Author Topic: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?  (Read 29148 times)

Taylor

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Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« on: December 05, 2012, 12:37:07 PM »
More and more parts are becoming obsolete in DIP packages. Few things are impossible to find but many projects are held up by those who fear surface mount soldering.

I was thinking I'd do a PCB project to help folks get comfortable with SMT soldering. It would be something simple, like an opamp overdrive. I want to encourage as many as possible to lose their fear of SMT so I'll be making the following available, for each kind of DIYer:

- Home-etchable PCB artwork so you don't have to spend a dime if you don't want to
- A professionally manufactured PCB
- A kit with all the SMT parts so you don't have to worry about sourcing each individual resistor, etc.

Let me know if something like this appeals to you.

R O Tiree

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 03:27:50 PM »
I'd definitely be interested in a little baggy full of itty-bitty SMD components to experiment with as you describe.  I'm happy enough to do the photo-exposure/etch/mask piece myself as my processes are getting better all the time - it's just the embuggerance of sourcing 2 or 3 of this, 1 of those, etc, when companies deal in minimum lots of 100 or so.
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wavley

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 03:45:11 PM »
I think this is a great idea.  SMT isn't really that scary.  I understand why it isn't as practical for some DIY things, but I think that we could be using it to our advantage more around here because there are some really good reasons to use SMT (other than the fact that through hole parts are becoming obselete)

I do micro assembly under a microscope all day.  I'm totally down with helping answer people's questions.
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Mark Hammer

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 03:46:07 PM »
I'm up for it.

Not meant as any sort of criticism, but what happened to SIPs?  It seems like we never saw any layouts for SIP chips.

therecordingart

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 03:53:27 PM »
I'm game. What size are you thinking? That is really the only thing that has kept me from going to SMT. Too small of packages become a pain to work with and you can just fudge leads around like you can with through hole parts. I can cram the wrong size through hole caps in a smaller footprint, but doing the same with SMT isn't as feasible.

armdnrdy

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 04:10:49 PM »
I don't think that it would be too easy to span traces with a SMT resistor or capacitor.

Definitely have to change layout style. I think that the trace size would have to be reduced as well which could lead to problems in the DIY toner PCB realm.

Do I sound negative? I tried one SMT project.....I failed miserably! But!...... I like the idea of making builds as small as possible so I'm willing to give it another couple hundred trys until I get the hang of it!

Here's a pretty good DIY tutorial:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NN7UGWYmBY
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Bill Mountain

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 04:25:16 PM »
More and more parts are becoming obsolete in DIP packages. Few things are impossible to find but many projects are held up by those who fear surface mount soldering.

I was thinking I'd do a PCB project to help folks get comfortable with SMT soldering. It would be something simple, like an opamp overdrive. I want to encourage as many as possible to lose their fear of SMT so I'll be making the following available, for each kind of DIYer:

- Home-etchable PCB artwork so you don't have to spend a dime if you don't want to
- A professionally manufactured PCB
- A kit with all the SMT parts so you don't have to worry about sourcing each individual resistor, etc.

Let me know if something like this appeals to you.

Sounds cool.  I prefer big ass parts because I have sausages for fingers but it would be a good skill to have.

thelonious

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 04:31:36 PM »
I'm definitely interested in giving this a shot! I was going to try it on my own---a kit would be so helpful.

Taylor

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Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 04:32:45 PM »
I'm up for it.

Not meant as any sort of criticism, but what happened to SIPs?  It seems like we never saw any layouts for SIP chips.

For me the purpose of this is not so much cramming stuff into smaller spaces, although that's nice too. I just see too many people turned off by certain projects or ICs because they require SMT soldering. I just want people to see that it really is not difficult to solder the larger SMT packages like SOIC. There is a lot of new technology coming out right now that's only available in SMT packages and I want to do my tiny part to help the DIY pedal community get over this hurdle and not be left in the dust as tech marches on.


Definitely have to change layout style. I think that the trace size would have to be reduced as well which could lead to problems in the DIY toner PCB realm.


No problem there - I've done plenty of design work for SMT and I've seen a number of people etch boards for tiny lead pitches. It won't be quite as easy to etch this board as a standard one; that's why I'd offer a pro board already made. But for those folks who want to give it a go and don't want to buy a board, the option will be there.

markeebee

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 04:54:21 PM »
That's a noble and marvellous idea, Taylor. I am very much your target demographic, especially if you can incorporate shaky hand steadying and duff eyesight enhancing. Cheers, looking forward to it.

Perrow

Re: Sv: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 06:39:20 PM »
This sounds like a good idea, is it Tayda or Futurlec that sells SMT components in singles, perhaps both. I think I bought some resistors or caps once as I had an idea those would be useful on a project, never used them though.
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alparent

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 07:50:47 PM »
Great idea Taylor.

