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exartemarte
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:25 am

A mere stripling...

Ady
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:24 am

- - - - this is me using a head mounted magnifier.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33177304@N03/6305319953/[/quote]

GOSH ! - Is that the Gertboard Mk2 in the photo ? !!

calidor
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:36 pm

Almost finished my Tandy kit. Very good kit but I had to use the Element 14 instructions to find out which way round some of the components go. Tandy should really include this info in their instructions. Unfortunately I pinged one of the tiny capacitors into the ether and am waiting for a replacement to be delivered. Fortunately I got a pack of 10 from Ebay. Tandy Online don't do them at all and other sites wanted me to buy 600! Given the nature of this kit and the intended market, it would have been a good idea to include at least one spare of the SMD components . I'm sure I wont be the only one who loses one of these microscopic components.

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mister_wavey
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:10 pm

calidor wrote:Almost finished my Tandy kit. Very good kit but I had to use the Element 14 instructions to find out which way round some of the components go. Tandy should really include this info in their instructions.
I'd imagine that everyone (sane) who was planning to assemble the Gertboard has already obtained a copy of (and read) the assembly instructions from Farnell, but it certainly wouldn't hurt for Tandy to include the link.

It needs saying, Tandy have been *extremely* reactive and helpful on this forum.

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SN
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:18 pm

My Tandy Deluxe kit arrived yesterday (only 4 or 5 days after ordering too) and this evening I thought I'd crank up the soldering gear to make a start...

Sh*t those Surface Mount components are sooooooooooooooooooo small. I got R23 on and ground to a halt at R4/R24

I need to get down to Maplins in the morning to buy a magnifying glass/holder and maybe a smaller bit for my Antex Iron

For anyone considering doing this yourself, consider this picture (click it for a bigger version)
Image
What you see is R4/R24 - a pair of zero ohm (doh!) SMT resistors, one on a wooden board and one still in its pack.
Above them is a tape measure. And yes these little blighters are 1.6mm long OR 1/16" in proper money.

That's what you're up against... :shock:

I've got a real of 0.56mm solder but what size tip are people using on their iron? - end to end mine is BIGGER than those resistors - I think Maplins stock Antex iron heads
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

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exartemarte
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:00 pm

Well, Gert used an iron that looks like a spade - in the pictures at least - and having done one I can sort of imagine how that might work. Personally, though, I used a 25W Antex with a fine tip, 0.4mm solder, tweezers and a combined lamp and magnifier.

I hadn't soldered SMD stuff before: Gert's suggested technique using tweezers worked for me. The first SMD needed several attempts, but after a few I felt I'd got the hang of it. The result isn't beautiful, but I'm not ashamed of it.

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Tandy
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:22 am

SN wrote:I've got a real of 0.56mm solder but what size tip are people using on their iron? - end to end mine is BIGGER than those resistors
You don't mention which Antex Iron you have but the 15-25W versions come with a 2.3mm oval sloped tip that should be adequete if it is in good condition. The tip being bigger than the components is not a problem as you don't put the tip on the component, only touch the ends of them. If you find the normal tip a bit difficult then you may find the conical pointed tip easier like this Antex 0.5mm Fine TIP. Make sure you get the right tip for your iron as there are different ones for each wattage. The screwdriver type tip is the worst type to have for such delicate work, experienced people like Gert can make do with such a tip at a push but they are really intended for joining wires.

SMD Soldering Procedure

Before starting ensure your tip is clean and in good condition, while the iron is heating up apply a small amount of solder with flux core to protect the tip. When the Iron is nice and hot wipe the tip on a damp sponge to clean off solder and resedue and put a small amount of fresh solder on the tip so that there is a fine coating (not big blob) of solder on the tip.

1. Apply the Iron to the PCB pad (2-3 Seconds should be adequete) then touch the end of your solder on the point where the tip is touching the PCB pad so that your solder is touching the pad and the tip. The aim is to get a thin coating of solder on the pad, this is more easily achieved using a fine gauge of solder ideally 0.7mm or thinner. Now move the solder wire away and then the iron. If you end up with a big blob of solder then use a solder sucker or wick to remove some of the excess solder before moving to the next step.

