You can't see it much from the blog, but I've actually been pretty busy lately. I've been wanting to post some of the stuff I've been doing, but it's been hard to find the time. The PCBs that I made for the part time consulting job came back last week and I've been busy assembling them. Hand assembly is definitely not very fun. The first opportunity that I have an extra $30k lying around, I'm going to buy me a pick and place machine. Then my apartment is gonna be totally cool!
For soldering, a lot of my friends ask me how to hand solder QFPs and QFNs. I learned by hanging out with the technicians at my old jobs, but you can also read about it on tutorials on the internet. The Sparkfun one is especially good .One thing that people don't tell you is that its best to use the fat wave soldering tips. The place that I see that most people mess up on is that they use the skinny fine tips. Those ones have really poor heat conduction due to the small surface area, and in soldering, heat conduction is everything. I recommend the fat tips and water soluble flux. The fat tip has excellent heat conduction, and if you make a bridge, you just brush on some flux and use the fat tip to wick away the solder. The solder will travel to the tip due to the larger surface area. I would have included more detailed photos of soldering the QFN, but my camera doesn't do good closeups. If I can ever figure out how to do closeups with a standard digital camera, I'll be posting some soldering tutorials of my own.
Without further ado, here are the pix...