MacroFab Engineering Podcast #302
What kind of soldering equipment should an engineer look at getting for their bench?
Ever have PCBs that solder just will not wet and solder to? You probably thought it was improper soldering technique but that was probably not it!
This week Stephen and Parker were supposed to discuss bench equipment for development and testing but got distracted by talking about home-brewing beer.
How is it possible that Stephen and Parker can talk about solder and soldering supplies for over one hour. Listen to this weeks episode to find out!
Thanks for everyone that donated and stopped by the live stream! We where able to raise over $5000 for the Texas Children Hospital Network!
Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.
In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.
In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.
Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
Welcome to the Mac fab engineering podcast. We're your hosts Parker, Dolman. And Steven Gregg. This is episode 302. And before we started the podcast, I want to thank everyone. And that means everyone that came in donated to the charity stream that I did this past weekend that donated and actually or stopped by to watch the live stream, we were able to raise over $5,000 for Texas Children's Hospitals. And we beat the video game, which was our kind of time Legend Zelda. We beat it in 20 ish hours, minus making a pizza somewhere in there. It was a lot of fun because like we even had like a mini podcast like during it, Stephen showed up about the six to seven hour mark. And we started talking about electronics. Beat the Forest Temple
I had, I had some design work to do that day, and I really didn't have much going on. So I probably stuck around. You know, throughout the day, I jumped on multiple times into the stream. I was probably there for a good four or five hours throughout the whole thing. So yeah, we have we there was a lot of nerd talking. Oh, yeah.
Might have led to my first death. But it's talking about electronics. It it was super fun. So look forward to next year. We're definitely gonna do it again. Next year. We haven't we started talking about what kind of game and that kind of stuff but nothing concrete yet. So probably on August 2022 is when we'll start talking about again, even though Steve and I have started talking about doing dual video game streams for also charity. Nothing concrete yet, we're still trying to figure stuff out. Just having fun. Just having fun. So speaking of having fun, USB type C connectors, we haven't we haven't talked about C in a while. Speaking of that, though, USB connectors, I broke the USB B connector on my 3d printer. Oh, how we have to break that. So I was installing a new magnetic build plate into it. And I leaned it over on its back, because I have so it's a it's a one how D six printer. And so the USB ports on the back, we've upgraded this printer with a Raspberry Pi, so that it can be basically I've run octopi or is yeah octopi which is like the print server 3d printer server that you can run on a Raspberry Pi and basically hook it directly to the USB port on your printer. And it's sits there and does all the work for you. So I forgot that the USB port just sticks out the back and I leaned it over on its back and it bent the bent that connector and basically just jacked it up. And unfortunately, when I removed the connector, it also ripped the lugs out. So that's gonna be a lot of fun. Are you going to just wire it back in just buying one and I am going to I'm going to try to do is because I was I managed to get the actual signal holes cleaned out. So I'm gonna put a new connector in and I'm just going to epoxy it down, or some two part epoxy. And if that works, it should work i There's no reason why it won't. Then it'll be good. If not, then I'll just like wire it in by the wire that's like soldered onto the board via death death con 12345. And Twitch chat says while breaking a Type C connector isn't achievements, type B connector day because they're big and beefy. Yeah, and then actually break the connector housing. It broke the insert inside of it that separates all the terminals. Oh really about stem that comes out of STEM. It's actually sheared the stem.
The housing was completely fine. Yeah, kind of I miss type B connectors like this. Well, they still they exist. But like when you think type B, you think printer, right? Like they're on every printer out there. And I like them. They're bigger and beefier, and they're keyed, which is nice.
Yes, yeah. Yeah. Can you imagine how thick your phone would be if he had if he had a USB B connector on on your phone?
Yeah, you know, I stopped using the USB I got a cheap charger. I stopped using the USB ports on my phones, like two years ago, because I'm sure I'm sure everyone has had this before like you put your phone and your pocket. If you don't have a case that covers the USB port, then what ends up happening is, you know, when you go to plug it into charge every night, you just jam lint down into the USB port. And every two weeks or so you have to go in with a toothpick and pull out this big old nugget of lint out of the belly button on your phone. Right. Exactly, exactly. I feel like USB doesn't have as many of those problems. It's bigger and things just fall out.
But I don't think we've ever had a USB device that would go in your pocket.
No, no, it's way too big of a connector. USB B is probably thicker than the entirety of our cell phone.
Oh, yeah. Like it's about 2x and my pixel two. Right, right. So feels nice though. It has a really positive like a junk click when you put it in. Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, it's why we put it on the the pin hack and Minotaurs as well. Yeah, if you got space, I don't see why you wouldn't use it. It makes you feel good when you when you plug it in. Like I know I'm plugged in. I know you're plugged in. So I gotta fix that. But back to this this new connector I found it is Molex. 217175 Dash 0001. And it is a very interesting type C connector, because it is only for power delivery. Oh, did we only had those pins? It only has V bus ground. And the CC pins. It does not have any data pins.
Oh, oh, yeah. Okay, so I you posted this somewhere? No, no. Okay, this was on our show notes for last week. I remember pulling this up. But we didn't talk about it last week, we push it to this week. And and I remember looking at this data sheet and saying this is weird, because this is USB type C and I count 123456 pins. I'm like, That's not USBC something's weird here.
So it uses it has a cc one and two pins. Which so I started trying to look I'm like CC has to stand for something. What is it? I can't find it. You don't obviously you still don't know? I don't know. But it has the same for something like let me let me look
because V buses voltage bus right? G and D is ground. But what does CC stand for? I'm I would not be surprised if our Twitch chat is like come on it's this you guys should know this.