2. Use a pair of long nosed tweezers to hold the component so that the end is on the edge of the pad. Re-heat the pad with your iron and slide the component into the molten solder on the pad. Don't be tempted to put the component on the top of the solder and try and press it into the solder by heating the end of the component this will not work. This should hold the component in place, if you are unhappy with the position re-heat the join by touching the tip of the Iron on the pad and end of the component and re-align with tweezers.

3. Now the component is in the position you want it the other end can now be soldered in to place. Apply the iron to the pad and the end of the component. Then touch the end of your solder ideally so that it is touching the point where the Iron, Pad and component are in contact. The solder should flow on to the pad and end of the componet, take the solder away and then the iron.

4. Now that you have a secure joint on the second point you can return to the first and follow the same procedure as in step 3 to add a little more solder to the joint if required.
Tandy - The home of electronics - www.tandyonline.co.uk

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exartemarte
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:40 am

That's exactly the technique that I used.

One word of warning, though - an smd component gripped in tweezers can easily shoot off into the blue yonder. It's a tiny thing to search for, especially if it's fallen onto a carpet or into your clothing, and the kit doesn't include spares. My solution was to tip the component onto the board, push it into position, and only grip it for the second or so it takes to make the joint. I still managed to lose one, but fortunately I found it again.

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Gert van Loo
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:59 pm

Those are big SMD components: 0805. I normally use 0603 and for a bit smaller 0402. The real small very high frequency stuff uses 0201.
Somebody told me they have them now half the 0201size. I am curious how they are called 01005?

You also get another problem for manual soldering of the smaller ones: Health & Safety says that you need fume extraction.
But the smallest parts get sucked from your board!

The camera board uses 0603 because there is just enough space and it keeps the costs down.
(Some assemble houses start charging more for 0402 and smaller).
Don't worry: the camera board will come fully assembled.

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SN
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:45 pm

@Tandy - I'm using an Antex CS18 and have bought the three tip pack from Maplins today - however since I couldn't get the original 2.x mm tip off I've been using that.
Apart from 'blobbing' the solder a bit more than I should, the method you describe is how I have been working this afternoon
Its still a bl**dy struggle though and I've only managed the first 8 SMD's before having enough for one day - will tackle the big strip of 10 capacitors tomorow :?

And as noted above, you can ping an SMD in the tweezers, happened to me but fortunately found the flying component after 5 minutes of "Inspector Clouseau-ing" with the big Poundland magnifying glass I also bought today :lol:
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:20 pm

For the record. . . Practise makes perfect or at the very least makes for speedup. I fair whizzed through the 10 cap strip this afternoon and motored on past the sockets with ease. Next problem is I can't see which way round the LED's need to be soldered :cry:
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domesday
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:33 pm

Are you following Gert's guide ?

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alexeames
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:33 pm

SN wrote:For the record. . . Practise makes perfect or at the very least makes for speedup. I fair whizzed through the 10 cap strip this afternoon and motored on past the sockets with ease. Next problem is I can't see which way round the LED's need to be soldered :cry:
It says in the manual which side the short leg goes on.
gertboard assembly manual bottom of page 13 wrote:Light Emitting Diodes – LEDs (Diagram 2: red circles). These are near the top on the left.
This component has a special orientation: Make sure the short wire goes into the hole with
the text Dn (e.g. D1, D2) next to it. So if we have the correct board orientation the long wire
is at the bottom, and the short wire is at the top.
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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SN
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:19 pm

Cheers alex - EDIT and below is the User Manual NOT the Assembly Manual.... :roll:

For those like me, who took a while to track down the Gertboard user manual, here is a direct link to the Farnell copy http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1642649.pdf

Suggest someone stick this link (with other useful links/stuff) in a sticky post so it appears at the top of the Gertboard list of topics
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calidor
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:46 pm

I have finished my Tandy board and powered it up. I had some problems with my voltmeter which delayed me for a few days (see Voltage test thread). Initially I was a little disconcerted about the way the LEDs light up at random when no links or jumpers are in place. Touching the voltage regulator or any of the ground pins switches them on and off . I thought at first the board was broken but I read that this behaviour is normal in the Farnell manual. I ran through the test programs that i was able to and they all worked. I haven't been able to test the relays or the motor control as I don't have the necessary components. Most impressive was Gordons instructions and scripts for the ATmega chip (see above). I followed the simple instructions and was able to upload the Blink program from the Pi to the ATmega. Nice evidence that the ATmega is really working is when the LED continues to blink after the Pi is shutdown.
I know its a small thing but its a relief to know I haven't messed up the soldering. Its really hard to see the soldered joints on the SMD's even with a jewellers eyepiece so I just had to test and hope for the best. I intend to use the Pi/Gertboard for an automated greenhouse setup so I can now get on with the development.

