Author Topic: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.  (Read 25194 times)

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Offline PCBGRIP

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PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« on: January 07, 2014, 03:32:12 am »
I was only born with two hands, so when it comes time to assemble my electronics project, there are more things to hold and turn than I have hands.   I wanted a quality tool that would hold the PCB and components, even holding through hole components upside down while I solder.  The tool had to allow me to get at the work from all angles and be flexible enough to use for all my projects, as opposed to a dedicated jig specific to one project.

Not finding what I wanted, I designed and built PCBGRIP, an electronics assembly system that makes it easier to assemble electronics.  I just launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd fund PCBGRIP.  The Kickstarter campaign can be found here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065435222/pcbgrip-electronics-assembly-system

Some more pictures of PCBGRIP can be found on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pcbgrip/

Your support is appreciated.
Jason


« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 03:35:12 am by PCBGRIP »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 03:05:04 pm »
I would like to see probe golders for this thing.
So i can position oscilloscope probes and have the grip hold them in position for me.
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Offline dr.diesel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 03:32:26 pm »
That actually look pretty handy.  If I didn't have 10 tons of shit on my bench already I'd order.

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 04:09:17 pm »
That's the idea - being able to easily do things to make it easier to assembly/work on electronics!

You could make a part that attaches to the end of a 3mm rod and put the probe exactly where you want it.   I'll design one to show you what I mean,  3D print it,  and then post a picture of it holding the probe of my Rigol scope. Give me a day or so.


Thanks
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Offline dr.diesel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 04:13:00 pm »
Damnit, if you go off and do that I'm gonna have to buy one.

Offline c4757p

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 04:17:24 pm »
I think we've had seventy dozen people post some stupid Kickstarter holder thing - I seem to remember one for Arduino and one with a breadboard and some other stuff - and I've gotten rather used to them being complete shit. But this looks quite nice! I want one.
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Offline liquibyte

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 04:24:32 pm »
I think we've had seventy dozen people post some stupid Kickstarter holder thing - I seem to remember one for Arduino and one with a breadboard and some other stuff - and I've gotten rather used to them being complete shit. But this looks quite nice! I want one.
I was thinking the same thing.  I've been thinking about trying to cobble together something like this out of sheet metal parts I have laying around.  I just wish there were alternatives for alligator clips off the shelf.  They either seem to grip too hard or not hard enough depending on what I need to do.

I have a feeling this is going to make the Panavice pricing look cheap in comparison though.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 04:26:35 pm by liquibyte »
 

Offline Spikee

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 06:50:44 pm »
this product looks awesome but the shipping rates are quite high.
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Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 11:31:27 pm »
This the first one in a while that I've seen that I like!  My first thought was "Oh god, another useless PCB holder", and in the end I ended up backing it.  You can save on shipping with me too, as I'm in Toronto as well, I'll happily come by to pick mine up when they're ready. :)
 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 11:53:45 pm »
Who wants to make a bet that robrenz will make a better one?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 12:15:02 am »
Some issues :
To change the spacing of the 2 bars for different PCB widths looks very fiddly -  need to unscrew the corner plates. A spring-loaded or thumbwheel-clamped slide mechanism would be much quicker & more convenient.
 
To allow clearance for flipping over, the boards has to be held too high off the bench to be conveniently worked on - the stand doesn't look sturdy enough to be able to rest your hands on. 
What you want is a one-touch up/twist/down action so the PCB resting position is closer to the bench.

Why would you want to hold parts on a PCB like this  anyway? It's easy enough to hold the PCB, part and solder with one hand and solder (at least enough to tack parts down) with the other.

The only time I've ever wanted to hold parts down is when there are lots of them, for which this stand wouldn't work anyway.

Holding probes on? Just solder a wire and clip to it.

There may be the odd niche job for which this is useful, but for general work I just can't see it being worth it. 


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Lurch

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 01:03:55 am »
Some issues :
To change the spacing of the 2 bars for different PCB widths looks very fiddly -  need to unscrew the corner plates. A spring-loaded or thumbwheel-clamped slide mechanism would be much quicker & more convenient.
 
To allow clearance for flipping over, the boards has to be held too high off the bench to be conveniently worked on - the stand doesn't look sturdy enough to be able to rest your hands on. 
What you want is a one-touch up/twist/down action so the PCB resting position is closer to the bench.

Basically what you're saying is make it like these. http://uk.farnell.com/4681745
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 01:22:54 am »
Some issues :
To change the spacing of the 2 bars for different PCB widths looks very fiddly -  need to unscrew the corner plates. A spring-loaded or thumbwheel-clamped slide mechanism would be much quicker & more convenient.
 
To allow clearance for flipping over, the boards has to be held too high off the bench to be conveniently worked on - the stand doesn't look sturdy enough to be able to rest your hands on. 
What you want is a one-touch up/twist/down action so the PCB resting position is closer to the bench.

