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2020 Goals - Soldering an Eggfinder

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Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

Just a teen who likes building rockets
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Ok, uhhh, well. First the good news....

The tracker and LCD receiver work. I tested them today - they both powered up, and I got a gps reading on the LCD screen which corresponded with my house. Awesome! I am very happy I was able to get it to work. But... I screwed something up.

I still need to do a couple things before everything’s finished. One of them is that I need to solder the GPS module for the LCD receiver so I don’t need my phone to find my rockets. I worked on that this past weekend. I got 3 of the corner pads soldered. When it came time to do the last one I made a bridge with the adjacent pad. I tried to heat up the pad to get the solder to flow back. That didn’t work. Then I tried using a solder sucker - and managed to pull both pads of the board.:(View attachment 407396 So what do I do now? Is this fixable with my limited experience? If it matters, I do not have the pads anymore. They are very tiny.

Should I just get another LCD-GPS module board from Cris? This seems like the best solution because the gps module is soldered in only 3 spots, and there are no other parts soldered to the board. I think I’d be able to take it off without any problems.

Guidance needed. HALP!!!
I've been in that situation. You have like the tiniest bit of copper left on the part. As for the PCB, what I did was sand paper the solder mask off carefully and just add a glob of solder. It works if your careful
 

ksaves2

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My suggestion: Buy a new one. Construct it successfully with the appropriate tools. Save the old one and when you get comfortable using a soldering pen with a micro fine tip, have good lighting and head magnification, tackle trying to fix the old one.

Use a hobby knife to very gently scrap the masking off the copper trace. I say gently as you don’t want to wipe out or scrape more of the tracing away. Next get fine tweezers/forceps and premeasure an appropriate length of wire as a bridge. You’ll have to set the wire with the fine tweezers and hit both ends. I’d secure the wire to the trace first and continue holding the wire with the tweezers. You then have to be certain you have enough solder remaining on the tip to apply to the module. All the while holding the bridge wire with your tweezers.

If you don’t hold the wire it place, capillary action will suck it right off the board and stick it to the hot solder on the pen.

The key is getting the right tools to do the job. Don’t get any solder under the GPS module as that might be a problem.

You also have to keep in mind there might be something else wrong with the board so even if you pull off what looks like a good fix, it still might not work.

I remember I successfully built one of the early Eggfinders and had it sitting on a windowsill. Was working fine and I was getting a fix on a mapping program. It was winter and I was sitting there looking at the laptop screen when I glanced over. The lipo battery wire flexed for some reason and the EF flipped on the hardwood floor where the GPS antenna broke off the base!! No way to fix that so I though. Tossed it into the junk drawer and let it sit for 18 months. I had an itch to experiment and took a chance at removing the base of the GPS. I got it off and used the EF as an experimental “dog” and I hardwired different GPS modules to experiment with.

I retired the EF from experimenting and it now has a circularly polarized antenna GPS unit that does US and Glonast satellites and has a higher degree of accuracy with my mapping programs. The receiver sends all the strings over B/T and are decoded appropriately.

Sort of accuracy to the point of absurdity.

Did some experimenting with cheap 3DR radios for a time because they held the promise of a disposable $26.00 GPS tracker. Have a CATO or core sample that destroys the electronics and at least you haven’t got much invested. Lost interest as I couldn’t figure out how to get the transmitter to work one way. There is a two way link which lends complexity and I think the radio loses position telemetry if one path is interrupted.

Kurt
 

SecondRow

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Wanted to give an update since it’s been awhile. I took Cris’s advice and tried to power up in an open field of a nearby park. Sure enough, it got a fix pretty quickly.

Excited, I moved on to the testing phase. This consisted of handing the transmitter to my kids and telling them to go hide somewhere in the park. I counted to 30 and let the Kidfinder work it’s magic. Following the directions on the LCD screen led me straight to them every time.

Next up was trying it in a rocket. With the restrictions going on, we weren’t able to fly until a couple weeks ago. I secured the transmitter in my LOC Norad (which is the rocket I plan on flying for my L2), and we flew it on a F67 to about 500 feet to make sure we’d could see where it landed. I let my oldest son use the receiver to take us to the rocket, and we found it, no problem. Next up was a G74 to about 800 feet, but it landed within sight about 100 feet from us. Still, we used the Eggfinder to direct us to it.

2 out of 2. So far, the Eggfinder has been a success, even with my ugly fix. Next test will be on an H and I motor, to 1500-3000 feet, roughly. Whenever our club has its next HP launch. If those go well, I’ll fly it on a J270 to about 4800 feet.

I really enjoyed this project. I went from having never soldered anything to building a GPS tracker and receiver kit. I’m still pretty excited I was able to fix the broken trace. You guys were very helpful. Thanks to Cris for making these kits and providing help along the way.

