How-To: Add 7135 chips to a Driver Board (Stacking)

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garrybunk
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relic38 wrote:
The one from the Bunkster Wink is probably the best deal for US delivery.

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DB Custom
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Ok, I broke down and got this one http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888-FX-888-Soldering-Station/dp/B004M3U0VU

What finally got me was remembering all those times my soldering totally sucked rotten eggs. Hopefully that’s fixing to change.

Ouchyfoot
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You’ll like it. Having control of your heat makes a huge difference. I was looking at that one too. The reason I went with Weller was the availability of parts and service in Canada. Hakko isn’t very prevalent here. The Weller Canada facility is just down the street from where I work.

DB Custom
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But it was just too high. The Hakko at $83 with free shipping made it work. And wouldn’t you know, right after I ordered it I found the Digital model with readout for $7 more! Aaagghh. lol That’s ok, this one will be Way better than anything I’ve ever used before. I also got a 1.2mm bevel tip for it.

The Weller was like $123 + $18 shipping, hate it when the shipping makes it a no-go.

I will probably get the station and the AMC7135’s about the same time, should already have the new drivers if all goes well. They could all come on the same day and I’d be happy! Smile

Ouchyfoot
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What do you use the bevel tips for?

DB Custom
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That small bevel tip will work beautifully for dragging the solder up to the legs of the stacked chip, relic style. Or so I’m hoping!

relic38
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Ouchyfoot wrote:
You’ll like it. Having control of your heat makes a huge difference. I was looking at that one too. The reason I went with Weller was the availability of parts and service in Canada. Hakko isn’t very prevalent here. The Weller Canada facility is just down the street from where I work.

Hmm, I wasn’t aware of that. I guess that’s because I buy tips online. I’ve had my 936 so long I do not even remember where I got it. I’m due for an upgrade/second station… a hot air rework station would be really nice for what I typically do.

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relic38
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I found a Canadian seller with the YiHua 853D with tons of accessories for C$130 + tax (local seller) shipped. Pulling the trigger…
Pretty cool station. Video review:


Edit: added tax, forgot I will have to pay that because the seller is in my province. $147 now…

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Ouchyfoot
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Wow. That’s way over the top for someone with my meager needs. I sure hope you didn’t get caught up in our purchasing chit chat, and sowed the seeds of upgrade.

relic38
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Ouchyfoot wrote:
Wow. That’s way over the top for someone with my meager needs. I sure hope you didn’t get caught up in our purchasing chit chat, and sowed the seeds of upgrade.

No worries. I’ve been after one for a while. Without the tax it was the best price I could find. With tax, it’s only $5 more than the best China or US price I could find, and I’d still have to pay (an unknown amount) of duty/tax, so it’s good. The others didn’t come with extra heating elements either. That is a job saver when something fails.
There are cheaper models too, but none that caught my eye like this one. I like the UI, the extra parts, and the little power supply/meter built in is nice too.

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Good find. I was thinking hard about that XTar with hot air station for doing shrink wrap and stuff but in the end I thought a better quality straight forward soldering iron would suit me best. Still cost a little more than I’d have liked, but the way I’m getting into flashlights it’ll be well worth it. In years gone by it would have sat around unused but probably not so much these days Smile

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Hakko is a good brand, and there are tons of brand name and generic parts available online. It’s a good pick for sure. You can just about do anything for flashlights with a 60W solder station. That is the updated design too. I’m undecided on the look, but the function is definitely there.
The key for doing better solder jobs is heat control. Too much heat and you stress the parts. Not enough and you get cold solder joints, broken components, and a lot of frustration.
I’ve managed for almost 20 years without the proper tools for SMD rework; time for a treat. Wink

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DB Custom
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So how do you know when enough is enough? How do you know if you’re getting a cold joint?

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I generally use the lowest temp that melts the solder smoothly. If the solder doesn’t look shiny when it sets, you do not have enough heat. A cold joint looks dull because the solder crystallized when it set. If this happens, turn the heat up a few degrees, remelt the joint and let it set without having the parts move while setting.
For general electronic soldering, 350C to 400C should do it.
If you use lead-free solder, you will need to be closer to 400C, maybe 425C. My suggestion is to use 60/40 tin/lead rosin core solder (0.6mm, 2,2% flux). It flows like a dream and will keep your tip tinned with only a wet sponge for cleaning. Others swear by 63/37 core solder, but it’s not for me. Leaded solder may not be available everywhere (EU?)
For sensitive situations (i.e. semiconductors) I max out at 400C. If it’s just wire, pins, etc. and I cannot get a good joint I’ll go higher. I will not leave the iron above 400C as it tends to mess up the tip easier, making it difficult to tin.

