Skip to main content


This section allows you to view all Messages made by this member. Note that you can only see Messages made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - teletypeguy

Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Further info on tray 0 issues:

If my cvs places part from the reels first, an then goes to the tray, I get the missed pickup where the head hammers too high, tries three pockets, then gives up.  If I change it to place tray 0 first, things are fine.
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hey tchapman:

I don't know if you want to raise the board by putting on a holder.  First, the is only 3mm of usable part height as it is, and you will cut that down to 1.4, limiting your part options.  Second, I don't know how the machine would react to the higher surface.  There is a height parameter, which may let you compensate, but I have found height to be useless for front tray parts at least.

You can do arrays of the same board using the built in board offset command.  I have not sone this but others have.  You can also make your own array of different boards, by just laying them out as one big board with all unique reference designators.  Just lay them out the way you want and add provision for scoring or routing.  The place machine thinks it is one big board.  I am doing this for four different boards of the same dimension.
Tools of the trade / Re: Front Tray Problems -- HELP!
Hey folks:

I have been frustrated today -- problems with chips in the front tray -- HELP!

It is a simple file to place eight identical parts that are loaded in the tray 0 pockets.

Problem 1:  Height.  These are SOP-22 chips, so I initially set height to the spec of 1.8mm, and the head would go to the first pocket, hammer the nozzle up and down a bit (never reaching the chip), then try pocket 2, then 3, then give up with a constant beeeeeeep.  I then set height to 0, and it seemed to work for one or two boards, and then it started missing at some random pick up (eg: it would pick up and place from pocket 1 to 3, then fail with the hammer/beep, sometimes just get two, maybe four, maybe none).  I tried height of -1, and it does not seem to matter what the height is.  Any advice????????

Problem 2:  Failure-lock-up.  When the machine does get to a pickup failure (tray or reel) and starts the constant beeeeeep, it does not seem to have a way to escape out, let you fix the problem, and continue.  I have needed to make a temp csv with the already-placed parts deleted, which is a real PITA.  Am I missing something?

Problem 3:  Rotation on the first part from the front tray (only).  The first part (pocket) of tray one gets picked up, should not rotate at all, but gets placed with about a 15-degree-clockwise error -- happens every time.  Subsequent identically-defined parts place with no rotation, as they should.  This is with very slow 30% speed with an L nozzle.  It is also head-2, since I need it to reach over 220mm for a couple of other (reel) chips in the same run (I have not tried it with head-1),  Huh?

Any advice appreciated.  Excerpt of the file is below.

thx,  gil

Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hey tchapman: 

I have a 220, and am constantly moving the SD from the machine to a laptop for editing, so I understand your concern.  To be fair, once the file is tweaked, you just run it from the card.  However, it takes a while to get a file from the ULP to a ready-to-go state.

I have also wondered about using a wifi-sd card -- anyone try one?

First off, you could manually build a file.  You can also edit them in the machine (though the date/time disappears which bothers some pc progs).

The ULP from jamz is, though not perfect, very useful.  It extracts all of the part centroids, and builds a good starting file.  Since Eagle ULP is some C code of sorts, anyone can tweak it, but I have not looked into that yet.  I have been tweaking the ULP-generated csv file for each board.  Some of the changes I manually make:
- fix the %... lines so they line up in the columns properly on the machine
- remove rotations of 180 or -180 for (many) non-polar R and C parts
- fix errors when a tape IC is 180 degrees off
- fix errors when a tape diode is 180 degrees off
- group all like parts together (they are sorted by ref-des), so I can set head-1/2 on alternating parts for efficiency
- insert speed commands between different groups (eg: 80% for basic R and C, 30% for Tant-A for less fall-off and better place...)
- break the file into more than one to do multiple runs per board (eg: add an IC to front tray, run xxx2.csv, etc)

Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hi chomw: 
Thanks for the info.  I will try edit mode tomorrow and learn how to align the tape to the pin. 
Regarding the stack 0 trays, why do you have a negative 5.5 for X?  What is the 0,0 reference for the tray?  I had presumed the left-rear corner, as that was how they demo'd it in a video, but now I realize that must not be correct.  Also, you have a square part yet your x and y values are different -- now I am really confused.  Gil
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
When I load a tape, how do I ALIGN it horizontally?  So the feed holes are found and the part is picked up in the center?  Does not seem to be critical with an 0603/0805 with a 4mm spacing, but what about an IC with an 8mm spacing?  There has to be some alignment criterion after reel installation.  What about height?  The parts are all aligned to the top of the tape, but deeper parts will not need to drop as far. ???

