PCB Lab

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The PCB Lab

The Printed Circuit Board lab contains an electronics station (as in the Hub) with the Metcal soldering station and microscope. It also contains a Voltera V-One PCB Printer (which can print Gerber files onto a board, and can also print solder paste onto normally fabricated boards), a manual Pick-and-Place machine, a Reflow Oven, and a Reflow Station. The lab is stocked with a good supply of 0603 and 0805 surface mount components.

The current Ace of the PCB Lab is Matthew Martin (mmartin18@georgefox.edu).

Schedule

View the most up-to-date PCB Lab schedule on this Google Sheet.

Equipment Overview

NameCompanyModelCurrent Ace Current Email 
PCB PrinterVolteraV-OneNick Sciannanscianna18@georgefox.edu
Pick and PlaceLPKFProtoplace SNick Sciannanscianna18@georgefox.edu
Reflow OvenLPKFProtoFlow S N2Nick Sciannanscianna18@georgefox.edu
Rework StationZephyrtronicsZT-2, ZT-3, ZT-1-CLS-DPU, Hakko FR-301, Quick861DWNick Sciannanscianna18@georgefox.edu
Soldering IronsWellerWES51Karson Rhoadskrhoads20@georgefox.edu
Through Hole PressBungardPL-FAVORITNick Sciannanscianna18@georgefox.edu

Equipment by Icon

Reflow oven icon.png

Reflow Oven

Through hole pressIcon.png

Through Hole Press

Solder Rework Station.png

Rework Station

Pick & place icon.png

Pick and Place

PCB printer icon.png

PCB Printer

Soldering icon.png

Soldering Irons

Basic Tools

PTP750W front.png

The PCB Lab has a Brother PT-Touch P750W Brother PT-Touch P750W label maker for labeling items. To use it:

  1. Download the iOS App or the Android App.
  2. Ensure the label maker is powered on.
  3. Within the app, select the gear to open settings.
  4. Select "Printer."
  5. Select "Set Manually."
  6. Enter the IP Address 10.90.12.132.
  7. Select "Connect."
  8. Select "Check Media." This will get the correct size of the tape that is currently in the label maker. You should click this button often, especially when you change the tape in the label maker or start a new session of label printing.
  9. Select "Done" at the top right.

You can now print labels for labeling things in the PCB Lab.

3 commandments

1. Safety First

Safety First is the rule we hold highest of the three. This rule applies to both the safety of you as well as others

Keeping yourself and others safe in the PCB Lab is very important, as there are possibilities for accidents if you don't follow the safety guidelines. Safety starts with you so don't depend on others to keep you safe. There is a first aid kit located on the south wall near the Wood Shop door.
The following rules must be followed at all times.

All the same safety rules from the machine shop apply:

  •  Safety glasses must be worn when soldering or running Volter printers.
  • No horseplay in the PCB Lab.
  • Don’t do anything distracting to yourself or others while operating equipment.
  • Food or drink is allowed when not operating equipment. Wash your hands after soldering or working with solder paste and chemicals.
  • Do not attempt to operate machinery in the PCB Lab that you have not been certified on.
  • Do not argue with volunteers or shop staff. Contact Justin Johnson if you have issues that need to be resolved.
  • Do not operate equipment without a lab supervisor or trained volunteer in the lab with you.
  • Reset the space. Make the area you are working in ready for the next person.
  • If you see a safety violation inform the person immediately and encourage them to comply with the policies
  • Don’t do anything that would require an additional rule to be added to this list.

2. Reset the Space

The PCB Lab has a specific organization to it. Put whatever you use back where it belongs. There is a place for everything and everything has a place. This rule applies to everything in the space. If you use a tool, put it back. If you use a pen, put it back. Throw away your trash and recycling.

  • Please put back the equipment the way you found it. Clean up solder and any spills or messes you make.
  • Always put any unused materials back.
  • Always leave the space better than you found it.

3. Be Professional

This commandment has two sides to it. It covers the idea of acting like professional (which Webster’s defines as “exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace”). The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. Hopefully, you are learning both of these as part of your education at George Fox University. In the PCB Lab we expect you to develop as a courteous, conscientious, and skilled craftsman, understanding the tools and equipment in the Maker Hub and how to use them effectively.

Being a professional has some obvious ramifications in terms of behavior. First, be Christlike. Think of others better than yourselves. Share. If you have been using a machine for a prolonged time and someone else is waiting, let them use the machine for a while. This is being a professional.

If you are learning to how to use a machine, and you can't get something to work the way you want - ASK SOMEONE! Learn! Become a professional. Learn the craft. This is an educational space. You might think it will be quick and you can just get it done “your” way and not learn how to do it correctly. Be a Professional and learn the proper way, and then be available to teach others.

One very important, and likely difficult part of being a professional is to correct others when they are not being professional. It is your responsibility to speak up when you see somebody doing something inappropriate. If you see somebody doing something unsafe, not resetting the space, or being unprofessional, the professional thing to do is to remind them of the three commandments and ask them politely to correct their action. This is OUR space, not any individual's. As a group, we expect everyone in the space to keep the space safe, clean, and operable for everyone. 

If someone acts disgracefully unprofessional to you in the PCB Lab, you are welcome to bring the issue to Justin or Nick's attention.


General PCB Lab Knowledge

Making/repairing circuits can be rewarding and fun as well as time consuming. One of the most used machines in the PCB Lab soldering iron.

In the PCB Lab, circuits are built and repaired using a variety of prototyping equipment.

The equipment in the PCB Lab has its own special purpose and benefits. The pick n place allows you to quickly place surface mount components. Voltera printers use conductive ink to print out the traces for producing a circuit board. The curing oven quickly heats the paste on a circuit board and bonds the surface mount components to the circuit pads.

These are a few steps that will help you be successful in the PCB Lab.

  • Always double check your circuit designs prior to attempting to print. If you can have a second set of eyes look for any issues that is always a good idea.
  • Make sure the components you are using can handle the current required.
  • Ask someone knowledgeable if you have questions.
  • Double check the installation direction of your components prior to installation.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Most of the solder in the PCB lab contains lead. Wash your hands after soldering.
  • Use the fume extractors when soldering to prevent inhaling fumes.
  • Be aware of what your fingers are touching when soldering or working with hot equipment.
  • Be aware of people and what they are doing around you. Keep track of where your soldering iron is pointing and touching.
  • Be aware of what is on the floor around you. Don't trip on any cords or other students stuff.
  • Wear safety glasses when soldering or working with the drilling head on the Voltera.
  • If something feels like it could be dangerous ask a supervisor before attempting.

Canvas Certification

Before working with any of the equipment in the PCB Lab you will need to take the general lab quiz as well as the specific quiz for each machine you are trying to use. The enrollment code for all of the quizzes is MakerHub.

Inventory

Click this link to be directed to the internal site for inventory.

Voltera Maintenance

Click this link to be directed to the internal site for Maintenance.