PCB Soldering

A quick photo guide to take you through the soldering process, this one is pretty straight forward and simple, you should just not forget to configure the step down module at the right moment.

To start, make sure you have everything you need: the PCB and its component (see in hardware section), a soldering iron (any soldering iron with a thin tip, not too powerful either is better…), solder, a pair of tweezers, a sponge, a small screwdriver and a multimeter (or voltmeter) to configure the step down module .

The PCB and his component:PCB and all his required component

Start by putting a good amount of solder on the step down module pad and his corresponding pad on the PCB (noted IN+, IN-, OUT+ and OUT-): Drop down pre-soldering

Then solder the step down module to the PCB, that can be a little tricky and it’s not really done according to the book…. you have to solder from the side… that’s why a good amount of solder in the previous step is a good idea! Drop down module

Then solder the DC JACK connector (noted DC12V):DC JACK soldering

Now before soldering anything else, connect the board to the power supply through the DC JACK connector and configure the step down regulator to deliver 3,5V (should be 3,3V but 3,5V is still in the tolerance and 3,3V seems to sometimes be too weak). To do so, connect the power supply, and, using a multimeter (or voltmeter) to check the output of the step down, turn the small pot until the wished value is reached. Step down module configuration

You can now add solder on one pad of each SMD resistor pad, this will help you solder them correctly: SMD resistor pre-soldering

Then, using the tweezers, place the resistor:SMD resistor placement

And solder it in place:

SMD resistor partial solder

And repeat the operation with the five other resistors: SMD one side solder

Then solder the other side of all six resistors:SMD resistor two side soldered

Continue by soldering the 3 MosFet (solder both side):Mosfet soldering

And finally solder the ESP8266, reset button and 4 pin header. Make sure that you leave a little bit space between the ESP module and the reset button: ESP, reset button and 4 pin header soldering

At this point your module is almost finish and just need a way to be programmed. For this purpose add a little bit solder on the 4 programming pad (TX, RX, GPIO0 and GND): Programation connector pre-soldering

And solder 4 jumper cable to them (or the appropriate cable for your FTDI board): Jumper cable soldering

TX, RX and GND can be permanently connected but the GPIO0 pin should be connected to ground only when we want to reprogram the board. I use a free ground pin of my FTDI board to connect GPIO0 to ground when needed: FTDI board connection

You can now check the Software section to flash your board, enjoy 😉