Toast anyone ? – First functioning prototype!
You can read about it and look at a finished board, however, until you try to pick up these dust-like 0402 capacitors or 0603 resistors with a tweezer and try to place these precisely on a pair of solder pads you really don’t know what you are dealing with.
I started with the smallest components first and about halfway through populating the board I had serious doubts this board would ever work! Nevertheless I decided to continue to at least see if how reflow soldering in the toaster oven would work. While this is certainly not my first electronics project this is my first attempt at a more advanced SMD board and reflowing with a toaster oven was also a first for me.
And again, I’ve read in many places before that the components don’t have to be placed absolutely perfect and the reflow solder process is somewhat forgiving and surface tension will correct some mistakes. There are a number of videos available online that show this, but it’s still thrilling to see it actually happen and have the board come out looking very nicely reflowed.
It is even more thrilling to stack the thing on top of an Arduino connect it to an RGB LED and have it going through a color changing routine immediately. Well…almost. I had placed the diode in the on-board power supply in reverse, but that was quickly fixed with a trusty soldering iron. Anyway here is an image of the first functioning prototype still stacked on top of the Arduino and hot, right out of the oven, so to speak 😉