Solder side pictures

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Clint's picture
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So I am now at the point where I will soon be soldering some components on my lovely board from Mike.

As I am making a near perfect replica as possible I would like to see if there were common techniques used to hold the soldered components in place like bent leads etc and if so which way they were bent.

So I have seen a lot of component side pictures but not many solder side pictures.

If you have any solder side pictures can you point me to them please Smile

Kind Regards
Clint

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Joined: Jul 8 2013
Posts: 18
Re: Solder side pictures

This super hi-res pic might be what you're looking for:

http://apple1.chez.com/Apple1project/Gallery/CloseUp/AppleIBack.jpg

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speedyG's picture
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Posts: 2378
Re: Solder side pictures

It´s not only the kind of "how i soldered the board" to take care about......
it´s also a question of "which kind of soldering material" to think about....
in the early years of 2000 when quite a lot of countries have released laws about
the consistance of solderingmaterial due to environment and demanded to lower the
lead within the soldering material....

In a lot of countries you will only be able to buy from electronic supply shops this
"new soldering material", which has higher portion of aoldering flux and silver - but less part
of lead.....
the "old stuff" is normaly only found within the shops speciallized to
repair of tube-amplifiers or very "old fashioned" stores.

The "old stuff" results to "less shiny" surface on top of the soldered spots
while the "new stuff" results to more "silvery shine" surface on top........
and while soldering the "old stuff" gets better "flow" to the soldering area at lower temperature
while the "new stuff" needs higher temperature for similar "flowing consistance" and leaves more resin
left in the soldering area resulting from the higher portion of soldering flux inside the core.....

Just also a thing to think about....

When that environmental laws have been released, i by myself for example did pick up
several kilogramms of the "old stuff" for the sparepart box to ensure being able to have enough
of the "old stuff" for the rest of the future of my hobbies and due to the fact that i also do some work with
tube amps.... and i´m happy i did...... that "old stuff" is the correct material for soldering the replications.....

[b]and yes - there is a special technic to solder the boards ( without the need to bend the pins ) !!![/b]
I will prepare a page with drawings and very detailed explenation and several "tricks" how to solve this task
and resulting to perfect soldering results ! I will publish that page
within my pages related to the creation of my replications
within this weekend and
publish till sunday evening the link to that page here in this thread.....

sincerely speedyG

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Solder side pictures

Hello to all AF-members...

the page related to the topic of soldering mainboards is finished and located at:

http://www.harrowalsh.de/APPLEBOX/APPLE1/appleboxsolderingpage.htm

sincerely speedyG

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the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: Solder side pictures

Quote:

So I am now at the point where I will soon be soldering some components on my lovely board from Mike.

As I am making a near perfect replica as possible I would like to see if there were common techniques used to hold the soldered components in place like bent leads etc and if so which way they were bent.

It's not really possible to reproduce the soldering of the original Apple 1. Firstly, the Apple 1 PCBs were wave soldered, not hand soldered. Secondly, even if you wave soldered a Mimeo-1 PCB it wouldn't look the same. The Mimeo-1 PCBs are SMOBC (Solder Mask Over Bare Copper). The original Apple 1 PCBs had a solder layer beneath the mask which when wave soldered melts and causes a rippling effect (especially around the power components). An SMOBC PCB won't do that.

speedyG's picture
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Re: Solder side pictures

PhilPower wrote:

It's not really possible to reproduce the soldering of the original Apple 1. Firstly, the Apple 1 PCBs were wave soldered, not hand soldered. Secondly, even if you wave soldered a Mimeo-1 PCB it wouldn't look the same. The Mimeo-1 PCBs are SMOBC (Solder Mask Over Bare Copper). The original Apple 1 PCBs had a solder layer beneath the mask which when wave soldered melts and causes a rippling effect (especially around the power components). An SMOBC PCB won't do that.

Hello PhilPower,
thanks for adding that important point and explenation....
i took your reply for reason to update the solderingpage with several pictures of details
to display what you have been explaining here...

Finally it must be stated, that there is NO WAY to reproduce correct soldering side of an original Apple-1
unless other boards with other technic (for wavesoldering ) would become availiable and due to the cost of such project
and due to cost of the required equipment this won´t get availiable to hobbyists....
so the best we can do - at least - is to solder the replication boards the best way possible...
with few soldering lead ( - as much as needed - as few as possible ) and with good technic and
good tools... aiming for perfect clean reliable soldering joints.
speedyG

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Re: Solder side pictures

I believe Mike Newton experimented with trying to make a board the way they used to do it at NTI and the board peeled. I'm not sure if he ever was successful. The problem is many of the materials used back then are unavailable (blame all those kids who licked their lead painted walls and made us ban all those tasty chemicals used in the PCB manufacturing process) and the skilled people making the boards using screened not photo solder mask is hard to find as many are retired.

