In many ways this is Part 5 of my four-part series on SMD soldering because it addresses problems I had with reflow soldering and TSSOP ICs. I used two TSSOP chips – the TXB0104 and TXB0108 level shifters. Both have pin sizes of 0.3mm and a pin pitch – the distance from the centre of one pin to the centre… Read more »
Over the past three posts I’ve looked at three ways of soldering SMD/SMT components on to a PCB – by hand, reflow soldering with a hot air gun, and reflow soldering with an oven. Now it’s time to draw some conclusions.
If you’re working with solder paste, as I was in the last post, there’s an easier method of applying heat than blasting the PCB with a hot air gun. And that’s to put it in the oven. This is how most commercial soldering is done these days. But this reflow soldering is easy to do at a hobby level, too…. Read more »
While hand soldering SMD/SMT components on to a PCB is certainly feasible, I figured there had to be a better way. That’s when I heard about using hot air rework stations to do the job. The concept is simple: apply solder paste to the pads; place the components on the paste; apply hot air. The paste melts and effectively sucks… Read more »
A little while back, I wrote about my SMD soldering setup. It was very much an overview and mostly about the kit. Now, I know many beginners, like me, are intimidated by soldering surface-mount parts. They’re so small and the pins on ICs are so close together. But there are good reasons for getting over the fear. Many parts are… Read more »
It was time to get serious about SMD soldering. And I have to say, I’m really pleased how well this has worked out so far. Now that I’m getting into, and hugely enjoying, PCB design and getting boards fabbed, I can’t escape tackling SMD (or SMT if you prefer) components. And this is a good thing. For a start, an… Read more »
Some time ago, I wrote about how I’d hacked together a board to program and experiment with AVR ATMEGA328P microcontrollers. Well, now I’ve stepped things up a bit. Mk.II The key features of the old board were a ‘zero insertion force’ (ZIF) socket for the microcontroller chip and a 2×3 HE10 socket to take the ISP cable from my programmer… Read more »
Okay, so I’ve already fessed up to some errors I made with my first-ever PCB. Now I’ve discovered another, and it’s a doozy. It’s also a valuable lesson. I’m waiting for a few bits of kit in order to do surface mount soldering. I’ll be writing more about this when it’s all installed (but as a teaser, it’s a hot… Read more »