do the kit. Here is yet more proof that yes a beginner can do it.

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Congratulations!

I agree, I think that the LOR kits are so well made and designed that they could be used as a first project in an electronics class to teach students.

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Mike,
Congratulations! I've built 6 and I'm working on a seventh and I've found the instructions easy to follow and the kits very well made. I've built lots of electric kits over the years and these were by far the easiest to do. Now comes the fun part, hooking up lights! Take care.

Craig.

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Congrats! Great feeling, isn't it? I remember about 6 years ago doing my Ramsey FM25B kit... was the first 'major' thing I'd ever soldered and it worked the first time!

I just did my first LOR-PC kit in the past weeks... Didn't work immediatly but it was my stupid mistake, not reading the instructions which were CLEARLY labeled... But it now works and I am just as thrilled knowing I built it. All my other boards were purchased complete, although I built enclosures for most of them...

As an aside, anyone know how these boards are manufactured "for real"? I'm assuming that someone isn't sitting there actually hand-soldering them?

-Tim

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Tim Fischer wrote:

...

As an aside, anyone know how these boards are manufactured "for real"? I'm assuming that someone isn't sitting there actually hand-soldering them?

-Tim

Rumor has it that Dan worked a deal with Santa to rent the elves during the off season ;)
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Tim Fischer wrote:

[snip]
As an aside, anyone know how these boards are manufactured "for real"? I'm assuming that someone isn't sitting there actually hand-soldering them?

-Tim

There is a thing called a wave soldering machine. It pre-heats, fluxes and solders the board on a conveyor.

The heart of the machine is a solder pump that pushes solder up to a rectangular head that is like a fountain with a continuous "wave" of liquid solder coming out. The circuit board is moved over the wave (or waves in some cases) and all the soldering is done in a flash.

Dan
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LightORamaDan wrote:

Tim Fischer wrote:
[snip]
As an aside, anyone know how these boards are manufactured "for real"? I'm assuming that someone isn't sitting there actually hand-soldering them?

-Tim

There is a thing called a wave soldering machine. It pre-heats, fluxes and solders the board on a conveyor.

The heart of the machine is a solder pump that pushes solder up to a rectangular head that is like a fountain with a continuous "wave" of liquid solder coming out. The circuit board is moved over the wave (or waves in some cases) and all the soldering is done in a flash.

Dan
I think I recall seeing something similar on the discovery channel show called "How its made". I believe I saw what your talking about Dan. The circuit board just moved over the solder wave. It might have been computer video cards that they were making.
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That's pretty cool. Now that I know what it's called, I was able to find this video on YouTube:



Pretty amazing that they can just drag it through that solder wave and have it all work...

I suppose SMT is a whole different ball game...

-Tim
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Surface mount isn't nearly as exciting except to watch the parts put on the board. The automatic pick and place machines are fun to watch.

The three major steps are:

1 solder paste is applied. The solder paste is of a tooth paste consistency. It is a combination of flux and solder. A very thin (around 0.007" depending on the application) metal stencil is placed over the circuit board. The stencil has holes in it where each surface mount pad is located. A squeegee moves over the board and applies the solder paste.

2. parts are placed on the board with a pick and place machine

3. boards go through an oven (reflow oven) on a conveyor and when they come out all the solder has melted and the board is ready for cleaning and/or the application of thru hole parts.

There are other ways of doing it but I believe this is the most common way.

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