I'm actually OK with this as there needs to be a good quick tell tale sign that we can notice separating the replicas from the real thing from a simple photo. Obviously there are other things that indicate a replica that can be seen by experts when you actually compare a replica and real one, but I'm not taking Wink

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: Solder side pictures

Sorry to interupt, but acording to Steve Wozniak wich I had the great pleasure to meet this past week at KFest, all the Apple I's were hand soldered. They 'farmed' the construction of the boards out to housewives, college students, or anybody with soldering skills and then would test them before shipping them out. There was even an original Apple I there, and let me tell you, it did not look 'profesionally' soldered to any of us.

speedyG's picture
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Re: Solder side pictures

littlejohn wrote:

Sorry to interupt, but acording to Steve Wozniak wich I had the great pleasure to meet this past week at KFest, all the Apple I's were hand soldered. They 'farmed' the construction of the boards out to housewives, college students, or anybody with soldering skills and then would test them before shipping them out. There was even an original Apple I there, and let me tell you, it did not look 'profesionally' soldered to any of us.

Hello littlejohn,
seems you have been lifted-up by Woz.....
there is just one fact that won´t fit.....
compare the pictures taken from soldering side of original Apple-1´s....( see the link to the page i listed above )
and then give explenation ( based to real physics ) how the rippling below the solderingmask can be performed...
without wavesoldering....
i´d realy enjoy any kind of explenation how that phenomenon can happen by handcrafted soldering....
- i´m talking about hard evidence proof by a large number of availiable pictures ( that pictures are related
to certified original Apple-1´s listed here at the list given by Mike Willegal
and the sites related to that boards ) and missing match to given explenation....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Solder side pictures

Quote:

Sorry to interupt, but acording to Steve Wozniak wich I had the great pleasure to meet this past week at KFest, all the Apple I's were hand soldered. They 'farmed' the construction of the boards out to housewives, college students, or anybody with soldering skills and then would test them before shipping them out. There was even an original Apple I there, and let me tell you, it did not look 'profesionally' soldered to any of us.

If Woz did say that then he must have been pulling your leg. It's known that the Apple 1 PCBs were wave soldered by a commercial PCB assembler, which I know he has stated in the past.

However, I think it's likely that you just misunderstood what Woz said. The boards were delivered to Apple assembled and wave soldered, but not stuffed with chips. Woz and friends (probably the housewives and college students referred to above) inserted the chips and then each board was tested and Woz would fix any problems with them.

The PCBs are undeniably wave soldered. The dead give away is that the vias are filled with solder. Every photo of an original Apple 1 I have seen has the vias filled. Typically someone hand soldering wouldn't do that, and if they did it wouldn't have the same look.

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Re: Solder side pictures

To add to that there is video of Woz stateing the cost to
Solder the boards from from the PCB house was like
12 or 15 dollars (I'd have to watch the video again or check my notes to see for sure the amount)

Btw. Apparently the boards had to be tested as wave soldering can have bridges (easily cleaned up with an iron) and some of the bad ones had "tinning" under the boards that was shorted under the solder mask (something that can't happen using the technique the mimeo pcb is made with). I don't think they fixed the ones shorted under the mask. They may have been sent back to the PCB mfr when discovered as that is a defect.

Cheers,
Corey

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Posts: 380
Re: Solder side pictures

One of the biggest myths in Apple 1 lore is that they were completely soldered and built in the Job's home. Woz has emailed me to confirm and there are some recorded sessions where he talks about using a manufacturer to wave solder the boards.

They were stuffed (at least some by Patty Jobs) and tested by Daniel Kottke in the Jobs home. Daniel Kottke's speeches at the last iterations of VCF east and VCF SE go into detail. According to Daniel, he did most of the testing, Jobs was busy marketing (or doing whatever Jobs did back then) and Woz wasn't around that much.

Indeed Mimeo's are SMOBC boards. My manufacturer has offered to make a couple the "old" way, though he suspects that there will be problems due to modern materials not being designed for that process. I'll probably pass on that, cause I have enough problems to deal with. Smile

A mimeo could be wave soldered, though he or she would have to find a willing manufacturer to take on the task of doing just one or a couple boards.

Unless there were some real bad ones, I doubt that any Apple 1s were sent back due to defects - repairing defects is a normal part of electronics manufacturing process.

regards,
Mike W.

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Re: Solder side pictures

PhilPower wrote:

However, I think it's likely that you just misunderstood what Woz said. The boards were delivered to Apple assembled and wave soldered, but not stuffed with chips. Woz and friends (probably the housewives and college students referred to above) inserted the chips and then each board was tested and Woz would fix any problems with them.

