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'[EE]New to surface-mount soldering'
2009\07\19@130721 by Jason Hsu

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I'm looking for suggestions on how to learn surface mount soldering, as I
only
know how to solder through-hole.

What training products can I buy to learn? What surface mount project kits
would give me good practice?

What soldering iron tips should I buy? I have a WES51 soldering station and
would prefer to stick with that.

--
Jason Hsu
http://www.jasonhsu.com/swrwatt.html
http://www.jasonhsu.com/swrwatt-c.txt
http://www.jasonhsu.com/swrwatt-asm.txt

2009\07\19@132412 by Adam Field

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On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 1:07 PM, Jason Hsu<spam_OUTjhsu802701TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
>  I'm looking for suggestions on how to learn surface mount soldering, as I
> only
> know how to solder through-hole.
>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NN7UGWYmBY

Search around on youtube for more videos, there are some really good ones.

2009\07\19@133826 by Marcel Duchamp

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Jason Hsu wrote:
>  I'm looking for suggestions on how to learn surface mount soldering, as I
> only
> know how to solder through-hole.
>
> What training products can I buy to learn? What surface mount project kits
> would give me good practice?
>
> What soldering iron tips should I buy? I have a WES51 soldering station and
> would prefer to stick with that.
>

Get some *dead* consumer product like a TV, stereo, ipod, phone,
printer, whatever.  It will be full of practice parts.

Pull out a circuit board, look it over.  Examine it closely and inspect
the quality of the soldering.

Select smaller parts like 8 pin devices, etc.  Remove them carefully.
Apply solder to both sides of the part, moving the iron back and forth.
When it's free, remove the part.  Use solder wick to clean the board.
Carefully use more solder wick to remove the solder from the leads of
the part you took off.

Now solder it back on.  You can learn a lot of what works and what
doesn't without worrying about ruining good parts and circuit boards
doing this.  You will find out just how little solder is required to do
the job.  And what happens with a bit of excess temperature.

Have fun.

2009\07\19@204442 by solarwind

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On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 1:07 PM, Jason Hsu<.....jhsu802701KILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
>  I'm looking for suggestions on how to learn surface mount soldering, as I
> only
> know how to solder through-hole.
>
> What training products can I buy to learn? What surface mount project kits
> would give me good practice?
>
> What soldering iron tips should I buy? I have a WES51 soldering station and
> would prefer to stick with that.

SOIC is good to start with as they generally have larger pin pitch.
Next, try (T)SSOP. Finally, go for the (T)QFP.

Rip open a dead electronics device like a stereo or something. The old
ones have mostly DIP chips in them though.

2009\07\19@214129 by Jesse Lackey

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Hi, for surface mount ICs, particularly the fine pitch stuff (TSSOP,
TQFP, QFN) I strongly recommend getting a flux pen, like:
digikey KE1803-ND
also very skinny solder braid:
473-1060-ND

so what you do is... (well, this is how I do it)

dab some flux onto the pcb pads

melt some solder onto a corner pin's pad

put chip down onto board, holding iron onto that pad, and when alignment
looks ok take iron off, wait 2-3 seconds to cool

check alignment with 8x magnifier, it will probably be a little off, but
it is tacked down at one corner.  now you can melt the solder again and
tweak the alignment.  repeat until it looks good.

now solder opposite corner pin.

ok, now the chip is on and the alignment is good.  dab more flux onto
the pins.  and double-check that you got the orientation right, i.e. pin
1 is where it should be!  last chance!

now solder pins, either one at a time, or sort of 'smear across' with
the iron tip (I use a 1/64" btw).  Practice helps.  The flux you put
down helps a lot with this.  The QFN parts go really fast and easy,
actually, this way, ironically they are easier&faster than TSSOP or TQFP
once you get the hang of it.  also reflow with a bit more solder that
corner pin you've reheated a few times to make sure it is nice and solid.

Now use desolder braid to clear bridges, and check with the magnifier.

finally, clean with deflux stuff and scrub with old toothbrush:
techspray 1621-10S (mouser has, digikey may)

This all may sound finicky / a hassle but it does pretty quickly once
you get the hang of it and makes solid solder connections.

Have fun!
J






Jason Hsu wrote:
>  I'm looking for suggestions on how to learn surface mount soldering, as I
> only
> know how to solder through-hole.
>
> What training products can I buy to learn? What surface mount project kits
> would give me good practice?
>
> What soldering iron tips should I buy? I have a WES51 soldering station and
> would prefer to stick with that.
>

2009\07\19@232000 by Angelo Castellano

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From: "Adam Field"

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NN7UGWYmBY

the video is well done and very helpful.

But unless you a board you only need a few of, I can't see someone doing this for that for many boards.  A QFP package with 208 pins
on .5mm?  Will drive one crazy.

