Finally have a connection with enough bandwidth for more than text!
(China has been doing everything possible to cut off communications with the outside world and they are getting pretty good at it).

We had a near miss today, discovered after opening some of the MSL3 parts (moisture sensitive parts that cannot be opened till just before mounting) that Digikey messed up and shorted us 70pcs of the CPLD, I know this because there isn’t a whole tray/bag missing (which could plausibly mean lost in transit/customs) but there’s a bag with a label count of 157 and an actual count of 87. Fortunately we are able to get some locally so that should be fine but I’ll need to test them before putting them onto 70 boards just in case they are counterfeit (sometimes happens) or have been damaged somehow.

And now for some pictures:

Setting up the mounter.
Almost ready to go.
Parts waiting to be set up.
The “line”.
The reflow oven (we named him Guido).
The first test board. We used double sided kapton tape and mounted the parts to the board to check the values of all the caps and resistors were correct and that everything is placed right.
In they go.
Out they come.


This is how solder paste is applied to the PCB:

Watch this in 1080p:

First boards roll out of the reflow oven:

Dinner time (couldn’t resist posting this).


7 thoughts on “Pictures!

  1. Really good to see this!.. Hopefully not much longer to go :)…

    How is the Shielding done, will this be done by hand or is there another fancy machine that does this ?

    1. Shielding will be done by hand (solder paste) but cooked in the reflow oven. The problem is that each board must be tested before the shielding can be done. They also must be tested before the headers can be done, which by extension means they must be tested before the SMA connectors are done because otherwise it won’t fit into the soldering jig that does the headers. We overlooked this when planning but shouldn’t be much of an issue 🙂

  2. Happy to see this nearing completion and lots of thanks for all the energy put into this project ! 🙂
    I assume once address is confirmed it’s just a matter of waiting for the shipment ? Do we get an email with shipping details once it’s on route ?

    1. We are still testing the boards but almost done now, headers and RF shielding (where applicable) are being soldered next week, then we will be shipping them.

      1. Thank you Rachel !

        Don’t mind the wait at all if it benefits quality control process so all shipped units are 100 % working.

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