First try at SMD

Paradox916

Well-known member
So I was curious about giving SMD components a go... but didn’t want to jump in too deep... so I got some LEDs to make a two tone bank for an Practice project with a common cathode. Them little suckers are kind of a pain if you don’t have steady hands... CAFC64D8-D8CB-4907-96CF-29B510A37D4A.jpeg
 

fig

Well-known member
An audio level meter.

Something like...
yARDTcW.jpg
 

Mcknib

Well-known member
Looks good I tried the effects layouts red clay overdrive for my first SMD effort

I thought I'm not pulling my hair out trying to make something I can't make a noise with

I used a normal iron and a cheapo hot air station

Stuck the IC on with flux then dragged a blob of solder down each side then each individual pin across left to right

I thought I'd get a few solder bridges using the drag solder method but only got 2

Everything else I put on with a solder paste syringe using a digital microscope then held them in place with my tweezers and used the hot air station set at 400c

After blowing numerous components all over the place I set it to low blow and it was fairly easy

Didn't fire up immediately, quick check no VREF so discovered even hot air stations leave dry joints which I traced to the voltage divider sorted that and all good

I've since discovered some vendors offer a stencil for SMD boards which you place over the pcb and apply your solder paste so I'll be looking out for them before I attempt a more complex circuit

The only thing I gave up on were the SMD electros could not get the mo'fos soldered fortunately there were also through hole pads for those

If you do your own boards you can do a stencil in most CAD programs in DXF format as well

20210425_172456_copy_432x576.jpg
 

Paradox916

Well-known member
I was just playing around with them. (Didn’t want to spend more that a couple of bucks to see if I could even pull it off with just an iron, and I’m still not sure if I’m completely ready to got the full SMD route but it could open up the door to make some projects a little more interesting.
 

Mcknib

Well-known member
I was just playing around with them. (Didn’t want to spend more that a couple of bucks to see if I could even pull it off with just an iron, and I’m still not sure if I’m completely ready to got the full SMD route but it could open up the door to make some projects a little more interesting.
Go for it

All I'd say is you defo want solder paste in a syringe it acts like an adhesive as well holding components in place and it's easier to put on the pads, that and some curved tip tweezers to pick up components, position them and hold them in place

You don't need a hot air station but you can get the Chinese one's pretty cheap and when you're not doing SMD they're great for desoldering pots and switches etc just remember to have it set low so you don't have tiny components blown into orbit

I got this one

Once you realise the fact that SMD ICs etc like their through hole cousins can withstand a fair amount of temperature it becomes easier

I used a digital microscope because I'm getting on a bit again you can get a Chinese one cheap but if yer eyesight is ok a normal magnifier would be fine

The most difficult thing I found was getting the damn little SMD critters out of their packaging

Its like most things you learn and get better as you go and hopefully these little tips will get you off to a good start

The actual SMD components as you know are a lot cheaper, have better specs and you get 100 resistors in a pack

Links for tweezers and paste

Paste

Tweezers
 
Last edited:
Top