So so this particular connector just provides power and ground right and CC pins when CC been so then you can do power delivery over this connector because you require the CC pins to do your low voltage signaling to your device. That's that's the CC pins is how your device and your in the supply communicate to let each other know hey, I can accept 20 volts at five amps and the power supply goes. Good luck on that. Have fun. But okay, so this is still reversible, though. Yes, still reverse. Okay, so so it's just you as not just a mean it's USB and that it's USB type C power delivery only, which I thought was really interesting. Really cool. Because there's a lot of applications that would be really cool. Ah, awesome blossom 12 In our Twitch chat says it's for C C stands for cable connection. Which makes sense because it's it's it does the low voltage signaling and allows the the physical layer to know how the cables originated in the blog. Well, but
okay, so Fabio, just Fabio firmware in the chat posted to Wikipedia and says configuration channel, which also makes sense to those makes sense. I like it. Yeah. Yeah, because don't you put a resistor to ground on those
four, only on one of them is no or two of them on two of them. And yeah, you do CC one and CC two. That was the problem with the Raspberry Pi long time ago. Oh, the Raspberry Pi four when they first released it. Yeah, they only had one polled. You had that both polled. That's if you're doing only like the base level like five volts at like 100 milliamps. Yeah, that sounds right. Or is it five volts at half an amp? Something like that. I think it's happening. But yeah, but that's the like, that's like the easy. That's like basically that's how you get USB 2.0 only, and you want some power delivery. That's how you do it. Whereas if you go with the full USB 3.0 power delivery stack, you actually use those lines to communicate to it. And the chips out there. Do all that for you. Yeah, they have all the handshaking in requests and all that stuff. Right. Exactly. Yeah. There's several different manufacturers that make those parts now. But yeah, this part is really cool. I like how it's like the the leads come out to the back so you can easily inspect them. And everything about it is just like like the in the leads through like big and chunky. Like this thing. This connector will take some views here. Well, unless Parker tips the product over, right? Oh, yeah, put, lay 40 pounds a 3d printer on top of it now has four big chunky mechanical pins on it. That's nice. Yeah, that wasn't the problem with the USB Type B either. It was the Senate dud. Right. I shared the show stuff. And the connector itself. Like the cable was like all bent out of shape too. So but yeah, if you're in Twitch chat right now, you can see the 3d printer behind me with its guts, with its guts hanging out of it. So, USB type C normally has 20 pins, whereas 1024 Four. Yeah. Okay. Because you also have like, there's also the connectors it has it technically has 12 Because it's reversible. Yes, yeah. Okay. The Oh, there's some USB type C connectors that are just four years b 2.0. So they don't have the superspeed lines at all. I've been using those a lot, too. But this is the first time I've seen one that's just like, this is just a power delivery. One and it supports the 3.0 power delivery spec.
Okay, so if it's just power delivery, does it have some kind of indicator that it is just power delivery? Like, is the center stud a different color? Kind of like USB port? Probably not. Ah, that sucks. I it's kind of nice when when it's indicated. In that sense. I've actually purchased a cable one time that was just power delivery. It didn't have the data lines in it. And it didn't end. It was not indicated that way. So you can understand that leads to some confusion.
Oh, yeah, I've got a cable right. Right here. That's USB micro. That is the same thing. This is just a Power.
Power. Just power. Yeah. But like it. Where does it say that on the cable? Nowhere. Exactly.
Hell even has the USB. You know, icon printed on it. Yeah. Yeah. And then you sit there scratching your head. You're like, Oh, my God. Is my device broken?
Yeah. Oh. So at a curious curiosity you are found this part. What do you what are you going to use it for? Or do you?
I'm not I'm not using it for now. You just found it. And it's cool. I just thought it was really cool. Yeah, I'm hoping to help someone else out, you know, us bringing this connector out to light because it's a really cool connector. I just don't have any projects using USB type C. If I was using USB type C, I didn't need it. I was just using it for power. Boom done. Use that. If I was if certainly
if I was doing some kind of like hobbyist level thing right now that had some kind of battery bank and I needed to charge it. I would use this in a heartbeat. Yeah. This is super cool.
So I got I got a cool part to talk about myself the cool part. This is just the cool part podcast. We're actually changing our name everyone if you didn't know. No, okay, actually, no, this could be a tasty chip right here. I didn't even think about it. This is totally a tasty chip, because it's got some really unique attributes about it. So the the chip that I want to I want to show off is the ICL 7660 C baz A, which literally the datasheet it's a it's a Renesis chip. They call it a super voltage controller or converter. What's up?
That was the one of the factories that like burned down last year.
I actually I don't I don't think this is a unique part. I think he can find substitutes for it. I immediately looked it up and everyone's out of stock.
Or really, I you know, I didn't I didn't even look it up to you To see stock of it, yeah, honestly, I don't even look up parts anymore. I just assumed out of stock out of stock. Yeah, like, but regardless, so I found this, I found this, I see, I shouldn't say I found this. I've known about this IC for a long time. But I didn't know about all the attributes about this IC. Because I've, I've even used it before in some stuff, basically. Okay, so it's a super voltage controller. Basically, it's a charge pump, that is a switch controller that allows you to make negative voltages from positive voltages. So you could put in five volts, and it will just crap out negative five volts at some level at some current. And it's really, really simple to use. It basically uses two capacitors one as a, as a charge, pump capacitor, and then one is just like a reservoir capacitor, nothing particularly special there. It was very much intended to be a very simple to use IC. And because of that, a lot of people in the DIY community, but specifically the DIY guitar pedal community use it to be able to produce negative voltages. And it's nice because almost all guitar pedals are powered either off of a nine volt battery, or a nine volt power supply that comes right off the wall. So you, as a designer, you can expect to only get positive voltages, if you don't want to run all of your analog stuff in a single supply mode, then slap one of these in there and then you can have plus minus nine volts for your circuit. And that's a huge amount of headroom. You've doubled your letter W headroom, but you don't have also negatives with that.
So from the outside looking in, this is a voltage rail inverters what it is
effectively, yeah, but but the way it does that is through a switch cap, charging configuration, which effectively means that there's some kind of oscillator inside that's going to charge caps, and then flip it and give you negative voltage. Right? Which Hey, great, but the first thing that comes to my mind anytime anyone designs in switching into a product is like, oh, FCC, like you're gonna get high noise. Yeah, right, right. Well, yeah, first of all, you're gonna potentially crap stuff out into the, into the environment, you're gonna get noise pollution. But if you ever want to make a product with this, get ready, you're gonna have to get it approved. Because of that. Now, here's the thing that's interesting. By default, this little switcher guy actually switches at 10 kilohertz. Which 10 kilohertz No, no, it's, it's actually kind of funny, because it's, it's in the audio range. But for guitar, guys, almost every guitar speaker out there can't produce anything above five kilohertz anyway, so you could totally impede upon the audio range with these kinds of products, because you're so far beyond what the speaker is going to even be able to do. Right. So by default, this, this chip oscillates at 10 kilohertz, which FCC, the the what is it part 15 of the EMC code, states that if you oscillate at anything, if you intentionally oscillate at anything above nine kilohertz, must be tested, right? Well, I was reading the datasheet. On this little chip. The other day, I had never even thought about this, I was like, Wait, can you adjust the frequency of switching on this, and it has an oscillator pin that you can load down, which is interesting, you can load it down with a capacitor, you're not you don't load it down with a resistor, you load it down with varying amounts of capacitance, and you can drop the frequency on it. And then there's also some some unique ways to raise it. But since you're already close to that nine kilohertz threshold of FCC, and if you don't really care about going slower on it, which is interesting, because this this IC, I'm not entirely sure the how the innards work, but it actually gets more efficient when you go slower on this one. So by by load loading it down with just a few pico variants, you can drop that 10 kilohertz to just under nine and and then you can skip FCC. So if you are a pedal designer, that's something to keep in mind. First of all, I think most pedal designers that are like small shops are not really thinking about FCC, they probably should be, but they're slapping all kinds of random stuff in there and processors and stuff. Like given all kinds of cool functions and then not realizing that this is a really cool IC that makes designing a lot easier because you don't have to create voltage or half rails and then do split supply stuff. You can do unipolar or bipolar supplies, and just load it down. I think it's only 10 pico farad. We'll get the oscillation frequency. If you running the chip at nine volts, it'll get the oscillation frequency under 9k. I guess really the only downside of this is like Parker said earlier it's out of stock everywhere. Edit it It's not particularly cheap. Like I saw it. I just looked at it. It's like, it's like a buck dollar. Yeah, well, in quantity, it's about $1. Right? It's not that terrible, but it's not great. If your product is $100. And you're trying to and you put $1 part in there, that's fairly significant.
