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alexeames
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Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:44 pm

We're starting to get a few people putting Gertboards together, so it's probably time for a thread discussing the assembly. I'll kick off.

I found the SMT components challenging. You definitely need fine tweezers. I had 1mm solder which was a bit thick. I would have found slightly finer solder a bit easier to control the amount. So the resistors look a bit like they're stuck down between two hills of solder. It got better as I went though. By the time I'd finished the capacitors I was starting to feel like I almost knew what I was doing. :lol:

Still a long way to go though. I've just finished the IC sockets.

How are you getting on with yours?
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

el10t
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:54 pm

Still wrestling the switches in to place...

I was pleasantly suprpised by the ease of the surface mounted components. Only made one bodge so far - managed to seal up an unrelated hole with solder. Goodness knows how that happened but I fixed the situation using the melt-and-blow-hard technique.

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:10 pm

I finished the switches but they don't look overly neat! Kind of all over the place really.

Now I'm getting bored with soldering pin headers - there are millions of them!

As I mentioned in the other thread - I've found a magnifying lamp invaluable in all of this to prevent eye strain.

plugwash
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:34 pm

Strangely i've found the opposite, I find working under a magnifying lamp very hard on the eyes and so I only tend to use it when I absoloutely have to.

domesday
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:06 pm

I find using a magnifier difficult as well, but then some people will need one as our eye sight gets worse. I find the best possible thing to do is work in natural daylight, near a window. So much easier than under artificial light.

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:11 pm

Does the resonator (X1) have a particular way round it needs to go? Gert doesn't say in the instructions.

Edit: Wikipedia suggests the middle pin is ground so I assume it doesn't matter which way round it goes.

I'm hopeless at this electronics malarkey.

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alexeames
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:24 pm

I've got the switches in. Seem fairly straight. But I did find it hard to get them to go through the holes very far. Just about far enough to get some solder on though.

Done the two headers on the left. The huge one and the little 3x2. Now I'm in need of a rest after all that close work. I have a good lamp, and a loupe for checking, but no magnification for doing the soldering. It is very intricate. Amazing how many solder joints look good with the naked eye and then under the loupe you can see that they haven't flowed* all the way round.

*flowed doesn't sound right, but can't think of anything better. :D

Here's a quick and dirty shot with my phone

Image
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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exartemarte
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:27 pm

I'm still waiting for some fine solder to arrive. In the meantime I'll be sitting back and learning from everyone else's mistakes...

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Tandy
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:35 pm

el10t wrote:Does the resonator (X1) have a particular way round it needs to go?
Either way is fine.
Tandy - The home of electronics - www.tandyonline.co.uk

davej
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:39 pm

I already have an old Antex 15 watt iron with 1mm solder. Is it worth investing in a 12W model and 0.7mm solder ? I only have a medium size tip left on the 15W

Dave

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:40 pm

alexeames wrote:I've got the switches in. Seem fairly straight. But I did find it hard to get them to go through the holes very far.
They don't look at all comfortable, do they? I wonder if Tandy has supplied the specified part.

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:43 pm

I've completed the soldering. About 3 and a half hours in total.
Now to insert the chips and then test. Fingers crossed...

Image

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:49 pm

davej wrote:I already have an old Antex 15 watt iron with 1mm solder. Is it worth investing in a 12W model and 0.7mm solder ? I only have a medium size tip left on the 15W
15W iron will be fine, but some thinner gauge solder would be a good thing to have.
Tandy - The home of electronics - www.tandyonline.co.uk

thsBavR10
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:57 pm

el10t wrote:I've completed the soldering. About 3 and a half hours in total.
Now to insert the chips and then test. Fingers crossed...
Image
your board looks fine!

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:01 pm

Completed.
For me, the hardest parts were getting the switches in the holes, and the very final stage - inserting the ATMEGA into its socket. It has very bendy pins but also requires an assertive shove to get it bedded in properly. Definitely the most tricky IC to put in, but a bit of patience payed off. Phew.

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:03 pm

Just a quick note to say that I'm working on some test software for the Gertboard myself - more centred round the ATmega though - Gert has a lot of software already though.

If you're looking to make the ATmega go, then start here:

https://projects.drogon.net/raspberry-pi/gertboard/

although I plan to move some of it into GIT at some point, but that page will have the links to whatever is there. In particular is the 'avrsetup' script I've written - your ATmega will be running at 1MHz until you run that script!

-Gordon
--
Gordons projects: https://projects.drogon.net/

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alexeames
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:10 pm

Just finished the soldering. Chips to go in now. :D
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

el10t
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:30 pm

Does anyone know where you can download the 20 test programmes as featured in the user manual? The element14 site doesn't seem to have them, although there are links in place. Most odd.


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alexeames
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:44 pm

The chips are down. 3.34V tested - happy camper. Now all I've got to do is figure out what to do with it. :lol:

I nearly messed up one of the chips first time round. One leg didn't go in properly and bent horribly. Was a booger to remove and then I had to straighten half the pins which got bent on removal. But it's alright now. :lol:
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO


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alexeames
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Here's my Gertboard assembled...

Image

http://raspi.tv/wp-content/uploads/2012 ... embled.jpg

Full size if you want to inspect my dodgy soldering. :lol:

And No, I don't want any comments about RN7 :lol:
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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exartemarte
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:02 pm

alexeames wrote:Here's my Gertboard assembled... if you want to inspect my dodgy soldering. :lol:
Well, I won't be commenting on anyone's soldering, at least until I've done mine. I will just say, though, that your row of LEDs is a lot straighter than the ones in Gert's manual. (I'm an ex-squaddie - we notice these things...)

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alexeames
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:38 pm

It was surprisingly difficult to get them even that straight. I didn't want to push them all the way through the board as I think you're not supposed to solder LEDs nearer than the tags (although I may be wrong about that). I suppose you'd need some sort of jig to do them perfectly.
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:45 pm

they were impressively straight. Could one use bluetack or equivalent to hold them in place while soldering?

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