I just got my first PCB board I've ever designed from BatchPCB. Interestingly, I got three of them instead of the two I ordered which is cool. Sadly, I only skimmed BatchPCB's eagle tutorial and forgot to widen the silk screens so there's no pretty white text of them(More on that later) but I can live with that. I received all my components for the Li-ion charger(Based on a Max1555) about three weeks before today and I was overjoyed when I opened the little package containing my PCB's. Then.... I remembered that in my insistence that my charger look "real" I used all SMD parts(except the dc jack) for the design. This leads me into my second "first"
First SMD Soldering:
I felt pretty confident soldering "normal" components(ie, the big stuff). I have soldering lots of things before but I had never soldering SMD. To get ready, I read up on alot of articles. In the end I decided to try to solder all my SMD parts like I do my "normal" parts: Clean the tip of the soldering iron. "Wet" it with allittle solder, put alittle solder on one of the SMD pads, use tweezers to position the SMD part, and tack down the part with the small amount of solder I put on the one pad. Once the SMD part was down I wet my tip again and put it to the other pins, the solder wicked up, and the part apears to be soldered. After all the parts were soldered(Mini USB series B's are hard as hell to solder w/o bridges by the way) I had my completed USB/DC 1Cell Li-ion Battery Charger based on the Max1555.
First Li-Ion Charger,
With the charger soldered, I of course wanted to test it. I got out my RCR123A rechargable 1 Cell Li-Ion battery(from BatteryStation), checked the polarity, and wired it to the charger's Power and Gnd pins. I plugged in the USB cable and.... Nothing happened. The light didn't turn on but on the bright side, nothing smoked, or blew up. I was a little sad but then decided that if anything was to go wrong, it was that I put in that pesky SMD LED in backwards. So, I checked the polarity, both ways, the LED didn't light up. I thought: "DAMN, I overheated that stupid resistor" and I bypassed the resistor and the LED lit up. After a little more experimenting, I found out that the resistors I ordered were 330 times too resistant! I needed 1k I ordered 330K. Stupid me. luckily I had a few spare SMD resistors from a salvage mission(gotta love RC cars) and I soldered one in that worked at 3.3v(ie the LED lit up w/ that resistor w/ 3.3v). I went back to my station and the little thing worked! The led lit up when connected to power. I was so overjoyed that I couldn't wait to show it to my brother. I took it in the other room, hooked up the battery and was suddenly hit with an intense "holy **** it's hot down here" sensation from my finger. Seeing smoke and feeling heat impulsed me to quickly remove battery power: I had reversed the stupid polarity(sounds like a crappy star trek episode) because I forgot which was power and gnd(Darn that missing silkscreen). Thinking that all was lost I made a "oh hell, what could it hurt" decesion and reconnected it correctly; It seems to work: the led came back on and there is no smoke.
So, are my thoughts:
Firstly: How do I check to see if the charger is actually charging? The LED is on, but is that good enough? Is there another way to check?
Secondly: Does anybody see a problem with my way of soldering SMD? I don't use solder paste. Just a fine tip soldering iron, some solder from radioshack, and some tweezers. Also, how can I removed the "residue" left behind from the soldering?
Thirdy: While this particular board will never see the "field," does anybody think I should be wary of it even though it seems to have survived the reversed polarity without a scratch? It seems to work, but I'm still worried it might come back to bite me later. Any thoughts? I would also love a suggestion for reverse voltage protection.
Schematic and PCB can be found: http://a-i.co.cc/max1555breakout.zip