So, cool little part that allows you to get some really unique stuff without having to go through FCC. Yeah, mousers got 170 of them in stock, which isn't too bad. Oh, no, no, that's not terrible. And looks like they got some on order that will show up early next year. There is another flavor of it as well. So I wouldn't be surprised if that is cool. Ranch flavored yet. Nacho.
Isn't nacho cheese flavored one? Yeah. Yeah, new art. New York has 300 Something of them.
And enter SIL also makes them if you're willing to go to quest electronics. They have almost 1400 So it was oh, I forgot about quest. Selectron. But but but quest is charging a buck 60 in quantity of 10,000. So
yeah, quest typically does that though. Yep. Yeah, the budget is a great market guys right now are kind of skewering people.
Yeah. I bet your quest is doing really well. Right now. West and who are those other guys? Guys? Oh, yeah. Component outlet. Yep. Yep. Yep. Renault I know what we're talking about. Also, they are authorized dealers of some manufacturers too. But a lot of times they deal with third party. Oh, 100%. Yeah, yeah. I bought stuff from there before. Yeah, at this point, like people are looking everywhere. The gray markets looking less gray right now. Yeah. It's looking more like, you know, Jesus coming down from the heavens.
Yeah, well, I mean, there's, there's a, there's a handful of those guys that you know, previously kind of
raised an eyebrow to and now it's like, hey, how many of those STM chips Do you have? Yeah, my way. Yeah, I was lucky on Penetrator, we like I jumped on the MCU train really early. Yeah, you got real lucky. So I've got like a years and a half worth of supply, which is good. Yeah. And it looks like actually, Microchip is ramping up there Sandy production because I actually placed another order for like another 1000. And it's going to show up in like end of November. This year, not next year. So in like three weeks, I'll have another 1000 That's like an extra buffer just in case like stuff gets really bad but it looks like stuff is starting to improve slowly. Now like connectors or like on the on the on the supply chain issue list now. Really? Yeah. Well, you've had you've had connector woes for a bit. Mainly because you bought everything in the world for Oh, yeah. Does the actual JST connectors I was using Yeah. Yeah. I had to find like three different ultimates for that part.
Oh, that sucks. I was watching the Dave Jones video just the other day and it hit real close to home. He was going on to the major players Digi key Mauser, those kind of guys. And and just searching like, what's the most expensive D to A converter right now? And just looking at that. And, or, like, how much if I wanted to if I had an unlimited budget and I wanted to buy the most expensive FPGA you know, there's there's like an FPGA that, you know, Digi key had one of and it was like $24,000 or something like, but he looked at what's the most expensive microcontroller? Take a guess at what family the most expensive microcontroller is right now. According to his video.
Take 30 to 80 Tiny really, there was an 80 Tiny that was like, I don't remember how much it was like 700 or something like that dollars for one of them. Obsolete part. I honestly I just I was doing board layout and I just heard him say that. I was like, Wait, that's funny. So I don't remember all the details behind it tiny was blowing everything else out of the water. Oh, yeah. And it's you know, it's all of course due to scarcity. Oh, really? I found that DigiKey Mouser haven't really been increasing their prices for their parts. Well, then maybe that's the most amazing at Tiny the world has ever. It could be it's like those FPGAs on like DigiKey Mouser that they have one of that's like 20 or $1,000? Usually those are really old parts.
Yeah, they're really old parts. And and it probably went inside of some kind of like, tank that the Americans designed. And so like, and you have to replace it with that, you know, and
but back when they had like lots of new like $200 apiece, and then so a lot of those, a lot of distributors, when they when their stock goes low, they, the price automatically scales up. So like, you know, scarcity price goes up. And so that could be like the last one. And so it's at the very end of their formula, basically, that's like a hockey stick. Yeah. Speaking of that, though, there was a very interesting article that came out about about military supply chain. I don't know totally about this. I just saw the headline and read a little bit about it. But the Pentagon is having to buy like $2 billion worth of inventory, because the company that support that bill olders chips, sold the line, some other company, and that company is discontinuing all these parts. No. Yeah. So like, parts that go into like a b two bomber are going to be discontinued next year. Oh, so the Pentagon? That's how you get $24,000 processors? Yeah, so the Pentagon is like putting in like a $2 billion rush order to like, I think it's global foundry, I think is the company. Okay. Yeah, it's, I might have to dig that up. I thought that was very interesting. You brought up like, $24,000 microprocessor for a tank. And like, yeah, that's how that happens is. That's the problem with a lot of those kinds of products is you don't have an alternate list because you can't. Or it's very expensive to have an alternate list because you have so much testing involved. Like with pinball controllers, it's like, oh, yeah, that that oscillator, it all parts, the same frequency with slightly different loading capacity characteristics, and it'd be fine. So yeah, like, validating military applications is incredibly strenuous. So once you find the thing, that's your thing. That's your thing. Whereas like, I've like, I think for almost every single part on the penetrator, I haven't part alt. Oh, yeah. Okay. This is Bloomberg right here. Pentagon swoops in to buy last of kind chip for B to destroyer? Yeah, that's just for that. I think it's for a lot of different products, too. But that just might be the headline.
Oh, that's great. Yeah, global global Foundry is what it is. Yeah. Yeah. Wow.
I thought that was very interesting. may read that this morning, you would think with that kind of investment that they give I'm calling an investment. The global foundry be like, yeah, we'll keep the line alive for you. Well, it's not global foundry. It's whoever the new owner is. So the global foundry get bought out entirely not they sold the wine that made those chips just the light. Got it. Yeah. But you would think the, the $2 billion, you can like make your own line. And then by the by the masks from global foundry, and then like, just make your own chips. But we're talking about it's the military and politics. Whoever said those were efficient. Yeah, they're those are totally not a bottomless pit of cash. I wish engineering got a bottomless pit of cash. But we also know
that's why we're on this podcast talking about like $1 chips matter.
