Knowledge gleaned from failure.
- Altium Designer is great! Until it's not...
- Adding a new part to a group Altium library (e.g. WarnickShareLibrary) must be designed outside the library first. When complete, copy/paste it into the group library afterwards. This prevents multiple users from working in the same library and overwriting/losing each others' changes.
- Check the export to Gerber files carefully, epecially holes and solder mask layers.
- Get another student to review your PCB before having it sent out. Many errors are caught this way.
Soldering and Prototyping
- Flux is your friend
- Use leaded solder; the lower melting temperature makes rework easier.
- Temperature matters!
- When reworking with a heat gun, bath the part in heat with the tip held a couple inches away for 30 seconds or so at first, then bring the tip closer. Helps prevent thermal shock. Same for cooling down. Most chips can only take 1 or 2 reworks before they're toast.
- Fast prototyping
- Recycling high pin count connectors:
- Re-bake it in the oven
- When temperature is max, open oven
- Quickly pull connector off
Put jokes here