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Electronics Project and Design, Issue #001 -- finally out!
March 28, 2005
29th March 2005
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Electronics Project and Design. I know this newsletter is long overdue and I would like to thank you for being so patient. All this while, I have been busy updating the website with new projects and information. If you have not visited the site for quite a while, do pay a visit now and check out the new projects recently uploaded.
In this issue :
For this issue, we will look into creating a door monitoring device to monitor the presence of people or moving objects.
This project uses an infrared beam to monitor door & passageways or any other area. When the beam is broken a relay is tripped which can be used to sound a bell or alarm. This device is suitable for detecting customers entering a shop, cars coming up a driveway, etc. The IR beam is very strong and can monitor distances over 25 feet.
You can get the detail schematic and parts list of the project from the link below.
Here I would like to cover the fundamentals of soldering components onto the printed circuit board.
The following soldering tips will prove useful for any project that requires soldering.
1. The selection of the soldering iron is important. Irons of the 15W to 30W range are good for most electronics/printed circuit board work. Higher wattage than this might damage either the component or the board. It is best to select an iron specifically intended for electronics. Use also the correct tip size.
2. All parts (including the iron tip itself) must be clean and free from dirt and grease. Dirt is the enemy of a good quality soldered joint.
3. A good mechanical connection is necessary before you solder. Make sure the parts are not able to move in relation to each other.
1. When using your soldering iron for the first time, you need to "tin" the tip. This is also true after you replace the tip. Just heat up the iron and apply a thin coat of solder to the tip. This helps to achieve good heat transfer to the item you are soldering.
2. Avoid scratching and scraping the tip. You need to keep the tip clean always. When soldering, keep a wet sponge beside you and use it to clean the tip periodically while soldering. When you have finished soldering, put a blob of solder on the tip as it cools, this seals it, helping to prevent oxidation.
3. Both parts of the joint to be made must be at the same temperature before applying solder. The solder will flow evenly and make a good electrical and mechanical joint only if both parts of the joint are at an equal high temperature.
4. Apply an appropriate amount of solder. Too much solder is an unnecessary waste and may cause short circuits with adjacent joints. If it is too little, it may not support the component properly, or may not fully form a working joint. You will know how much to apply through practice.
5. Should you need to redo a solder joint, always start from scratch. Remove the solder you just put on, and clean the surface before you start the process again.
6. If you need to clean solder off a circuit board, use a solder wick. Place the wick on the joint or track you want to clean up, and apply your soldering iron on top. The solder will melt and gets drawn into the wick. If there is a lot of solder the wick will fill up, so gently pull the wick through the joint and your iron, and the solder will flow into it as it passes.
7. Don't move the joints until the solder has cooled.
1. You should always work in a well ventilated area as the fumes from the soldering could be harmful to your eyes and lungs.
2. Always wear eye protection to protect you from possible solder splashes as well as the solder fumes.
3. Solder on a fire resistant surface.
4. Never leave your iron plugged in and unattended.
5. Never set your hot iron down on anything other than an iron stand. This is to prevent it from burning things in your work area.
6. Replace the cord of your iron if it becomes worn or gets burnt.
7. To prevent burning your fingers, use needle nose pliers or heat resistant gloves to hold small pieces.
1. Most beginners tend to use too much solder and heat the joint for too long.
2. The parts being soldered is dirty or greasy, as such the solder won't take (or 'stick') to it.
3. The joints were not mechanically secured and moved during soldering.
Remember to check back often for more updates on
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See you in the next issue. :-)
All the best,
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