Updated spreadsheet and electronics project status

For the sake of transparency,

Here is the working spreadsheet showing electronics budget, budget items, expenses, payments, etc.

Some things have been adjusted, such as the microscope (the one in area previously is owned by Jon, and he likes it at home now).



-My xytronic station is an iron away from being a useful, functional temperature controlled soldering station. I just had to replace the iron for my lead-free unit. Seems like they like to roast heater elements. I’ve logged literally thousands of hours with that 968 station at the hive. Although the analog station is discontinued, it uses the same irons as the 988/988D which are only $50:

-You may want to get another desoldering piece as a spare, only $80:

-I’ve said since brought it to the hive that the hive needs to get a set of welding torch tip cleaners for the desoldering iron. I’ve been using them with that Xytronic station (or the one which replaced it) for 15 years. Cheap, work great. Advance Auto, $4:

Sorry, that last email was not complete… clicked wrong thing switching windows.

Torch tip cleaner set:

And a last comment… While re-doing the electronics area is great because it needed love, perhaps a little more care could be taken doing so? Last night at the meeting, I found the old reflow oven I built in pieces in the trash. There was not replacement. While the old reflow oven wasn’t perfect it was:

  1. Documented (on the wiki, source on github)
  2. Functional (I’ve reflowed many boards with it)
  3. Tested with a semi-proper profile loaded

The enthusiasm is great but perhaps we can try to get some new stuff operational before throwing stuff out? What happened to purgatory?


And the heating element for the Xytronic iron is available for $22 if you don’t want to buy a whole iron (assuming the old non-functioning one didn’t get thrown out):



Sorry about the oven. There is a replacement board and oven purchased and on the way. I had 2 reports of it not working, and I was unable to get it to kick either. Regardless, we got caught up in the fervor of throwing a lot of actual trash away (lots and lots and lots of it). I apologize personally for this regardless of whether it worked or not, I did not contact you directly. If you like, I can put it back together and give it to you.

I have a tracking number for the new controller. Should be here soon. I will make sure it is up and running ASAP.

Regarding Xytronics irons, I don’t understand the context. Are you speaking of the station we have at hive? Which is, BTW, very nice. The soldering side is not functioning, but desolder works, and has not clogged once when I’ve used it recently. Did you determine what the malfunction on the soldering side of that station was?

Regarding purgatory shelf: Oven should have gone there. Many things did go there. However, 98% of everything removed was dead batteries, broken caps, trash, and scraps of wire. That goes in the trash or e-waste. Other items have been kept.

I did bring down my oxy-torch cleaning tool about a year ago, and it now seems to be missing. I will get another if we don’t find it.

Finally, this does not have to do with previous points – it seems that you are very critical of my work here. With all the talk of soldering irons, I am beginning to feel that you are upset because things are not being done your way.

If you have a bone to pick with me, give me a call. I consider you a friend.

Here’s the way I see it:

  1. I put up developments about electronics area. You rant about soldering iron brands and criticize my suggestions.

  2. I put up a link to a spreadsheet which shows 100% transparency (which most folks do not do when they take on a hive project). You rant about soldering irons and criticize.

The primary reason I posted another thread was because the last one devolved into splitting hairs about irons. Now this one has too.

If you want things done your way, do it yourself, or offer to help.

Once again I think this is just 2 members disagreeing, so feel free to call me and I’ll take you out for a beer. OK? I respect you a lot, Dave, so if I’ve pissed you off, let’s talk off list.

I adjusted budget to add on a new handpiece for Xytronics 986 station.

Nice to see you guys making progress on this, and the transparency of tracking the expenses is awesome!

Let me me know if you need any help down at the hive on the electronics bay.

Next week I'll be available during the evenings around 7:30pm. Most weeks I'll be available during the mornings.