For people that never soldered SMT before, get the PCB! SMT on pro fabricated PCB with solder mask, almost solders itself.

I'm brave enough to etch my own and try that.



I have a project in the works with a 32 pin atmega smt, smt transistors on resistors, all on a home etched board. Wish me luck!

PS. I don't know how much fun it is to solder SMT with a RatShack iron?

Mark Hammer

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 08:26:47 PM »
I'm up for it.

Not meant as any sort of criticism, but what happened to SIPs?  It seems like we never saw any layouts for SIP chips.

For me the purpose of this is not so much cramming stuff into smaller spaces, although that's nice too. I just see too many people turned off by certain projects or ICs because they require SMT soldering. I just want people to see that it really is not difficult to solder the larger SMT packages like SOIC. There is a lot of new technology coming out right now that's only available in SMT packages and I want to do my tiny part to help the DIY pedal community get over this hurdle and not be left in the dust as tech marches on.
And I think that is an excellent idea.

I posted somethng earlier in the summer about repairing a buddy's Variax, temporarily losing a teeny-tiny resistor on the bench, and the struggle to put the resistor back on the board once we miraculously found it again.  Working with SMT chips and thru-hole passive components is one thing.  Working with all SMT parts quite another!  :icon_lol:

therecordingart

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 08:34:48 PM »
I have a hot air rework station on my Amazon wishlist. I've done some SMT work with my soldering iron, but now I'm jonesin' for a project so this is perfect. Thank you, Taylor!

Jdansti

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 08:39:48 PM »
I've dabbled in SMT repairs and mods, and I've got the parts to build a 95% SMT Noisy Cricket. I'd definitely like to do more.  :)
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Puguglybonehead

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 09:43:09 PM »
This is something that's been on my mind lately. I was actually searching this very forum only a few days ago on this very subject. I was actually wondering if some of the ROG projects couldn't be adapted to SMT. Things like the Supreaux and the English Channel and things like that.
Aren't there a number of different FETs that are available as SMDs? Actually, aren't some of the "full-size" FETs being discontinued? This is sort of what got me interested in learning this stuff to begin with.
Anyways, I'm definitely interested. I recently picked up an Artec distortion unit that's all SMT. It has 5 different settings and mounts inside your guitar. Really tiny board. I got it to put inside the next bass that I build for my girlfriend. (She does a solo act and uses a lot of distortion) SMT is the way things are headed, looks like.

Morocotopo

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 12:17:57 PM »
The problems with DIY SMT are actually two: making a board and soldering. About the board, I think that the way to go is NOT toner transfers, but photo sensitive boards. I´ve never made one with that technology, always toner transfer.
Anyone that made SMT boards with photo sensitive boards can comment on this? Feasible or not?
Morocotopo

Gurner

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 03:56:10 PM »
The problems with DIY SMT are actually two: making a board and soldering. About the board, I think that the way to go is NOT toner transfers, but photo sensitive boards. I´ve never made one with that technology, always toner transfer.
Anyone that made SMT boards with photo sensitive boards can comment on this? Feasible or not?

I make SMD boards with photo sensitive boards not much of a challenge there ...same with soldering (to solder SMD resistors resistors...tack one side to its pad with solder, then the other side/pad ..... to solder ICs ...get the IC in place, tack pin 1 with solder, now go to the diagonally opposite corner...align it & tack that with solder...then solder all the pins). Good lighting a a magnifier help heaps, I use something like this....http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-Diopter-Illuminated-Magnifying-Lamp-8609-Twin-Tubes-/330812017773?pt=UK_Home_Garden_Lamps&hash=item4d05eecc6d&_uhb=1

As long as you don't go stupid small & stick with  say 1206 size components & SOIC, then IMHO SMD is no harder than through hole (easier in my opinion as you don't have to drill holes).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 03:58:41 PM by Gurner »

Perrow

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 04:50:00 PM »
Less drilling is a really nice side effect  ;D

Tayda doesn't have 1206 resistors, just 0805 which seems just a little too small. Lets all ask for them to carry 1206 resistors and caps :)
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tyronethebig

Re: Interested in getting comfortable with SMT?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2012, 06:08:22 PM »
They arent so bad! (as long as you have tweezers and a microscope  ;D). But seriously, the 0805 that tayda carry are pretty easy to work with.

I've been dabbling in this recently for the same reasons you have posted here. Its obvious the components are going to change over and once you get into it, its actually pretty fun. I have a few easy layouts if anyone wants me to upload them. And I'd be happy to take a request or two to get some more practice in!
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