Assembly of the uCurrent Gold: reflow soldering!

In this post, I am going to discuss an exciting new skill that I learned this past weekend: reflow soldering. I used this technique to assemble a uCurrent Gold device. I previously talked about the uCurrent Gold by Dave Jones from EEVBlog in this post and the design improvements I added to the PCB. Some time passed and I now (finally) have all the tools and components to assemble this little device.

Reflow soldering is a soldering process that allows many components to be soldered to a PCB in one go. Contrary to using solder wire and a soldering iron, this process works by dispensing solder paste onto a PCB, placing components on the PCB and subsequently reflowing the PCB in an oven to create the mechanical and electrical connection between the PCB pads and component leads. I’ve been assembling ClockSquared Mini prototypes using hand soldering techniques and to be fair, it is quite annoying and difficult to get right. Reflow soldering makes the assembly process easier, quicker and less prone to errors.

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Development of ClockSquared Mini

Summer break is here, and with some time to spare I decided to challenge myself with a project that I call “Clocksquared Mini”. It is Clocksquared, but in a tiny wristwatch package. This gives rise to a major challenge, as everything has to be shrunk down approximately ten times from a 300x300x50 mm to an approximately 35x35x7 mm package. Moreover, running everything off a tiny battery whilst maintaining an acceptable battery life also turns out to be quite difficult.

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