Pic-A-STAR DSP Assembly

STAR in Action

The DSP board

Special Techniques

Soldering of SMD Chips

Soldering them is not difficult if you follow the instructions in the RadCom article. What is difficult is to align them on their pads in the first place.

Checking for shorts with a continuity tester is mandatory. Although having a very good sight, and even with a magnifying glass, I was unable to see the only short I had. I found it while doing the third or fourth check, so I thought the result was a mess. I was wrong. The remaining was perfect.

I used hair fixing gel to glue the chips in place, following the suggestion of Paul, G0OER, and it worked well although it's supposed not to stick !

When removing the excess solder, don't overdo it. You don't want to desolder the chip. This might be a cause of dry joints later.

Ironing of PCB

As it can be seen on the photograph, I didn't get the best results possible. I had to cover many areas with a pen after the transfer, mostly on the edges. I tried a cloth iron, and a card laminator to heat the slides, but the results with both devices were comparable.

But, that was the first time I tried this. Later, with a little experience with the technique, I got much better results on the other boards. So, if your results are not very good from the start, don't despair, it will probably improve.

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