You're right, you're right, right. If I go with this resistor, I can cut off three cents off the total bomb. Exactly, exactly. We're trying to do that. What could go wrong actually, the bad thing is microchip is so we're using SAM D 20. ones on our our printer. And we were using the I would call the Arduino compatible chip which is like the 18 series of that. Well, when the first big wave of MCU shortage just happened, you know, earlier this year around springtime. Though anything that was Arduino compatible was that was the first things that went up. But the dried up so many products are developed with that hardware nowadays, that not all that SOC went up. So what we did is we went oh, there's a pin compatible that's got like half the RAM. It says 17 series, and it has all the same peripherals. So all we had to do was change the header file and then we compiled it, make sure it would work with half the RAM. And it worked perfectly fine. So we started using seven teens. Well, guess what chips that microchip are making. They're not making the seven teens and making 18. So that's what everyone wants. So now we're back on the eighteens. But the good thing is we can just switch in between, we don't have to really worry about it. Yeah, yeah. So when seven teams are available, they're about a buck cheaper in quantity. So we can go with seven teams when they're around. But when they're not, we can just use eighteens. Even though we spend a buck more, which kind of sucks, but you know, it's better. It's better to build the product and not the build the product, right?
Oh, yeah, I'm on Mauser right now. And the 328 PS, you know, 106,000 on orders. 76,000. On order 92,000 on order, like, what's the lead time? Oh, well, for the for the just the PDF version, the through hole version. You can expect 726 22 So a little less than a year out there. But she for the
no QP your piece? Yeah, qf peas. I think it's a full. Yeah, the AU is legitimately a full year out from today. Ouch. Yep.
No, okay. So there is I'm sorry. There's another. Oh, sorry. That's the live version. It's a year out. The non leaded version is a few months out. Oh, God. It's not too bad. Six months? Well, no, it's eight months.
Okay, nevermind. That's bad. It's not great. If it's early next year. That's not too bad. No, like, almost everything is summer of next year. Yeah. And but the thing is, if you go to microchips website, you can actually buy direct from them. And they have slightly better lead times. Yeah. That's how I'm getting my next batch of chips. I on November. I bet you the Mac Feb purchasing team has to quote that out pretty regularly. Yeah, the how long your quotes last is definitely a lot shorter right now. Oh, yeah. How long? They're valid for? Yeah, yeah, they're valid. Like, for double ours. I mean, they shouldn't really the reality is a couple hours. Yeah. It's not the price, though. It's lead time. lead times are just parts just get dried up? Oh, yeah, instantaneously. I would, I would highly recommend if you only building a couple 1000 of something. And you have the capital cash just lying around by your parts.
Just by him. You have you know, you're gonna use them by him. You know,
it's funny. We were talking with mercury ink with Chris Carter a while ago and Chris was like, just buy all your parts. And I was laughing at that. Because it's just like, you don't you can't typically afford to do that. But yeah, typically can. But in reality, like right now, like the world is just like, yes, if you can get your parts, get them, get them.
Hopefully that changes about summer next year, that's where I'm seeing the trend going is spring is going to be better. And then summers, when it's going to be kind of back to normal, we might see like spurts of sub Beanstalk. But it's not going to be like this widespread where like, you go on like DigiKey and click in stock microcontrollers. And it says like for you so you think right now we're kind of at the bottom of the bathtub. We were in the bomb bathtub about two months ago. I think we're starting to come out of the bathtub.
Yeah, I think I agree with that. I'm seeing that a little bit too. And like I wouldn't say by any means that we're like, Yep, we're coming out, but it's not looking good. Still.
It's not looking good at all. No. Yeah. But it's not as bad as it was the stuff we can buy. A month ago was the worst. Yeah. Honestly, the majority of this year was the worst. That's true. Yeah. It's funny thinking about it is the 2018 ceramic capacitor like craze. We thought that was bad. No, that was nothing. That was nothing compared to this.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. So your cap, do you have to buy some more reels of caps? Yeah. Yeah. But it
wasn't that big of a deal. Because like, because you would just find an alternative capacitor that would work. And it was still only like 70 bucks for like 10,000 of them. So it wasn't too big of a deal to pre buy. But now you're having to buy real microcontrollers. And it's a couple 1000 bucks easy. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Not cheap. Yeah. All right. So Next topic SMT bench equipment for soldering so I'm kind of going I think we're gonna start talking about SMT equipment. Next couple of podcasts but this one we're going to talk about just like soldering Okay like I said SMT as well this also through hole I guess as well so like what spurred this whole idea is my workhorse my ex Tronic 4044 40 died oh no finally died nothing was nine years old finally died it seems some stuff it's a lot of stuff. My favorite thing was we eventually it became the leaded machine at at the fab to like mirror we'd like paint marker PB on it at one point so it was like that was the only soldering station that you could do led right and it was like in the engineering area and then I brought it back home and use it for like another four years almost before it finally guess how it died?
