I got my final batch of boards from Laen in the mail today. I had three designs in this batch, so I was pretty anxiously awaiting delivery.
I set right in to populating the main CNC PC board, which I designed almost a month ago. I used a lot of different soldering techniques, and shot a lot of video to share with the class. I used my new hoof tip for my Metcal station to do drag soldering, I put down a bunch of discrete parts with solder paste and my new hot air tool, and I did plenty of classic through-hole soldering. I have to say, while I’m not an expert at drag soldering yet, it’s pretty awesome. Tacky flux paste is freaking magic.
So, here is the populated board. I’ve only powered it on briefly – so far, no magic smoke escaped, and the expected LEDs light up. It’s drawing a bit more current than I seems right, so I need to look into that… Once I check it out a bit, I’ll be hooking it up to the FPGA card and hopefully moving some stepper motors again, since my milling machine has been idle and in pieces since December!