SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

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flts
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Post by flts » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:06 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:are surface mounted parts good for metel? no! ... and everyone knows that. only resistors and 4558 opamps can make teh brutals. cuz badd ass mojo!!!
How about toobs? I want toobs in my pedal.

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Post by toneburst » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:48 am

Glad it's not just me with the electro caps.

What I really hate about it, specifically, is my inability to solder them without melting the plastic base in the process.

Same applies to those square RGB LEDs Doboz and VPME use. And they're soldered to the front panel, to showcase my failings, which I find even more annoying.

That's my whinge-of-the-day.

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Post by StillNotWorking » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:02 am

flts wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:are surface mounted parts good for metel? no! ... and everyone knows that. only resistors and 4558 opamps can make teh brutals. cuz badd ass mojo!!!
How about toobs? I want toobs in my pedal.
Yes yes, and clipping diodes. lots and lots of clipping diodes. ohh blinky clipping diodes... w h a t are they clipping OUT the clipping diodes of the DS-1. They cant do that... :waah: :waah: :waah:

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Post by MrsWedge » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:12 am

The reason that people have trouble hand soldering smt electrolytic caps is that they were designed to be reflow soldered, like all smt components. Reflow soldering is easy to do at home and does not require any fancy extra equipment other than a syringe of solder paste and an electric skillet. The really nice thing about making making boards this way is that it removes much of the tedium of soldering every joint one by one, quick & easy!

The thing I'm building ( to be revealed soon), would be next to impossible without smt. I've built my synth using boards under 100mm X 100mm to keep costs down ( about $2/board from Shenzen including shipping) and some of the boards have hundreds of components
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StillNotWorking
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Post by StillNotWorking » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:42 am

MrsWedge you forgot steady hands, good eyesight and that your soldering paiste are not past its expiration date. :hihi:

btw, anyone eager to test hot air gun on the cheep search eBay for '283016401901'. Believe this one is 220V only tho.

Not sure whats going on with this soldering station. Now 253702108685 list it under 10$.

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Post by spotta » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:23 am

pre55ure wrote:
Someone should come up with a dual footprint for SDIY designs that has two pads for SMT that both feature holes so you could fit a TH where height allows.
Edit: (oops.. Didn't see that you were referring to the electrolytics. That should be easy to do as well.)

Like this? :hihi:

Mocked this up for doing my own prototypes, but I still haven't actually tried it out yet. It's a combo for 0805 resistors or caps or vertically mounted resistors.
Yep, I've built a module with the dual footprint like that for resistors, great idea, something along those lines for electrolytic's would be great for DIY projects although I normally seem to manage ok as it is, but they are a pain.

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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:35 am

I've been thinking of getting into SMD. I mean, it seems an inevitability ... while I've done exactly no personal research on the matter I've read that certain (forgotten) through hole jfets and perhaps other components have gone (or are going) into the EOL lists. You click on a component to buy it and a little note pops up "not recommended for new designs" ... because it's gone out of production and once existing inventory is sold off there are no more to be had. This inevitability means that we'll be forced into using certain SMD components soon enough. That said, I've thought about getting into learning how to use these parts.

However, I still find there is a market for through hole (look! I actually typed "through hole" without lightning striking instead of just using the "TH" initials! .... well imagine that). I know that the guitar players I used to cater too preferred seeing through hole boards, and even boards that had no solder mask or silk screened "cheater lettering" on them. Why? Hmmm ... well, why does it matter? Some want that old school look, why challenge that? The purpose of "selling" is to sell ... if that means using prototype style boards then give the public what they want.

Very occasionally I'll still build something for someone (like twice per year). I got out of it several years back due to my distaste for having to compete with the likes of "Joyo" (and others) that sell pedals .. with free shipping included .. for less than my cost of goods sold.

"Cost of goods sold" is the second category in the Chart Of Accounts.

