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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Fun useful tips
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Cfish



Joined: Feb 24, 2016
Posts: 473
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:52 pm    Post subject:  Fun useful tips Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would like to start a thread that gives useful tips about how to do anything that has to do with DIY builds. Topics can be anything you have come up with to make your builds easier, more understandable, pretty much what ever you may think could help others in the DIY world.


(Example). I like to laminate my schematics so I can use a dry erase marker to mark as I build, then wipe it off, use a hole punch and make my schematic book to my own synth.

I'm sure you all have better tricks and ideas. Let's hear them.


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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4395
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 624

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good idea, I actually thought about making a thread like this before. So next time I am doing something that might be a useful tip I will mention it.
I think it should be moved to general DIY Hardware and software instead of the layout subforum though. It could even become a sticky.

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Cfish



Joined: Feb 24, 2016
Posts: 473
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not sure how to accomplish that move PhoBose? I'm happy to do anything I can to try to make this passion as easy as possible for anyone that might be interested.

(Edit) move made thanks to PhoBose

Last edited by Cfish on Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4395
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Audio files: 624

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I happen to have some special hidden powers so I just moved it Cool
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AlanP



Joined: Mar 11, 2014
Posts: 593
Location: New Zealand
Audio files: 35

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If I have a bunch of resistors to populate a board with, of one value, all on that paper tape stuff, I have an old blunt steak knife on the table that I use to bend all of the legs on one side, then all the legs on the other (a thin straight edge, basically.) Then rip the resistors off the tape, 2 or 3 at a time, et voila. Resistors with legs bend en masse.

Super massively useful tip: Bostik BLU TACK. Use it to hold components in place while you solder, use it to hold a small PCB in place while you solder, use it to hold wires in place while you work. Amazing, wonderful stuff.
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Grumble



Joined: Nov 23, 2015
Posts: 975
Location: Netherlands
Audio files: 27

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you want to go cheap (for audio only):
A lot of people know this but if you have a PC or laptop on your bench, there lurks an audio oscilloscope inside:
With some software it is possible to use the line input to show you signals and with some extra software even the power spectrum is visible.
eg: https://www.zeitnitz.eu/scope_en and: http://www.instructables.com/id/PC-SOUND-CARD-SCOPE-INTERFACE-FACILITATES-DC-RESTO/

Even with an USB based audio card:http://www.instructables.com/id/USB-Oscilloscope-with-Signal-generator/
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Cfish



Joined: Feb 24, 2016
Posts: 473
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you work 80 hours a week long enough to drive your wife in to the arms of anouther woman, you can then tape large drawn schematics to the walls that allow you to work without reeding glasses.


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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4395
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

nice lamp Laughing
all my walls are covered with components, boxes with stuff or synths so I don't have any room for schematics Rolling Eyes

but I do have a tip:
cleaning perf before soldering works great with a scouring pad (see photo), it also works if you etch your own PCBs but I wouldn't
use it on a PCB with a soldermask. It is also very useful to remove any burrs from cutting a track (stripboard) or drilling holes.


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scouring pads. The metal one has been used a lot but still works fine.
left side of the perfboard has been cleaned to remove any oxidation.
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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 491
Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

With respect to steelwool shown above, I use very fine steelwool (0000?) To clean pcbs and the tip of my soldering iron. It is very soft, so it doesn't damage anything.
One major point of concern is TO NOT LET IT TOUCH A BATTERY!
I have spare batteries and other stuff around, and it happened to me twice that I absentmindedly put my steelwool somewhere, and immediately thought "wait there was also a battery in that bin".

It glows very hot upon contact with a battery, and will start a fire easily (survival tip).
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4395
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 624

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I used to play around with steelwool in a jar and a car battery, gives a great effect Twisted Evil

what you see in the photo is actually one of these:
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
it just has been used a lot so it lost its shape.
I guess regular steelwool will work but might not be the best idea for stripboard
because strands can easily break off and cause shorts between tracks.