Did you crack it or something? No, I left it on for like who knows how long Be careful with those cheaper ones they don't have auto off
well this one I disabled Be careful giving your products to Parker he might disabled
because we we disabled that thing like day one when we had that machine. i The one I have does not have auto off it just it just cranks just wanted this one has an hour off for the for the hot air. So Oh, but it doesn't have hot off. Auto off for the iron. The iron still works on it, by the way. Oh, it was the hot air stopped. Okay, well, I so I've already switched over to using I actually took off the iron part and started using basically my thermal tronics soldering station for actually soldering, it's always just isn't as hot air, the hot air died, which means I've left the hot air gun on in the side room in my garage for who knows how long. Basically, I got over to it. And I'm like, huh, the switches on but the displays off. It's roasted? Well, I think he just blew a fuse or something anyways, it's in the trash can now. And so we're gonna start talking about SMT equipment, because I'm starting to look at buying new equipment. And that'd be fun to talk about. So for soldering irons, there's a lot of people out there that have lots of different opinions, I think we should just talk about, like, what we use, and why we use it, because we've used different brands over the years have a lot of different experience with different equipment. So just talking about, like what we use, and why is a good way to go through this. And maybe it will give someone some instead of like going blindly going like on like Reddit and being like, what should I should buy and they was like by the haco. And I'm like there's a lot of other products out there that are just as good as a haco or equivalents or better. Soldering iron. So I, I use a what's called a brand called thermal Tronic. It is like a mad cow. So it uses curry heat to heat up so it doesn't have a resistive element in the in the tips. It actually like beings microwave or high frequency into the tip. So it's kind of cool way how it works. And the great thing about them is they heat up instantly, like haco might take like three or four seconds to heat up. This thing is pretty much instance when it turns on. And it's also it doesn't have any thermal loading. Like when you put like when you try and do a big thermal pour or soldering a big component. It doesn't have a thermal like it doesn't sink in and heats it can continually pump out that heat through that through that tip but prior to this I had the X Tronic which is basically on the soldering station side is a haco clone. Totally fine. The iron part of that unit still works. See before that I had a Weller the web, the web that excuse me, w e s 51 which is like the base model station you can buy from Weller. They make a W es 51 D, which is like the digital readouts. Um, I don't have the I didn't have that one. No, actually, I still have that station by the way. That was my first soldering station ever bought. That was that things like 18 years old now. It's it's one I use my garage now. So that that iron still works, I'd recommend that station, the Weller ws 51. And then before that I had a RadioShack. Plug in iron. I think everyone starts off with one of those. I think it excuse me, everyone starts off with one and nobody should start off with that. No one should start off with that thing there tear anything, one of the plugin Weller's is going to have such a much better iron and experience soldering. Now, I would, I would recommend
spending at least 100 bucks on an iron. Yeah, yeah. I think I think 100 gets you in, in a good range. Like, okay, so the the pencil type, the 30 Watts from RadioShack, they're 10 bucks. 1015 bucks is what you get. And those seem really attractive at first, just because of the price when you're getting started. But I think they introduce a ton of problems. And you'll get discouraged really quickly. So I agree with Parker, like, start off, buy yourself a decent, decent soldering iron, especially if you're into the DIY thing, or you're into starting to learn how to solder and things. You want to have tools that will actually you don't have to fight the tool in order to accomplish something, because you're not going to know what to do first, you want to put yourself in the best situation to get the end result correct. So yeah, I started out with a with a Radio Shack pencil type. And I moved away from it as quickly as I could, and got just a there's a Weller knockoff. And I use that for, I don't know, maybe four or five years was a denser style. It's a pencil style. But yeah, it's a pencil style, but it had the whole like bass that would turn it on and off. Oh,
okay. It's even fancier than because I had the Weller pencil. That was just basically just an upgraded version of RadioShack thing. And I use that for a long time before I got the WS 31.
Yeah, yeah. And so here's here's actually an interesting question. Well, okay, but before I get into that, so now I use x, I just went over and looked at our my bench over there. It's called a mark Ethan 852 D plus, which for forget the words mark, Ethan like that. The 852 D plus, if you go to Google and type that in, you'll see the ion or the whole station, it says it's a soldering iron and a hot air gun. And it is, it has lasted me a long time. I think I paid $85 for it. And it is great for hobby level in the basement work. I have fixed countless things with that and soldered my own projects with it. I keep it as my leaded tip. Now at work, we use met cows. Which y'all actually use McHale's. Yeah, we use met cows. I think I have the MX 500 S, which, you know, if you if you have the money that's about $550, but it is a spectacular iron. Yeah,
the macro fab we use Hawk O's, we used to use thermal tronics. That's actually where my thermal Tronic came from, which was basically we were scrapping them. Because, everyone, it seems that everyone in the CDM world, especially like, bench technicians, they use tacos. And that's what they know. And so they want tacos. So like, when we were refreshing all our equipment. Everyone's like, we want hot coals now. And I'm like, I'll be grungy, like, okay, that's what you'll want. The thermal traumas are a better fundamentally better iron. But okay. Yeah, well, we'll Tronic is. It's interesting. The history is basically a thermal Tronic is the ex engineers from met cowl? Yeah, mate, thermal Tronic. So the the same, they're just, they're honestly almost look exactly the same, like the tombstone. Yeah, they're pretty much the same unit.
Okay, well, it's the same way. Here's the question for you. Well, thermal tronics is is met cow. Half the cost? Yes, basically. So okay, here's, here's a question for you. And this is this is more about like, somebody's trying to buy their first iron. Should they have temperature control, or should they not? Or should they should they include that in there like, which one should I buy?
Oh, I'm the worst person for that because when I buy a temperature control one, I just max out the temperature. I was about to say I have set the temperature on mine. And I haven't ever changed it. Yeah, it's more about the skill with your hand than it is about getting the exact right temperature. Yeah, the reason why you have temperature control is for process control in like a CME, that's what it's for. So you can set to the right temperature. And so you know, you're not going to be burning the substrate and that in our melting connectors, through the pins, that you're through hole pins, that kind of stuff. When you're doing a hobbyist level, though, you don't care about that.
And so I don't think it matters. Yeah, I think I'm gonna be on the same boat as you I don't, I don't think it matters so much. So let's say let's say you, you found two different stations. One of them has like a digital display and an encoder. So you can set things and it has like user login or whatnot. And then this other one is cheaper, and it has none of that. Go for the cheaper one.
Yeah, if if you're going for a resistive type, which is like a hot go get something that actually is compliant is compatible with haco tips which most of more like x tronics. There's several other like I O, which is a oh, you know, a was a Oh, you why whatever. IO or something like that. It's the same thing under the hood. But they all use haco compatible tips. And so you can buy good. That's actually the other part of the equation is how good are the soldering tips. And that's honestly the worst thing about those solder the the RadioShack, pencils irons, is the tips are awful.
Oh, they're so terrible. They get hotspots, and then they get corroded spots. And then especially if you have a big chisel or a bat tip on him, it never is hot, where you where you want it to be. So you have to, like get good at like angling the iron into into place. They're terrible for that. Yeah.
