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Old 10-13-2010, 12:14 AM #1
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Default Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Is anyone else having problems getting solder to "stick/flow" on the microboost?

I thought I would ask before I start replacing materials (solder, flux, etc.)

Peace,
dave


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Old 10-13-2010, 12:35 AM #2
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

I had a little bit of trouble on the top solder for the highest setting. Hay can anyone fill me in on why Dr. Lava went out of stock on the Flexdrives? But not Boost Drives? Just wondering why he ran out. And stopped.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:38 AM #3
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Same here, I had to lightly scrape the traces.... with the point of a hobby knife. It looked like a very thin film of epoxy.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:38 AM #4
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Geez I hope not...lol...Just got three in the mail today!
I'll probably be trying my 6x 405 build tomorrow night and I'll let you know how it goes..got my Pyro wire today too(a little advertising for him! Great stuff!)
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:31 AM #5
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toaster View Post
I had a little bit of trouble on the top solder for the highest setting. Hay can anyone fill me in on why Dr. Lava went out of stock on the Flexdrives? But not Boost Drives? Just wondering why he ran out. And stopped.
Too many people ordered the flex when the 445nm didoes came out. He designs them and owns the designs, but he doesn't actually manufacture them in his kitchen. He has to have them made somewhere else. When they disappeared so quickly, he had to order up another run from the factory. That takes some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
Same here, I had to lightly scrape the traces.... with the point of a hobby knife. It looked like a very thin film of epoxy.
Hmmm. I'll try scraping the next one to see if that will do it.

Peace,
dave
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:39 AM #6
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

I have had minor problems with solder sticking right at first but when the board heats up it seems to flow but then I am using the best solder and flux avable.
This flux will make all your solder joints even better than you can emagine
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:56 PM #7
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

the driver has to heat up first before the solder will stick to it. since this is a very sensitive component, you should use flux to make it stick.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:12 PM #8
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

FYI you technically don't have to solder to the place indicated in the manual (square gold pad with the 2 holes in it). This location is a bit difficult to solder to with some irons because it sinks heat away. What you can do instead is use the end of the resistor right next to it. This is already tinned and is easy to solder to. I do this with all the preset high current units.

Hope that helps
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:32 AM #9
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Talking Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

We had problems in this shop (AwesomeLasers.com) soldering to the MicroBoost as well - you are not the only one... and we use only the best quality equipment and solder.

What we found upon close examination with a high-power loupe is that the solder mask on the board - the green stuff that is usually used to prevent solder from "leaking off" the pad when you solder - has been replaced on this board with a clear laquer-like substance. We used 20% silver solder and STILL could not get the connections to "stick". What we ended up doing was to ultrasonically clean the boards in a bath of GUMOUT (yeah, the stuff you get at Pep Boys or Sears Auto Shop). After a 2-minute soaking in vibrating GUMOUT, wash the board with ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL - DO NOT USE ACETONE or KEYTONE-Based solvents or you will release the smoke from the regulator chips.

If you take reasonable ESD precautions (like grounding the metal ultrasonic can to the ground pin on the AC outlet - if your US cleaner is one of those with a 2-prong plug), bathing an unpowered driver (or anything - even an entire PC) will not harm it, as long as it is THOROUGHLLY DRY when you power it up.

When this is done, all the clear crap that you can't see - even with a magnifier - is washed away. Leave the board at room temperature for a day or two to make sure all the moisture and alcohol has evaporated. You will now be able to solder to the board without a problem.

For those of you who do not have SMT soldering equipment, you can use a straight pin held in an exacto-knife handle to apply CONDUCTIVE SILVER PAINT to form the connections. The stuff is readily available on: Silver Paint, 18% Silver, 15 gram brush-cap bottle

This conductive paint is used to repair open land patterns on PC boards. We used to use it all the time when I worked for IBM. You can also use the paint to decrease the resistance of metal-to-metal friction connections such as the tailcap switch tab on flashlight hosts, and to reduce the resistance of any (non-moving) connection such as is found between threaded parts of a flashlight host, and the (other) friction connection from the battery pill to the host body.

