My PCBs arrived today from the fab and I soldered on most of the components. I am waiting on a connector to arrive, at which point I will also install the three decoupling capacitors and begin installing this into the Documation 600 cpm reader.
|My interface board, providing a USB link for the Documation card readers|
|My Documation 600cpm card reader|
While I was working on the 1401 systems at CHM this Wednesday, we met some visitors who were here to participate in MakerFaire this weekend. They will be exhibiting their high speed cameras, able to take video at up to 40,000 frames per second. During the conversation, one of them handed me a soldering challenge kit they had.
This kit is the most diabolical one I have ever seen. The components on the board range from the relatively large 0603 size () down to a capacitor at 008004 which is only 10 mils long and 5 mils wide.
|Challenge circuit board with my pinky for size comparison|
It includes LEDs as small as 0201 size plus two ICs, the smaller of which is a ball grid array (BGA) device a mere .055" x .055" with nine balls of solder underneath that must be melted. I have routinely hand soldered parts down to 0402 and the larger of the two ICs, but will be quite challenged by the 01005 resistors, 0201 LEDs, the 008004 capacitor and the BGA chip.
I was going to bang it out today but my existing tweezers are just too large to effectively grasp the smallest parts. Too, my weller soldering iron tip is just too big to work well with these parts. I have ordered the smallest tip and some new tweezers; when the arrive I will take on the challenge.