Even more exciting news from China!! I got a message from my manufacturer that they have finished packaging the soldering iron controllers. After a few months they finally are ready to ship to you. It was quite a bumpy road to get them manufactured, programmed, tested and packaged. It was the first time I got something manufactured in China and it was a nice but steep learning curve. I tried to make the production as smooth as I could, but as always some things are overlooked. Before puting anything into production I have read many sites and watched many hours of video on youtube about getting things ready for manufacturing (DFM or Design For Manufacturing). I also learned a few design tricks on Dangerousprototypes, like adding testroutines to the firmware, adding a bootloader.
Some of the lessons learned during this process:
- Add testpoints for the display connection.
- Double, tripple check the BOM (Bill of Material).
- Document arrangements with manufacturer.
(1) It turned out that using the flat flex cable to test the system was a bit impractical. It is hard to quickly connect the cable during programming and testing. More practical (from a tester perspective) is to use testpoints to make this connection. Key for the manufacturer is to check the soldering of the connectors as this isn’t tested this way. This worries me a bit as I like to have a 100% tested product. Alternatively is to use regular dupoint connectors (not as shiny as flat flex :)).
(2) As it turned out I specified the wrong transistor in the BOM. This is totally my own fault, and a rework of the board was needed. This delayed the process and added more costs to the project.
(3) I had some discussions about some minor details with the manufacturer, which were poorly documented and took a while to sift through lots of emails and chats to make it ‘clear’. When something in unclear the production is halted. Also make solid agreements on delivery dates 🙂
Anyways get one in my shop.
Hi, Nice Board!!!
Please, could you make a little advised list of other items you don’t provide, to get a full, ready to connect, smd solder tool?
I thinking: 24V PS, Iron Handle, Iron Tip, any item missing?, witch adviced?, similar item ebay link?
could also it be used to put a wire and cut foam??
Thanks, it was fun to design… It can’t be used to cut foam. You can use a simple lm317 in constant current mode to regulate that I think.
It depends on where you buy it. On https://www.tindie.com/stores/Sjaak/ you’ll get the controller, handle and tip. On http://dev.dangerousprototypes.com/store/designer/browse/Sjaak you have the option with or without handle/tip. Other tips are fairly cheap and can be found on ebay. Search for Hakko T12 and pick your favorite.
In both cases you’ll need to add a powersupply that can supply at least 3A at 12V-24V. Adding a powersupply would have made the shipping go skyhigh and most people have one lying around (i.e. an old ATX powersupply).
I’ll update the productpages to state that the powersupply is not included.
Thank Sjaak for your answer, but sorry, one more tips:
– could it be used with T18 or 900M pencil tips?
– do you advice T12 or T18 pencils iron, for what reason?
Only T12/T15 tips will work on this controller.
I bought one on Dangerous Prototype’s dev shop. I’m really impatient for the delivery ! 🙂 Are you going to release the firmware sources ?
Yes, I’m going to. Still trying to decide where to store them, here on the site or on a site like GitHub.
I bought one feb21 from dangerous prototypes store and still havn’t received it 🙁 Any ideas? I’ve just sent them a message via their site.
Contacting them first is a good idea. I know they experienced lots of issues in the shop (see their forums) and some orders didn’t ship or ship very late. I’m very sorry for that.
Let me know when you can’t work it out with them. Please use the contactform for sensitive data.
Thanks, I wanted to post here so maybe other people with the same issue might see it. I am very excited to get it though! I will contact you if they don’t reply in the next couple days.