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2651 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2014 1:28 PM by noobish RSS
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Jul 30, 2014 4:55 AM

Product Suggestions for SMD Soldering

I am just recently learning how to solder SMDs and wanted to ask for your advice. I have come to realize that my old iron is far too basic to be effective in soldering devices this small, and I would like to invest on a good work station with good products.

 

So, in your experience what is the best products to use with the best price?

  • Rick designspecialist-power 62 posts since
    Mar 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2014 2:15 PM (in response to JohnDavis)
    Product Suggestions for SMD Soldering

    The WES51-120V-ND is a solid, relatively economical unit with a variety of small tips available. Note that good technique will allow you to do quite a bit with even a standard 1/16" spade tip. SOICs, SOTs, 0603 (EIA) passives or larger, no trouble at all. Own one, have one in the cubicle, bought one for a friend.

     

    Advanced hand SMD work calls for a hot air station, which aren't cheap from respected-brand sources. Off-brand units are available on Amazon for much less and can do the job (own one) though as with most such products, you risk getting what you pay for... Good tweezers, good technique, and a stereo microscope will let you do things like 4-ball BGAs with half-mm pitch quite successfully this way.

     

    I'd also recommend use of lead-bearing solder; lower temps, better joints, no tin whiskers...

  • noobish Novice 3 posts since
    Aug 12, 2014
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 12, 2014 1:28 PM (in response to JohnDavis)
    Product Suggestions for SMD Soldering

    If  you're every tring to do fine pitch chips, flux would be your friend;  lightly flux the pad areas and lightly solder one corner pad. A pair of  SMD tweezers are very usefull in line up the pins. One you have the chip  lined up solder that corner pin and then do an adjacent pin. take a  look at it, and if everything looks dandy you can indivindually do every  pin, or what I do is glob solder across the pins and use some solder  wick to suck up the globs leaving behind small enough amount of solder  to make a good connection. Double check for solder bridges and always be  sure to clean up with so de-fluxing spray.

     

     

    Doing  it right the first time is important becuase as Rick pointed out, the  have SMD chips desoldered you would need special equipment, like hot air  stations, or as i use at, metcal that has various tips depending on  what you trying to desolder. Tips for metcal and also hot ait stations  can run like $150, which to me sounds insane, but sometimes it is  required because of the density of nearby components. I am thinking  about my boken gpu's at home. I dont have a tip to localize the hot air  towards the bottome side of the BGA, then i could start heating caps on  the bottom side or losing components near the bga. But the tip costs as  much as the GPU at the time, so not worth it to me.

     

    And  as far as solder stations, Weller has allows had a good price to  qualitly comparison. Tips are inexpensice, and I've learned using those  brass cleaners instead of the wet sponge, together with some soldeirng  tin, with make those tips last quite a while. I have never liked  desoldering smd components with the right equipment, maninly becuase of  bent component lengs or ripping the pads off the board. Just happended  to me yesterday actually. Got mad, globbed solder across either side of  the SOIC and used a simple heat gun until I felt like the solder had  liquidfied and tapped on it - chip fell off fairly easily but i could  see that when I tried it with a soldering iron the pads when bent out of  shaped and some were missing, which is usually the unconnected pads anyways.

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