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Working with SMD devices - Page 2

post #16 of 29
sort of diy related, definitely smd related:


these guys are building a kinda cool device, and they are doing it all by hand. i dont know if that is cool or cruel...
post #17 of 29
This is cool and cruel at the same time. Some guys trying to develop a device, build it and sell it, and make a profit. The big guys will come along steal it and make it cheap overseas and put them under probably.
Soldering surface mount without the needed tools is cruel, but obviously there a few guys doing this all day long. Hats off to them. Maybe they should put a Headphone amp out.
post #18 of 29
That's a bloody impressive product! mp3 player with **Ethernet** interface!

I'm surprised they didn't buy a SMD soldering station since they're doing this commerically, they go for $1000-2000. Maybe they're getting good at classic style soldering...
post #19 of 29


Dan - reading glasses are a great suggestion. I hadn't thought of that before - thanks!

I have a glasses-mounted loupe (2.5x) which is okay, but I recently received my 10x triplet jeweller's loupe - and MAN it rocks.

This particular model is generally accepted as the bargain to beat all bargains in loupes - it's a true triplet, well-put-together, for $12USD. (This is only one retailer, you can find Belomo's elsewhere - but I purchased mine from CR and had no complaints).

post #20 of 29
Thanks jonpile... just ordered mine...
post #21 of 29
Just received my Belomo loupe yesterday. jonpile was right - this is a very nice gadget. I'm no expert but I can't see any chromatic aberations or other lens defects - quality seems very nice. Yeah, the lens is small but the magnification is high. And it takes very little space.
post #22 of 29
That's great, as an inspection tool... not as a work tool. (probably makes stones look good too, whip out the loupe with a florish and check out the teach's wedding ring!)

Like, it'd be GREAT for seeing all the pins bridged together tryin to solder MSOP8 with a 28 gauge wire wrapped around a soldering iron... there are some things in life you'd better not bother with.

a - not for nothin but if this is the pin size/spacing you're referring to then NO you're right I'm not gonna attempt your DAC because all I'll do is get violent and smash stuff...

note to self: never solder on anything that can fit between the pins of a DIP.

Even the world's coolest magnifier won't stop the hand shakes... and it don't take much to look like a case of parkinson's disease at 10x... .032" solder looks like a silver tree trunk.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Whoa! What package is THAT?!

I didn't know they could even make silicon chips(the bit inside the package) that were that small...
post #24 of 29
You'll be hard pressed to find more irritable person than me - I get pissed when people press buttons in elevator, curse at the world when I wait more than a few minutes at the bus stop or a shop, yell at my PC and pound on keyboard everyday (I mean, everyday) and so on. Yet I can sit for hours without moving
and solder those tiny things. Don't ask me why and how.

At any rate, here's the chip so make your call

Oh, and lay off the coffee. That should help calm your hands down...


What the #@$% happened to Olive, the other raindeer??
post #25 of 29
Ou ou ou !
Let me guess, SSOP?

I'm making a PCB for the buggers. I've already established I suck at soldering them by hand so I'm going to use the reflow machine we have at school. Fortunately, the reflow machine can't be worse than me, I managed to bridge all the connections.

Also ordered two Belomo loupes
post #26 of 29

If you can do it, so can I! Uh, or not.

SSOPs. Right at my limit. I can touch the individual pins with the 1mm tip and I only reflow the pins to either side when heating one, and I guess I could be successful. Double the density of SOICs? Ugh. And you like this? Woah. I never thought a one millimeter soldering iron tip would be huge, but here we are. It's freakin huge. How many of those 28 need hookups?

The dangerous part is it looks possible... then an hour later with scorched fingers and lifted pads and heat discolored pins and bits of solder imbedded in the soft, overheated plastic... you realize... whoops.
post #27 of 29
Originally posted by Apheared
That's great, as an inspection tool... not as a work tool. (probably makes stones look good too, whip out the loupe with a florish and check out the teach's wedding ring!)
Yup - inspection only. It's especially useful when free-forming BEAM circuits (3-d lead-to-lead routing) or dead-bug construction...

I have a glasses-mounted loupe I sometimes use as a work tool, but as I mentioned, the magnification is not high enough.

post #28 of 29
I soldered only one SSOP so far - 20-pin CS4390. I used the
"bridge them all, then clean up" technique. I've never done it
before, and I used plain Weller conical tip (probably over 1mm)
on a plain Weller 25W iron. It took me about 10 minutes to solder it, then some more time to check connections with multimeter. It was a professional 2 layer board though.

When I was soldering much bigger CS4396 (SOIC), it took me
much more time on hand-made board. I haven't paid
enough attention and I had quite a lot of vias around and even
under the chip, and all their copper rings were tiny and
usually broken in half by drilling. I had tons of problems as the
area was congested and I had to solder each pin on its own.
My second prototype is hand-optimized to have as few vias as possible (remember, when you do board yourself, you must make via connections yourself, nobody is going to solder-plate the holes for you!).
post #29 of 29
Yes the Triplet idea is lenses glued together or positioned together to correct distortion. I have some lenses from Cameras which do this. Very nice lenses. Ultimately I want a Nikon scope adapter to adapt my Nikon macro lenses and bellows to work on circuits and watches etc.
The reading glasses idea works really well for working and not just inspection. Several can add up to 7X or more in stereo. This is the cheap cure for tiny work. I also use a real loupe which I hold in my eyesocket sometimes but the working distance does not allow soldering.
Look to jeweler supply outlets for good optics with high magnification and a longer working distance.
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