Thursday, June 23, 2016

This Joint is Heating Up

The reflow oven arrived yesterday. It's so cute! I'm not worried about finding space for it now. Unfortunately, every electronics hobby person who has a T962 has recommended tearing out the original tape (used to insulate parts of the circuit board) to replace it with high-temperature kapton -- and my order of kapton tape hasn't even shipped yet.

The components are all here. Digikey ships fast. I can't imagine how they can afford to snip three surface-mount resistors from a roll and put them in a plastic bag, but they will. I've got all my SMDs in a book I bought at Adafruit. It's smaller than I thought -- about the size of a trade paperback (but thicker). Has sheets of plastic slotted to safely contain cut strips of tape, and the plastic takes Sharpie so you can mark them (especially handy for caps, which don't usually have markings).

And the boards are arriving Friday. Of course there could be mistakes on the board that I can't fix with a few cuts and bridges, but really right now the big hold-up is the kapton. As soon as the oven is prepped, I can assemble a Holocron board and see if it is all going to work as designed.

Right now my priority projects are Holocron, House, and Horus. I promised to have a prototype ready for pictures by the end of the month. As soon as I can clean one more outstanding project off my desk, though, I desperately need to do some house cleaning. And I'm overdue to update the fanfiction.

But of course...I put an impulse buy in my last Amazon order, and I'm being cagey about the thing until I've actually tried it out and seen if I can play it. But I've been doing a lot of research, and I already have a laundry list of upgrades...some which I should probably do before the thing even arrives (currently scheduled for monday). Like one basic rule for bargain instruments; get new strings (or new mouthpiece, or new get the picture). My $30 ukulele became much, much nicer once I swapped out the strings that came on it for a set of Aquila's. Oh, and improved the setup. Marginally (shaved down the nut. Another seeming rule of cheap instruments is they come with the strings way too high).

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