So it really, it's on tips really, though. And on that like, if you go like the cow thermal Tronic route, the tips I recommend, are because the best thing actually with thermal Tronic tips is they're also compatible with Mechelen that Cal tips are compatible with electronic, you just have to make sure you have the right handle because there's different handles from cows and thermal tronics. There's like an S A P and a T or something like that. Yep. So you gotta make sure you have the right handle for the right tip. And but they have catalogs just look at the catalog, but I have an S series handle. And so I use an S seven five LR 01 A, one eight a and an S seven, five d s 0451 of those is a big chisel tip is like the biggest chisel tip you can get with an S series. And the other one is a narrow spy cos NIPER chisel because it's not, it's not a conical that has a tip. It's actually a flat. It's almost like a really skinny flat blade screwdriver is awesome, though, like doing like QFN secure piece. Because you can get like two or three pins at a time on it. And you can you can angle it just a tad and then dry can kind of just swipe it. Yeah, swipe it away. That tip is awesome. That's good. So majority of my soldering, I used to be chisel Because just having that all that thermal mass, you can actually you can actually in the if you start practicing with the chisel tip, just try using it like for everything because you can just turn it to the point. And now you can do like oh two a ones. See what things I'm crazy for. It was great. It works great. He is great. So I use I use a really fine hook tip for 90% of my work. Yeah, cuz I can get that hook into qf NS or que FPS and just just swipe their legs one at a time. And I'm like that is oof, that is nice. And then if there's something big, like a potentiometer leg or some mechanical thing, I have a I have a a wedge, a giant wedge tip that is also angled. So I have a really, like really thin hook. And then an angled wedge at both of those together does like all the work ever needed. Yeah. So it's really interesting that we both have completely because we're both also not classically I say classically trained in Saudi end here, like the strings in the background. Well, we never took classes like you know get IPC certified for soldering and all that stuff. We are not that. So we learn. We learned from with a with a. We started it's interesting. We started in the same spot. We started with a RadioShack iron and branched out in two different philosophies of how the solder Yeah, that's True. I, I tried to be morally you saw that you were like, What the hell are you doing? I'm like, watch this. I like soldered like a point four millimeter pick 32 with it and you're like what? Yeah, I'm like what? Like, just because you could do that like doesn't mean that it's easy, you know? No, it's just right. It's a little practice. Yeah, sure. Like, I'd like to be more surgical with my solder. Yeah, and thank you. So I tried the snipe what I would call a sniper you call sniper tip, I guess. But really small, conical. And I'm like, This just doesn't this doesn't work for me. Like, I just can't get the technique down to make that work. Yeah, you know, a little bit of flux, a lot of better heat. And you go quick, and in and out. So it's completely different styles, you know, you know, we should do is do a another won't be on the podcast, but like, do a video stream of us like soldering under a microscope and have the webcam hooked up and stuff. Oh, that'd be fun. And so just like the different techniques that we like, kept the same board and we like one solders it and the other one saw there's another one
you solder I have to D solder, and then an hour solder somewhere else. That was not
to your boards. Great. So that's a soldering iron. Next thing you need is a hot air gun. Okay, and this is not your mom's blow dryer. Oh, this is played by I've for the longest time I used the the hot air gun and I was on the electronic in that finally died. And so I picked up a quick while Stephen just deleted my my note there. That's a quick 957 dW plus. And we I think we talked about this on the podcast with Chris gamble. Yep. About like standalone hot air guns, but we'll expand more on it. And then I was I was basically talking about you want a hot air gun that doesn't have the air pump in the handle. You want it to have the air pump in the base units. And so the usually the cheaper units have the air pump in the handle. And they're just annoying to use because they vibrate and there's two tails. First of all, if there's air vents in the handle, that's your first toe. The second tail is if it's just a power cable going off to the to the handle that you know you want. You want the big rubber hose going off. Yeah, the big rubber hose and then the other tail. Well, I said on that podcast was if the base unit was hamburger style, that's the one you want first hot dog style, which is the tall one. So you want a wide base because that usually has the air pump in it. Whereas the narrow base usually just has a power supply in it and the knobs. Well, the quick 957 dW plus is a hot dog style chassis, but it has the air pump in the chassis itself. So it has the big rubber hose. So that blows off the hot dog hamburger style finding chassis. But this just put it on its side and put it on side. That is awesome though. It is so much faster and heating up than my old x Tronic. I actually left the cut off for the auto turn off now. Because it actually works really well. Wow. Because the moment you pick it up and then you put when you bring it up because I usually have my my station above me on the on the shelf. So I'll pick it up. And then by the time I brought down the circuit board, it's already a temperature. Nice. So it can go from like 25 Celsius to 400 Celsius in like
a few seconds. Yeah. Now these things are awesome. Hey, real quick, hot tips from the Mac Feb engineering podcast. We are getting close to Thanksgiving season. Keep the tray that you get that you cook your turkey in if you get those big tin trays. Keep those and wash it out because they make super awesome hot air shields. So oh yes, we used to we used to keep those after Thanksgiving and cut holes in them and then you put kept on tape and make a shield around it. So you can basically put that whole tray over your circuit board cut a hole for just the thing you want to hot air off the board and kept on tape around it and you'll protect everything on your board.
Yeah, the main thing is protecting like connectors and stuff that that can't handle that heat.
Aluminum foil works wonders too if you if you fold it over and make hot, you know, hot bits yeah folded over a handful of times and you can put 400 degrees right next to each connector and you won't melted.
Yeah. So I currently recommend I don't know about longevity of this unit, because I got it like a week ago. But it is, it is impressing me. Now, the funny thing about it is like, the X Tronic 440, like, complete package was like $90. And this hot air gun alone is $90. But it is it is really nice. So far, the auto, the auto shut off actually works really well. Because it actually can heat up fast enough. But it's a simple, you know, it's got two knobs, speed and temperature and it's got digital readout for the temperature. Honestly, it probably doesn't need that at all. Because there's a there's a number that's on the dial. So it's like, I don't know why they have a readout, but it does, it makes someone happy that they can see what the feedback number is. So now, so you can either go the extra, I still recommend X Tronic. Like the combo, you know, they actually make an X Tronic. That's like a with a built in like board heater, which I thought was interesting. Like, that's actually one thing is what was that an IR bed? Yeah. Oh, that's crazy. I've been thinking about picking up in a infrared bed for doing the work at home. Don't know if I will yet though because usually I can get by with just the hot air gun. But sometimes you got low more thermal masks, especially with like multi layer boards that Yeah, it's like six, eight layer boards, and they have multiple planes on the inside. Yeah, it can get a little tricky. Yeah. So I guess I would say this is like if you are just doing through hole work, and then large surface mount, you can pretty much stop there in terms of soldering equipment. But if you're doing anything, like point five millimeter or less, like you need to get a microscope. And I recommend that there's a lot of microscopes that are like USB, like, though basic webcams that are very inexpensive, which work okay, the problem is there's lag between refresh rate is brutal on them. Yeah, refresh rates brutal. So like you move the board and there's like a big blur, and you try to solder and it just doesn't work too well. I recommend getting amscope SM series microscope. This is their like binocular like big microscope that's kind of heavy bass, boom, big boom, so you can swing it out of the way. And you also have to get a Barlow lens. And I recommend like 2.5x Berlin's basically what that allows you to do is increase your working distance. And so now you have like, instead of like four inches underneath the microscope, you have eight inches, so you can get an iron underneath or hot air gun. And you can see what you're doing. So yeah, I recommend getting a Barlow lens for as well. And then you'd need like a light ring. And you're good. And I would say don't splurge for the ones that have the called triangular, which has like a spot on the top for like a webcam. Who you showing off your solder to.