Basically what you're saying is make it like these. http://uk.farnell.com/4681745
Thats's a slightly different beast, but in terms of the flip-over, yes. I'm sure you could come up with a bracket that had a single button to release both rotation and vertical grip
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Offline Stonent

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2014, 02:19:22 am »
It's like a set of Tinker Toys mated with a pile of Bosch Rexroth framing material.  ;D
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Online all_repair

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2014, 02:39:39 am »
Other people may find a use.  To me too complicated, I do like jig.  Do not look easy to use, and already quite a challenge to know what should be bought.  Maybe some application video can help.  Hint:  looking for justifications to get another toy.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2014, 05:12:44 am »
free_electron:  See the picture below.  I designed and printed these tonight.  Honestly, I had not thought about probe holders before you brought it up.  This is a great real time example of how flexible and customizable PCBGRIP is.  Not only does it hold PCBs, but it will hold whatever else you want it to hold to help you with your electronics project.

For those who are interested in the 3D model of the clamp, I have uploaded it here:
https://grabcad.com/library/pcbgrip-oscilloscope-clamp-1#

« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 01:22:55 pm by PCBGRIP »
 

Lurch

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2014, 05:48:22 am »
Thats's a slightly different beast, but in terms of the flip-over, yes. I'm sure you could come up with a bracket that had a single button to release both rotation and vertical grip

I use 3 or 4 of these in various sizes and they are simple and quick. For production runs they are simple to adjust for the first run and then subsequent boards are just clipped in and out of the frame, takes seconds. The flip movement isn't locked, it just rests in a slot at the bottom.

The PCBGRIP I would probably put in the R&D lab type thing rather than for production. Far too many sticky out bits and faffing for speed of use.

I designed and printed these tonight.  Honestly, I had not thought about probe holders before you brought it up.  This is a great real time example of how flexible and customizable PCBGRIP is.  Not only does it hold PCBs, but I will hold whatever else you want it to hold to help you with your electronics project.

Now that looks useful, and hopefully safer than the solder-a-bit-of-wire-on-a-pin-and-hope-nothing-moves method.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2014, 06:58:42 am »
I couldn't help myself, it just looked too sexy. Backed.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2014, 07:22:34 am »
I couldn't help myself, it just looked too sexy. Backed.

Would love to see you review this one. Maybe they can send you prototype for testing? 100K subscribers should give the campaign nice boost (if it's what they promise it is). I don't think they could find better advertising than sending you one for testing?
 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2014, 08:01:26 am »
That's a very good idea but could it happen before the funding ends?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2014, 10:44:14 am »
Thats's a slightly different beast, but in terms of the flip-over, yes. I'm sure you could come up with a bracket that had a single button to release both rotation and vertical grip

I use 3 or 4 of these in various sizes and they are simple and quick. For production runs they are simple to adjust for the first run and then subsequent boards are just clipped in and out of the frame, takes seconds. The flip movement isn't locked, it just rests in a slot at the bottom.
I have a couple of different sized ones of these - I find the foam often doesn't work very well though, and parts often don't sit flat on the PCB - I think it needs something like a diced foam to prevent lateral pulling
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Offline alank2

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2014, 01:46:45 pm »
How safe are kickstarter projects?  If you put your money in do you get the project or your money back?  I'm interested in this, but don't know a lot about kickstarter...
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2014, 03:04:52 pm »
About as safe as any other VC idea. You pay money if it reaches the target, then you hope that it works out and you get delivery. VC on a small scale, not megabucks ( That is why Dave chose it to use) and you are trusting that the project will work. About as safe as anything from the internet.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2014, 12:34:06 am »
Quote
Would love to see you review this one. Maybe they can send you prototype for testing? 100K subscribers should give the campaign nice boost (if it's what they promise it is). I don't think they could find better advertising than sending you one for testing?

I'd love for Dave to review this too - one thing we know is that there would be no ambiguity about how he feels! Unfortunately, I don't have enough parts to keep a full set and send a set to Dave.  I don't want to send the only parts I have to Dave and keep none, espically while the Kickstater campaign is live.  Having one off prototypes machined/anodized/engraved is VERY expensive.  Having an independent 3rd party have a look at PCBGRIP is actually a reasonable request and something that I am open to.  So, if there is someone here on the forum that lives in Toronto area and would like to meet up to have a look at PCBGRIP, I am all for it.  PM me if you are are interested. 

Quote
How safe are kickstarter projects?  If you put your money in do you get the project or your money back?  I'm interested in this, but don't know a lot about kickstarter...