1.) Gross Sales.
2.) Cost of goods sold.
3.) Gross profit.
4.) Overhead.
5.) Net Profit.

What goes in your pocket is "5.) Net Profit". When mainstream competitors are selling items you make for less than your costs, it's time to go. So through hole constructs remain more or less "specialty items" (aka the deeply overused term "boutique"). Which means you must design and build things that appeal to a very narrow demographic if you wish to actually make any money, at least enough to feed the family.

Other than making repairs on designs that use SMD parts, I have trouble finding the motivation to spend the money it would take to get into doing surface mount. It goes beyond buying a heat gun and paste solder (and all of you that are into surface mount know that all to well).

I reckon I'll be forced to learn the skills at some point. But as far as getting into it for profitable reasons, I'm out. Understand that I am NOT (so not) saying surface mount is bad in some manner or form. I'm simply saying that I cannot do this with it ....

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Now, I understand that all there is in that picture is (essentially) a board with some flying leads and a few panel mounted controls. But it's the appeal of through hole that sells. There are some people that like knowing their processor is made "old school" and may even insist that through hole sounds best. Fair enough. I can help them. That said, I'm happy to cater to those people and give them what they want.

I recently learned of a company that sold 4oz bottles of ... ready for this? .... hot dog water. Yes, water that hot dogs were boiled in. The marketing said that this nasty ass water was good for keeping you looking young and was good for the skin when consumed. It sold for $38.00 per 4oz bottle. The company later admitted it was a simple experiment to prove that if the marketing is right, some people will buy ANYTHING. P.T. Barnum (the ~Barnum~ of Barnum and Bailey's Flying Circus, The Greatest Show On Earth) once said "There's a sucker born every minute".

Through hole boards are not hot dog water. Through hole boards actually do work. And their is a contingent of customers willing to buy them. Narrow contingent, yes, but still it is there.

So my point? Through hole is still worth doing.

Can someone (more than one, hopefully) chime in and HONESTLY assess how much time is either saved or added to construction time using surface mount? I realize surface mount construction goes beyond pick and place time savings (size matters ... in this case smaller size is preferred, and I am aware surface mount is the undisputed world champeen of miniaturizing). But beyond size reduction of total constructs, is there a time saved advantage to doing MANUAL surface mount constructs?

So I have kicked the surface mount thing around a great deal, and have decided that for now it's not worth my time or money. I know I wandered around a bit in this posting, but I think I got my ideas across.

Thanks. 8-)
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Post by NV » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:02 pm

Rex Coil 7 wrote: Can someone (more than one, hopefully) chime in and HONESTLY assess how much time is either saved or added to construction time using surface mount? I realize surface mount construction goes beyond pick and place time savings (size matters ... in this case smaller size is preferred, and I am aware surface mount is the undisputed world champeen of miniaturizing). But beyond size reduction of total constructs, is there a time saved advantage to doing MANUAL surface mount constructs?
SMT is oriented towards production. The time savings in DIY is only moderate if you're just using an iron on a single board. In that setting the major differences will be personal preference - some like not needing to flip the board, not having to fiddle with leads, etc.

However if you're hitting any level of scale for production, SMT will save you time. Even if it's in your garage with a small board of a dozen components, if you panelize it, stencil the paste, and cook it in an oven, you're getting 20 copies of the board in the time it would take you to do a few in TH. These days stencils can be had for cheap and there are easy ways to set up toaster ovens or even skillets to handle a reflow profile. For me it's reached the point where I'll purchase a stencil even for a one-off prototype, since the time saved is worth the extra expense. However that's concerning boards with hundreds of TSSOP/QFP pads that even in the best case are a pain with irons.

