You can solder SMT!

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Muff Wiggler
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You can solder SMT!

Post by Muff Wiggler » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:41 pm

Well, I know you can learn. I haven't yet, but there's guys who do it. Governor Blacksnake does it (The Harvestman), Grant Richter does it (Wiard). Anyway, Mr. Blacksnake posted this encouraging info in another thread, and I'm quoting it here to give you guys some inspiration 8) Maybe one day I'll get around to trying it out myself.

Thanks Blacksnake for the info!
governor blacksnake wrote:Getting into SMT building was actually really fun for me. I recommend that every DIYer with good eyes and steady hands tries it.

I've had good results using the following tool set. Warning, my methods were completely self-taught so you'll probably find better ways of doing this.

some old tweezers
Weller WES51 w/ ETR screwdriver tip (set to 500 degrees)
silver-bearing leaded solder, .022 diameter

I do most of the work with 0805 size passives and various SOIC packages. I can work with QFP and SSOPs as well, but it was a huge headache until I got a good deal on a hot air rework station. Typically I add a dome of solder to one of the pads, then pick up the part with tweezers, move it into position, and let the solder flow. Then, I turn the board around and add solder to the other side. Repeat for all pins.

Note that SMT tape packaging really wasn't meant for human manipulation. For a while the most time-consuming part of my builds was getting the parts out of the package. I then got a bunch of little square SMT part containers (about 1 inch cubes) with spring-loaded doors off of ebay. Whenever obtaining new parts I would dump the contents of the entire tape into the appropriate container, where I could then quickly pick them out with my hands instead of peeling away sections of tape.

Now that I solder for hours every day I've also added a simple magnifying lamp. It helps.

If you etch your own boards going SMT removes a lot of the headache - no more drilling through! sparkfun.com also has some good tutorials on cheap reflow techniques.

To me, SMT isn't so bad. It seems to be that RoHS is a much greater problem facing the synth DIYer.

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synthetic
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Post by synthetic » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:59 pm

I've heard that a dab of solder on one of the pads makes it easier. Solder one pad, then heat that up and move in the component. When it cools a little, solder the other pad.

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Kwote
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Post by Kwote » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:03 am

what's RoHS?
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consumed
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Post by consumed » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:13 pm

Kwote wrote:what's RoHS?
Rodents Of Horrendous Size

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synthetic
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Post by synthetic » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:19 pm

RoHS is the European Union deciding that anything with lead inside will give you cancer or something. Like anyone knows anything about how you get cancer. So they decided that all lead was banned – from the leads on resistors to solder. It's a huge PITA for smaller manufacturers to deal with. You need to find parts that are ROHS compliant, which is not always possible for specialized stuff like audio equipment.

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Kwote
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Post by Kwote » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:27 pm

synthetic wrote:RoHS is the European Union deciding that anything with lead inside will give you cancer or something. Like anyone knows anything about how you get cancer. So they decided that all lead was banned – from the leads on resistors to solder. It's a huge PITA for smaller manufacturers to deal with. You need to find parts that are ROHS compliant, which is not always possible for specialized stuff like audio equipment.
i remember reading something on the Wiard discussion group revolving around whiskers and how the ROHS played a role in making that harder to deal with. i know i'm pathetically paraphrasing but some of you might know what i'm talking about......or not :lol:

anyways your explanation reminded me that i basically knew this already.
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consumed
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Post by consumed » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:28 pm

yes, WHISKERS!

Image

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Kwote
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Post by Kwote » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:33 pm

consumed wrote:yes, WHISKERS!

Image
that really is ROHS! lol.
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A Dingleberry Monstrosity
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Post by A Dingleberry Monstrosity » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:16 pm

why bother when you can always get the IC in dip format? :?

that just sounds like a pain in the ass that I dont even want to attempt.

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