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[personal profile] xiphmont

I'm currently on rev 3 of my ThinkPad-specific LED retrofit driver boards. They fit into the space on a stock inverter freed up by removing the CCFL step-up coil.

I'm on pace to make about 200-300 kits this year, and I'm still making them all by hand. Solder paste applied using a pneumatic dropper, components placed using tweezers and stereo microscope, then reflowed using a hotplate (thus the little placement jigs with silicone handles).

Then reflowed in a few steps using a hotplate (thus the little placement jigs with silicone handles). First stage is a preheat using the handles to hold the jig over the hotplate--- this is to drive moisture out of the components and solder paste.

Then I drop it down onto the little washers... this is a slow heat up to about 200C over two minutes.

Finally, the jig goes right down on the hotplate, which brings things up to about 260C in 60 seconds. Then pull the jig and let it cool. Then inspection under the microscope for obvious defects, breaking apart the boards, electrical testing, etc...

I make the LED strips in a similar way, using another placement jig.

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