Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

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Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:52 pm

I have just shy of 400 circuit boards to solder parts on. It's really easy work, but it takes me on average 4 minutes to complete each board.

So, I need help to finish this in time for Burning Man!

This Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon, I'm hosting "solder parties". There will be music, and drinks, and food. And soldering. There will be lots of soldering. I personally plan on soldering until well past sunset, so if you can help anytime between noon and 10pm or so, you're welcome to join us.

Don't know how to solder, but want to learn? Great! I can teach you. You can be awesome at it.

Don't know how to solder, and don't want to learn? Great! I need your help doing other prep work that will shave time off the people doing the soldering. You will be awesome at it.

Don't really want to solder or handle electronics? Great! I need your help with "craft services". Our stomachs will thank you for it.

I only have 3 soldering irons, so if you have your own, please bring it. Also, bring anything else that you think might be awesome to have. This definitely includes people who know how to solder and can bring their own iron,

This event will be held at my house in West Oakland. It's a short walk (10 minutes) from the West Oakland Bart station.

Reply/PM me for the details.

-Chromatest
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby trilobyte » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:38 pm

I wish I could help, Chromey! I'm still scrambling to get all my own stuff finished up and ready in time for departure, otherwise I'd love to help. I don't know what exactly you're working on, but am certain it will be awesome.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby BBadger » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:43 am

Good luck. If you want to speed up things, I'd suggest putting all the components in at once for all the boards, bending the leads on the back to keep the in position, then after that solder them in, and then after that snip the leads. It's a lot faster than sequentially finishing each one.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:41 am

Thanks Trilo. Hopefully you'll see it out on the playa.

Thanks BBadger. I was trying to avoid the bent leads, but you're probably right. I'll try it on the next batch of 15 and see if it drops me below the ~4 minute mark average.

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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby BBadger » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:32 pm

You can bend them back as you're holding the parts in place. Generally, it makes no difference to the final product anyway. The parts are soldered into place, and the leads are bent only after exiting the holes on the back, not on the device itself where it could cause damage. Just make sure the LEDs are facing the direction you want them; you can use your finger to hold it into place as you solder.

Filling in the parts all at once, and then doing all the soldering at once just makes it a lot easier because then you don't have to put down the soldering iron, fit all the parts into the board, pick up the board, put it in the clamps, solder, and repeat. All those different tasks throw you off your rhythm. You'll use less energy for your soldering iron too and you don't have keep cleaning the tip. I'd estimate that if the boards look like the ones in the photo, fitting the parts shouldn't take more than about 30 seconds, and soldering will probably be 15 seconds if you're in a rhythm.

I would also pick up a board vise so that you can just grab the board + parts, fit it in quickly, solder them, and then move onto the next. I use a Panavise Jr vise head to hold the boards with a Panavise base (I use the suction cup version); however, you can get a standalone version with both head and base as well. Either set make are good investment in my mind.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:21 pm

Pre-populating the boards (with a bent lead on each) has brought my time down to 3 minutes from a panel of 15 boards to tested individual circuit boards. So... good advice!
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby Jovankat » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:28 pm

I'm a pretty terrible solderer and would like to be better but I don't think I can spare the time this close to the burn sorry.

Also I read this out to loud to American Boyfreind because he's a keen electronics nerd. His response was "Too bad I only know how to solder not soLder" :roll:
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:22 pm

Thanks Jovenkat. I don't understand what American Boyfriend means though.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby Jovankat » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:40 pm

I'm Australian and thus I pronounce solder with the L, so he was making fun of me.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby AntiM » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:15 am

I wish I could help, but I am too far away. I was a 2M tech in the Navy (micro-miniature repair).
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:10 am

Well, I'm hitting it every evening after work.

I now have the electronics for roughly 8 feet by 8 feet completed. The individual boards are (mostly?) completed for the rest, but they need to be combined into the vertical strips. I think it's moving along fairly nicely, if not stressfully. Luckily I did most of my playa shopping already (thank god for amazon prime for the rest)
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby Ratty » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:06 am

Bring along your butane soldering gun. (For repairs on the fly).
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:55 am

I bring the butane iron even when I don't have an electrical project! A generator and the 100W iron might be quicker though. Hopefully I won't need to worry about it.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby Jovankat » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:43 am

OH! I hadn't noticed you were a Flamingo Fucker. Now I really wish I could help. FLAMINGOS FOREVER! :twisted:
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:45 am

I just noticed you were a type of flamingo too! Good job.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:47 pm

Next year: Flamingo Ghetto...
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby chromatest » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:09 am

At least it would be a pink and fabulous ghetto.
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Re: Soldering Help needed in West Oakland

Postby vlajim » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:12 pm

We plan to set-up near hushville. I will have basic electronic tools with me. I will have a basic solar power system. Look for the 20x20 shade canopy with silver sides and a amateur radio wire antenna on a 20 to 30ft. vertical pole.
We plan to arrive Tuesday morning. Drive Safe, VLAJim
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