PCB Assembly & Pigatronics

Dr. Jon Pigott Aidan Taylor

Reflow Soldering for Surface Mount Devices (PCB Assembly)

‘Most contemporary electronic parts come in surface mount packages (SMD), this means they are mounted flat to the surface of a circuit board as opposed to slotting through. This creates a challenge for DIY makers as SMD is designed for automated production with specialised machines. Aidan has been developing a setup for ‘reflow soldering’ which makes working with this precision technology more accessible.

Aidan is also experimenting with creative application of CAD software for circuit board design, testing the limits of what can be achieved in industrial fabrication. The front panel of his synthesizer ‘Noodle Box 01’ is a circuit board. The three tone design is made up by a combination of exposed copper with a (ENIG) gold finish, a white silkscreen and black soldermask.’


Designed and fabricated by Jon Pigott as part of a FABCRE8 funded project The Pigatronics power boost PCB is an Arduino interface shield that allows for the easy connection of high-power devices to Arduino microprocessors. It solves the problem of controlling devices such as solenoids and motors from an Arduino without the need for additional transistor circuitry.

The Pigatronics is ‘plug and play’ making it ideal for use in teaching and design scenarios where a quick and easy solder free solution is required. It is designed to be as generic as possible allowing for the control of a wide range of devices including stepper motors, DC motors, solenoids, servos, fans, heaters, high power LEDs and much more besides.

The Pigatronics board has been used in a range of teaching and exhibition scenarios within the Maker programme at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Pigatronics boards were also deployed in the Ceramophone, an interactive artwork by Ingrid Murphy and Jon Pigott which toured Wales and appeared in the V&A Museums Digital Design weekend in London during 2019.