Topic: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

I noticed that this question belongs to the battery board thread as well as to the 31c3 Assembly Thread.
(http://www.kosagi.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=9
http://www.kosagi.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=35).

The main question is which ways are there to get an assembled board?
I could think of 3:
1) let it be done by a professional
2) DIY
3) Let the geeks do it for you (aka "don't assemble only your own board at 31c3")

ideas/thoughts on 1)
- parts are most likely be ordered by the company doing the population
- my contact isn't available anymore (contact person left company)
- more official orders might run in 2 Problems: prize and perhaps impossible (many companies will populate before cutting the single PBCs out of the complete sheet)
- volunteers with better solutions wellcome.

ideas/thoughts on 2)
- is open for doing a centralized parts order (most likely by me, so shipping will be easier)
- could be done as the mentioned event at 31c3 (perhaps with testing with a little help of ballanux)
- could be sent to whom want/must do it alone at home together with the PCB

ideas/thoughts on 3)
- almost identical with the first to notes on 2)
- idea here would be to that all who attend 31c3 would solder not just their own boards but also one or two more for someone of who can't be at 31c3

I know that 3) has several drawbacks, but hey, why not do community in real live

Let me know your thoughts about this...

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

It would be interesting as to how the board can be soldered: hand-soldering only or even with a reflow-toaster (or a more professional oven if somebody has one that's portable enough).
Reflow soldering should make option 3 obvious. We could even order a stencil with dirtypcbs.com, if the PCB is less than 10cm in length, and share the cost (or I'll cover it, it's cheap enough).

I hope someone with more SMT-assembly experience has some more input on this, I'm just a hobbyist smile

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

For the experience part I count on ballanux so far. But I think if we somehow manage to set up the assembly at 31c3 with enought folks and tools (including a reflow or steam-phase oven st should be doable. I think with good tools and steady hands it could be done even by hand (with magnifier).

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

One other thing to consider is that at least I have already ordered parts, so populating my board for me creates logistical issues. I ordered quantities over what are strictly required for a lot of parts (ordering 3x resistors from Digikey is sometimes more expensive than ordering 10x...), so even just shipping my parts over becomes problematic, even ignoring the extra logistics concerned at the other end.

If that's just me, I can assemble my own board.

In any case, one more potential wrench in the works to think about: us over-eager sorts tongue

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

As you said, I'm not sure #1 would be possible, but if it is and the cost is reasonable, you could put me down for that to make up numbers (I am a lazy man), otherwise I'd personally like to opt for #2 (I could take part in #3 if I decide to go to 31c3). The parts I could take or leave. I bought the ICs myself already, but all the other bits in a bundle would be handy.

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

status report:
I have one source left over to ask about population the boards professionally on some sort of "employee discount". So my next step is to get a price from there, if possible. But I guess that could be an "all or nothing" sort of thing (or at least a reasonable amount of boards, 30 I'd guess).

If that doesn't work I'm willing to jump in to do the ordering of the whole lot at once.
And from there I'd say are 2 possibilities:
1) get the PCB and the parts unassembled
2) Meetup at 31c3 an assemble your board and one for a comrade (lets hope we have enough folks willing to join the assembly at 31c3).

2 Problems with the later:
-dbtayl mentioned over-eager problem with all of us..
-getting space for an assembly at 31c3 should be done soon.

I personally would very much like to meet as many of you at 31c3 and have that "soldering party"

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Soldering party or not, at least I plan to go to 31c3 anyways. And if the boards would get pre-assembled, we just need to find something else to tinker with wink (hopefully the novenas are ready by then ^^)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

kiubiq wrote:

.. And if the boards would get pre-assembled, we just need to find something else to tinker with wink....

Oh THAT is surely very difficult at 31c3 ;-)
Just imagine there are no yellow tube available this year....

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

mclien wrote:

Just imagine there are no yellow tube available this year....

I have no clue what that means ^^ (it'll be my first congress)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Oh sorry. last time there was a DIY rabbit system with vacuum cleaners all over the place.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c … stelle.jpg
http://arne.blinkenarea.org/30c3/1202%2 … hrpost.jpg
http://www.ollmetzer.com/wp-content/upl … 10x480.jpg
and that was just one project there

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Didn't someone send spam through this? I can't quite remember where I heard this, but it seemed plausible big_smile

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Could be, as long as it fits in a normal PET bottle.

But I should stop derailing my own thread...
I thing I#ll be back, when I have new about the assembling prizes.

13 (edited by mclien 2014-10-06 21:45:25)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

OK on the "let a professional populate the board" topic:
Had a phone chat with former colleague of my wife (nearly 30 years of experience in PCBs). The company she now works for is in large numbers, so setting up the machines is 600EUR alone, so no option to me, I'd guess.
She pointed me to another company, which is specialized in small numbers, so I'll give that a run. Another idea of her was to get in contact with the school she went to (a special one which educates all kind of "electrical/electronical stuff") and to one of the teachers over there, who might be interested in doing a students project..
Last but not least she offered to be of assistance when it comes to design the stencils for dispensing the solder paste. (There are 1 or2 parts which have big solderpads underneath, which requires some experience she has. This would come in handy, if we plan to a) let it be done by the mentioned students (maybe some like to be around at 31c3) or if we do it ourselves likewise.
I'm partial for the 31c3 thing to be honest (if we could manage to organize the assembly).
EDIT:
Just forgot: The best DIY will possibly be reflow/vapor phase soldering the topside and hand soldering the bottom site (only about 15 parts IIRC)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

I will probably try to assemble the board here:

http://www.metrixcreatespace.com

They have some nice equipment. Hopefully everything that would be needed. I have no clue what I'm doing, but that will be part of the fun.

