ESP8266 WS2812 "Partycat" controller

@packetbob @Janet @Majicj @Rob_MacKenzie @lukecyca I’m looking forward to hanging with you all and soldering this eve, just wondering when is good time to be there. I’m bringing my magnifying glass with tweezer arms…and tweezers…

Not dead sure if I can make it down tonight… gonna try.

Not gonna make it either… Family obligations… Damn family…

I hate those people, JK

People are here now (7:15pm), so you can show up any time.

On my way!

Well that was fun!

I think 8 boards got started, 6 got finished, and only one had an issue we couldn’t figure out. Maybe a bad ESP8266 chip, or a blind solder bridge.

Most people did them with @packetbob’s reflow oven, and were very pleased when they found out they didn’t have to solder by hand!


Yep, I was sure happy I didn’t have to solder those resistors by hand

Hugely successful workshop, many thanks to @lukecyca for a great project!

Yes thanks to Luke for his patience and guidance on this project, my first ever circuit board build!


I would like 1 or better yet 2 Partycats if you have any kits left. Out of
town till next week. But I definitely wanting to purchase.


Soldered mine by hand! Love this thing!

So awesome! Sorry I couldn’t attend…on a big deadline.

Made two tonight. One by hand, one partially in the reflow oven. Hand-soldered one works great. Ran out of time to debug the second. Glad I got to put the surface mount skills I learned at @Janet’s workshop to use!

EDIT: Half a ping pong ball makes a pretty swell diffuser.


That is awesome! How did you find the tiny chip? I haven’t made my board
yet but also want to hand solder it…ah the zen.

The small chip was challenging. I had at least one bridged connection on the reflow version, primarily due to my inconsistent paste distribution. The one I did by hand turned out better; using a nice fine-tipped iron made a big difference.


Speaking of the reflow oven bridges I brought in a couple of medium bore syringe tips that should make it easier to put smaller dollops of solder on the pads. I put them in the plastic case that has the solder syringe.


I’ll have to finish my controller at some point. I couldn’t stay on Tuesday. I think I have some soldering bridges that I’ll have to fix before I put the rest of the components on.

I might bring it with me on Sunday and finish it before the PCB design workshop.


Having a fine tipped hypodermic needle and then dabbing that into a blob of paste was critical for the smaller stuff on this board for me, I could barely see some of the components without the magnifying glass. I went really light on the small chip and I don’t think any bridges occurred. I had help.
That reflow oven is amazing, I couldn’t have done this without it.

I haven’t done that chip yet so I’m talking out me arse but one of the big
things I did pick up recently was making sure to use very minimal solder or
paste on there and if you’re doing it by hand to just touch the very tip of
the chip leads…i.e. touching higher up with the iron causes more bridges.