So So I would argue. So say if you have an engineering department, or if you have a quality department or something like that, buy one with a triangular, I can't tell you how many times you know people have given me stuff and like hey, you know this, this product isn't working or blah, blah, blah, I will go find it. The issue, throw the triangular camera on take really high res pictures of it. With the Barlow lens we have a Barlow lens on on our amscope at work. And I'll take real close photos of like broken resistors and things like that. But in terms of like everyday soldering and things not don't get the triangular ones and get those if you need to write procedures or show off workmanship, it's worth while if not save the few $100 that that extra costs,
correct. And I'll say this, if you in the future, you want to take pictures of your work, just get an A, a secondary camera for that don't get it built into your microscope, in my opinion, because the problem is a lot of times is a lot of your quality defects. You're not going to see really well looking straight down on it. You got to look at an angle. And then these big microscopes are actually kind of a pain the last two offsets and so at work I just have a big base plate. That's kind of a a Yeah, exactly what Stephens holding up right now is a USB microscope that's got like a little clipboard on it. Those things are great because you can actually take pictures of multiple different angles, the high enough resolution and, and the great thing is even the inexpensive ones like that one, you don't have to worry about the refresh rate, because you're not looking through it for work. You're just trying to take a picture of something. Yeah, I would never ever use this for actual work. I think I paid $20 for this. And it allows me to take high res pictures of issues. This is almost identical to the last to the thing on the amscope that we probably paid $200 for exactly. So get one of those instead, which is just a standalone USB microscope if you want to take pictures. Otherwise, if you're going to actually work under it, you want it all an all analog feed to your eyeballs. Yeah, so get get an amscope SM series, there might be alternatives out there. But man, anything less than an amscope is still not that expensive. You're talking like 500 bucks, which sounds expensive. But for like a decent binocular microscope, it's actually on the budget end of it.
And you want it to have both focus and zoom. That's, that's big, because when you're soldering, you need to be able to move things around. And you need to be to very quickly get back into where you go. And and so if you have to if Zoom is really big, in my opinion, if you don't have active zoom control, if you have to change eyepieces to do a to adjust your zoom. That's a giant pain. It is so it's worth spending the money for both zoom and focus.
Yep. And then good set of tweezers. I mean, that's some people. I mean, for the longest time I was using the tweezers that came with my electronics set. And I finally just bought a new set. I haven't found like a good brand yet. Because if you go on like Amazon search like ESD tweezers, there's like zillions of different manufacturers and brands. And they're inexpensive. Yeah. But what you want is a non magnetic stainless steel. You can get him with the ESD coatings. I wouldn't worry about that because it's stainless steel. It's gonna be grounded through you anyways. It Yeah, you want nonmetallic though, because if you if you have magnetic tips or there
what sorts of ferric ferrous lead. So you forgot the same word forgotten as soon as he said that there there us Ferus. ferus
Ferus, you want non ferrous because some components have slight magnetism to them, and they will suck to your to your tips on your tweezers and they will also the second you get even the slightest amount of rosin flux on on those tips. Parts are not coming off there. They just yeah, like mad. You have some alcohol on the bench where you can clean your tools. Oh, that's a whole section we can talk about it's just like soldering supplies. Oh my gosh, yeah, that's a whole different thing. We're already an hour deep. Yeah. And then for that, because we're just talking about equipment. So and then you need a good set of snips of flush cutters and I, I think the haco, CHP 170s are the King of of flush cutters for SMT. And through hole work. Like those things are awesome. I have like eight pairs at home.
They're not very pricey. I have a pair of a pair of pace. And they're those are nice, too, that the key word is flush. Like what you want them to be really flat. You don't want the teeth to be angled or whatnot spend a little bit more money and what I mean by a little bit is like the difference between a $3 pair of snips and a $12 pair of snips you'll notice the difference spend the $12 Yeah,
and engineer Bob says I like Aven which is Av E and for tweezers. And funny enough that's actually the set I bought, like two nights ago. Oh nice. I bought an avid set of precision tweezers and stainless steel six piece I don't have I don't know if they're good or not yet. I just I don't have them yet. I think they come on Thursday.
Oh yeah, you don't need titanium tweezers. Like that's that's just a little goofy. No,
just get stainless steel. Yeah, we'll get high quality stainless steel so they're non magnetic. Because some stainless is still magnetic. And when you when you start working in really small widths. Spend money on your tweezers to because like the second the the tines are out of alignment you they're worthless. Yeah, they're worthless. fabby Oh, firmware in chat says you want a crap set of flush cutters as well. So you're not tempted to use a good set that cuts stuff that you shouldn't be cutting with them, which is 100% Yeah. So yeah, keep a keep a cheaper set or just buy you know, a chunky pair of flush cutters that are like a lot bigger for cutting basically steel wire and that kind of stuff. Yeah, I'm sure we've all been at that one position where you're looking around and all you can find is your cutters that have like the notch that was like dinged out of it and you came out of it. So you have to have like skill with your cutters to cut at the right spot on the I had had I had you had had to I guess teach but I was more like a like, I tell my dad because my dad was using my wire snippers I have some client tool wire strippers, and he was using the inner parts that cut like big cables and like, Oh, you're gonna ruin those edge and he ruined them. Because he cut it what did the like the little where they like, come apart? Down? Oh yeah, they slide past they slide and I'm like well those are ruining a lot of time. That's it. Yeah. And he's like, it's still fine. I'm like, try cutting something else that you can should cut and it just won't cut anymore. Anyways, keep a big pair. If you if you are in your garage, just have a big pair of snips that you use for everything else because you want to only use these flush cutters for SMT and thorough work. So get a Hopko CHP 170 And it does not leave yours next year soldering station Don't Don't be tempted to cut anything else with it besides like soft stuff. But it's gonna do an amazing job at cutting that that tin and brass terminals, right? Yeah, but not Oh string. Yeah, yeah. Not steel string or big, big wires. Is there any other SMT soldering equipment that we use? Like all the time that we could add this I know there's like hot air plug a hot plate, or
I use tweezers, all the time hot tweezers if you can afford it. And you know, you need to be making SMT adjustments. Hot tweezers are amazing.
And actually the good thing with if you go the Met cowl slash thermal Tronic route is you can get tweezers that plug into the same base, you know, I know hakomi clay or option and yeah, I know haco makes those too. And I've actually thought I saw some ex tronics that have tweezers now too. And I think they use the haco tips
for tweezers. Here's one thing I would actually say is not worth buying in fact, I've never once done this changed the tip on my hot air God like I have the my one stem but like a lot of times you'll get that pack that has different varieties of sizes. Yeah, or like the rectangle head and stuff like that. And people like that's used for this particular type of you know, component Nope.
