Voltlog #252 – How to fix a solder bridge

Welcome to a new Voltlog, today I want to talk about solder bridges and show you how to deal with them. A solder bridge can happen for many reasons, incorrect soldering temperature, incorrect amount of solder being used, too little or no flux, or just the incorrect technique for soldering but they all basically mean the same thing , a blob of solder shorting two or more conductive surfaces on your PCB.

Modern printed circuit boards which typically get soldermask coverage even between IC pins will help prevent this problem because molten solder normally doesn’t stick to the soldermask surface and so it’s harder to form a bridge across that surface.

But even with enough experience and the proper technique solder bridges can still happen if you do hand soldering on fine pitch ICs, it’s just part of the soldering job. It’s true that as you get better at soldering they will happen less often but don’t think they go away forever. So it’s good to know how to deal with them.

Voltlog #201 – How To Generate Gerber Files and Order Your PCBs

Welcome to a new Voltlog, today I’m gonna show you how to order your pcbs from start to finish. We’re gonna start with generating the gerber files and walk you through the process up to placing your order on a pcb manufacturing service website.But before we get started I’ll take a moment to remind you that I now have a Patreon account so you can support me through Patreon to continue making more videos like this one.

The actual start might depend on the cad software that you use for designing pcb’s, in my case that’s Eagle Cad. After finishing up the design of a PCB, you will have to generate the gerber files needed to place your order. Think at these as an universal set of files, stored in a format that every pcb manufacturing facility can read and use to manufacture your pcb exactly as you designed it.

In Eagle CAD we have the CAM processor that takes care of these things, and luckily you can just load a pre-made CAM job file, that will instruct eagle how to output a complete set of gerber files. I have a custom made, voltlog CAM job file for 2 layer pcbs, I will place a link to it in the description below so you can download it. This cam job file will generate all the required gerber files for ordering your pcb, including files for the cream layer which can be used to order a steel stencil that will make assembly of surface mount components much easier.

Voltlog #197 – Wiring LEDs Correctly Series vs Parallel

Welcome to a new Voltlog, today we’re talking about LEDs, light emitting diodes and how we can connect them if we have multiple units. This is one lesson I wish I knew from the start because back when I started tinkering with electronic circuits I built a few projects with LEDs which let’s say could have been made better if I knew the stuff I’m gonna present in this video.

So let’s start by giving you a short story about this project I built back in 2010 so, 10 years ago I saw this project made by Ladyada, I believe back then Adafruit was just starting, they were selling just a few kits. The project was called tv-b-gone and it was a small microcontroller with an IR emitting diode, and it contained power off codes for most available tvs. The purpose was to point it at a TV, upon activation it will cycle all the codes and eventually the TV would turn off. Obviously a fun project that could potentially torment those around us.

So I decided to use a bunch of IR LEDs to increase the power of this circuit. And this is where I made the mistake of having all LEDs in parallel each with its own current limiting resistor. This meant I had to drill and install a bunch of different resistors and due to variations in the resistor value, the leds were running at slightly different currents, outputting slightly different power levels.

If I were to redo the circuit today I would probably connect them in series and use a boost circuit to drive the series string with constant current.

Voltlog #181 – Installing Stepper Motor Vibration Dampers On The CR10

In this video you will see step-by-step how I installed a set of vibration dampers on my Creality CR10 3D printer. They feature two metallic parts and a compliant rubber part in the middle that connects the outer two. This will reduce vibrations coming from the motor, stopping them from passing through the frame.

Here are some links to places where you can get the parts shown in this video:

Voltlog #179 – How To Solder Through-Hole Parts

In this video I’m gonna show you how to solder through hole parts. I’m gonna take you step by step through the procedure as well as give you several tips & tricks that should bring your soldering skills to a new level.

Links for all the tools and parts shown in this video are placed in the video description.

Voltlog #177 – Installing BLTouch Auto Bed Leveling On The Creality CR-10 3D Printer

Today I’m gonna show you how I installed a bltouch sensor on my creality CR10 3d printer. But first to give you a bit of info, if you are a frequent viewer of the channel than you know I have tried a bunch of different sensors, inductive, capacitive but they either didn’t have enough sensing distance to cover the glass I’m using on top of the aluminium bed or they weren’t giving me repeatable results so they all ended up disconnected.

I had a bunch of adhesion problems because I couldn’t level the bed properly, my bed doesn’t look very good, in fact I’m gonna overlay a picture of my bed after the auto bed leveling has been installed and you’ll see it’s far from being flat so it was really difficult for me to print something that was bigger than a couple of cm’s because the bed wasn’t flat.

Then I found this bltouch sensor or more correctly a clone of the bltouch sensor on aliexpress for just $14 and I said why not, let’s try this one as well and ordered one. And boy was I impressed how much better the printing got after installing it.

Voltlog #36 – The Dark Load PCB Layout With EagleCAD

This video is mostly a time-lapse of me doing the PCB layout for the Dark Load project that I am working on. However during the first minutes of the video I am commenting and giving some hints on some design decisions that I make during layout.

This entire design is open source and it will be shared once I have it working but for now it’s still quite beta and I don’t want to release something that is potentially not working or might contain errors.