Basically you pledge an amount, if the project is successful (ie raises CAD$40,000 in my case), your credit card is charged.  If the project doesn't raise CAD$40,000, your credit card is not charged.  Assuming the project is successful, your risk then becomes (i) I deliver; and (ii) the product works.  For the later, hopefully the videos, pictures, and offer above provides a reasonable level of comfort.  As for me delivering - have a look at my bio on Kickstarter to get a very brief overview of my background.  If you still have concerns, PM me and I will provide you my phone number and we can talk.  Not a problem.  I've backed 4 projects on Kickstarter myself.  So far my worse experience has been poor communication and late delivery.  While not life threatening, something that won't happen on this project.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2014, 12:52:07 am »
How safe are kickstarter projects?  If you put your money in do you get the project or your money back?

No, there is no legal obligation what so ever for the creator to give you your money back, or deliver the goods promised. Short of a class action lawsuit or something like that.
With these crowd finding websites, you are effectively just "donating" money to the project, with a promise that you might get something in return.
 

Online xrunner

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2014, 01:02:06 am »
I know you are marketing it towards PCB/electronics, but as I do a little modelling on the side, a version of that thing might be of interest to modellers to hold projects. You might think about another version for that market.  :)
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2014, 02:38:23 am »
I think it looks neat.  I am tempted to back it, but I have such a bitter taste in my mouth with every Kickstarter project going way over time by at least months, and usually a year or so.  I just don't want to ride that train this time around.  However, I hope you will keep the site posted when you get these made and I will happily buy one at that time :)
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Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2014, 06:40:30 am »
With the rotating head that locks every 90 degrees, how well does it hold if it isn't at one of the "indexed" positions? if it isn't very well, how much harder would it be to test at every 45 degrees?
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2014, 07:37:43 am »
PCDGRIP,

Can you extend the EARLY SPECIAL KIT 700 option?
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Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2014, 01:15:00 pm »
Quote
Quote
With the rotating head that locks every 90 degrees, how well does it hold if it isn't at one of the "indexed" positions? if it isn't very well, how much harder would it be to test at every 45 degrees?

On the side of the hinge assembly there is a M8 brass thumb screw that can be tightened to lock the head in at any position.  It's quite a beefy  'thumb' screw with a large knurled head.  When the thumb screw is tightened, the head is lock quite nicely, at any angle. 

The outer part of the hinge assembly actually has 4(four) M8 female threads, one hole on each face.  I did it this way so that the index pin (the spring loaded one in the pictures/videos with a black knob, which has M8 male threads) can be located in any one of the four positions.  Also the M8 thumb screw could be moved to any side (perhaps left v. right handed for example).  Who knows, maybe someone well come up with a part that they can bolt into one of the empty M8 holes to help them do what they want. 

I'm a bit of a hand tool junkie and have a very low tolerance for poorly made tools.


Quote
Can you extend the EARLY SPECIAL KIT 700 option?

Sorry, no.  It would not be fair to the people who have backed the regular KIT 700 so far.
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2014, 01:47:38 pm »

Quote
Can you extend the EARLY SPECIAL KIT 700 option?

Sorry, no.  It would not be fair to the people who have backed the regular KIT 700 so far.

Of course. There wasn't any KIT 700 backed when I looked at it.

Thank you.

Offline bronson

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2014, 06:24:55 pm »
That's funny that the expensive kits went first.  The only early deal left is the cheapest one.

I had to back it even though I already have the Panavise.  I must say, pcbgrip looks even more fiddly to use (thumbscrews galore!).  But, dammit, pcbgrip uses openbeam.  That's just rad.  Even if I don't use it for soldering PCBs (who knows) there's no doubt I'll have lots of uses for it.

It's like buying a lego kit for the parts.  Open the box and throw away the instructions.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2014, 10:12:27 pm »
This does look like a really handy kit. I'm particularly challenged when it comes to TH soldering - unlike Mike it's not very easy for me at all, even with a panavise and some clamps. So much so that I actively avoid through-hole designs when I can.

I've backed a lot of projects this past 12 months and need to slow down a bit for a while :) but I'll keep an eye on this one and maybe pick up a post-campaign kit later.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2014, 12:44:16 am »
And I really have no self-control :(

I'm in for the Kit 100.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2014, 01:40:37 am »
And I really have no self-control :(

I'm in for the Kit 100.

You haven't had the greatest track record have you?
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Offline RJSC

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2014, 03:06:33 am »
Very handy product.
Would buy one for sure if it wasn't so expensive.

But for people around here who buy Fluke multimeters and Tek DSO's, shouldn't be a problem.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2014, 07:23:29 am »
And I really have no self-control :(

I'm in for the Kit 100.

You haven't had the greatest track record have you?

Hmm, this one makes project #49 on Kickstarter (plus 4 on IGG). There is only one that I doubt will never deliver (well I don't count muOptics or Rustic Puff because I was able to get refunds / chargebacks on them), and that one was only an $8 pledge.

So the track record isn't too horrible.

This one is something that I will legitimately use on a regular basis I think.
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2014, 02:19:03 pm »
I've actually been pretty lucky [on Kickstarter (73 projects)], I managed to pull out of a number of projects before the close, and those projects have all failed to deliver. Meanwhile the ones I've stuck with have pretty much all delivered [though usually late]. At this stage I have no reason to believe PCBGRIP won't deliver, even close to being on time.