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Post by Misk » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:51 am

but even when i've got a pcb that's been beautifully designed with perfect symmetry (with all the resistors and mlccs facing the same direction), i still have to "rotate" the board after i've hand soldered everything, and that's so much extra work... :cry:

seriously tho, the only real benefit to SMD is not having to track down all those little clipped leads that flew off in random directions.

also I bought a bunch of baseball/magic/pokemon plastic card holder pages and stuck 'em in a 3-ring notebook. all my smd components i need are in ONE FUCKING NOTEBOOK :yay:

that's really the only cool thing about SMD.

also fuck SMD electrolytics

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Post by LektroiD » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:44 pm

Love 'em or hate 'em, the Boog (Behringer Moog) uses TH capacitors and SMD for all other components.

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Post by mskala » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:55 am

LektroiD wrote:Love 'em or hate 'em, the Boog (Behringer Moog) uses TH capacitors and SMD for all other components.
Even the panel parts, like jacks and pots?
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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by Decimal » Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:11 am

Any good audio demos of TH vs SMT online in a synth context?

I'd be curious also to hear differences between different caps and in particular the impact on filter quality.

Thanks

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Post by efluon » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:31 am

Thanks Decimal for the necro. Interesting read. Have no answers for you, but I really love this comment and totally agree with the sentiment:
fuzzbass wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:25 am
I have been hating it a lot lately and I am getting better at it.

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by MikeDB » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:23 am

Whether we like it or not, thru-hole parts will become more expensive as more people switch to SMD. Of course the vast bulk of electronics production, apart from high power stuff like power supplies, gas boilers, solar panel controllers, etc, is already in SMD so it's already a smaller market. But as other lower volume products are forced to switch due to non-availability of parts, this problem will accelerate. If you look at the hobbyist 'builder' market, then this is already dominated by people wiring together SMD modules such as the Pi, Arduino, etc, to numerous I/O and sensor boards.

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Re:

Post by jorg » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:30 pm

gbiz wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:17 pm
I built a couple of System 100 filter boards up in SMD recently, one with C0G & one with PPS film caps (Panasonic ECHU) in the audio path, mostly in the ladder. Side by side the one with the PPS caps sounded smoother, less buzzy. I removed the C0G caps & fitted PPS to the other one. I'll be using them again in my next build.

I can't recall seeing them being used any other SDIY module. I don't know if there's obvious reasons why they don't get used in more designs, though TBH i've not looked into it. They cost slightly less than the equivalent C0G for values greater than 10n. The footprint isn't much larger.
Thanks for the test report! I've been curious about PPS caps; seems like they should be good for integrators and such, due to low leakage and low tempco. Seems you have also heard lower distortion. And hey - lower cost too? :party:

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by gbiz » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:03 pm

Yeah, i like them. They perfectly suit the sound of that filter. I've built three of those filters up with them, they're my default filter. though one has a noise mezzanine board so it's usually used for percussive duties.

Downside with them, they're way more fragile than "regular" smt mlcc caps. They need soldering with extreme care. I melted one when without thinkng i did my usual trick of nudging the component into place with the tip of the iron :) And forget about reusing one after removing it with hot air :D I'll certainly use them again for something just for my use, but I'm not sure whether they're really suitable for a board that would get built by less experienced builders. It'd probably need a more robust fallback option in parallel.

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by emmaker » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:16 pm

I would not recommend using the Panasonic PPS SMDs since they are extremely fragile for general DIY. When using parts like this you should really lookup the data sheets and app notes on them.

From Panasonic's Film Cap App Notes.

2.4.2 Cautions for use of soldering iron
●Be careful that the soldering iron not directly
touch the main body of the chip film capacitor. In
particular, don’t touch the side (cut section). If
touched by the heated soldering iron, lowering of
insulation resistance, shortcircuit or other
characteristic deterioration may occur.
●Preheat the printed wining board land sufficiently
with the soldering iron, and then solder. Solder
without directly touching the iron tip to the
electrode of the capacitor.
●Don’t reuse the product (part) once removed by
the soldering iron.
●Avoid mass mounting of chip film capacitors by
soldering iron. (Temperature control is difficult,
and the characteristics may be deteriorated.)
●Please do not resolder with heat directly from
bottom side of P. C. B. because capacitor will
likely be damaged.

