Getting started in surface-mount soldering

Started by Jason Hsu July 19, 2009
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.

You can get a SMT practice PCB and parts kit from www.celeritous.com
(Look under SMT Tools)
On Jul 19, 2009, at 8:54 AM, 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.

--- In p..., "Jason Hsu" wrote:
>
> I'm looking for suggestions on how to learn surface mount soldering, >as I only know how to solder through-hole.
>

Soldering is pretty straight forward for IC's and the larger components. I use the "flood and mop" technique for IC's.

Take a look at:-

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

there are also a number of other videos on there that are worth watching.

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

I picked up a component pack at a local HAM Rally. What projects kist is harder. Something that interests you perhaps. I built an Elektor Software Defined Radio but its not available as a kit. You have to buy the board and components separately.

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

Just a fine tip is fine. What does get fun though is reqork. If you need to remove a IC you will either need some "chip qwick" solder

http://www.chipquikinc.com/

or hot air re-work...

"http://www.aoyue.com/en/Product.asp?BigClassName=HOT AIR REWORKING"

In the UK there are plenty of scrap TV Sat receivers to practice on

Dave

I would recommend buying a stereoscopic microscope with magnification adjustable between 5x - 30x. This will aid in quality control regardless if you are soldering "large" or "small" parts. Also if you ever want to attempt TQFP it will be possible.

The best way to practice is on capacitors/resistors. 1205 size is as small as you are ever going to practically use. Anything smaller is far too difficult just because when you are handling it with the itty bitty tweezers you have a tendancy to get solder on the tweezers or the error in your hands will be too great to precisly place and hold the component in the right place.

Finally before you start soldering take the tip and file/grind the tip to a fine, needle like point. Apply a small amount of solder to prevent oxidation and prime. Usually the tip will break when you clean it with the sponge, probably because of the thermal differential.

Don't get overwhelmed.

Good luck!
--- In p..., "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.
>

...And get a good soldering iron. I found a Metcal iron with a dozen tips
on eBay for a really good price (the home hobby engineers must all have
been on holiday!). These SMT solder irons have a variety of tips designed
for this type of thing. Oh, I second the binocular 'scope suggestion - I
got a great deal on some Russian optics that are just superb. Google for
the best deals, and keep looking, the bargains are not constantly
available.

DLC

> I would recommend buying a stereoscopic microscope with magnification
> adjustable between 5x - 30x. This will aid in quality control regardless
> if you are soldering "large" or "small" parts. Also if you ever want to
> attempt TQFP it will be possible.
>
> The best way to practice is on capacitors/resistors. 1205 size is as small
> as you are ever going to practically use. Anything smaller is far too
> difficult just because when you are handling it with the itty bitty
> tweezers you have a tendancy to get solder on the tweezers or the error in
> your hands will be too great to precisly place and hold the component in
> the right place.
>
> Finally before you start soldering take the tip and file/grind the tip to
> a fine, needle like point. Apply a small amount of solder to prevent
> oxidation and prime. Usually the tip will break when you clean it with the
> sponge, probably because of the thermal differential.
>
> Don't get overwhelmed.
>
> Good luck!
> --- In p..., "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.
>>
>
>
> to unsubscribe, go to http://www.yahoogroups.com and follow the
> instructions
----- Original Message -----
From: James
To: p...
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 8:31 PM
Subject: [piclist] Re: Getting started in surface-mount soldering
I would recommend buying a stereoscopic microscope with magnification
adjustable between 5x - 30x. This will aid in quality control regardless if
you are soldering "large" or "small" parts. Also if you ever want to attempt
TQFP it will be possible.

The best way to practice is on capacitors/resistors. 1205 size is as small
as you are ever going to practically use.

----------------------------

I don't have any problems with 0603.

Leon