In IGG it has been a different story, I've backed 3 projects, and only one delivered. [That one was my local hackerspace fundraiser, so I knew it would deliver, and it didn't matter as it was not about the perk] Mu and CryptX2 were the others. Got a refund on Mu, and CryptX2 is dead. I may take the CryptX2 schematics, fix them up, and do the PCB myself, as it's not all that complex of a design.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2014, 03:30:24 pm »
Once you launch a Kickstarter campaign, the owner of the project is provided with basic dashboard to see where traffic to the site is coming from.  I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the support received from this forum, it is much appreciated!

If any one has concerns about the project, my offer in reply #23 above still stands.

I also just loaded new files to GrabCad, this time Rigol probe clamps for the lower end of the probe.  Just gives another option when holding scope probes.  The files can be found here:

https://grabcad.com/library/pcbgrip-oscilloscope-probe-clamp-rigol-lower-1
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2014, 12:42:35 am »
If any one has concerns about the project, my offer in reply #23 above still stands.

I was tempted to back this, but I can't see me needing it at this point, so I will buy after the product gets released afterwards ;)  However I was tempted to take a road trip to TO (I'm in Montreal), but I was waiting to see if there was anyone in TO that was going to take you up on your offer instead.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2014, 03:48:40 pm »
Someone from this forum stepped up to meet with me next week and take a look.  I'll let them identify themselves if the want to.
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2014, 04:06:46 pm »
hehe,  I was just about to post.

So PCBGRIP and I are planning on meeting up at a local hacker space on Tuesday evening so that I can get a eyes/hands on with the product. I'll in turn post my impressions here after.  If anyone has any specific thing they want me to look for/at please let me know.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2014, 05:27:55 pm »
If anyone has any specific thing they want me to look for/at please let me know.
Please check how rigid this thing really is. PCB in the front and then touch it slightly, like a soldering iron would, or maybe a bit stronger. Does it wiggle around? The lever is quite long, so the hinge assembly must be really sturdy to keep it steady.

Is the stencil holder idea realistic for fine pitch soldering applications (0,5mm pitch, µBGA,...)? You need to be able to align the stencil really precise and it must stay this way to be of any use.
 

Online BravoV

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2014, 05:42:10 pm »
Use the probe holder and with "real" scope probe that has cable with it, not just using replacement stiff object like pen or pencil. Cause the probe's cable does put some stress on the grip too.

Point and touch the probe tip at one of the IC's or component's pin as you going to measure it, how easy it is to put the tip to touch "and secure" at the measurement contact point, while not easily moved once its in place.

A short video would be handy.

Offline bronson

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2014, 04:21:09 am »
If anyone has any specific thing they want me to look for/at please let me know.
Please check how rigid this thing really is. PCB in the front and then touch it slightly, like a soldering iron would, or maybe a bit stronger. Does it wiggle around? The lever is quite long, so the hinge assembly must be really sturdy to keep it steady.

Is the stencil holder idea realistic for fine pitch soldering applications (0,5mm pitch, µBGA,...)? You need to be able to align the stencil really precise and it must stay this way to be of any use.

Great questions.  Me, I'm interested in the thumbscrews.  Threads tapped into Al are always so soft and lame.  So, are the screws nice and positive and provide a solid bite into the rails?  Or are they a little squidgy and leave things slightly loose?

How hard is it to swap PCBs?  The video didn't make it look very easy (which would be a showstopper for stenciling).
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2014, 04:02:13 am »
Thanks for the suggestions, I will certainly try to cover them.  The eyes/hands on has been delayed due to a personal emergency on my part. I'm going to try and set up another time later in the week once the dust settles over here.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2014, 01:44:41 pm »
Hopefully CanadianAvenger and I will meet up soon, but in the mean time, I wanted to try and answer some of the questions raised.

I just posted an update video on the Kickstarter page:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065435222/pcbgrip-electronics-assembly-system/posts

In the second video we show how a probe could be set up on an IC pin.  While it is 'only' a Rigol probe it gives a sense of the process.  Also, should it be required, which it definatly is not for the Rigol probe, just add your own cord strain relief as seen in the video.

Also in the second video, we place a soldering station on the end of the extrusion to give you a sense of PCBGRIP's rigidity.  The station weights about 1.1Kg.

When doing stenciling, the PCB needs to be held above the surface of the extrusion.  There is a part we call a 'Standoff which securely holds the PCB in place and it is quite easy to remove the PCB and put in a new one.  We will work on a quick video to demo this too.

Quote
Me, I'm interested in the thumbscrews.  Threads tapped into Al are always so soft and lame.