3. Washing
3.1. Washing of chip type
●Since the chip type capacitor does not have a
coating, components of flux or detergent left over
on the element at the time of washing may be
activated and invade into the inside of the
capacitor, and adverse effects may be caused.
Observe the following cautions.
●In the case of washing, use flux and cream solder
with halogen content of 0.1wt.% or less when
mounting.
●In the case of ultrasonic washing, note that peeling
of protective film, electrode separation due to
resonance, or characteristic deterioration may
occur depending on the detergent used or
ultrasonic output. Check carefully beforehand.
When using a CFC substitute detergent, with the
washing method of spraying detergent (rinsing
water) to the substrate at high pressure, the
protective film on the element surface may be
peeled off due to the water pressure. Check
carefully beforehand.

Jay S.

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by gbiz » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:38 pm

Oh indeed. Agree with all that, even if some is stating the bleeding obvious. "Don't reuse the part after removal with a soldering iron". lol. Good luck reusing that semi-molten pile you have on your bench :) And as i said, i saw firsthand what happens if you contact them with the iron.

I always rtfm before using unusual things like these to check for cleaning & soldering gotchas, & did with these. I also read the WIMA doc which isn't quite as extreme in it's wording as that Panasonic one ...

"WIMA SMD capacitors with plastic film dielectric are generally suitable for hand-soldering, e. g. for lab purposes, with a soldering iron where, however, similar to automated soldering processes, a certain duration and temperature should not be exceeded." ... "The soldering quality depends on the tool used and on the skill and experience of the person with the soldering iron in hand."

and on cleaning

"WIMA SMD components with plastic encapsulation - like all other components of similar construction irrespective of the make - cannot be regarded as hermetically sealed. Due to today’s common washing substances, e. g. on aqueous basis instead of the formerly used halogenated hydrocarbons, with enhanced washing efficiency it became obvious that assembled SMD capacitors may show an impermissibly high deviation of the electrical parameters after a corresponding washing process. Hence it is recommended to refrain from applying industrial washing processes for WIMA SMD capacitors in order to avoid possible damages"

To me, both of those docs read like these are fine for use in small batch hand assembly by a skilled assembly operator.

As i said i'll happily use them again for my personal projects. I like the sound. I can live with the assembly precautions. Amd if i do damage one it's not like they're expensive to swap out.

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by MikeDB » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:43 pm

One wonders who they see as the main users of these devices ? Don't sound suitable for any mass production product. I can just imagine someone at the end of the iPhone line at Foxconn hand soldering some capacitors and then having to clean them using a tissue :-)

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by emmaker » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:54 pm

I used the Panasonic ECHU PPS caps in an audio DAC filter circuit about 25 years ago. I sat down with the mfg engineer and made him read the specs and made sure they could mfg the product before we went into production. We never had problems with them.

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by MikeDB » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:59 am

emmaker wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:54 pm
I used the Panasonic ECHU PPS caps in an audio DAC filter circuit about 25 years ago. I sat down with the mfg engineer and made him read the specs and made sure they could mfg the product before we went into production. We never had problems with them.
So how did he clean the boards ?

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by emmaker » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:17 pm

MikeDB wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:59 am
So how did he clean the boards ?
Sorry Mike but I don't remember. I do remember they did have some regular old kitchen dish washers to wash some things. Whether they used that or something else just can't remember.

Do remember we got a batch of boards that the solder wouldn't adhere to the solder pads. Turns out the boards were not cleaned properly and had a very fine coat of oil on them. Instead of having the order rerun the PCB maker paid to wash the boards in the dish washers at the assembly factory.

Jay S.

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Re: SMT Vs. Thru-hole? (signal quality)

Post by Peake » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:45 pm

Usually the same device in a smaller package...but shorter signal paths can be beneficial
This is not the place I'd imagined it to be.

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