Sunday, December 14, 2014

SMD Soldering - SMD 101 - Practice Board

Back in the late 80s, early 90s, electronic components were mostly through whole. As time went by SMD (Surface Monted Devices) took over and today more and more SMD kits are available.
Prior to today I had almost zero experience soldering SMD devices. A while back I watched a video on YouTube that encouraged me to try SMD. Rightfully, the video states that you need some adequate tools for SMD "home" soldering. Here's what I used on my first try:
  1. A good quality, temperature controlled, soldering iron. I use the Hako 936 station with the Hako 907 iron. This product is now discontinued but I have been using it for a while and I really like it.
  2. The soldering iron tip is a personal choice. I mostly use the Hako T18-C3 tip, witch is a 3mm bevel tip.
  3. Soldering flux. I use MG Chemicals No Clean Flux Paste.
  4. Solder. For SMD I use Multicore 0.5mm Wire Solder, +183 → +188°C Melting Point, 40% Lead, 60% Tin.
  5. Tweezers. I got some cheap ebay ones.
  6. A magnifier.My personal choice is a head magnifier. Your millage may vary.
  7. Good lighting. Indispensable.
So, to get some experience I got some dirt cheap SMD trainnig board, They are available on ebay for peanuts. Here's a picture of all the stuff I used on this proof of concept:

Well, I must say that I am quite happy with the results. For a first try I think I got it right. If so, this opens up an entirely new world. I may even consider the M0NKA HF Radio Project. Who knows...
So, without further delay, here's the result for today's experience. It's just 4 chips, but hey, I'm excited. And I'm also including some super macro shots. :)

And some macros...

So, great fun! Now, I just have to get more practice.

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