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm

calidor wrote: I thought at first the board was broken but I read that this behaviour is normal in the Farnell manual.
I missed the bit about it in the manual and started a thread here about it. I dare say that many people will wonder what's going on in their haste to build and test. :lol:
calidor wrote:I know its a small thing but its a relief to know I haven't messed up the soldering. Its really hard to see the soldered joints on the SMD's even with a jewellers eyepiece so I just had to test and hope for the best. I intend to use the Pi/Gertboard for an automated greenhouse setup so I can now get on with the development.
I don't think it's a small thing at all. I wasn't just relieved, I was amazed it all worked (after I put it together) with all those little SMD bits. Still am really. But grinning all over as well. And it doesn't take long to get quite involved as the levels of complexity escalate. But that's the whole point really - get a whole breed of new people introduced to interfacing and electronics. It's working. :lol:
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

Bernie.H
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:33 pm

Oh dear, I seem to have done something stupid.
I tested the voltage at 3v3 successfully, fitted the jumper across j7, and it kills my Pi.
Leave the jumper off and all works ok, Pi boos and loads.
Fit the jumper and the Pi starts to boot, but dies when the power shuts off.
Anyone have any ideas as to what I've screwed up.

Help

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Gert van Loo
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:19 pm

You probably have a solder blob somewhere shorting some pins
(or you inserted one of the chips the wrong way.)
You can check that on an unconnected board.

Remove all the IC's from their socket.
Do not put the 3V3 jumper on the board.
Measure the resistance (ohms) of the 3V3 power plane against a ground.
There are three obvious places where there is a small label saying "3V3" next to
two holes in a white square. That is a 3V3 point of your local board logic.
There is only one ground (All grounds are connected everywhere.)
So you can use anywhere it says GND or where the upside-down T is.

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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:56 am

Hi Gert,
Many thanks for your reply. I removed all the chips, and then checked resistence on the board. All 3 points measured between 0 & 2. I then reinserted the chips, double checking the orientation, but alas, with the same result. I will now see if I can remove and reinsert the chips one by one to see if I can find the offending DIL socket. Failing that, I will sit back and admire my work, albeit faulty. Good job, I have another on order ;~().

Bern

ringz
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:24 pm

I thought that a reading of zero indicated that you have a short circuit between the 3v3 line and Gnd?

Have I got this wrong?

Martyn.

Bernie.H
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:38 pm

I wish I knew, but having retested the 3 points, they all read o, so, if that's the case, then I have *really* screwed up.
One other point, the voltage regulator, bottom right gets incredibly hot, is that correct.

Bern

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rurwin
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:23 pm

You have a short somewhere. The resistance with no chips in should be hugely more than that.

If you applied 3.3V to that, it would take around 3 amps. V=IR. It's no wonder the regulator gets hot. Stop applying voltage until you find the fault, or you'll burn something out.

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SN
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:46 pm

ta da... 8-)
Image
can't do nothing with it yet though, my meter died part way through spot checking the switches - I think the weird battery has died (after 10 years mind) and I daren't connect anything up until I've checked I don't have any shorts anywhere:cry:
off to maplins AGAIN in the morning :roll:
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bob_binz
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:45 pm

SN wrote:ta da... 8-)
Nice. Well done. Have you cleaned the solder flux away, it looks neat? If so, how?

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exartemarte
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Re: Gertboard Assembly Thread

Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:04 pm

A tip for Tandy:

Image

A useful improvement to the kit would be to supply coloured jumpers - the actual colour doesn't matter as long as it's not black. The Gertboard is configured by moving jumpers about: black jumpers on black headers in the spaces between black components are easy to miss. I happened to have some coloured jumpers to hand, and they have made the board more user friendly.

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