SMT Hobby question

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,496
As is the case with most generic question, the answer is... it depends.

Components are increasingly becoming available only in SMT options, so hobbyists that use those components are driven to either develop the capabilities to work with SMT, find alternatives, or shift their interests. I know people that have chosen each of those (or some combination of them). But lots of hobbyists are doing things that don't (yet) require SMT components and so they don't need to move in that direction unless they want to. SMT has a number of advantages, even for the hobbyist, as you get to higher frequencies. If your hobby is audio, that's not a factor. If your hobby is the higher ends of the RF spectrum, that's a factor.
 

Thread Starter

JohnnyKnox

Joined Sep 4, 2022
11
As is the case with most generic question, the answer is... it depends.

Components are increasingly becoming available only in SMT options, so hobbyists that use those components are driven to either develop the capabilities to work with SMT, find alternatives, or shift their interests. I know people that have chosen each of those (or some combination of them). But lots of hobbyists are doing things that don't (yet) require SMT components and so they don't need to move in that direction unless they want to. SMT has a number of advantages, even for the hobbyist, as you get to higher frequencies. If your hobby is audio, that's not a factor. If your hobby is the higher ends of the RF spectrum, that's a factor.
Thank you
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
391
Larger SMT components aren't that difficult to work with, especially with the low cost of getting circuit boards and solderpaste stencils fabricated.

For the really small components made in no other from factor, pre-assembled modules can often be purchased for less than the cost of the components. Also, JLCPCB offers a virtually free assembly service – you pay to have the boards made and for the components, and you receive assembled boards. But you're paying for 10 boards, so if you if have expensive parts, the cost adds up.
 
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