Difference between revisions of "Prototype Board Use"

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m (Ethanshry moved page Using a Prototype Board to Prototype Board Use: Fall 2018 Wiki Reworks)
 
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Latest revision as of 15:58, 18 August 2018

Prep


Materials

  • Prototype board
  • Soldering iron and solder wire
  • Extra wires
  • Components you're connecting to the board
  • Safety glasses
  • Solder wick (optional)

Prepare layout

  • Think about how to make your layout efficient.
  • Sketch layout.
  • Try out layout on prototype board.
    • Place all components in their proper places and make sure they fit.
    • Make sure to leave plenty of extra space, unless there are size concerns.
    • Remove all components from the prototype board and solder them one by one.

Practice

  • If you've never soldered before, practice on a few extra holes in your prototype board before you try it with your components.

Soldering


The Basics

  • Place the soldering iron in its stand and heat it to about 550 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Put your component in a hole in your prototype board.
    • For more heat-sensitive components, such as transistors, place a heat sink (alligator clips work well) on the wire between the hole and the component.
  • Flip over your board so the components are on the bottom and all you see is wires.
    • You can use a stand to keep the prototype board in place.
    • If the wires are long, it's often a good idea to cut them short (unless you want to use the wires to connect different components, as described below).
  • Melt some solder wire on the tip of the soldering iron.
    • Be generous with how much you melt. Too little is worse than too much.
  • Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the component's wire.
    • The solder should melt around the wire and fill the hole it's in.
  • As soon as there's a strong connection, remove the soldering iron tip from the wire.
    • Lifting the iron up smoothly should produce a shiny, pointed finish (almost like a wrapped Hershey kiss).
    • The iron should only touch the component's wire for a few seconds. If it's touching for too long, the component can overheat.

Tips

  • Anytime you need to melt solder on the board, start by melting some new solder on your iron. (This makes melting old solder easier.)
  • Put all the components in their places before starting to solder to make sure everything fits right. Then solder everything in place before connecting between components.
  • To connect multiple components, drag the top of the soldering iron across the already-soldered holes. You can also bend any longer wires so they connect the desired components, then solder along the longer wires.

Troubleshooting

  • If solder wire won't melt, make sure your solder iron is heated to at least 550 degrees. If it is, increase the temperature by 30-50 degrees and try again.
  • If old solder won't melt, melt more solder wire on your iron and try again.
  • If solder won't come off your iron, melt more solder wire on your iron and try again.
  • If you need to remove a component, melt each connection point and pull out the wire before the solder hardens.
  • If there's too much solder somewhere, melt the solder, then soak up any extra solder with the solder wick while it's still melted.