Thursday, September 20, 2012

Audio Filter SMD Update

I’ll take it all back re Surface Mounts Devices; They are fiddly little things and I was cursing and swearing away as I attempted to solder the individual parts on my audio filter! I had no problems with the SMD on the RockMites but when doing something as small as the audio filter it is a different game.
Everything within the audio filter is so small it takes a lot of getting used to and lessons have  been quickly learnt. Perhaps I shouldn't have started with such small resistors and capacitors, but hey, you have to start somewhere......... Here's a few tips I learn't along the way:
1. Get my eyesight sorted; wearing two pairs of glasses over each other does not work, go out and buy a headband magnifying tool or a large magnifying glass on a stand!
2. Have a clamp which will hold the small circuit board, otherwise the thing moves all over the place as you attempt to solder tiny fiddly resistors and capacitors. (Re resistors and capacitors it's a good idea to work out the value beforehand hence the magnifying gear......he he)!
3. Don’t use the XYL’s old pair of tweezers, believe me, they don’t work and she wont appreciate it either; get yourself a good pair from the local hardware shop.
4. Have the correctly tipped soldering Iron and the right solder specifically for SMD work; Try soldering with a chisel end? (It doesn't work, I know), you will find that soldering SMD’s is much easier with the right tools.
5. Give yourself plenty of patience especially if you are new to this lark; believe me it took me a while to actually get something soldered on to the board. After numerous attempts I finally got something in the right place but at one stage I was doing more un-soldering than soldering. 

 The circuit board although small looks like it's been in a war, (R5 looks a bit off!) whether it will work is another matter, I will at some point put the multi meter on it but at the moment I reckon I still need to calm down!  
Other news; I'm still waiting for the RM 30 which is sadly still stuck at Wonderlabs awaiting spare parts. No matter, like soldering SMD's, patience is the order of the day.

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