seeing eye dog for old techs

A shout-out for a great service:
If you need full-custom electronics in your new tool, you know how hard it is to find the ICs you need in DIP packages. Everything now comes in
"Small Outline" packages -- or smaller! I was getting pretty frustrated trying to solder 0.8mm-pitch ICs, and don't have the setup to glue down really small stuff (and don't even _talk_ about the .5mm TSOPs!). Not even the toaster oven method is safe on all chips like hall-effect sensors... fwiw.
Back in January, I found an outfit that makes "breakout boards" for every conceivable "small outline" and "surface mount" packaged IC you can name, adapting them to standard DIP outlines for prototyping. They have hundreds of styles in stock, fitting tens of thousands of ICs. And they're inexpensive
They not only sell the boards, but for a little more, they'll order your parts from DigiKey, solder them on the boards, put pins on the board so you can plug it into your protoboard, and ship it via any method you want. I ordered some boards populated with teensy little analog multiplexor chips with leads so close they looked like hair, back in January... about 4pm on that day. The next morning, they shipped! They had gotten the parts from DigiKey, installed them, and shipped the goods in about 14 hours! It's a great way to work with those little chips that eventually will go on your finished pcb without having to track down DIP versions (which might not even exist!). They are, www.proto-advantage.com -- they're Canadian, and I think they ship pretty much everywhere. In order to get your stuff installed, you first must locate your part from DigiKey, and identify what "package outline" it uses. Then you go on proto-advantage's site, and look up the breakout board for that package and pin count. When you go to order the breakout board, you'll get a chance to enter your DigiKey part number, and have THEM order and install it for you. If you have any questions, they are quick and helpful with email replies. I was getting to the point where I could no longer solder those fine- pitch ICs (Heck! I couldn't even SEE 'em anymore). Now I 'can'. <G> Lloyd
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:23:51 -0500, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

If you haven't used an assembly microscope, try it. It makes all the difference in the world.
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My liberal friends think I'm a conservative kook.
My conservative friends think I'm a liberal kook.
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I have one. That's not the problem. I don't have the setup to do masked infra-red soldering on sensitive chips. I can do the 'toaster' thing with no problem (proto-advantage sells solder-paste masks, too), but can't manage the delicate stuff.
When it comes time to actually populate a finished PCB, I farm that out for cheap, but for prototyping, this is easy, quick, and guaranteed.
Lloyd
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 12:24:36 -0500, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

I've only run across one chip (module actually) that I cannot reliably solder by hand with an iron -- and that one chip I can solder with a heat gun to the back of a board.
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Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
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Ok... try this one, and keep the thermal profile where it needs to be -- with a heat gun.
(read the datasheet before you answer) http://sccatalog.honeywell.com/imc/printfriendly.asp? FAM=solidstate&PN=SS543AT
Lloyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> fired this volley in

--
> with a heat gun.
>
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On Wed, 01 May 2013 11:48:18 -0500, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

Well, I'm sorry that you're offended. I was just making a suggestion, and as such I was expecting you only take it if it made sense.
--
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Tim Wescott wrote:

Even a decent ring lighted magnifier lamp is a huge help, and a lot cheaper.
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I'm sorry, but I have to ask: Do you guys miss the point a lot at home?
I'm talking about _prototyping_, not making a finished PCB.
If I want to jump these little chips up on an ACE board to see who they are, would I _actually_ go to the trouble of making a full-up PCB just to do protyping work?
The PCB comes _after_ the hand-built prototype -- AFTER you're sure it works the way you want.
Geesh! Doesn't anybody design their own circuitry, or are you all "kit" guys?
(harumph!) Lloyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" wrote:

We don't (yet) pay others to solder the chips onto the prototype adapter boards. Also some folks do the PCB milling rapid prototyping and don't use adapter boards.
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adapter

I see... I suggest you try that with 0.5mm pitch (on-center) TSOPs, and see how it works.
Mill-prototyping on FR-4 breaks down around 30 mils o/c. The runs start lifting, because the epoxy isn't strong enough to support the lateral forces of the milling.
(I do that, too. 'have the CAD. 'have the CAM. 'have the mill. 'have small-tipped carbide Vee cutters.)
It's apparent that you're "aware that people do it", but never have.
'least, that is the way I see it.
Lloyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" wrote:

Yea, I have, yea, it's a pain.
http://wpnet.us/SMT.jpg

I haven't tried the PCB milling yet, since I haven't done a lot of electronics projects of late. The last one I looked at I was just going to farm out to a PCB house for prototype boards, but that project didn't go through.
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yeah, it's a pain just soldering them -- but I was referring to trying to MILL a PCB with 0.5mm pitch devices. It's just not worth it.
Despite the many objections, if you actually want to build a 'library' of parts for prototyping, the extra buck or two per chip to have them installed on the carriers is a nice way to proceed. If you want the board "fully assembled" (headers, etc), it's more expensive; but not prohibitively, at least at what my time and failures are worth.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in message

Try mechanically-bonded Duroid. http://www.rogerscorp.com/acm/products/10/RT-duroid-5870-5880-5880LZ-High-Frequency-Laminates.aspx
jsw
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:29:18 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

These days it often makes sense to go straight to a PCB. If it doesn't work right you change the C code or the VHDL. ;-)
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:29:34 -0400, Spehro Pefhany

Hey Speff,
English PLEASE !!1 What are these terms??? OK..PCB I got, but C-code? VHDL ????
Brian Lawson ( really still back at DTL stuff)
and ........ aaaacchooooo. !!!!! Bought a cold at NAMES I think.
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Brian Lawson wrote:

I believe
C code = C programming language (processors) VHDL = Virtual Hardware Descriptor Language (programmable gate arrays and more advanced programmable hardware)
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Pete C. wrote:

Nope, a nested acronym from the 1980's, courtesy of US government. V = acronym for VHSIC = Very high speed integrated circuit HDL as Pete says correctly above.
Jon
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in message

I've been hand-soldering circuits that I had often designed since the 70's, using skywiring, wire-wrap, T-Tech mechanically engraved boards and Mil-Spec multilayer PCBs.
An Optivisor with the 14" lens works best for me, partly because unlike the microscope or video screen magnifier it let me roll the board around to see the solder reflection or lack of it and the meniscus at the end of a properly bonded flat pack lead from several angles. I used higher magnification to inspect those 0.5mm pitch leads that are common in digital radios and the Segway.
If you think they are tiny and difficult try bare ICs. I've spliced broken wirebonds with silver-filled epoxy. http://www.micromanipulator.com/products/index.php?cat=7
jsw
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:29:18 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

We younger solderless breadboarders still need diopter help, y'know. Harumph, too!
--
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
-- Sir Winston Churchill
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