The best part about using the silver paint is that it is HEATLESS. You won't have to worry about de-soldering those small resistors when you are NOT soldering to the board (except for the in / out connections).

It is our opinion that the designer of these boards (Dr. Lava et. al.) have made these boards too small. Soldering pads to SMT parts that have been soldered on the board by ROBOTS is just BAD DESIGN... but what is the alternative?

These boards are also prone to overheating, and are TERRIBLE to work with. Using the conductive "paint" makes it a whole lot easier, and we have taken to using it, letting it dry overnight, and THEN soldering the connections.

Awesome Lasers is re-designing an entirely new generation of micro-drive boards specifically tailored for high-power 445nm diodes. Our R&D began on November 2, 2010, and we will have "proof of concept" boards in 1 to 2 weeks. OUR boards will be able to deliver 2,000mA into a 1 Ohm load, powered by a "protected" 18650 2,500mA battery. Another version of this board will suppy 3,000mA into a 1 Ohm load in high frequency "pulse" mode, and use a specially-made battery pack with an extremely high current capacity and very low internal resistance.

The boards will be fixed output (no more turning pots that you can't find a screwdriver to fit), constant current devices. The latter version is being developed for a large rifle manufacturer which is supplying weapons to the US Military, and will probably NOT be offered for sale to the public.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:40 AM #10
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Hi David Todeschini, there is some misinformation in your post that needs correction, and I will get to that, but first, after reading your post and strange claims I had to google who the heck you were.
Luckily enough, it looks like others have taken care of the search already and I found this thread here to be informative about awesomelasers.com and its creator.


Now, onto the debunking:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphoenix View Post
What we found upon close examination with a high-power loupe
.
.
When this is done, all the clear crap that you can't see - even with a magnifier - is washed away.
There is no visible/invisible secret clear laquer mysteriously applied to the pcb in place of the soldermask, you simply need good heat conduction from your soldering iron to the gold plated pad to wet it (with a SMALL amount of flux). Too much flux and you will have trouble. Silver solder is notoriously more difficult to work with than leaded solder and it has sticking issues if improperly heated and fluxed. My guess is that you initially had heating issues and after repeated attempts built up a layer of flux on the pad that your cleaning took care of for a second successful try.

Quote:
For those of you who do not have SMT soldering equipment, you can use a straight pin held in an exacto-knife handle to apply CONDUCTIVE SILVER PAINT to form the connections. The stuff is readily available on: Silver Paint, 18% Silver, 15 gram brush-cap bottle
Silver paint is nice to have on hand ans useful for some things, but it's totally not necessary and NOT recommended for use in current carrying paths like this driver.
I have preset probably 100 of these things and the easiest way to solder jumper the small resistors is to use the 471 resistor as a solder anchor as pictured in this thread:
Soldering the current range jumpers on Microboost

Quote:
The best part about using the silver paint is that it is HEATLESS. You won't have to worry about de-soldering those small resistors when you are NOT soldering to the board (except for the in / out connections).
If you are using a temperature regulated iron and good technique you also don't have to worry about de-soldering those resistors. Since you are only soldering on one side of the resistor, and if your iron temp is set right, it is not possible to de-solder the entire resistor.

I will cut out your following mud slinging and self-advertisement from the quote, but given the link at the top it sounds like even without those I'd think twice before dealing with awesomelasers.com, ESPECIALLY if I were a dignified military supplier and I wanted my diodes to last.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:23 AM #11
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

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We had problems in this shop
go away

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Old 11-06-2010, 05:41 AM #12
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Is that your photo???
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:03 AM #13
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by drlava View Post
Hi David Todeschini, there is some misinformation in your post that needs correction, and I will get to that, but first, after reading your post and strange claims I had to google who the heck you were.
Luckily enough, it looks like others have taken care of the search already and I found this thread here to be informative about awesomelasers.com and its creator.