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Relic. Have you ever purchased anything from Newark.com? When I was shopping for a tip, I found them. I ordered a bunch of other things that I wanted anyway. It’s got a Canada page. At checkout, I paid HST, shipping is $8 under 50lbs via UPS.
When I started tracking it, I was worried to see it was coming from the states. I was afraid I was going to get hit with some huge UPS handling fee. Nope. I got it in two days…no extra charges.
One of the things was “tip tinner and cleaner”. I was surprised to see radio shack on the tin when it arrived.
Anyway, good place for cheap fast shipping.

http://canada.newark.com/

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Both Newark and Digikey are great for quick delivery. They both have a special arrangement with UPS. Just try overnighting anything from the US for $8.
Newark has more tools, Digikey has more electronics. For Digikey, if you order in stock items before 5pm (maybe 7pm) it will be at your door tomorrow. Great for repairing an oops. Wink

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Well, I added two chips to a 3.04A driver this evening. One went good, the other…Im not sure. It seems that there’s that one chip that’s easy to get at, and the others are harder. Poor lighting, bad eyes, and just getting weary, no matter how hard I examine the second chip, I still can’t tell if the contacts are connected. Well one of them anyway. I’ll study it again tomorrow. I reflowed an old XPG onto a board and soldered wires with little alligator clips to it. Now I can hook up my drivers to make sure they work before installing them. The driver I was chipping tonight lit it up, so at least I know I didn’t destroy it.
I just thought of something. I forgot to put fresh tinning on the legs of the existing chips before starting out. I wonder if that went against me.

relic38
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Pre-tinning the base chips definitely helps as you have slightly better access when the new chips is not in the way.
You are testing a 3A+ driver with an XP-G? J)

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relic38 wrote:
You are testing a 3A+ driver with an XP-G? J)
Yup. I'm not really running it. I just hook it up to the driver, and then touch the battery leads to it, so I know the driver still works after my clumsy modding attempts. It sure was bright though.

 

 

Can you tell me about this flux pen I bought? It has a felt tip that presses in, and the flux is like clear water. I don't know if its good or proper for modding. Maybe for applying on MCPCB befor tinning for LED reflow? http://canada.newark.com/kester/83-1000-0951/flux-pen-no-clean-0-33fl-oz...

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Avoid running that bare XP-G star for very long.. it will get hot fast.
I haven’t used those pens before. I use a syringe and it’s like corn syrup. Like water seems too runny and would spread out too quick. Give it a shot. Put some on a virgin PCB pad (never soldered) and apply heat and solder. The solder should quickly spread out to cover the pad. This demonstrates best on a longer pad, maybe 3-4mm. If it sits right around where the iron is and doesn’t flow across the pad, the flux isn’t doing a great job.
I usually only use additional flux for reflowing larger IC (8-pin and up). I have not used it on an LED yet, I just reflow by pre-tinning the star, heating through the tinned wire pads and placing the LED when the star is hot enough. I have flux and solder paste, but I’m too lazy to break it out for an emitter.

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I tried to reflow an LED last night by heating the PCB from underneath with my iron. I think the metal from the “helping hands” was just stealing all my heat. I finally had to use a frying pan. I need to devise some sort of clamp, or vise grips with leather pads on the jaws to insulate the star. I don’t have a workshop, so everything I do has to be done on th kitchen table.

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The clamp will not steal much heat, but open air does.
When heating it up, I tin the emitter pads and then of the wire solder pads, leaving the iron on it. If it’s a copper sinkpad I heat through the center pad and move to a wire pad when things are melty.
Then I take a piece of paper towel and lightly wrap the star a bit with it. Saves a lot of time and the paper will not burn if it lightly touches a 400C iron.
Once the emitter pads appear to have melted again , I get paper out of the way and use tweezers to place the emitter into position. Note that I do not have the emitter in place during the heating phase (this may be bad for the emitter, heat shock maybe, I dunno; haven’t killed an emitter yet).
Once I’m happy with the positioning, I remove the heat and wait for things to cool.
All done!
Even though this method works well for me, I can’t wait for my hot air reflow station. Smile

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I’m not following you. Are you heating from below? I can’t make sense in my mind of what you’re doing with the paper. Isn’t it hard to hold the iron to the star, and place the emitter with tweezers all at the sme time?

