Instructables
Picture of Aurora 9x18 Kit
*** There's an updated version of this kit available at http://www.theledart.com/blog/store ***

Responding to many requests, Aurora 9x18 Kit is now available, so this is the Instructable specific to building the kit.

Please leave comments, especially tips for successful assembly.


 
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Step 1: Identify the Parts

First, identify all the parts contained in the kit.
Below is the parts list.

[Parts List]
qty item
   1x Custom PCB
162x 150Ohm (0603)
    9x 220 Ohm (0603)
    3x 470 Ohm (0603)
  13x 1k Ohm (0603)
    1x 10k Ohm (0603)
    1x 1uF (0603)
    2x 10uF (0603)
    1x AP7333-33 or AP7313-33 ("JZ" or "NZ" printed on it)
    1x PIC24F08KA101-SS
    3x DMP3098L ("DMB" printed on them)
  12x MMBT2222A ("K1P" printed on them)
    1x 4-way Stick Switch EVQQ7
162x Tricolor LED (common-cathode)
    1x Molex 2 pin header (right angle)

Resistors have their values written on them. Two top digits followed by the number of 0's after. So 150 ohm would have 151 written on them. Those are so small, be careful not to misplace them. I always tidy up the work area before starting assembly. Make sure you have a good lighting, too.

Capacitors do not have anything written on them, so be sure to keep them in the carrier (tape) until you are ready to solder them.

Transistors have letters printed on them, however they are codes, so the codes are noted on the list above.

Other parts are quite obvious, I think.


Step 2: Tools & Supply

Picture of Tools & Supply
  • Magnifier visor or other visual aid device (I think this is essential)
  • Tweezers (fine tip ones)
  • Solder paste in syringe*
  • Electric hot plate*
  • Soldering iron (temperature controlled)
  • Solder (flux core. go for the highest quality solder you can afford. 0.015 inch / 0.4 mm diameter recommended for SMD.)
  • Solder wick (thin braid recommended - mine is about 1.5 mm wide.)
  • Wire cutter (I recommend this one.)
  • Microchip PIC programmer (supports PIC24F08KA and capable of In-circuit programming through a standard 6-pin ICSP connector, such as ICD2, ICD3, PICKit2, PICKit3) and a computer

(* If you are doing the reflow method)

Good lighting is also very important. You can work much better when you can see the details.

mrlights2 years ago
is the aurora available as a kit, if so how much is the kit?
thank you
ledartist (author)  mrlights2 years ago
Sorry, there's no set date for Aurora 9x19 kits' availability.
I will post the information when it becomes available...
Where did you find the resistors with the values printed on them? All they have at my local Radio Shack are ones with the colored stripes. Something like that would be much easier to work with.
ledartist (author)  facilitator4763 years ago
Chip resistors (SMT) always have numbers written on them. (At least the ones that I've seen.)
I used to see some larger resistors having numbers written instead of colors. Those are really large ones (like an inch long), though...

Aki
asimo3 years ago
This was a very fun project to build! Everything went smoothly. This instructable is very clear and well put together. Thanks for sharing your work Aki!
2011-10-03_08-13-00_465.jpg
ledartist (author)  asimo3 years ago

You're very welcome!

Aki
asimo3 years ago
I soldered all of the LEDs without using flux. I would say that if you have a decent soldering iron with a fine tip and a high quality solder with a flux core, flux is not absolutely necessary, although you will probably do a cleaner job if you use it.
ledartist (author)  asimo3 years ago
You must be very good with your soldering iron!
asimo3 years ago
I hand soldered all of the components with no problems. I have never used solder paste before, so I am not sure which is faster/better for this project.
tunes3 years ago
Aki~

Is it OK to wash the populated PCB with soap and water even with the PIC soldered in or better to solder the PIC last?????
ledartist (author)  tunes3 years ago
It's perfectly ok to wash PIC. However the switch should not get wet, so make sure to wash before soldering the switch.

If you can solder the switch last, that would be best. But I think once the LEDs are in place soldering the switch gets difficult without melting the LEDs... 
A hot-air soldering tool would make it a snap...

Aki