What about the front (reel-0) slots -- I thought offset of 1/2 of the part's X and Y and feed-spacing of 18mm, but it seems hosed.    It seems to want to pick up way further horizontally, and then fails.  Is height the part nominal height?  Any advice?

thx,  gil
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hi folks:

So I finally got a chance to try out my tm220 today.  Just a test placement of one of my boards onto double-sided tape.  I learned a few things, and I'll talk about one issue here: wider-than-spec boards.  I'll follow up with another post on other stuff.

This is a board wider than the machine can handle, but I am happy to have most of it automatically placed (and just need to manually drop a half-dozen bits on the right side after taking it off the machine).  The TM220A is spec'd for 220mm-wide max boards.  It is interesting, but the left nozzle (head-1) cannot quite get that far over, but the right nozzle (head-2) can get over just a bit beyond that.

While a pcb in the 220A can indeed cantilever out the right side, there were a few implications to the board being wider than machine specs.  First, at the front-right side gantry mount, there is an optoisolator,  with wires running down through the mounting plate.  The extra-wide board hit the wires to this opto and would not seat fully against the machined registration stop.  However, it was easy enough to press these wires forward a bit with a soft dowel, and let the board seat properly.  Second, the eagle placement ulp file (the last version I can find is 1.0h from jamz), while being designed for the 220A (and not the larger 240A), does not enforce any bounds checking, which is fine with me.  Not unexpectedly, once I loaded the file onto the SD card, and loaded it into the 220A, I quickly got an error at "line-x."  So I needed to find line-x in my editor, and figure out what the problem was.  OK, it was a part at 269mm horizontal, which is clearly beyond the machine's 220mm bounds -- I knew I needed to do a little editing.  I edited out one line at a time to see what would pass the machine's "sd-file-load-test" and was happy to get an error-free load.  Still, there were some bounds-related issues that would cause the machine to hang during placement (these were parts near and a bit beyond 220mm, but they passed the file-load test).

So after a bit of editing, the short answer:  If a component is positioned at greater than about 226mm horizontally, I delete the line in the placement file (needs to be manually-placed).  If a component is positioned at less than 200mm, it can be placed by head-1 or head-2.  If a component is positioned between about 200mm and 226 mm, it needs to be placed by head-2 (as head-1 does not reach quite that far).  Both heads seem to be able to reach a bit further, but the machine would freeze -- this is just the quick result of my empirical tests today, but at least it is good to know that the machine can place a bit wider than the 220mm spec, and it is also useful to know that head-1 cannot quite make it that far.

FWIW,  gil
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hey there echtogammut:

DP won't be putting together anymore group buys for this;  in fact, since DP is moving to China, their TM220A is up for sale (but you have pick it up in Amsterdam and need a 220V machine).  I suspect that Ian wants a TM240, or just wants to let seeed do the building.  See: viewtopic.php?f=68&t=5867

I don't know much about AliExpress (though many others here have gotten a machine through them).  I did hear about an extra fee or something, but nothing concrete.

I went directly to Mia at Neoden, wired them the money, and had my machine in a few days.  Great DHL shipping with not even a scratch on the wood crate.

The topic sentence of this thread is pnp for $3600, but that was some time ago.  The machine, now that it is popular, is currently $3999 US.  That, plus $200 for a spares kit, plus dhl shipping, took me to about $4600 US total for the 220A.  I'm not complaining though, as it is a great little machine.

Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hi selectech:

I couldn't see a red selector switch through the side grill, though it was not the best of light when I looked.

I did get a note from Mia at Neoden that the unit was set up for 110 and just needed the correct cord.  I am going to read up some more on the forums, and watch a few videos before firing it up though.  thx,  gil
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hey sleepwalker3:

Yea, I see that it is an Australian power cord on my TM220.  Gee, I have some relatives down there somewhere.  I used to have a buddy in NZ who was on my teletype list, but he passed away.  Still have the little kiwi bird he sent me, sitting on my shelf.  And to answer those who have asked me about teletype machines, yes, I have quite few, many of which I have restored.  Maybe I will use a 1930s-vintage baudot paper-tape reader, or the ascii tape reader on an ASR33 from the 60s, to feed the placement program into my TM220A -- way more fun than just plugging in an SD card.  But I digress.

I do not see a power label on the TM220A saying something easy like "110-to-220, 50/60 Hz," so I don't want to just plug it in yet.  I'll ask the factory, but that will be a reply tomorrow.  Does anyone else know if I can just plug in 110/60?  I thought someone said something like that once.  As Mr. Mom said, "220, 221, whatever it takes."

