Ok...I know. I've been busy. Forgive me. :) Now's the time to finally kick off the 3rd part in this series which is all about building stuff yourself. You will learn to solder (well). You will learn to desolder and see a bunch of desoldering equipment in action. You are encouraged to try and use them yourselves. You will use stencils, solder paste, a benchtop reflow oven, a meter, a scope and a bunch of other cool tools to actually craft something. This is not for the faint of heart. You will be frustrated and overcome a lot of the common obstacles that make things look amazing. If I can manage to move it, I'll try and arrange to also bring my pick and place machine and we can set it up and show you how components are reeled, how the machine works, how coords are setup and how the machine operates. It is big so anyone with a truck is encouraged to PM me (my fiat is not exactly PnP-friendly). :)
Here's the plan. We will get boards. We will get solder paste and stencils, solder and irons, and at least one reflow oven. We'll look at reflow profiles and temperature settings and such. You will spend 1 full day working thru the details of assembling something and looking very closely at the circuit and just how to get it up and running, debugged, and build your own code for it.
Expect to get your hands dirty. Do NOT wear your Sunday-best. This is not a full day of lecture - this is lab.
You will see the miracle of flux and all manner of tools for removing parts, removing extra solder, etc. You will see how easy half of this stuff is to solder if you know the patterns and the tools and the tips. Yes, BGA's are included. So are QFNs, QFPs, and a bunch of other such stuff. You will learn about various wire types, rework and a bunch of the technician's magic that gets you a "working" board from what would otherwise be scrap.
This is building off of an earlier wireless design we have discussed in some manner or another and it will - fate willing - work, when all is said and done.
You can expect to learn a lot of little details about equipment like the odd modes on the meter that pro's often use. How to setup triggers and view waveforms on the scope. Learn about how to map what's on the scope to the waveforms on the datasheet and understand if you're getting what you think you're getting. Also a bunch of other little gems that go along with assembling something and making sure it delivers to spec. As always, food will be provided. I will have to charge for parts. As I don't yet have a final BOM, expect to bring $20 or so. I will try and bring change. If you prefer Venmo or the like, we'll get it all worked out. Dont worry, we'll find a way for you to pay me. :)
If you have gear you would prefer to use, PM me and we can arrange for you to bring it. This'll be several weeks out but I'm opening it up now so we can get a head count.
Hope to see you there!