This 2020 goal can be marked off. Now I want to build an Eggtimer altimeter and learn to set up a rocket for dual deploy.
 

Greg Furtman

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Wanted to give an update since it’s been awhile. I took Cris’s advice and tried to power up in an open field of a nearby park. Sure enough, it got a fix pretty quickly.

Excited, I moved on to the testing phase. This consisted of handing the transmitter to my kids and telling them to go hide somewhere in the park. I counted to 30 and let the Kidfinder work it’s magic. Following the directions on the LCD screen led me straight to them every time.

Next up was trying it in a rocket. With the restrictions going on, we weren’t able to fly until a couple weeks ago. I secured the transmitter in my LOC Norad (which is the rocket I plan on flying for my L2), and we flew it on a F67 to about 500 feet to make sure we’d could see where it landed. I let my oldest son use the receiver to take us to the rocket, and we found it, no problem. Next up was a G74 to about 800 feet, but it landed within sight about 100 feet from us. Still, we used the Eggfinder to direct us to it.

2 out of 2. So far, the Eggfinder has been a success, even with my ugly fix. Next test will be on an H and I motor, to 1500-3000 feet, roughly. Whenever our club has its next HP launch. If those go well, I’ll fly it on a J270 to about 4800 feet.

I really enjoyed this project. I went from having never soldered anything to building a GPS tracker and receiver kit. I’m still pretty excited I was able to fix the broken trace. You guys were very helpful. Thanks to Cris for making these kits and providing help along the way.

This 2020 goal can be marked off. Now I want to build an Eggtimer altimeter and learn to set up a rocket for dual deploy.
Good job! And have fun. :headspinning:
 

SecondRow

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Final note to this one: I successfully flew my L2 certification flight today on the LOC Norad Pro Maxx with a J270. OR predicted an altitude of 4900’ and it appeared to get every inch of it. The rocket weathercocked, so even with a JLCR set to 700’, it still landed a 1/2 mile away. But I found it, because the EggFinder took me right to the tree that caught it. We got it down with a little bit of effort.

I can’t say enough about how this project turned out and about the EggFinder in general. It’s a great little tracker.
 

manixFan

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Thank you for the great suggestion!
That kit does looks like it would be good practice, but like so many listings on Amazon, they need to work on their translation:

"After welding, just connect electricity (3-12V) to see the effect. You can quickly judge the welding effect. The welding product is a beautiful water lamp circuit."

Hmmm, that circuit seems a bit small for 'welding'. And don't even get me started on the Brits and Aussies who make tutorials while pronouncing it 'sol-der-ing', instead of the way it ought to be pronounced (just to make the English language more difficult to learn) 'sod-er-ing'.


Tony

(just kidding on the pronunciation thing, but it does take some getting used to!)
 

FredA

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I do a lot of work with electronics manufacturing in Asia .... what we call soldering, they call welding.
 

Cape Byron

The BAR formerly known as Skippy-2
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(just kidding on the pronunciation thing, but it does take some getting used to!)
Aluminium. Aluminum.

Okay, you guys have said 'aluminum' since 1925, we still understand what you mean. But the first time I heard 'sodering' I had no idea what you were talking about.

Sod = dirt
Sod = a fool

Attaching dirt to a fool? :D
 

PatD

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Aluminium. Aluminum.

Okay, you guys have said 'aluminum' since 1925, we still understand what you mean. But the first time I heard 'sodering' I had no idea what you were talking about.

Sod = dirt
Sod = a fool

Attaching dirt to a fool? :D
And then there is the besotted fool. :eggnog:
 

manixFan

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I do a lot of work with electronics manufacturing in Asia .... what we call soldering, they call welding.
Aluminium. Aluminum.

Okay, you guys have said 'aluminum' since 1925, we still understand what you mean. But the first time I heard 'sodering' I had no idea what you were talking about.

Sod = dirt
Sod = a fool

Attaching dirt to a fool? :D
Good to know about the Asia terminology, I learn something new everyday!

But....

<pedantic on>

ORIGIN OF SOLDER
1325–75; (noun) Middle English soudour<Old French soudure, soldure, derivative of solder to solder <Latin solidāre to make solid, equivalent to solid(us) solid + -āre infinitive suffix; (v.) late Middle English, derivative of the noun

So while the latin had an L as in 'solidāre', the Middle English origin did not: 'soudour', so I will argue that the American pronunciation is closer to the more immediate source than the alternative.

<pedantic off>

I may be besotted occasionally, but hopefully never a sod!!

Tony
 

OverTheTop

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So spell it soudour :p.

I deal with quite a few contract manufacturers in Asia and they all call it soldering. I have not heard it called welding.
 
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