Kept on tape, tin foil and skill gets parts skilled. Yeah, no, seriously like
you're right. I never changed that tip out. Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Balsam asks, Do you guys have a fume extractor at work I do. At home I do not say I just I just have the air on and a fan on and I actually have on my air filter here in my side office and it has an air quality meter and when you solder near it, it will go off but if you have enough ventilation, it won't go off. So that is definitely a concern. If you are working in an enclosed area, we're really bad ventilation, I would highly recommend getting one if you have I mean Stephens basement is enormous. I'm soldering in a garage that I can open up Windows really easily. And also have a lot of fresh air and ventilation with the with my AC unit and that kind of stuff. So I don't have to worry about it either. But I know that a lot like when I first started soldering I was talking to in my dorm room and you can't open the windows in your dorm room. And so I had a little I had a little computer fan and I put a little HEPA filter on it. And that was nuts at least collect the particulates that were coming off and it didn't really smell too bad. So I was like well, that's probably fine. Good enough. No one complained and never set off any fire alarms. Yeah, in terms of equipment, I think I mean, that covers like, let's say you have $2,000 I, then that's understood that's a lot of money for a lot of people to just dump into equipment. But $2,000 would get you a prime desk for work at home. That we'll use out you'd be able like that would get you a really nice iron. The expensive scope and and then all the accoutrement that goes with it. Like, I think you'd be doing Robbie, do it for 1500. Not what was not what the scope? Yeah. scopes. 500. Yeah. Yeah. Thermal Tronic station is 230. And then 100 bucks for the hot air. 20 bucks was cutters, and then 20 bucks for tweezers. Maybe Maybe it's 1000 bucks. Well, no, I'm saying maybe because a lot of the scopes I'm looking at are closer to like, 750 range. Oh, so I actually and also the reason I just bought an amscope right there. Okay, I see it. Yeah. And that was 540. And it's actually a double boom, two. So it has like, I actually don't know why about double boom, I just think it looks cooler. It's actually so the difference between like a single boom and double boom, on your on the amp scopes. Single boom, is not really designed to move a lot. Whereas the double boom, the the boom part is actually on sliders. And so you can move it in and out. It's like it has nice smooth bearings to it. Yes. And so that's the main difference. You can get away, you actually get less than 500. If you go with a single boom, setup, and it's nothing wrong with a single boom, that's actually what I use at work, but at home. Real estate on the soldering bench is more important. So I needed a ways I can move the scope out. Easier said I haven't like loosen knobs and like hold it the right way to slide it.
I hate that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you don't you don't want to have to, like loosen something, bring it into a new location, tighten it and then focus it like that's really annoying.
Yeah, it's really annoying. Yeah, I think $4,000 You can get a decent setup. 2000 gets you really nice. That's I think that's what I'm getting at. Like, you can get the really nice met cow. Like you're getting that cow you're getting getting the the the would try nodular scope with the camera like yeah, if you want the cream of the crop kind of stuff. Yeah, $2,000 would do it. Actually, I wonder how much a decent fume extractor. Awesome. Awesome, does bring a good point with the fume extractor. Because I haven't really looked into that. It looks like 400 100 bucks, you can actually get something that's kind of what we use at work. We use like these big, like roll around units that are like 400 to $500 at work. But looks like for like 100 bucks or under you can get one that sits on your bench is like a $50 one that just sets like on your bench. And then like just that's kind of like actually where I built in my dorm room. It just draws it over a filter. And basically the smoke condenses on the filter and then that's how it collects it. Something like that would work. Yeah, there's not you don't need something fancy for it. Yeah, I don't think you need like super big brand name for the fume extract. Yeah. And just an endless he liked the colors. Yeah, like the haco. The blue and yellow that the haco floor mount ones are like 600 700 bucks. Yes. But they do have Admittedly, I think we have one of those at work. They they are nice. They last a long time. The filters last forever. Yeah, and like so they also do like they have a carbon they have a HEPA that have all the filters in them. Whereas your benchtop one is going to just get most of the stuff, right? It's not going to get all of it whereas
it's going to take it it's going to get rid of the particulate but it's also going to move the smoke away from you
away from you, which is part of the what matters, right. So throw in throw in a benchtop fume extractor. I bet you I can put together a list for $1,000 that includes a fume extractor. Just for equipment though we're not talking about supplies, just equipments. Yeah. Now that I like your two grand because you can get a mad cow. You can get a really good hot air station. You can get Like the badass microscope, you can get like a probably get a notch you can get an IR bed for $2,000. Yeah, you would get an IR bed in there. You'd be a rework master with $2,000. Yeah, but I think 4000 bucks, you can easily build something that's, that's I mean, that's pretty much what I use is about $1,000 setup now. Before that I was like 400
my desk at work probably is $1,500 worth of stuff. My desk at home is $100
Well, that's it for the long side. So I used to roll and then I'm like, you know, I need to get a good microscope now home and then my extra died. So thinking about all this stuff. So next week, we should talk about soldering supplies, or should we talk about? Yeah, I think we should continue with soldering and do soldering supplies. Because we're going to talk about solder and flux and like tip cleaners and that kind of stuff. Would you consider an ESD? Mat supplies or equipment? It's equipment because it lasts. So supplies involves consumables, it's a consumable where a mat technically is consumable, because you they do you do they do wear. Yeah, but if you take care of them, they last forever. So yeah, it's like the difference between mine so stupid, stupid. I was thinking about some kind of car analogy. And I'm like, No, that's stupid. All right. Yeah. Let's talk about supplies next week. I think that'd be because then I want to talk about is like, like, lab equipment then like, silk scopes, multimeters. And that kind of stuff.
Love it. Yeah. So after a few weeks, let's do this for a few weeks, and then give ourselves budgets, and build some awesome labs and give like list of,
yeah, I like it. Cool. So that was the macro engineering podcast. We're your hosts, Parker, Dolman. And Steven Gregg. Let everyone take it easy. And before we 100% sign off is awesome. Awesome. As another good comment. We should talk about lab benches. Oh, yeah. Because you got to get a welder to build mine.
This week Stephen and Parker were supposed to discuss bench equipment for development and testing but got distracted by talking about home-brewing beer.
How is it possible that Stephen and Parker can talk about solder and soldering supplies for over one hour. Listen to this weeks episode to find out!
Ever have PCBs that solder just will not wet and solder to? You probably thought it was improper soldering technique but that was probably not it!