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Propeller schmartmodule — Parallax Forums


  • Cool, blast from the past :)
    I remember seeing that board years ago, but didn't realize the pads for the Propeller are milled sub-flush. I've never tried soldering parts on a board like that or even seen it before (they say it's patented; probably why).
    One thing that struck me as odd about that article was this part:

    Now, it’s important to note that this board does not come equipped with the P8X32A MCU itself. But the draw of this little development board is that you can very easily hand solder custom packages onto the board yourself to tailor its capabilities to your needs, with the Schmartboard | ez technology.

    It doesn't come with the Propeller...gotcha, but the second sentence is pretty weird - I think they were referring to their 'ez technology' in general, but the way it's written it makes it sound like you could solder up any old chip to that very board.

  • VonSzarvasVonSzarvas Posts: 3,336
    edited 2024-02-03 16:52

    @avsa242 said:
    Cool, blast from the past :)

    Yeah, that's what I thought too.... 2010 or so?,... Anyway- was taken aback seeing a promo video dated yesterday!!! Maybe that was an AI at work?! :)

    it makes it sound like you could solder up any old chip to that very board.

    I never got that board, but I've used a bunch of different schmart SMT to DIP adapters long time ago, for a range of different SMT packages- they were VERY easy to solder to. Their USP is true!

    That said- I only bought them from a promotion, and was just as happy using ebay specials too. But if my soldering hands get wobblier in time, I would consider swapping back to schmart. I remember being quite impressed with them.

  • A couple of months ago I soldered a propeller chip onto a Schmartboard.

    I'm new at surface mount soldering but I'd accumulated lots of parts over the years. I was given a propeller Schmartboard at a Makerfaire a really long time ago and bought a prop chip to use with it, but never got around to soldering them. I'd also bought a bunch of the SX48 TQFPs when they were on sale, and bought some Adafruit breakout boards for them.

    Recently a project I'd started on had a use for an sx48, so I figured I'd start learning surface mount soldering on the Schmartboard since it was supposed to make it easy.

    I soldered the prop chip on, connected a prop plug to confirm that the propeller would accept programming, and it worked. The propeller chip does kind of click into place on the Schmartboard,making it a little easier to position.

    But then I soldered a few sx48 TQFPs onto some of the Adafruit breakout boards, and honestly, with a good magnifier and steady hands, they weren't any more difficult to position than the prop chip on the Schmartboard.

    The Schmartboard's a nice little board; I'd recommend it, but while their milling idea was a good thing to try, I don't think it makes much difference.

  • ErNaErNa Posts: 1,749

    Incredible! This board is still alive! Yes, it's about to start with SMD, but the moment you discover solder paste and a heat gun, make use of surface tension of molten metal, soldering turns out to be easy. But as this board still exists: if show the power of the propeller!

  • evanhevanh Posts: 15,408

    My aversion to having paste at home stems from it's incredibly short shelf life. The docs say max of six months unopened in a refrigerator, and must be used or thrown out immediately upon opening.

  • I have some zeph paste that is older than I would admit to if in business (paste >2yo), but seems to work well enough. Bit stiff getting it out through the large guage needle like tip, but seems to work well enough.

  • Leaded soldering paste is very forgiving. If it dries out simply add solvent and it's usable, again. However, don't use alcohol or paint thinner but that oily stuff that's made to clean stencils. It doesn't evaporate too quickly.

    Lead-free soldering paste on the other hand is far more sensitive. Mixing with solvent doesn't help much if it's too old. The flux does no longer work anymore and the tin oxide makes the solder joints ugly.

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