Where the proper material hasn't been selected, I agree.  We choose to use 6061-T651 AL which holds a thread quite nicely.  Also, the threads are fine pitch which maximizes the contact surface area.  The combination of the two eliminates the 'lameness'
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 02:03:21 pm by PCBGRIP »
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2014, 02:04:54 pm »
As a side note, in shooting these videos, I've gained a new found appreciation for Dave's ability to keep body parts from obstructing what you want to show.  Dave makes it look easier than it is. :-+
 

Offline taemun

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2014, 02:56:26 pm »
@PCBGRIP just a couple notes on the videos:
1. Your opening title card is 4:3 aspect (the black bars at the sides look weird), and you're putting text under Kickstarter's video bar:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/35484802/PCBGRIP.PNG
2. The (?royalty free) music gets a bit wearing when I go through and watch all of the videos in succession.

You've suggested using the PCBGRIP to hold off PCBs in a reflow oven, what will the thermal expansion of the various pieces have to say about this? There's at least stainless steel, aluminium and FR4 in the mix here.

EDIT: Forgot to ask, how much componentless edge keepout do I need to hold a PCB in the OpenBeam?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 03:00:05 pm by taemun »
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2014, 03:57:20 pm »
Also in the second video, we place a soldering station on the end of the extrusion to give you a sense of PCBGRIP's rigidity.  The station weights about 1.1Kg.
Thanks for showing that. I'm convinced. Just pleged for the 700 kit.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2014, 10:28:11 pm »
Quote
@PCBGRIP just a couple notes on the videos:
Thanks for the ratio and title tip.

Quote
the (?royalty free) music gets a bit wearing
Truth be told, I find myself reaching for the mute button too  :)

Quote
what will the thermal expansion of the various pieces have to say about this
The extrusion is made of of 6063 AL with a coefficient of expansion of 25.6µm/m °C.  Assuming a room temperature of 20°C and a maximum temperature in the oven of 260°C, the the extrusion will expand approximately 0.09mm. 

The stainless steel rod has a coefficient of expansion of 17.3µm/m °C.  Obviously the length of the rod will play a factor in the overall expansion, but lets assume there is 100mm of rod between the two extrusions to keep the math simple.  The rod would expand approximately 0.42mm.

Lets assume the FR4 has coefficient of expansion of 15µm/m °C.  Assuming a 100mm board width, the board will expand approximately 0.32mm.

So stainless expansion - FR4 expansion - extrusion expansion = 0.42-0.32-0.09=0.01mm.  Shouldn't be a problem.

Given that the coefficient of thermal expansion of the FR4 and stainless is close, I do not foresee any issues with expansion.

Quote
how much componentless edge keepout do I need to hold a PCB in the OpenBeam

If you are using a 1.6mm thick board, you need about 1.0mm of clear space on the edge that is in the OpenBeam.  We have something we call 'standoffs'.   In the video where we show the stencil being used, the PCB is held by these standoffs.  The standoffs do two things:  (i) allow PCBs of the same shape to be placed in exactly the same position (necessary of repetitive stenciling) and (ii) provide more clearance between the OpenBeam and PCB edge.  The standoffs are 1mm thick stainless and have a 1mm "shelf" that the PCB sits in.  So when standoffs are used, only 1 square mm in each corner is required to hold the board.  There is a 2mm thick spacer that goes in between the OpenBeam and the stand off.  We used a spacer as sometimes components (like connectors) may get hung over the edge of the PCB.  It is on our to do list to make another video showing in more detail the standoff/spacer.  Be forewarned that the same music will most likely be used - you may want to reach for the mute button too :)



 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2014, 11:41:05 pm »
I think the application as probe holder is a good idea and I'm looking forward to use pcbgrib for that. But I think the 3D printed probe holder is just the half way: it is a press fit, so everyone has to design the holder exactly maching his probes.

But I have regular scope probes, a high voltage scope probe, a high speed active fet probe, multimeter probes, pogopins,... - a whole bunch of holders for me to design, print and test. I don't have a 3D printer yet, so good business for Shapeways and the like.

So why not add a spring loaded clamp with a rubber insert, a hole for the rod in the back and a thumbscrew to fix the rod. The rubber insert leaves a hole for round objects like probes, but because of the rubber and the force of the spring you don't need an exact match for clamp and probe.

Or a twofold design: two parts with rubber insert half-holes. Both parts are screwed together to hold a probe. One part has a hole for the rods of pcbgrip and a thumbscrew to fix the rod. This design could be smaller than a spring based design because by screwing it together you can create more force to hold the probe.

I'm not a mechanical engineer and English is not my native tounge - so I hope you understand what I mean. If not and you are interested, I can try to draw a sketch.

I think this would make a good addon for a strech goal.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2014, 12:34:39 am »
The scope probe we have designed is 10mm high and has a diameter to fit the Rigol probe. Two questions:

1) would a holder that is 10mm higher work for your probes (if yes, please provide models, etc); and
2) what are the diameters of the probes that you have where you might want to attached the clamps?  Diameters would be needed to the nearest tenth of a mm.

