Sunday, 28 June 2009

Musical Houses

If a rolling stone gathers no moss, after two years in the same house I'm practically covered in moss. It's musical houses time and the fact that I'm only changing the last two letters of my postcode, doesn't stop it from being a pain. The icing on the top of this metaphorical cake of pain is that I start my new job tomorrow in Christchurch, UK. The nice people at PGDT offered me a three month placement during which I hope to experience some real world engineering, with all the fun pressures that it entails.

The last few days have consisted of packing a considerable amount of my own stuff (and student robotics kit) as well as doing a practice drive to my new work, since getting up at 5.30 is bad enough without dealing with getting lost as well. In addition, I've been trying to work on some Student Robotics hardware - I2C isolation in particular - however the university labs, out of term, are only accessible during working hours. My working hours. This could be the last straw before I actually buy some tools - in particular, a scope and power supply.

With my bedtime adjusted by -3 hours, its off to bed!

PS: I'm currently testing Zemanta which helps to make blog writing easier by automatically suggesting tags, suggesting suitable open source photos/images to enrich your posts, and automatically making phrases such as: ice cream actually link to relevant pages on wikipedia, google maps etc. It integrates seemly into the page, so once installed you could be fooled into thinking it was part of Blogger or Wordpress. Its still got some way to go though.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Surface mount soldering onto Stripboard (2)

Following yesterday's post Surface Mount Soldering onto Stipboard I adapted the technique to work with sixteen pin SO package chip. The results are satisfactory although I cannot believe this approach will scale beyond 16 pin. I'll find out later if the circuit works...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Surface mount soldering onto Stripboard

While working on prototyping a circuit to electrically isolate and level translate an I²C bus, I had to work with SMD-only chips. I stumbled upon this post on Make and decided to give it a try. The process requires little more than:

  1. Knife

  2. Stripboard

  3. SMD Solder paste

The principle is simple enough: the prototype tracks are twice as wide as the pads on the chip, so cut then in half lengthways and use fine wire (or judicious application of solder) to connect the chip's pins to the header pins. The result is a unit which can be plugged into a breadboard.

This approach is great for 8 pin devices, however a different approach is required for anything bigger - more on this later when I have to wire up a 16 pin device.

Here are some photos of the finished article:

It helps if you use two sets of headers which are the same length :O