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Z2 Breakout Testing Part 2

After fiddling around with the two breakout boards I’ve assembled, I think I’ve got everything the way I want it. I’ve made some new useful changes as well as fixed the issues I described in my previous post. The remaining parts needed for the Z2 Breakout relay header arrived today and all is working there. I also did some current testing tonight and thought I’d share the numbers.

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Posted by mozzwald on Mon, 15 Dec 2014    |    8 comments
tags: zipit, smt

Z2 Breakout Testing

The Zipit Z2 breakout boards arrived today and I promply pieced one together for testing. I’ve encountered a few problems already so another revision will be in the works. The one board I partially assembled today is working with a few modifications.

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Posted by mozzwald on Fri, 12 Dec 2014    |    0 comments
tags: zipit, smt

3.3V to 5V Boost Converter for Low Power Projects

Quite a while ago I built a USB adapter for my Zipit based on the Texas Instruments TPS61240 boost converter IC. It’s a small chip and only needs 3 external components to function. The ouput current is limited to 400-450mA but it runs most low power USB devices just fine (flash drive, mouse, webcam). It also has a wide input voltage range of 2.3V-5.5V. This makes it a great boost converter for low power / battery operated projects so I decided to design a breakout board for it.

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Posted by mozzwald on Mon, 8 Dec 2014    |    2 comments
tags: smt

Give Thanks for Zipit Breakout Boards

While most Americans were probably eating turkey and watching football today, I was eating sushi and finishing up the layout on a Zipit breakout board. It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully it’ll be here before Christmas.

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Posted by mozzwald on Thu, 27 Nov 2014    |    6 comments
tags: zipit, smt

DIY Board Holders for SMT Rework

There are lots of tool choices in the SMT Rework field but many are expensive. Over the past few years there has been an increase in the amount of tools available particularly from low cost Chinese manufacturers (Hakko, Aoyue, Tenma, etc). Most of the equipment I use is from these low cost manufacturers since I simply cannot afford to spend $1000+ for a single specialized piece of hardware. The only expensive piece of equipment I have is my JBC Hot Air Pencil that was purchased from a former employer and I couldn’t pass up the deal. One area I see lacking is board holders. There are plenty of systems out there for holding boards but the cheap ones are … cheap. The expensive ones I’ve seen are complicated or just cost too much. The best holders I’ve used are made by Martin SMT. They’re simply a magnet base with a spring loaded clamp that holds the board. But they unfortunately cost $70 each. You really need 3 at a minimum and 4 is good for the bigger boards which will run you $280, ouch. So, I set out to make my own.

Update Aug 2, 2016: Finally, there is a well engineered, moderately priced magnetic board holder available called PCBite in a set of 4 with steel plate. Mine have been doing me well for more than a year, but it might be time for an upgrade.

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Posted by mozzwald on Sat, 8 Nov 2014    |    0 comments
tags: repairs, smt, rework


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