I know what you mean in terms of design.  A few pictures of you probes would be useful.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 02:55:34 am by PCBGRIP »
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2014, 09:09:29 pm »
is 10mm high and has a diameter to fit the Rigol probe. Two questions:

1) would a holder that is 10mm higher

You mean 10mm high, not 10mm higher than 10mm, right?

10mm height would work with all my probes. Here are the diameters:

Scope probe: 9,3mm
High voltage probe: 11,7mm or 6,4mm (two possible positions I could clamp at)
Multimeter needle probes: 10,3mm
Pogopin adapters: 10,9mm

The active fet probe has a rectangular case. This is a custom build, so don't worry about it.

So I'd say too different for a press fit design, but enough similarity for a spring loaded or screw-in design with some rubber inserts.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:14:46 pm by electronic_eel »
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2014, 09:25:06 pm »
BTW, here is another application for pcbgrip:

pcb holder for a preheating station. A much better replacement for something like this:
http://www.aoyue.com/en/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=468
This model costs about 130 EUR, but isn't half as versatile.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2014, 04:42:32 am »
Quote
you mean 10mm high, not 10mm higher than 10mm, right?

Yes, you are correct.

I've started to think about a clamp design to hold various probes.  I think it would be useful too.  However,  our first priority is delivering on the items we have already promised as part of the Kickstarter.  We are also working on a few things for stretch goals too.  To manage expectations, I doubt we would be able to offer a probe clamp as part of this Kickstarter.  I don't want to rush design, prototyping, testing, samples, etc and also risk delivering on time.  However, I truly believe that some type of generic probe clamp would be useful and it is something we will work on.

Quote
BTW, here is another application for pcbgrip:
Thanks for pointing this out.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2014, 09:16:01 pm »
I've started to think about a clamp design to hold various probes.  I think it would be useful too.  However,  our first priority is delivering on the items we have already promised as part of the Kickstarter.
Thanks for keeping your focus. I'd have probably just dived into designing the new idea before finishing the current project...
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2014, 08:07:07 pm »
Hi Jason,

me again, thinking about new uses for PCBGRIP:

You show how PCBGRIP helps to rotate pcbs upside/downside which is very helpful when soldering THT parts. But when hand soldering SMT parts, the pcb lays level on one side and I often need to rotate it by 90° or 180°: I tin the right pad first, iron in right hand. Then I put the part, e.g. a smd resistor, onto the pads, holding it with tweezers in my left hand. Then I solder the right pad. Then I turn the pcb by 180° degrees, the left and unsoldered pad is now on my right side. Then I solder the left pad. Of course I solder multiple parts before turning the pcb, but still I need to turn often.

So how can PCBGRIP be best adapted for this usecase?

Can you completely unscrew the big golden thumbscrew on the back of the hinge asy? You could then drill a hole into the base and mount the hinge asy there backside down through the thread normally used by the thumbscrew.

What do you think would be the best way to mount the Openbeams to hold the pcb? The pcb must be in the center of the turntable, otherwise you'd have to shift the whole thing on your table to get a good working position. You'd have to move other gear like microscope, solder fume extractor etc. too.

Maybe one Openbeam fixed to the hinge asy and then two Openbeams on top which hold the pcb. You'd need an easy way to move the beams like with your joining plate, but when the beams are not on the same level, but on top of each other. Any idea?
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2014, 03:15:26 am »
Hi,

The big golden thumbscrew is brass with  M8 x 0.75 threads.  0.75 thread pitch was chosen to maximize the surface contact between the male and female threads.  The M8 x 0.75 thumb screws will not be long enough to go through the cast iron base and into the hinge assembly, but you could use a regular M8x0.75 bolt for that or you could attach the hinge assembly to a thinner base using the brass thumbscrew.

The OpenBeam attaches to the hinge assembly with standard M3 hardware.  The easiest way of doing what I thing you are describing is shown in the rendering below (not a picture, but a computer generated rendering - we are currently having the tooling made to produce the flat springs).  The flat springs we recently announced could be used on a single piece of OpenBeam to support the PCB.  There will be 4 flat springs in each kit.  The flat springs will give just over 11.0mm of clearance between the bottom of the PCB and OpenBeam, in case you have components on both sides of the board.  Also attached is a picture of a flat spring we mocked up shown holding an old motherboard.

This is one way to do it.  The way you suggested would work too.  There is a company in The Netherlands (http://www.makerbeam.eu) that carries OpenBeam.  OpenBeam is also available through various other online suppliers, including in the United States, Canada, and Africa.  So it is easy to get OpenBeam if you want to have multiple lengths.  It is fairly easy to cut if you wanted.

I am really looking forward to see how our backers start using PCBGRIP.  There are lots of great ideas, like yours, that we haven't even thought of yet!

 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2014, 09:00:43 pm »
Thanks for your answer and rendering.

I didn't think about the springs. They are most probably the easiest solution.

