October 17, 2016 at 4:55 AM #9122
Just checking how any other DIYers are going?
When I decided to go the DIY route instead of waiting til early next year (I’m ~1080 on the waitlist) I had the following equipment and skills:
– 10 hours soldering
– 2 successful console mods (SNES Mini RGB, Saturn mod chip install)
– 2 x failed N64 RGB install (due to wrong scart cable)
– 1 x $30 soldering iron
– 0 smd experience
I now have:
– 16 hours soldering experience
– 1 successfully installed IC SMD ( yes, it took 6 hours, but I learned A LOT and I could do it in under 30 mins next time :-))
– 1 x USB flash programmer
– 1 x temperature controlled soldering station
– A better understanding of the importance of flux and thin solder wire
– I know how to properly use solder wick
– Proper desktop lighting with magnification
– A handheld 10x magnification thingy
Construction began yesterday and the main IC is installed. I expect the next ICs will go in tonight after work and hopefully all other components later in the week.
There were two things that delayed the install of the IC.
– My inexperience
– Using a forceful drag soldering technique that misaligned about 20 pins on one side of the IC. Fixing this was a nightmare of about 3-4 hours duration. The upside was developing a technique to desolder IC pins using the iron and some tweezers to heat and gently dislodged the pin from the incorrect pad.
Anyone else have stories, or am I the only idiot who jumped in the deep end with this as the first electronics project of any note? 🙂October 17, 2016 at 9:32 AM #9123
Going over yesterday’s work, found that I’ve broken one of the pads from the PCB. I remember hearing an odd sound yesterday and thought it was a leg snapping off the chip and being relieved that it wasn’t. Think I had the iron set too high. Tried to fix it but now the leg is snapped off.
Looks like I’ll need to but another barebones kit and EP4CE 15E22CBN.
Moral of the story; treat the IC legs with a feather touch and remember to turn the iron temp back down.October 17, 2016 at 3:04 PM #9132
I also took the plunge on the DIY kits. I have slightly more soldering experience having also done the NESRGB mod, but certainly not with such small SMD components.
Out of curiosity, did you know about https://www.niksula.hut.fi/~mhiienka/ossc/diy-v1.5/assembly_tips.txt? I’ve found his recommendation for 300C and connecting opposite legs on the ICs first (to achieve good alignment) before drag soldering the other 2 rows to be excellent advice. I also struggled to remove solder from IC pins and my side to side motion resulted in more than one bent pin that was tedious to fix. I found it was easier to control the flow of solder to the legs by using a very fine tip and only putting enough solder on the tip to go a 4-6 pins at a time. Maybe with more practice I could have used a larger tip and done the whole row in one drag like he recommends.
I was able to get the board fully assembled, but discovered that all but one of my voltage regulators have a pin with an incorrect connection to ground. Hopefully I just have a small bridge on the ICs that needs to be cleaned up as I’m still very new to the art of diagnosing malfunctioning circuits.
Best of luck with your second attempt.October 17, 2016 at 10:51 PM #9153
Thanks mate. Good luck with the diagnostic work. I’m kinda daunted by that too but am guessing it has to be easier than soldering smd by hand…?
Been following Marqs’ workflow to the letter so far. The side I wrecked was the third side – I got carried away after learning how to use solder braid effectively and also completing the second side much quicker than the first. Totally rushed the third like a supernoob bahaha/whoops.
Just got email confirmation that Bucko has posted the replacement barebones kit to me already, so fingers are crossed it arrives before the weekend.October 18, 2016 at 9:41 AM #9156
If you contact me directly I can sell PCBs without cases too, should that be necessary.October 18, 2016 at 11:52 AM #9159
Thanks Bucko. The store said there was only one barebones kit left and I didn’t want to leave it to chance, so I pounced.
I don’t mind having a spare case, might come in handy for replacement or maybe I’ll build another OSSC at some stage 🙂
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