Thanks for all your SMD soldering suggestions

Thread Starter

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,748
I got all my parts in and thanks to your suggestions I was able to solder SMD components using hot air soldering station. The results are better than I thought. The 3D printed plastic containers are awesome for organizing caps and resistors and makes assembly a breeze. The suggestion to use unpopulated boards to stencil paste... perfect! - THANKS GUYS!!! - I'll post a new issue next post.

IMG_1334 (1).jpg
 

Burt L.

Joined Apr 18, 2019
10
I got all my parts in and thanks to your suggestions I was able to solder SMD components using hot air soldering station. The results are better than I thought. The 3D printed plastic containers are awesome for organizing caps and resistors and makes assembly a breeze. The suggestion to use unpopulated boards to stencil paste... perfect! - THANKS GUYS!!! - I'll post a new issue next post.

View attachment 174761
This may be rudimentary but I have been using a tiny blob of modeling clay to immobilize the SMD and then soldering one end.
I'm new to this so the clay and magnifying glass have helped me wrangle these tiny parts. After one side is soldered, the
modeling clay can be removed and the other end soldered.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,435
This may be rudimentary but I have been using a tiny blob of modeling clay to immobilize the SMD and then soldering one end.
I'm new to this so the clay and magnifying glass have helped me wrangle these tiny parts. After one side is soldered, the
modeling clay can be removed and the other end soldered.
I will look at some oil-based clays to try. Right now, I use a microdrop of cyanoacrylic (CA) adhesive under the chip. Soldering heat generally gets rid of it ( briefly mentioned here: https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/is-this-what-i-need.157150/#post-1360800 )
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
I will look at some oil-based clays to try. Right now, I use a microdrop of cyanoacrylic (CA) adhesive under the chip. Soldering heat generally gets rid of it ( briefly mentioned here: https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/is-this-what-i-need.157150/#post-1360800 )
I used to use glue, but since I’ve gotten a stereoscope, I just tin the pad and tack one end using tweezers to hold the part. Then tack the other end, the push down a little and reflow. Seeing what I am doing has really made things simpler.
 
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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,435
@Yaakov I do that same procedure when there are only a few components to solder. When I have many more, I use the CA procedure as it allows me to populate most of the small stuff first. I build from low to high as usual. I feel the "reflow" step is important to remove stresses, but have no proof of its necessity.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
@Yaakov I do that same procedure when there are only a few components to solder. When I have many more, I use the CA procedure as it allows me to populate most of the small stuff first. I build from low to high as usual.
Yes, that's where I first learned to do the gluing. Recently, I have only been doing small things and through hole, so I forgot how useful it can be for larger numbers of components.

One problem I hd with the CA was runout. I started using a pin and gel with a acetone soaked alcohol wipe in a small ziplock to clean between applications. It takes very little as you know.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,298
I used to use glue, but since I’ve gotten a stereoscope, I just tin the pad and tack one end using tweezers to hold the part. Then tack the other end, the punch down a little and reflow. Seeing what I am doing has really made things simpler.
+1
With the proper solder tip, thin solder and a overhead magnification system you can really zip along if you spot tin the pad of all like parts in one step and then tack/reflow solder all like parts in the next step.



I'm still using the old MAX232 through hole DIP device in a socket because that's the most likely component to get zapped in hand held operational use testing RS-232 communications ports on machines that can generate high voltage (>200kV) source fault currents to ground return during malfunctions.
 
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Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
With the FX-951 I have a large range of tips on hand easily (literally) hot swapped. The utility of the very small tips always seemed dubious but now I am very happy to have them, including the angled ones. I want to get another T-12/T-15 compatible station so I can have two tips ready to go, but being able to swap is great.

This photo is my most used tip lately for non-through-hole work:

fullsizeoutput_c45.jpeg
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,298
I love the Metcal for SMD. The tip selection is almost limitless and the power and temperature control at the smallest tip makes soldering a pleasure.
 
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