But in the skinny neoden manual, all it says is "220/50, CONVERTIBLE to 110."  No word on what the conversion entails, but as I do not see a 110/220 switch externally-visible, there is the possibility that it could entail internal jumpers.  Really didn't want to open it up, but will if needed.

Any power supply advice appreciated.  thx,  gil
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Wow!  I wired money to Neoden last Thursday.  It is now merely Tuesday, and the DHL truck just dropped off my TM220 crate! 

I nearly pooped my pants.  That was lightning-fast shipping from China to the US.  You rock Neoden!

It looks like it had never even been in a truck;  I was expecting dings or cracked corners.  DHL took great care with the crate.

Thye sent the wrong power cord, with some funky angled prongs, but the machine has a standard IEC power jack, and I presume the internal power supply is 110-to-220, 50/60Hz (correct me if I am wrong folks).

Gotta figure out how to use it now.  I have been reading posts, collecting notes, trying the eagle ulp and all that.  Hopefully get it running soon.

Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hmm.  Another Neoden guy?  We just went through this with Donald, (who, as it turns out, is actually with neoden).  So smtebuyreese, are you really a legitimate Neoden representative, or are YOU a scammer?  We are very skeptical of these anonymous posts.  Does simple saying "yes, i am a supplier of this machine" make you legitimate? 

Ahh, spidey senses are tingling once again.
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hi folks:

This fellow Donald is indeed with Neoden, as I just confirmed with Mia.  When he posted last, he had a hotmail account, and he had contacted me directly as well.  As someone else on the forum had previously alerted me to a fellow with a hotmail account posing as a Neoden representative, and I was just getting ready to wire money for a machine, I envisioned someone trying to intercept a transaction and get me to wire money elsewhere (stranger things have happened -- scammers are everywhere).  I even alerted Ian, who took down the post with the hotmail address.

Anyway, sorry Donald, but we all just have to be careful, and Neoden would not like to lose a sale to a scammer either, I'm sure.  Please use your neoden email address next time -- it will give you the credibility needed on an anonymous forum like this.

OK, I'm off to wire money.  Looking forward to getting the machine soon.

Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hey Selectech:

I just got an email reply from Mia at Neoden.  Even though they have a store on aliexpress, the also work direct, as they did with you, and it is a few bucks cheaper on the shipping (and some folks say there are hidden aliexpress fees).  Direct from neoden quote:  $3999, plus $200 for accessory kit, plus $411 for DHL shipping, for a total of $4610 US.  I would rather work directly with the factory, and was happy to find that they replied quickly.  This is wire transfer in advance, which would have made me nervous if not for so many folks here having good experiences, and Ian visiting the factory to boot.  For anyone still pondering a purchase like I have been, here is what is included on the quote I got from Mia:

TM220A, set up for 110V and English (1yr warranty and lifelong service support) ($3999 US), includes:
 - 6 nozzles (2xXS, 2xS, 1xM, 1xL)
 - 8G SD card w/ reader
 - nozzle disassembly tool
 - adjustment tool for nylon spool wheel
 - nozzle cleaning tool
 - user manual and video training course
 - PCB coordinate transformation tool (software?)

"Export Necessary" Accessories ($200 US), includes:
 - 13 more nozzles (5xXS, 3xS, 3xM, 2xL)
 - pin and spring for feeders  (3 sets)
 - electromagnet for feeders
 - pin sensor for feeders
 - nylon spool wheel accessories (10)
 - external shelf (to use big reel on a feeder)
 - nozzle disassembly tool (duplicate)
 - adjustment tool for nylon spool wheel (duplicate)

thanks all,  gil
Tools of the trade / Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600
Hey folks;  a few questions on buying one of these, for those of you who have:

So who has found the best place to purchase one of these TM220 or 240 machines for shipment to the USA?  Seeed was going to carry them, but that has not happened yet.

Is direct with Neoden the best price?  Anyone have a contact there?  I see that they are on aliexpress but I am guessing that a direct factory deal would be better.

What have people been paying in US dollars for the machine and for shipping?  Are there additional fees for import?  I have heard some folks say about two weeks delivery -- is that about right?

I have seen reference to a "spares kit" -- what is in it and is it worth the extra cost?  I have also seen "extra nozzles" -- needed or not?  And something about "machine customization" -- what is customized, and why is that worth the extra cost?

thanks in advance,  gil