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The iron is held on one of the wire pads with solder on it. That’s my heat entry point. I find this heats things up quite quick. Heating from below would work too, but direct iron-to-solder-to-pad contact on the center pad or the wire pad heats quicker for me.
The paper insulates the star so the ambient air doesn’t steal it away. It heats up faster.
I can complete a reflow on aluminum in about 60 seconds using this method. Probably double that on copper.

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The second time I did reflow, I did 6 on a hot plate at once. Probably works out to about 60 seconds apiece all told. Neat, no burns, no mess. I was quite proud. Only done it once more since then. I like the hot plate way.

This is a 6” round piece of 1/8” plate Stainless Steel that covers the small burner on a glass stove top. The plate keeps the burner on and keeps a uniform heat to the multiple stars. I put the solder paste on, place the emitter and line em up as the plate warms. Soon as they reflow, I remove em to a 3” cube of 6061 for the cooldown. Simple, easy, no fuss.

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That’s a great way to do it. I will have to look into that. I don’t have a gas stove, maybe my barbeque side burner.
Toaster ovens are good for makeshift reflow ovens, and they can be had for cheap. They have decent temperature control, lots of space for big boards, and you might even be able to flame some ano in it too!
I wonder if a SS plate on an induction hotplate will work? They have a temperature sensor in them to limit the temperature. I’ll have to try that. I have two small induction hotplates that I rarely use.

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WOW!!!!! That was fast!!! The solder melted in about a minute. It got up to about 150C and things got melty. Cool!!!
As a test, I took my little induction stove (actually it’s a ‘toy’ stove, shaped like a duck). Set the pot on there, put an empty star in the middle with a piece of solder on it. Turned it on high and waited a bit. After about 30 seconds and a few snaps and cracks from the pot, I switched to low. Not very long after, the solder melted into the star pads. I think I have a new way to reflow!
I had heard of the skillet method, but the hassle of going to the kitchen instead of the minute or two right there at the iron… now I don’t have an excuse. Smile Well, I probably will still go to the iron.. it’s always set up and ready to go.
Thanks for the tip! if I have to reflow a bunch of emitters at once, this will be the way I do it.

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I only have an electric element kitchen stove. I use a small heavy aluminum frypan. I place the star in the pan with the LED in place and turn the stove on high. As soon as I see the emitter sink down on the star I pluck it out with tweezers.
I have to be quick, as there is no real heat control with an electric element. I was looking at these small portable single burner propane stoves for woks, at the asian grocery accross the street($12). Quite small, hook up a gas bottle, and I would have more controlled heat. I’m jhust leery about having a gas source in an apartment.
I’m still looking for something small and inexpensive to suit my reflow needs.

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Glad to help Relic, I meant to say that our glass topped stove is an induction unit but could’nt think of that term “induction”.
lol

I got the stainless plate when my wife and I were trying to can some plum jelly and found the bottom of our big canning pot had a recess in it and the induction surface wouldn’t stay on. The big ol pot was made in the day of circular heating elements that are usually raised, the recess helps keep the pot centered on the burner. Made it really tough to keep that big pot boiling on a smooth glass induction burner! With this 6” circle of SS on the element, that’s no longer a problem and the heat control works as it’s supposed to. I turn mine up to about 6, then off when the flux shows up. When the solder melts seconds after that I move the plate off that burner to the cool one above it and give it a few more seconds to start cooling before removing stars to the aluminum heat sink. That SS plate stays hot for quite a while!

The plate also keeps me out of trouble concerning the wife’s cook pans and solder with lead in it. Wink

Ouchyfoot can’t you just not turn the burner on Hi? Use Med heat? Or, heat up the pan first, then lay the star in the pan with the solder paste and emitter already on it. As the pan is cooling down, it’ll heat up the star and reflow the emitter without excess building of heat that might scorch your star or worse, fry your emitter.

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Hey Dale, induction is a good heat sourse for this. You get good heat control, and there’s no flame or scorching hot element when you’re done.

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