DirtyPCBs adds full range of steel and framed stencils

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Stencils for solder paste and red glue are now available in a bunch of standard sizes for solder paste/red glue dispensers. You can choose from all the options offered by our favorite stencil maker:

  • Purposes: Solder paste for surface mount component reflow process. Red glue for two-sided or through hole board wave soldering process
  • Alignment: quarter points for automated dispensers, and through hole for hand application
  • Polishing process: hand sanded (for most stuff) or electrolytic (for BGA footprints)
  • Engineering options: your paste layer (untouched), auto (China standard), auto with approval by PDF

We’ve been playing with the Neoden4 pick and place machine in a mini production line and needed a better way to order stencils with advanced options. Give us a shout if we missed any options you need!

DirtyPCBs site update with encrypted https connections

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DirtyPCBs.com now supports secure, encrypted access with https://DirtyPCBs.com. We used a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt and the process was almost painless. You’ll need to add the ‘s’ to the address manually to access the secure version of the site.

Https may become the default eventually. It’s trendy to force everyone onto https these days, but China targets https traffic for slowdowns and blocking. The Shenzhen office has a much better experience using the non-encrypted http version so we’ll keep it around.

Bus Pirate PCB build

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Ben Kazemi shares his latest build a Bus Pirate v3.6a PCB.  The Bus Pirate is an open source hacker multi-tool that talks to electronic stuff.

My latest build – i have to say the yellow soldermask is prettier than it looks on the photos, i also like to think i earnt something special for having ENIG pads :p

Get your own handy Bus Pirate for $30, including world-wide shipping. Also available from our friendly distributors.

Bi-directional voltage level translator – Board house test

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Lukas Fassler from Soldernerd shares his experience with DirtyPCBs:

I can think of a lot of situations where it could be useful. But the main reason for this project was to gain some experience with getting a PCB professionally manufactured by a board house. For several years I have done my own designs but I always milled and drilled them myself. This had pros and cons. I never had to worry about silk screens or solder masks because my boards never had any. On the other hand I suffered from the lack of plated-through holes. Vias were always a pain in the arse because I had to manually solder in pieces of wire to connect the two sides. And it was very difficult if not impossible to put a via below a component which made the layout challenging when working with ICs with many and/or tightly spaced pins.

More details at Soldernerd homepage.

Capacitive battery charger

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Marcus Jenkins made a capacitive battery charger using Dirty Board PCB’s to revive rechargeable batteries:

This is really a basic, bare-bones circuit. I’ve prepared the PCB with a view that it could be used as a module in a rather more-sophisticated charging system. You could imagine using a microcontroller (e.g. Arduino, PIC, etc.) to monitor the battery voltage and disconnect the mains input to the charger module when voltage reaches a user-selectable limit. The microcontroller could also have a thermistor probe to attach to the side of the battery with elastic – a basic precaution to try and automatically disconnect in the case unreasonable temperature rise while charging.

Project info at Marcus Jenkins’ blog.  You can order PCB’s for this project here.