Fifty shades of Gray

Ever wondered what happens to an alumininium copper clad board when left at 270ºC for a few hours? nope?…

…damn, you still lack imagination!


The connectors should be white. XD
Surprisingly, the boards lit!, I wasn’t expecting them to. However, all the solder joints failed if touched:


Well, live and learn, some say.


Now, back to work, for a while.

Technician Strange for you, bastard.


Patient presents absolute lack of sensitivity on one of it’s moving members, can’t tell it’s position, open or closed. X-Ray reveals broken blood supply and nerve:


Closeup, it’s really a mess:


Boss prognosis: Irrepairable.

Me: Nope, it can be done.

Boss: No, it’s too close to the base.

Me: Watch me.

Inductive sensor is sedated:


I carefully cut the sheath of the cables:


Exposing as much as possible (later I removed as many resin as I could up to the metal).


Cable is completely destroyed, it is missing like half a millimetre of wires, all broken in pieces.


Apply some solder paste and heat with a really fine tip, repeat as needed to extend the solder up the cable in both directions.


There, it’s not pretty, but will hold.


Cover in shrinkwrap:




Same, expose, apply paste, heat, repeat:


Much better, ain’t it?


I did the same for the third cable, but it is pointless to show it.

Aaaaand, of course, it worked.

BTW, this post is funnier if you actually saw the movie. ;)


Stack Overflow

This is what happens when everything is set up wrong:


Incorrect nozzle, bent pcb, excess puff-off, basically, the nightmare before christmas.

And if you think that’s bad, check this other one out:


Most of the circumstances escaped either my control (I’m forced to use that particular nozzle, can’t do much about the bent pcb) or my expertise (puff-off is a bit of magick trick, requires lots of experience)

Well, I’ll do better next time /laughs, then cries/


The Machinist, episode 7: Bycicle Repair Man!

What is hot and has chains?



No, dangit. Let’s see, what is hot, has chains and can hurt you a lot?



Ah, fuck it! I’m talking about a reflow oven!!


The other day we were working as normal (“normality” in my job has some weird meanings, but let’s save that for another bed-time story, okay?). So, my boss had put in the oven a special, humongous (5300x350mm) prototype board, and everything was fine, until the oven weng BANG!

No, literally, the sound was deafening even over the compressor and pneumatic feeders. So, we all ran to the oven, BANG!, tried to figure what was wrong, did the board fell off the rails? BANG! was it stuck somewhere? BANG! none of those where positive, and we figured that the board altough stopped inside, BANG!, was already in the cooling zone, so, we removed it as carefully as we could, BANG!, and performed an emergency shutdon of the core oven. BANG!

While my boss was shutting it down, I notticed that the lateral chains weren’t moving (whereas the central guide chain was). After some more banging (not the right one, sadly) everything was stopped, and I could do an inspection of the mechanism. Everything was oiled or greased, so I didn’t take any photos, sorry. Anyhow, the culprit was something blocking one of the lateral chains, wich in turn made a chain slip, and since the oven is mostly sheet metal, it acted as an acoustic chamber, multiplying the sound.

When I finally got rid of my boss and coworker, who where “trying to help” by being around or in the middle of what I needed to check (they don’t have much mechanical knowledge) I did my thing, and here’s what I found:

Aaaaand that’s it.

I suppose we should lube the chain a bit more, but my boss hasn’t found yet a cheap enough high temperature oil (He doesn’t want to pay 500€ per ounce of special grease either), still, that’s not my problem, I’ll just clean or repair what I can.