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Assembly

Ah, the fun stuff. The reason you purchased the kit. To try your hand at SMD soldering. Yes you can do it! I personally have used two different techniques with this board. Let’s call the one technique the “Reflow Skillet” technique and the other the “heat and slide” (hand soldering) technique. SparkFun has a really good tutorial on the “heat and slide” method that you can read here. They also have a good write-up on the “Reflow Skillet” method here. Then there’s another good surface mount tutorial at Curious Inventor. You probably want to review all these before you proceed.

Now, here’s the board we’re going to be putting components on. There are NO through-hole components at all. Everything is surface mounted and there are components on both sides of the board.

Matrix Medallion circuit board front view

Matrix Medallion circuit board front view


Matrix Medallion circuit board rear view

Matrix Medallion circuit board rear view

And here’s most of what you’re going to be soldering onto the board. (no, not the penny!) That’s one 20 pin SOIC ATTINL26L along side one of the 49 LEDs. Are you up for the challenge? You can do it! Just take it slow and steady…

Matrix Medallion parts size comparison

Matrix Medallion parts size comparison

The end product, front and back. Forty Nine LEDs in a 7×7 matrix on the front. Six pin programming interface on one edge and power jumper on the other edge. Backside holds the replaceable CR2032 battery and the AVR processor. Note – The bead is just shown as an example of what you can do. The kit/assembled unit only includes 2 split rings and hemp cord.

Matrix Medallion front view assembled

Matrix Medallion front view assembled

Matrix Medallion assembled back view

Matrix Medallion assembled back view

Hand Soldering

“Heat and Slide” (hand soldering) Technique Let’s start with the hand soldering method. You really need three hands for this method! I suggest some kind of PanaVise or similar. You just need something to hold the board steady and level while you solder on parts. You also need a soldering iron with a small tip. …

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Reflow Skillet

“Reflow Skillet” technique If you’re going to be doing this a bunch, it’s probably worth figuring out the reflow technique. It’s a bit more involved first getting set up, but it’s faster if you have a bunch of boards to do all at once. Start by reviewing the SparkFun article here, but we’re going to …

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