Soldering fixture test: stainless steel mesh + silicone foam

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Contrivances Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter
Here’s the setup I tried: a cut-off length of white silicone foam (with a 15mm x 20mm rectangular cross-section), a roughly square piece of stainless steel mesh, and binder clips securing the mesh against the foam. On occasion, one needs or wants to solder wires to a small and irregularly-shaped component. Last month, I tried […]

This may not have worked (reliably) even if I’d had the pin ordering correct

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Contrivances HerpDerp Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter
Here’s a zoomed-in image of my attempt to connect to an SCD41 sensor without soldering wires onto it or cobbling together some sort of jig with pogo pins. I recently got some SCD41 sensors. They report CO2 level in PPM as well as temperature and humidity. They’re also surface-mount, of the LGA variety and small […]

Calibration slides: a boon for measuring small things like the dimensions of solder pads on surface mount components

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Contrivances HerpDerp Mucking About With Things TØØLS
One of the calibration slides, with the 1-mm-per-division scale above a new surface-mount CO2 sensor from Sensirion. I hadn’t aligned the start of the scale with the left side of the sensor yet, but it’s 1 centimeter (10mm) square. The trend seems to be that the share of interesting new thingamajigs and doodads available only […]

Hits and a miss, sort-of fixing obliterated solder pads on a PCB

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HerpDerp Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter TØØLS
Pre-solder-enblobbening photo of my jury-rigged fix for an obliterated solder pad intended for the positive pin of a coin-cell battery holder mounted on the reverse of the PCB. In recent months, I’ve been lending a helping hand to a few people who’ve shown interest in electronics. I’m not an EE or an electronics expert of […]

Success: eliminated as non-optimal one way of soldering wires onto tiny, irregularly-shaped components

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HerpDerp Mucking About With Things Testing TØØLS
Behold, my home workbench. The component I hoped to solder is bathed in the illumination from my microscope’s LED ring light. Tonight, I tried one very simple way of holding an itty bitty, non-flat electronics component and some wires still while I solder the stripped ends of the wires to the pads on the component: […]

Storage shelf mitosis

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Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter TØØLS
Measuring the shelf upright, trying to figure out the best location for my hacksaw cut. Storage, storage, storage. Utterly tedious, once you’ve made your plan and purchased the storage hardware, and yet at the same time so necessary. Recently, I erected some shelving in our storage room (which was actually intended as the bedroom for […]

Trying to heat-test some Nitto and Chukoh PTFE adhesive tapes

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Contrivances HerpDerp Mucking About With Things TØØLS
The “before” view of my second experimental setup. Three types of PTFE tape, two PTFE-impregnated glass fiber tapes and one straight PTFE tape, all with silicone adhesive, under test. How do you hold components in place while soldering? Not the PCBs on which the components are mounted. PCB holders and PCB vises can be pricey […]

My first taken-through-microscope soldering video

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Mucking About With Things Personal Firsts To see a world in a grain of sand TØØLS
Animated GIF clip of me soldering one pin on a breakout board. This afternoon, I soldered some breakout boards and recorded the process using the camera on my recently-acquired microscope (a SHOCREX 3800W) and used my other recent purchase (a QUICK 6601 solder fume extractor and purifier) to deal with the flux smoke instead of […]

Mushy bars of soap: testing a countermeasure

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Contrivances Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter TØØLS
The plastic countertop soap dishes we’ve gotten have ridges intended to keep the soap bar a millimeter or so above the rest of the dish surface. Those ridges are a bit on the wide, long, and numerous side, however, and the result is that the parts of the bar that contact the ridges stay moist longer than the rest of the bar and those areas often feel mushy the next time one grabs the soap.

Quick 6601 solder fume extractor and purifier

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HerpDerp Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter TØØLS
Top of my Quick 6601 solder fume extractor and purifier, with the tethered remote control and not-yet consulted Chinese-language instruction manual resting next to the base of the flexible duct. There wasn’t much assembly involved. One end of the flexible duct slides onto the flange mounted atop the machine and attaching the flared rubber intake […]

New microscope for the workbench

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Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter To see a world in a grain of sand TØØLS
Snapshot of the screen showing part of the calibration card included with the microscope’s camera. The magnification goes much higher but this is the highest at which a meaningful bit of the card is visible. I recently acquired a new workbench microscope (a SHOCREX 3800W) from the manufacturer’s (or rebadger and reseller’s) Tmall store. I […]

Chrome Vanadium Chinesium: Finest quality. Superior workmanship.

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HerpDerp Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter TØØLS
A recent haphazard domestic DIY escapade furnished me with the above photo: replacing the shredded sisal twine and fabric on our cats’ scratching posts. The sisal materials were fixed in place using beefy little round-crown staples, so I ordered some staple removers (the ones with a screwdriver form factor, ending in what looks like chisel-edged, […]