Angelo Castellano
Sunward Aerospace Group Limited
http://www.sunward1.com
infospamKILLspamsunward1.com

Don't miss joining us at the next iHobby Expo - it will be great!
October 22-23, 2009  trade only
October 24-25, 2009  general public
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center at Rosemont, IL
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Your "Ticket to Ride" sponsor

2009\07\21@204726 by Tony Vandiver

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Sort of in keeping with the topic, what's generally accepted as the next
step between these hand-soldering processes and mass production?  I
routinely run into situations where I need to place a couple thousand
SMT parts, and it kills me to do this by hand.  I've got a bid in on a
very used screen printer, but would still have to place parts by hand
and reflow somehow.  I've done reflows on preprinted boards on a hot
plate in a pinch, and the capital investment for a hot-plate is small
(I'm sure that a placement machine is way out of my budget) but does
anyone have any further advice on not-so-mass production that doesn't
involve one at a time connections with an iron?

Thanks,

Tony


solarwind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\07\21@211016 by Jesse Lackey

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Hi - I use stencilsunlimited for $99 metal stencils, and a 4-burner
w/fan toaster oven with a $25 thermocouple+meter from Jameco to monitor
temperature.  This works pretty well, the reflows are fine, but I have
yet to be able to do tssops without a bunch of solder bridges.

You may just need to bite the bullet and use a contract manufacturer.  I
suggest someone relatively local to you.  I'm in the bay area and
recommend Meritronics, they've been very good, they'll do real low
volume but of course the NRE ($350 for their fancy high-quality
stencils) and the per-piece for qty 25 won't be cheap.

Maybe you can find a relatively cheap assistant to help when you need to
make 10 of something?  I'd like to do this, but haven't taken it
seriously enough to really do the search for this someone.  So I just
either do it myself or hand it to Meritronics, depending on money,
schedule, qty of boards, etc.

Good luck-
J



Tony Vandiver wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\07\22@034108 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> anyone have any further advice on not-so-mass production that doesn't
> involve one at a time connections with an iron?

I switched from hand-soldering to using plastic stencils (
http://www.smtstencil.co.uk/ ), placement still by hand, and reflow with
a IR-bottom-heater plus paint stripper. For second-side-components I use
the paint stripper for global pre-heating and a hot-air rework station
for the actual soldering.

Works fine, but hand-placement is still a lot of work (and error-prone).
I would love to have a table-top placement machine, but both the price
(~ E 12000 2nd-hand) and the size (I don't have much room left) are
still killers.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\07\22@074306 by olin piclist

face picon face
Tony Vandiver wrote:
> Sort of in keeping with the topic, what's generally accepted as the next
> step between these hand-soldering processes and mass production?  I
> routinely run into situations where I need to place a couple thousand
> SMT parts, and it kills me to do this by hand.  I've got a bid in on a
> very used screen printer, but would still have to place parts by hand
> and reflow somehow.  I've done reflows on preprinted boards on a hot
> plate in a pinch, and the capital investment for a hot-plate is small
> (I'm sure that a placement machine is way out of my budget) but does
> anyone have any further advice on not-so-mass production that doesn't
> involve one at a time connections with an iron?

For one offs of small quantities, that's how it is.  The stencil and
programming charges would outweigh any savings.  Look around and you can
probably find small assembly houses that are set up for exactly this kind of
work.  There are several within 1/2 hour drive of my location, for example.
Ask around.  These places are not always obvious to find, even when you know
what you're looking for.  One place I use a lot for this kind of stuff only
charges $35/hour.  They don't even have a pick and place machine.  Places
like that are also good for getting other manual work done that can't easily
be automated, like mounting 100 boards in custom boxes, making custom
cables, doing some testing, rework, etc.  It's good know a place or two like
that locally.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2009\07\22@085409 by Carl Denk

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In the Northern Ohio area (and with shipping what is today, most
anywhere) try Inservco, there big business is medical electronics
populating and testing, including repair on returned units. Don't know
what a small order to them is, but they might like small orders as fill in.
http://www.inservco.com/

Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\07\22@160105 by Jesse Lackey

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I'll also chime in with a plastic stencil source in the usa:

http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/446

I've used them a number of times, fine work, on time, but I've decided
that if a stencil is called for, spending another $30-$50 for metal is
worth it, to try to cut down on tssop bridges.  But it is a cheaper
option, and one can of course do multiple board designs on one stencil
and cut apart.

J




Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\07\22@163020 by Mark Rages

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On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Jesse Lackey<jsl-mlspamspam_OUTcelestialaudio.com> wrote:
> I'll also chime in with a plastic stencil source in the usa:
>
> http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/446
>
> I've used them a number of times, fine work, on time, but I've decided
> that if a stencil is called for, spending another $30-$50 for metal is
> worth it, to try to cut down on tssop bridges.  But it is a cheaper
> option, and one can of course do multiple board designs on one stencil
> and cut apart.
>
> J


I've used Pololu stencils before. On a recent project I didn't have
time, so I got some 0.005" brass shim stock from the hardware store
($5) and a bottle of FeCl etchant from Radio Shack ($10) and
laserprinted the stencil on an old SMPTE magazine, ironed, soaked off
paper, etc.  Took about 30 minutes to etch, but it worked fine.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
@spam@markragesKILLspamspammidwesttelecine.com

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