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Tips, tricks, & best best practices using Artemis with your board designs.
#208424
Are there any special requirements for soldering an Artemis module to another board? It seems to me like it could be more complicated than a typical part being soldered to a board.

I use a toaster oven reflow machine, and my control of the temperature profile will not be as good as a real reflow machine that you must be using in your production flow. Mostly, I am worried that my sub-optimal reflow temperature profile will potentially mess up the solder joints between the Apollo3 BGA pads and the Artemis module itself. If that happens, then both boards become trash. Also, I put down the solder paste by hand. How sensitive are the module pads to having variations in the amount of solder on the pads?

I figure that the Sparkfun folks must have gained some good experience constructing the Redboards. Are there any tricks to be aware of?
#208436
I've done a fair bit of module reflow soldering with a toaster oven and a pid controller and have found no complications. I don't let the temp go above 217C and hold it there for about 10 seconds. The modules I've used are cypress PSOC ble modules. I'm about to do some with Artemis modules in the next 10 days or so.

Regards,
Kevin
#208438
I use a stencil for anything this small for sure. Others might not need it. I do a lot of reflow in my little ~$50 toaster oven and have always been amazed at how easy it is. It is much easier than hand soldering fine pitch through hole not to mention a heck of a lot faster. And stencils are so cheap from China it's practically free (I use JLCPCB)
#208440
I use JLCPCB too, but have not graduated to their stencils yet. I still use a solder syringe and a microscope. It works, but it is gets tedious when I want to make more than one copy of a board.

I use a Rocketscream PID controller for my toaster oven. Their documentation said that the default PID parameter settings were not too sensitive. I decided to log the output of the controller's decisions during a run and discovered that "not too sensitive" was an overstatement: the PID functionality is essentially unused, at least for my toaster oven. It's heaters are on 100% for the whole time until the interior reaches the soak temp, then basically off for the entire time during soak, then on again the whole time when reaching reflow temps, then off for good as soon as it hits reflow. There was almost no time during the whole run where the PID controller made any decisions that would cause the heating elements to cycle in any fashion to maintain a temp: just all on or all off. It seemed to me that the controller software could have been replaced with about 7 lines of Arduino software to turn a relay on or off with time delays in between. The bottom line is that the oven works, but I'm not convinced that its temp profile is really all that well controlled.

Again, I would be really interested in knowing if your soldering experiments turn out well!