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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 491
Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I know, "RVS pannenspons" Smile ,but that's too coarse for my use. Also use the finer stuff to prepare PCB's for toner transfer.
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Grumble



Joined: Nov 23, 2015
Posts: 975
Location: Netherlands
Audio files: 27

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm sure I have posted this link before, but this looks like a good place to spam it again:

http://sim.okawa-denshi.jp/en/
A great site where you can interactively do calculations on opamps, filters etc.
I use this a lot when designing electronic stuff...
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alanwilder81



Joined: Sep 03, 2016
Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

great thread Cfish,

a place where many ideas can get together and help us improve our building techniques, or more simply to give anyone a chance to ask questions about anything related to DIY synthesizers.
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alanwilder81



Joined: Sep 03, 2016
Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i would like to ask a question regarding perfboard builds.
I used to do them when i was a little kid, but now it's time to move on to a more professional result.

Once soldered the components on the perfboard,whats the best way to connect them with a wire?
thats my technique i've been taught. i want to hear your methodology as well.

step 1 ) i wet a wire end with some solder
step 2) with the iron tip, i solder the wire end onto the already soldered component on the perfboard ( say a resistor ).

The way i do it ,has been working for long, but, my doubt is,doesnt the 2 step require some extra solder , in order for the wire and the component to glue better together? Or, am i doing it just right?

I know that it would take a third hand of some sort of but , whatever, you get the idea ! Cool

thanks
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alanwilder81



Joined: Sep 03, 2016
Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

as for steel wool,
to remove the oxide off the perboard ive been told to use this.it does a fine job


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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 491
Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, that's the stuff I use.

WRT perfing, I just leave the legs on components and use those long legs to connect them together, only in rare cases (and accompanied by loud cursing) am I using separate wire to hook components up together.

For information on how one of the analogue electronics (late) greats did it, see:
Linear app note 47, appendix F

From the era where there were some REALLY colourful engineers Very Happy

For more on Jim williams:
http://readingjimwilliams.blogspot.co.uk/
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alanwilder81



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Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks LFlab,
i ve come to understand that careful planning perfs is the key. I will try to use component lead as much as i can. And where they may not reach, well, add extra bare wire, after tinning it.
I am about to get my modules together,after testing on breadboard,so i am a bit excited about that and want to get it right. Smile
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Location: Moon Base
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There are several methods for soldering to perf. They way I do it is a first design a layout on a 0.1" grid using an older (free) version of Sprint-Layout.
I then use the component leads to create this layout by bending them. And if I need some extra wire I use stripped CAT-5 cable or some cut off leads.


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alanwilder81



Joined: Sep 03, 2016
Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks Phobos,

i know there are so many ways to get it right, although the majority of engineers seems to prefer the way you described. Smile
Your job depicted in that picture is spot on.Absolutely came together! clean and tidy, i will draw some inspiration from that wow!
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alanwilder81



Joined: Sep 03, 2016
Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

just one question, how do you call in english those four things towards the corners of the perfboard that serve to screw and tighten the perfboard itself onto?I am planning to get a bunch of them to fix my modules onto pine wood panels! cheers! Wink
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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 491
Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Standoff" usually M3 threaded, at least, this side of the pond.
You can get them with female thread on both sides an one male one female end.

I recently bought a great bunch of them at either dx.com or banggood.com for little money, in various lengths.

Edit:

Dealextreme it was, see below:
http://www.dx.com/s/brass+m3

Last edited by LFLab on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4395
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 624

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

pcb "spacers" is another term used.

I ordered black nylon ones from ebay a couple times here

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prgdeltablues



Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 222
Location: UK
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My tip:
Remember to slide the heatshrink onto the wire before you solder both ends (voice of experience)

I've got into the habit of measuring the resistance between V+, ground and V- before I install any ICs, and checking the result against the schematic. It won't guarantee you don't have any shorts, but a useful addition to a careful visual check.

Also, after installing two or three ICs, I check the V+ and V- voltages: my bench test supply has 10-20 Ohm resistors in series, so there is a small voltage drop as more current is drawn - but it ought only to be small!

Peter
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alanwilder81



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks
to Phobos and LFlab
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alanwilder81



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Posts: 327
Location: italy

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i use CAT-5 cable ,i dont know what heatshrink is really.
Anyway,great of Peter to share his tricks ! Smile
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