Your description matches my understanding of what Woz said at KFest.

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Re: Solder side pictures

Hi Clint,

Some areas of soldering not really covered, that I find very important (I have done 2 x Mil Spec soldering courses and been in the Electronic and IT industry for near on 30 years).

Most if not all of the components are old, really old, the leads should be cleaned prior to installation.
I use a Staedler pencil erase and place the resistor, diode etc on a flat surface and use the eraser to clean off the oxide and dust.
I then use 100% pure isopropy alcohol to remove any contaminants from the leads. I also clean the PCB and solder prior to soldering.
Bearing in mind the solder joint will be close to the body of the component rather than at the far end of the lead.

This also works with TTL chips, I use something like a steel ruler to press the leads against, and clean the leads in an up and down motion, once again completing the cleaning process with isopropyl alcohol.

I would not use this technique on the more expensive MOS chips, due to the potential for antistatic damage, ie RAM, ROM, CPU, 25xx chips etc.

I would also recommend installing components a few at a time, its slower but I find more rewarding and allows you to pick up mistakes sooner than later.

I would also recommend testing each and every component prior to soldering, all of the passive components can be tested with a relatively cheap multimeter.

The electrolytic capacitors will hopefully be NOS which means they have been sitting around in a warehouse somewhere for 30 odd years. Electrolytics should be reformed and tested prior to use. Reforming is a simple process but one which should not be ignored.

http://www.vcomp.co.uk/tech_tips/reform_caps/reform_caps.htm
http://www05.abb.com/global/scot/scot201.nsf/veritydisplay/cf2c9be9fc666ebbc1257729002bd7be/$file/guide_for_capacitor_reforming_rev_g.pdf

Another guide I used to use an apprentice was the lead should protrude though the PCB the same height as the thickness of the lead, hence if the lead was 0.5mm thick the lead should protrude 0.5mm above the copper pad. In fact we were taught to snip of the end of the lead and use it as a guide to trim the protruding leads to length by placing it between the copper pad/track and the side cutters.

Once you have completed soldering in the components, the flux should be removed ASAP. Hence another reason for soldering a few components at a time.

I use a good quality 60/40 solder, 0.71mm in diameter. I also use a fine 1mm conical soldering iron top for the smaller components and a larger 2mm chisel shaped soldering tip for the larger components (especially those being soldered on the heaver power rails).

Always use a temperature controlled soldering iron, and clean the tip (wet sponge) between components, ie just prior to soldering a joint.

I had some 0.1uF NOS ceramics and the oxide was so thick and i had to take additional steps to clean the leads to allow for a perfect solder joint.

If you are not seasoned or experienced in PCB construction, i would suggest purchasing a low cost kit from your local electronics store and practicing on that first.

Anyone can solder , but very few can solder with 100% reliability, it is a learned skill, requiring hours of practice.

The temperature of the iron is also critical, I would suggest around 320-340C. It never ceases to amaze me at people who crank up the temperature for a bigger solder joint, where as they should be using a bigger tip and keeping the temperature the same. Some of the commercial soldering stations I have used actually have a grub screw lock on the temperature control, so you can't change the temperature easily.

When soldering you should ensure the iron tip is clean and shiny and up to temperature. You should place the tip on the solder pad and up against the lead to be soldered. You then form a heat bridge between the iron and the lead/solder pad. Once this heat bridge is formed you can then feed solder onto the pad to complete the fillet of solder. You should leave the iron on long enough too allow the solder to flow through the plate through hole. You will see it 'suck' the solder down, at which point you add a little more to form a nice volcano shaped fillet. A solder joint from start to finish should take around 3-5 seconds if everything is set correctly. Heavier joint like power diodes etc may take a little longer.

I was also taught to cut the solder rather than break or melt it and use a tissue to clean the oxide from the solder prior to soldering. I find using a length of solder around 300mm loosely coiled up to be comfortable and the best length for soldering multiple joints.

I may be a little fanatical, but I use a jewellers loupe to inspect each solder joint after cleaning.

Having spent $1000+ on each Apple 1 board, i am in no hurry to complete the project, I want it to be as close to perfect as I can and work first time. As they say slow and steady wins the race Smile

During final assembly, i would use an earthed anti static strap when handling the MOS chips. Failing this, i would place the PCB on a clean/dry kitchen sink/draining board, which should be earthed. Ensuring you keep your hand in contact with the stainless steel when inserting the chips into their sockets. I've just finished soldering most of the passive components and will be working on the TI sockets next. I am building a Mimeo and a Mike Newton NTI board. At the moment I am only working on the Mimeo 1 and I envisage it will take me close to 6 months to build. I am hopefully of preliminary testing this side of Christmas 2013.

Cheers, Martin...