BTW, will the springs just work with 1.5/1.6mm pcb thinkness? Or did you try thinner pcbs, like 1mm or 0.8mm, too?
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2014, 01:42:18 am »
Quote
BTW, will the springs just work with 1.5/1.6mm pcb thinkness? Or did you try thinner pcbs, like 1mm or 0.8mm, too?

The flat springs will work with all board thickness, up to ~2.5mm.
 

Offline rthorntn

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2014, 01:16:57 am »
All the bits and bobs are confusing :)

I already have openbeam, and I don't want the base, is there a way to just get the few bits that I would need to hold a PCB in place?
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2014, 01:29:46 am »
Quote
is there a way to just get the few bits that I would need to hold a PCB in place?

Once we get the Kickstarter rewards taken care of and delivered, we plan on making individual parts available, in addition to kits.  There are two rewards that we added to the Kickstarter for kits that have everything except the OpenBeam.  I realize that you don't want the base, but wasn't sure if you saw those rewards for those who already have OpenBeam.

If you want us to notify you once the online store is up in running please PM me your email and I will add you to a contact list.

Thank you for the interest.
 

Offline scientist

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2014, 04:24:11 am »
I dunno if all of that hardware is really necessary. A table and some tweezers, or at most a piece of tape will suffice for me.
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #64 on: February 06, 2014, 03:02:54 am »
Ok so I got the opportunity to meet up with PCBGRIP last week for a bit of a hands/eyes on the product. I walked away impressed, both by the product, and by PCBGRIP himself. He's obviously put a lot of thought into it, and was quick to address any concerns I had with a solution.

I'll start off with the look and feel. The machining looks to be excellent, with a good finish [ignoring the places where the prototype had been altered after the fact for experimentation... it is a prototype after-all] The anodizing is good and clean as well, though I did note some wear from all the handling the prototype has obviously been through. One possible improvement would be hard anodizing to make a more durable finish. Having said that, this is a tool, and the cosmetics don't matter after the package is opened, what counts is the functionality. But it is a pretty sexy piece of kit when it's new.

As for the functionality, it works as advertised. The rigidity is plenty sufficient for soldering, but there is some flex to the assembly. [I wouldn't say the flex is any worse than what I get on my panavise] The biggest problem I had was in loading the PCB, the length of the holding extrusions is so long that they tend to open up at the far end, allowing the PCB to pop out. This can be overcome by closing the far end with another extrusion, or making use of some of the rods and bolts that are part of the kit. It also may be that with some of the improvements in the hardware, planned for the production parts, this will be reduced as well. but nonetheless, it did make loading the PCB a little finicky. Having said that, I would imagine that after spending a little time with it I'd get the technique down pat, and be able to load and unload the PCB pretty quick. The flat spring that PCBGRIP recently announced and added to the kit also likely makes this a non-issue.

The armatures and attachments are great and provide a fair amount of holding force... but it can take a bit to get it set up.

The stencil attachment is really just a clamp to hold the stencil in place once positioned. You still need to manually position it for each board. Though I imagine it wouldn't be all that hard to rig it up for light production.

Bottom line, I think it's a great product for one-off/prototype type production. With some practice and work, I'm sure it could be used for light production as well.

[I know there were probably some other questions that I missed, so feel free to ask... my life is in a bit of turmoil right now, which is why it took me so long to post something about this, but I will try to be responsive over the next few days as the clock on the campaign runs down]



 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2014, 12:26:50 pm »
Quote
the length of the holding extrusions is so long that they tend to open up at the far end
As CanadianAvenger pointed out, we have addressed this by (i) designing the tri-nut which will be stainless steel, and (ii) our plans to include some larger diameter thumbscrews in the kits to make it easier to torque down the then joining plates and hold the extrusions in place.  The combination of these two means the extrusions are quite rigid once the thumbscrews are tightened.

Here is a picture of a prototype of the larger diameter thumbscrew:


pic.twitter.com/bvdX0HxEsy

Prior to the flat spring (flat springs will now be included with the kits), once the extrusion spacing was set, there was no real lateral force holding in the PCB.  As CanadianAvenger has pointed out we have specifically addressed this by designing and including the flat spring.  The flat spring provides lateral force, making the alignment of the extrusion less important.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2014, 05:38:51 pm »
Quote
the length of the holding extrusions is so long that they tend to open up at the far end
As CanadianAvenger pointed out, we have addressed this by (i) designing the tri-nut which will be stainless steel,
ah, so the tri-nut does not only ease sliding the joining plates, but also helps distributing the force of the thumbscrew over a larger area in the OpenBeam, right?

