Author Topic: Noob questions  (Read 1217 times)

Agent9

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Noob questions
« on: January 19, 2018, 07:32:48 AM »
Hi.
At 50 I finally decided to build a pedal. I built an Afterlife compressor.
It turned out ok and worked the very first time but Iím going to build another since Iíve already learned a few things to make it better. My OCD insists!

For instance, buy low profile caps. I ended up reversing my board and drilling the box a little different.
I have a couple of solder balls on connections. I need to buy a new tip for my solder station.

Anyway, I have a ďhelping handĒ to hold the pcb but whatís the best way to hold components in place while you solder them? I was using Scotch tape. ???
Same goes for wire. I had a hard time getting some to stay in place while I soldered them. Itís bad enough that my eyes are going and my hand shaking.

Thanks,

Casey



sonnyboy27

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
  • Stephen
    • View Profile
    • Prentiss Effects DIY Blog
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 07:52:04 AM »
For wire I personally like using solid core 22-24awg. It tends to stay where I bend it and makes for neat and pretty wiring.

I'm still looking for a really good solution to holding components in place. I generally just do all things of the same height at once and then I can lay the board flat against the table while I solder.

cajone5

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 08:27:48 AM »
I use blue tack to hold things in place when I need to.  Not sure I've seen anyone recommend it before but it's great since it has low adhesion and molds to whatever you have on your board.


 

BrianS

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 09:05:24 AM »
I like this a lot better than the alligator clips on helping hands.  The only time I use mine is when I have to extract something out of a board. 

Otherwise I just use the tabletop to keep everything in place.  I just have to make sure my fingers donít stick to the board when I move.

https://www.amazon.com/Aven-17010-Adjustable-Circuit-Holder/dp/B00Q2TTQEE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1516372054&sr=8-3&keywords=pcb+holder

The 24 gauge stranded wire at Smallbear is superb IMO and priced right.  GuitarPCB also has some really good wire also.  This is not a knock against solid core but when Iíve used it and Iíve had a problem come up it doesnít take a lot of movement well and seems to break easier than stranded.  And thatís not to say I havenít had stranded wire break before and it can be a real hassle to get it cleared out of a hole. 

If Iíve missed something the mounting putty comes in.  Most of the build docs will advise you to go from small to larger components as you populate the board.  So small diodes (914ís, 4148ís, Batís) go first, then resistors, the bigger diodes, sockets....  in order. 

Everyone has a different way of doing things.  Figure out whatís easy for you, stick to it and as your skills grow improve on it. 

And congrats on your first build and first time fire up.  Thatís great.

Agent9

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 09:15:04 AM »
Oh wow. I like that pcb holder, and the putty idea.

Good to know Iím not really missing a Ēthis is how itís supposed to be doneĒ step.

Thanks   

alanp

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5642
    • View Profile
    • http://alanp.info/
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 11:02:28 AM »
That is bloody tidy.
"Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper."
- Cohen the Barbarian, on what is greatest in life
My OSHpark shared projects
My website

bsoncini

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 11:05:20 AM »
I normally use painters tape to keep the components in place.

One thing that will help you with the wires is to tin them( as in coat the bare wire in solder) then solder it to the PCB, jack, etc. The solder will flow quicker. And you can use tape also to keep the wires in place.

And that pedal looks pretty clean especially for a first build
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 11:09:07 AM by bsoncini »

Agent9

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 01:04:08 PM »
Thanks.
Painters tape. Never thought of that and I have a few rolls laying around too.

After doing this pedal I have much respect for you guys that build lots of them.
Even a ďconnect the dotsĒ build such as this tests my patience. Ha ha!

Matmosphere

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1842
  • Matthew
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 01:56:56 PM »
a 1590a for your first build!? You sir are a brave man. It's a nice clean build too!

I use both the blue tack stuff and that particular circuit board holder. I generally populate all of one type of a component then flip the holder and solder them all once. I have gotten everything in place before soldering but every time I do it I'm worried I'm going to mess up something.

This is a great hobby to get into but it can be pretty adictive.

somnif

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1611
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 02:42:42 PM »
I use scotch tape to hold down resistors and diodes, then little blobs of bluetak to hold other components in place. My boards look ridiculous when I am setting them up, I will admit.




reddesert

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
  • Ben
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 04:19:03 PM »
Your build looks nice. Congratulations!

Everybody approaches this slightly differently. Like many people, I populate components in order of height. I use a helping hand to hold the board and load resistors and diodes in.  If the board is large, I usually load only some of the resistors at a time, because it can be hard to reach into densely populated areas with the iron, and sometimes you forget to solder a pad. With resistors loaded, I take a piece of cardboard cut to about the same size as the board, put it on top of the resistors/diodes, and flip that sandwich over. I put the cardboad/components/pcb sandwich in a flat PCB clamp that looks like this: https://www.amazon.com/BCP-Circuit-Board-Holder-60mm/dp/B0725VJG18/. I think mine cost about $4 on ebay.  Solder the components, do another batch as needed. 

I then do transistor and IC sockets similarly. After that, the capacitors are too tall to fit in the PCB clamp, so I either have to again sandwich them with cardboard, flip it, and try to solder on the table without knocking the mess cockeyed (I sometimes use the handles of a pair of pliers to keep it from moving around), or hold the caps in place with masking tape or blu-tac.

For soldering pots onto a board, the pots usually stay in place pretty well once pressed into the holes and it can be flipped over to solder.

Finally, soldering offboard wiring to board, jacks, etc.  Here I usually use the helping hand alligator clips - one holds the board or jack, then I guide the wire into the hole and use the other clip to hold the wire in place.  This can be kind of tedious to do, especially if you are building on stripboard and have to wire a lot of offboard pots/switches. The helping hand can be fiddly.

chris weaver

  • Transistor Tickler
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 01:16:36 PM »
i use a small hobby vise I got at harbor freight, the blue tacky stuff, painter's tape, sometimes my helping hands. eletrical tape works good as well
A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth. Joseph Conrad

gordo

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
    • View Profile
    • Project Website
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 06:12:34 PM »
Geez murphy, what a great first build.  The blue tak has been a recent thing for me and I initially wrote it off as weird but it is sooooo handy.

MagnusO

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • David
    • View Profile
Re: Noob questions
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 12:37:07 PM »
I love the blue tac, probably not useful for much else.
Let's create a Fuzz that will end all Distortions.

Agent9

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Noob questions
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 10:41:35 AM »
I got my pcb holder and some of the tacky blue stuff from Amazon.
The parts for my second compressor build should be here today. Iím giving this build to a friend of mine.
I did have some painters tape but it appears my brother came and ďborrowedď every roll I had.