Circuit Break Podcast #438: Solder Slugs

Podcast Title: Solder Slugs

Release Date: 2024-07-05

Episode: #438

In this episode of Circuit Break, hosts Parker Dillmann and Stephen Kraig dive into the nuances of working with contract manufacturers, specifically focusing on the responsibilities of both the designer and the manufacturer. They discuss critical topics such as reflow profiles, solder specifications, parts washing, and the benefits of allowing your CM to handle PCB panelization. Parker also shares updates on his personal project, the PropFan controller, detailing its features and the challenges faced during its development.

Podcast Audio:

Podcast Notes:

Key Discussion Points

  • What information can you assume your CM will handle?
  • Reflow profile considerations
  • Solder specifications and BGAs
  • Parts washing requirements
  • Panelizing PCBs: Why it’s best left to your CM
  • Personal Project Updates: PropFan controller
  • Switching to a SamD21 MCU for the PropFan
  • Using the LT8672 for circuit protection
  • Details on the Crystal Fontz CFA533-TFH-KC display
  • Implementing I2C to differential pair conversion with PCA9615
  • Using Ethernet to connect the display and PWM controller
  • Exploring current sensing for fan control
  • Potential features and future expansions for the PropFan
  • Challenges with GPS speed control and automotive applications
  • Importance of proper connector and enclosure selection for automotive electronics

Relevant Links

Community Questions

  • What are your thoughts on allowing your CM to handle PCB panelization?
  • Have you ever encountered unique reflow profile requirements for specific components in your designs?
  • What features would you like to see in an open-source automotive fan controller?