Wouldn't it then make sense to have the tri-nuts not only in the OpenBeam connected to the hinge, but also the two OpenBeams pointing forward and holding the pcb? You wrote on the kickstarter page that you'll include 1 tri-nut per joining plate. You'd need two tri-nuts per joining plate then.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2014, 01:33:48 am »
The primary purpose of the tri-nut is to make it easier to slide the extrusion.  When I met with CanadianAvenger, one of the OpenBeam extrusions was being held with the prototype tri-nut I machined.  I did a poor job tapping the M3x0.5 threads in the prototype tri-nut, which was my fault.  This meant that the I couldn't tighten the joining plate down completely and it moved slightly.  When I met with CanadianAvenger, this is what caused the extrusion to "tend to open up at the end".

I am very confident that the production tri-niut, which will be stainless steel, will have high quality threads, and will hold the OpenBeam very firmly.  For the two OpenBeam lengths that are 'pointing' towards the user, regular M3 nuts slid into the OpenBeam will hold those firmly.  Only 1 tri-nut will be included per joining plate. I am very confident that 1 tri-nut per joining plate and regular M3 nuts will be more than enough to hold the extrusions firmly in place.  As indicted in the previous post, we will be including some larger diameter thumbscrews to make it easier to torque down the joining plate.  With these items and changes, the extrusion won't move.
 

Offline elex_enthusiast

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2014, 02:53:19 am »
PCBGRIP is a must tool indeed :-+..im quite impressed seeing the videos on kickstarter and it makes want to own one, but how? ???.. my question is will it be available to asian countries once it is mass produced? i hope so...
aahh bad english
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2014, 12:56:28 pm »
Quote
it makes want to own one, but how?

The Kickstarter is still live for the next 2 days and ships globally. 

Quote
will it be available to asian countries once it is mass produced?

Yes it will, but our priority is to fulfill the rewards for those who backed the Kickstarter first. 

Thanks for the interest!
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2014, 11:20:07 pm »
Aaa... I missed this one...
We really wanted these for our hacker space and I wanted one for my work...

I hope I can still get one after this :)

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2014, 11:23:54 pm »
Sign up at www.pcbgrip.com and we'll let you know when our website is up and running!  Thanks for the interest!
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2014, 01:07:26 pm »
Sign up at www.pcbgrip.com and we'll let you know when our website is up and running!  Thanks for the interest!

Signed up! Good on ya for getting the funding!  Good lock!
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2014, 03:11:04 am »
Those who backed the Kickstarter get email notification of updates once they are posted.  For those who missed the Kickstarter, we just posted an update:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065435222/pcbgrip-electronics-assembly-system/posts/786971.
 

Offline fubar.gr

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #74 on: October 02, 2014, 03:19:47 pm »
I just received my PCBGRIP (KIT 700) and made a quick demonstration video about it:



Some more photos here:
http://fubar.gr/pcbgrip-review/

It had no problem holding the PSU board.
I also tested it with a full ATX motherboard, CPU heatsink included. No problems whatsoever. Solid as a rock  :-+

Offline ferrix

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #75 on: October 02, 2014, 06:14:11 pm »
I love mine too.  Great product! 
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #76 on: November 29, 2014, 04:15:17 am »
First, I'd like to thank this forum for the support we received for our PCBGRIP Kickstarter earlier this year.  We had a lot of backers from this forum and your support is greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Our goal is to make it easier to work on electronics projects.  Towards that end, we have just launched another Kickstarter for a Probe Clamp, designed to hold your oscilloscope or DMM probe, freeing your hands for other work.  The Probe Clamp is designed for use with the PCBGRIP system.  The Kickstarter shows the Probe Clamp in action.  In one of the photos, you'll notice the Probe Clamp being supported with two 3mm rods.  Up to 3 rods could be used to support the Probe Clamp.  You'd use two or three rods if you were supporting a heavier instrument.

Here is the link to the Probe Clamp Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065435222/pcbgrip-probe-clamp-for-your-electronics-projects



 

Offline ferrix

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #77 on: November 29, 2014, 03:42:06 pm »
The pledge amounts are a little confusing.  It says 12 but when you click it says 16.  Then shipping says "+4" but it's unclear whether you have to account for that in your pledge amount or if it will be added above whatever amount you pledge.  This is compounded by having to do the math for how many brackets you want, and this number is not reflected in the kickstarter system (it just thinks you are donating more money for no additional pledge selection)

Anyway, I look forward to receiving the clamps.  Have fun with your new project  :)
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #78 on: November 29, 2014, 04:36:29 pm »
I just loaded up a table that shows the various pledge amounts based on the number of Probe Clamps.  Agreed, it gets confusing when Kickstarter automatically adds the $4.  Thanks for the support!
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #79 on: June 27, 2015, 11:46:45 am »
I'm going to buy one kit soon for my lab bench. I have only two hands like OP said so I can't measure test points and type on the computer at the same time :D

And I dislike the way I'm currently doing soldering work using small bench vice... so this has only positives for me.

My only gripe is, that they don't seem to offer the probe camps in the kits, you have to buy them separately (they've made these metal probe clamps that are more universal and sturdier than 3D-printed ones.)


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