Now, onto the debunking:


There is no visible/invisible secret clear laquer mysteriously applied to the pcb in place of the soldermask, you simply need good heat conduction from your soldering iron to the gold plated pad to wet it (with a SMALL amount of flux). Too much flux and you will have trouble. Silver solder is notoriously more difficult to work with than leaded solder and it has sticking issues if improperly heated and fluxed. My guess is that you initially had heating issues and after repeated attempts built up a layer of flux on the pad that your cleaning took care of for a second successful try.



Silver paint is nice to have on hand ans useful for some things, but it's totally not necessary and NOT recommended for use in current carrying paths like this driver.
I have preset probably 100 of these things and the easiest way to solder jumper the small resistors is to use the 471 resistor as a solder anchor as pictured in this thread:
Soldering the current range jumpers on Microboost


If you are using a temperature regulated iron and good technique you also don't have to worry about de-soldering those resistors. Since you are only soldering on one side of the resistor, and if your iron temp is set right, it is not possible to de-solder the entire resistor.

I will cut out your following mud slinging and self-advertisement from the quote, but given the link at the top it sounds like even without those I'd think twice before dealing with awesomelasers.com, ESPECIALLY if I were a dignified military supplier and I wanted my diodes to last.
Well, I have to disagree. THERE IS some laquer or oxide, or SOMETHING on the land patterns and plated through holes that prevent proper wetting of the surface. I am usinn the proper soldering iron, 60/40 rosin core (I only tried the silver after I couldn't get the solder to flow - even at 400 degrees C). MAYBE I GOT A BAD BATCH - who knows? I'll know next time I get another order of these in. In any case, the conductive silver paint works well - I've been using it for YEARS, and we even used it in the military ( I was USAF CRYPTO / SpecOps MOS 30650/F) to repair KG-13s in the field when they got BULLT HOLES in them (of course, there was no SMT back in 1971).

I just built ANOTHER unit for a friend of mine using the same batch of driver boards (maybe they came from the same panel???).... and I have a question.... actually 2 questions.... If there is nothing that would repel solder on the land patterns and pads, why does gently scraping them with an exacto knife blade seem to facilitate the soldering? - and - why am I not the ONLY one who has seen this problem?

Iv'e been soldering since I was SIX YEARS OLD (I'm 60 now). I never seen gold-plated land patterns do anything but ATTRACT solder like a magnet. Gold doesn't oxidize, so if you're not using PLUMBING solder (acid core), a touch of a well-tinned soldering tip should INSTANTLY solder the connection, especially when the (stranded) wire is tinned as well. Cleaning the boards in the manner I described solved the problem. IT WORKED. You can't argue with that. Perhaps the next batch of boards I get will not be so problematic - but we will have our own in-house drivers in a few weeks, so perhaps I won't find out after all.

The microboost driver is a great little board, but if it were 1/8" longer, it would leave room to solve a lot of problems (like having to solder jumpers to componnts), and being able to have larger pads for the in/out connections. Just my opinion. It would also be cool to have a ROUND version of this board that would fit in place of the LED board on the CREE and MXDL hosts. Then, all you'd have to do is connect the diode and you're done.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:07 AM #14
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

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that prevent proper wetting


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Old 11-07-2010, 12:58 AM #15
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphoenix View Post
Is that your photo???
datz ur mug shot.

he is u face. look same to me.

YouTube - ciphoenix's Channel

same name to

lookz like u to

http://myworld.ebay.com/ciphoenix

here is u now





..

Last edited by Ignis Fatuus; 11-07-2010 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:08 AM #16
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Default Re: Soldering on the MicroBoost driver

I have used ~6 of DrLava's drivers and never had a problem with soldering the jumpers on any of his tiny boards. I use a 25 Watt Micro tip iron and basic fluxcore 0.010 solder.
Those mug shots are simply a distraction from the post intent.
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Last edited by Hemlock_Mike; 11-07-2010 at 01:10 AM.
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