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Nice. Just let me know, if you're intressted in buying the parts together nevertheless.

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

I would like to buy parts with the group. Enough parts to populate two boards plus any spares that are deemed to be necessary. Thanks, mclien.

mclien wrote:

Nice. Just let me know, if you're intressted in buying the parts together nevertheless.

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

@mclien, I would be interested in 2 sets of parts as well. Should I spam the other threads as well? wink

18 (edited by mclien 2014-10-09 01:33:10)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Yeah, I know and I brought this onto myself. I try to untangle this a bit with a spreadsheet I setup and will try to upload the ugly-libreoffice-export-to-thml somewhere to get this sorted out a bit.
Kinda "who wants/prefers what and who is at31c3" and so on. Ill be back.
Still try to get some offers for professional populating the boards (that part is a bit annoying at the moment.)

I uploaded the spreadsheet-html thingy here:
http://mclien.com/dinge/assembly.html

Would be nice if everybody could check and spam me with corrections via the forum mailer ;-)
Questions to clarify what I could possibly ment in that  can be asked here.

19 (edited by mclien 2014-10-09 15:32:45)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

I just got an est. Price for populating the boards by a company.
It's ~30EUR per board, if we do 30 boards.

This are the values to i got:
Setting up the machine 1st time: 4 EUR/ per different component [75] (writing the program, placing part rail into machine etc.)
Setting p the machine for a second run is about 2 UR / per different part (since program exists already)
stencil(s) will be about 250 EUR (also a one time cost)
each part placed is about 0,05Euro [226/board]

so my spreadsheet says est. (based on 30 borads to do):
30 EUR per baord for the first run
16,50 for the second run (if there is eve such a thing)

All this is plus the prices of the component, of course.
So it's basicly 2 questions:
-Is 30 Euro cheap enough to miss all the fun and fails at 31c3?
-What about the guys who want to assemble the board themselves and order parts in a lot with the others? (the parts will most likely be ordered by the company?

To the second my best guess is to ask the populating company to order the special parts as 33 lot even if the populate only 25 boards for us and send the left over parts together with the finished boards.

The response delay of some of you is improvable BTW ;-)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

For that price, I'd definitely go with it. It's "only" a component for a larger project of mine anyways. And I'm sure there will be lot's of other fun to be had at the congress ;-) (Though I'm not mad if we need to assemble it ourselves, that's just me being lazy)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

i would like (at least) parts with the boards, i prefer to have them assembled.
otherwise will join the assembly @31c3, in that case you can but me down for DAL

22 (edited by aguki 2014-10-11 14:06:58)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

Count me in as well. I'm definitely in for having the boards assembled externally, since I will be moving countries in several weeks time and will be without any proper equipment to populate/test/debug the boards myself. I'm not particularly keen on the idea of others assembling my board at 31C3 (won't be attending this year as will be halfway around the world starting a new job) and would rather pay to have it professionally done than have someone sacrifice their time at CCC doing menial board work.

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

I'm somewhat torn.

I ordered parts ahead, and don't really want to pay for a second batch, since a good chunk of them (especially some of the pricier parts) I rather doubt I'll re-use in my own projects. And if the board is professionally assembled, there seems to be a negligible chance of shipping my parts to them to be used. So getting the board professionally done is, in effect, significantly more costly to me.

I'm with aguki concerning having somebody do it at 31C3- I don't want to put somebody out doing my work for me. IF it turns out that people will be getting together to assemble boards anyway (and don't just do it on my count), I could ship my parts over; paying shipping costs a second time is much more palatable than buying a whole second set of parts. I could also throw in a battery pack (well, cells) for whoever does the assembly. I've got a bunch of high-quality Panasonic 18650 cells*. So if somebody will be doing assembly at 31C3 anyway and needs a battery for their Novena, that could work out well.

In short, I'm thinking I'd probably most like to just assemble the board myself. It will probably have be cursing for hours on end, but then I don't need to worry about shipping my parts around, buying two sets, or making somebody slave away on my behalf at 31C3. And then I can say I actually built some significant part of the device tongue

If that would throw a wrench into the works somehow, I'm open to other options. I don't want to mess up some opportunity for others just because I was over-eager in ordering parts.




*NCR18650A; 3.1 Ah @ 3.6V, manufactured ~3 years ago IIRC, but unused.

24 (edited by mclien 2014-10-10 18:24:06)

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

@dbtayl / Hypermeta:
If I understood it correctly hypermeta is eager to do the assmbly himself so perhaps the soulution could be dbtayl sending parts to him?

@all
So I'm at 145 / Board ex. shipping, if I understood everything right with the prices. I'm not sure about the component prices at the populating service, so price is to verify.

To the "let some else do the assembly for me" Topic:
Of course I ment volunteers by that. The kind of "I like soldering and I like to do it for someone else".
If you are concerned that someone is messing up you hardware, well that is another concern, which I understand.

I think the board assemble-assembly would most likely will hapen, if (for some reason) the prrofessional assembly will fail.
At the moment there are 3 people attending 31c3 for sure (which is a bit few, I guess).
But from my point of view the professional polṕulation is most likely. Which means we "just" re-name the assembly to "custom noveana case" assembly ;-).

I'll try (based on the so far reactions) to get a full price (inkl. parts) for the boards next week.

Re: Assmble the battery board methods evaluation

I prefer assembling it myself because I want to train my own soldering skills and learn by my own mistakes.