On Monday, April 11th, the Solar Car team celebrated “Be a Micro” Day. Team members had fun trying their hand at everyday Micro tasks. A “Micro” is someone who is a part of the micro electrical group within the Engineering Division (more on them here). Their job involves many things, including dealing with all of the circuit boards for the solar car.
The team crowds around to watch Andrew “Be a Micro”
Using a soldering iron, Andrew, who is ordinarily a Mechanical Engineer, successfully solders a 0805smd 0.1 uF capacitor. I was not so successful, since I made the mistake of soldering both ends of the capacitor to the same electrical contact. Soldering a filter capacitor to the electrical board is an important everyday task of the Micros, since the capacitor prevents spikes of voltage from messing with the electrical board. For instance, if the car goes over a bump and the wires get loose for a moment, the voltage may spike, and then it is the filter capacitor’s job to filter out this spike, which allows the circuit to keep working.
Above: a close up on a micro board. The Micros estimate that they deal with 2-3 boards a day, and at approximately 30 components a board, that can mean they solder just under 100 components on a busy day. Now you know more about what it takes to “Be a Micro”!