[aprssig] Prototype hacker question...

scott at opentrac.org scott at opentrac.org
Thu Jul 29 10:33:46 EDT 2004

>Only the part isn't SOIC.  It's something called a 'wide' SOIC.

Isn't that fun?  I just did one that I THOUGHT was a 14-pin wide SOIC, and
it turns out it's a 14-pin SOP.  Fortunately I just wasted one home-brew
board on that.

USUALLY what I do is print out a 1:1 copy of the layout on paper, then place
all of the major parts on it to verify that they fit.  For through-hole,
sometimes I'll put the paper on top of some anti-static foam and push the
parts through.

>So, anyone have any other ideas?  Or hints and tips on how to bend
>leads consistantly to do this?  I don't want to have to spend a day
>fudging each board together...

Well, you might check and see if there is a narrow SOIC version available.
For the MAX232 chip, for example, they usually come in a wide package but I
discovered it's possible to find them in a narrow version.  Or maybe an
equivalent part from another manufacturer would work.

Other than that, I'd suggest placing the edge of the part on a hard surface
like a workbench and 'rolling' the leads underneath it, like you do with new
DIP parts to straighten the pins.

It's a major pain for complicated SMT boards, but I usually try to do at
least one hand-made board before sending it to the board house.  Helps with
peace of mind, and I've caught some subtle glitches that way.


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