• PicŪ Basic


  • Super Duper Suction Placer

    There is no easier way to place components than to use vacuum. You need low volume and low vacuum.

    Vacuum sources are all around us and is used daily. Just think of the wife's vacuum cleaner. To avoid the nasty divorce however, you can just get your own



    These little vacuum cleaners are low cost and I've seen some really small ones. Almost a pocket vacuum cleaner. You need nothing more than such a small one. Be the least, the wife can have the big one ;-))

    To reduce noise, save power and prolong your vacuum machine's life there is a circuit.



    A start-up cap like the ones they use on AC motors makes for a very nice AC current limit. On the Ryobi V30 wet and dry the 20uF cap reduced the speed to about half or just below. A 50uF cap reduced the speed only slightly and is too large a value. The 20uF cap slowing the motor some reduced the noise by quite a bit, and if you put the vacuum machine in a cupboard or in a box, you may not even know it's there. The 220k 1W resistor is there only to discharge the cap, you can even have a 100k in there. If you pull the plug or switch off while the mains is in a cycle, you could get a nasty shock from the charged cap. Not that some of you don't need it, ok. I'm thinking more about the others ;-)

    The vacuum hose end needs to be plugged.



    Another quick solution, the plug like this one is available from almost any hardware store. You have to make two holes in the front. The one is going to be for the vacuum hose for sucking the components up, the other hole of similar size. This hole remains open and a little air is breathed through the vacuum machine. The plug doesn't have to be sealed in the pipe, it must however stay in place.

    With the air inlet sealed completely off there was no heat generated by the vacuum machine's motor over a few minutes, so the current through the motor was low.



    The last of the accessories you require. A length of fish tank air pipe, the local pet shop should have. An el cheapo syringe, that one is about 14mm diameter. A couple of needles and these you would grind of on a fine grinder or zip it off on a jewlery cutting disk or you can use a needle file to file it off. The syringe and needles you should get from a vet or local MD. I can tell you now they are probably going to queeery this. First time we bought a few the receptionist thought we were druggies, now that we buy them by the box, nobody asks ;-)

    Drill a hole in the syringe just below the plunger pulled back so the fish tank pipe fits snug into the hole. The flanges of the syringe can be cut off and if you want to be fancy put some coloured crimp sleeving over the lenth of the syringe and plunger stem.

    Lastly, you have to hold the syringe in your hand like a pen as if you're going to write. Make sure it feels comfy then mark the spot where the fore finger rests on. There you drill an 8mm hole in.

    While the vacuum machine is on, it gives an even amount of vacuum. To have the vacuum at the needle end, place the fore finger over the hole, and active suction will be at the needle's end. If you pick up a componet this way and place it, simply lift the fore finger off the hole. Vacuum is now lost at the needle tip and the component is released. Put the finger over the hole again and you can pick up the next component. For larger and heavier components, remove the needle and pick the component up with the syringe. Because of the larger surface area a bigger component can be picked up this way.

    Nice sizes to pick small stuff up with is a 1,2mm (colour code pink) and if you're a masochist that wants to use 0603's and worse still 0402's, you will probably use blue or green ~0.5mm

    You can also place a component very accurate this way, and think about it. You pick the component up and place it. How long can this take ?

    Compliments Fanie