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Old 22nd October 2013, 03:02 PM   #1891
opc is offline opc  Canada
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Originally Posted by rsavas View Post
Owen, you are such a nice guy.
I use a 10x jewelers loup magnifier, for inspection. The trick with passives is to put a small bit of solder on one pad, I use 15mil glow core. Then re-heat pad, that has solder on it, place part with small tip tweezers. Rest your hand on the pcb to stop shaking. Easier to adjust for center, then when component is straight/flat, solder other lead/pasd. Having two small tipped irons is almost essential if you want to remove a chip component. Without you have to apply a lot of solder, on one side, so that the solder stays liquid, and then move fast to heat the other pad, it ain't easy.
A well tinned tip is also important, since you need very little solder.
Also have some small width solder braid, use it if you apply too much solder to a pad.
I have never had to use liquid flux, for passives, it just makes big mess. I find there is more than enough flux in the solder itself.
Liquid flux is necessary if you want to do a lead re-flow using hot air.

Owen, BTW, how is your position, at your employer, knowing the turmoil of late? I have been in situations like this before and can vouch that it ain't no fun.

Take care
Hi Rick,

All very good advice, but I would deviate a little bit by saying that a good 2mm or 3mm chisel tip is optimal for parts 0805 or larger. Using a needle tip can be more challenging for beginners, but obviously necessary if you want to start soldering or re-working 0.5mm pitch IC's or 0402 and smaller passives.

You also mentioned flux and solder braid, both of which are absolutely necessary if you really want to do a good job and make your life easier. I don't regularly use liquid flux on passives, but it always makes the joints easier and nicer, so I would certainly suggest it.

Here's my personal list of things one should have to solder SMD parts:

- A good soldering iron with a 2mm or 3mm chisel tip.

I use one of these:

Weller WD1001 85w/120v Digital Single Channel Silver Series Soldering Station - Amazon.com

With this tip:

Invalid Request

- Copper braid (with flux):

Invalid Request

- Flux Pen (you might need to buy this locally, shipping is tricky):

835-P MG Chemicals | Mouser

- Tweezers:

Invalid Request

- Good solder (I always use leaded solder because it's oh-so-nice to work with):

Invalid Request

- 99% isopropyl alcohol (for flux cleanup after soldering):

Amazon.com: Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 OZ: Health & Personal Care

As for the job, things have been alright so far, but it's touch and go and nobody knows what is really going on long term. The not knowing is the worst part for me.


I have never used one of those before, but if it works for you then I wouldn't argue!

I tend to use the method described by rick above. I find the pad with the highest thermal mass (the one on the GND plane side if applicable) for the part I want to solder. I tin the pad itself with a little solder and and let it cool. I then grab the part I want to solder with tweezers in one hand, hold it flat on top of the tinned pad, and then use my other hand with the soldering iron to heat the joint until the part drops down and lands on the pad. I center the part on the pads while I keep the iron on the joint (work quickly!) and then I quickly remove the iron and let the joint solidify. With the part soldered correctly on one side, I simply spin the board around and solder the next side which is very easy because the part won't move. If you're fussy, you can go back and touch up the initial joint to make it pretty.


Last edited by opc; 22nd October 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 03:21 PM   #1892
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Yeah i sometimes use that method for IC's. I was more referring to resistors/caps that have a tendency to run away from you at the worst possible moment.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 05:21 PM   #1893
rsavas is offline rsavas  Canada
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Lots to say, on the SMT subject. Could write a chapter, but actually showing some one would take about a few minutes for each package technique.
I have my diy pcb's all done with HASL plating, so that their is already solder on the pads. This plating practice is frowned upon by the CM's, because of co-planearity issues, but for DIY, it help's a lot. In many cases you do not even have to pre-tin the pads, just heat one side, stick the comp, while solder is hot, then do the other side, follow up with final add of some extra solder both sides to make a nice tapered fillet.
I have "like extremely poor sight" but being myopic, helps so much., so much so, that I can read the codes off a 0805. Take my glasses off and I walk into walls. Glasses are a PITA, but for SMT soldering, it is like having built-in magnifiers. And people want laser eye surgery :-)
Making 0603 or smaller for diy should be frowned upon, unless that is the only size that the comp comes in. I like 1206, as it is forgiving, but 0805 seems to be more of a standard.

Last edited by rsavas; 22nd October 2013 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 28th October 2013, 05:38 PM   #1894
jerry g is offline jerry g  Uzbekistan
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My first mistake with smt was in using magnifying glasses from the get go. If I had expensive ones or an operating microscope it would help, but that can't be easily obtained. Next time, I'll just hold the piece and bring in the solder iron. Also, a noobie needs a 2 mm chisel tip. With a needle tip, the solder rides up and away from the tip for some reason. It required turning the iron on its side. 0603 shouldn't be allowed in a diy project though. Order lots of extra capacitors of the small sizes as you will burn them up.
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Old 17th November 2013, 08:27 PM   #1895
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Is there an update BOM for the PSU for the wire. I found the one using the 317 and the 337 but not for the new TPS7A3301 . Could some one direct me to the post.

A great day to listen to music.
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Old 18th November 2013, 03:32 PM   #1896
agdr is offline agdr  United States
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Originally Posted by nanchangbob View Post
Is there an update BOM for the PSU for the wire. I found the one using the 317 and the 337 but not for the new TPS7A3301 . Could some one direct me to the post.
Looks like OPC has it here

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/attac...hp-psu-bom.pdf (opens pdf)

In this post in his Vendor thread for the Wire

"The Wire" Official Boards for All Projects Available Here! BAL-BAL, SE-SE, LPUHP

Those TPS7A3301's look like excellent regulators!
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Old 18th November 2013, 07:03 PM   #1897
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Be warned, the reg's need to be electrically isolated from the heatsink. The isolation material listed within the BOM wont do the job. OPC posted a warning for both the PSU & LPUHP's PSU a few pages after the PSU BOM.

Listening with Gusto!
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Old 18th November 2013, 07:36 PM   #1898
opc is offline opc  Canada
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Originally Posted by BuildMeSomething View Post
Be warned, the reg's need to be electrically isolated from the heatsink. The isolation material listed within the BOM wont do the job. OPC posted a warning for both the PSU & LPUHP's PSU a few pages after the PSU BOM.


I will post the new BOMs this evening for all the boards as Google spreadsheets which will allow me to make changes if anyone finds errors.

It will also allow people to add Mouser or other part numbers to the list which will make it easier for all who need to buy parts.

Sorry for the delay on this, there's a lot going on, and I've been prioritizing getting board orders ready to ship.

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Old 22nd November 2013, 04:55 PM   #1899
kouiky is offline kouiky  United States
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Hello OPC, when will you be taking orders again on a run of these kits or boards? I also wanted to ask if you ever gave any thought to producing high performance DACs? You remind me of another designer/engineer from Canada, named CAaudiocollector. Out of the box thinking, and very knowledgeable. Thanks.
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Old 26th November 2013, 03:31 AM   #1900
brunk is offline brunk  United States
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Hi everyone! I will be building the BAL-BAL version soon and have a couple questions for you fine folks

1) What is the recommended toroidal for the BAL-BAL? 10VA, 20VA, 12v, 15v?
2) Alongside #1 what's a good IEC/fuse and switch?
3) My Yulong DA8 DAC bal out is 4.2v and I'll be using the internal preamp with HD-800 headphones. Will unity gain suffice, or do I need to raise it? If I do, what are the recommended resistors to switch out?

Thanks so much in advance!

Last edited by brunk; 26th November 2013 at 03:40 AM.
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