Getting Started with SMD soldering: My personal Experience and other tricks!

Hi electronics enthusiasts,

I wanted to write something new, hence decided chose to do a small introduction about a very useful skill I developed in my undergraduate life.

Most of you have already become accustomed with this type of soldering using the soldering iron. Some of you may be new to experience this as well. That is okay, this forum article is about gaining knowledge in SMD soldering, and it will be an entirely new skill for you, whatever the experience level you are in.

PRO-TIP : Soldering is all practice! The more you practice, the better skilled you become! No one is good the first time!! :slight_smile:

The video below shows a few examples of using the soldering iron to solder SMD components. As seen in the video, there SMD components have solder pads only on one side of the PCB (unlike both sides for through-hole components).

Hence, SMD stands for Surface-Mounted Device
SMD components are better because they are much smaller and take less space on your PCB. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of SMD components here.


Now, the purpose of this article was to give you a small introduction on getting started right?

First of all, the most important part is the things you will need! Let me introduce you to the types of things you need to begin SMD soldering!

1 - Solder paste (You may need to order online)

2 - Thin Quality solder wire - 0.5mm or thinner (You may need to order online)

https://lcsc.com/products/Soldering-Wires_572.html?brand=754

3 - Tip tweezers (You may need to order online)

It is important to have the right tools for the right job! Or even use some tweezers you can find at home too :slight_smile:

4 - Hot air soldering station

Now this is the most important device you will need! However it will cost 10,000 LKR or more to buy a good one in Sri Lanka. So you can always use resources available with a friend or at the university.

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-21 at 11.36.59

This soldering station is a pretty good, and costs 12,000 LKR at UNITECH Electronics Shop, First Cross Street, Pettah.

I also want to tell you that when it comes to SMD soldering, quality matters. The more quality equipment you use, the better and easier you can get your task done. This i tell you from very hard earned experience.

And the best soldering station you can ask for is from the German brand called Weller.

This above station, the Weller WR3000M is one of the best in the world, and you can check it out at the Premium Biomedical Research Lab, University of Moratuwa.

5 - Solder flux - (Can buy locally at Pettah or https://scionelectronics.com/)

6 - Solder wick - (Can buy locally at Pettah or https://scionelectronics.com/)

OPTIONAL

1 - PCB holding stand
2 - Heat Proof Soldering Mat
3 - Magnifying glass for soldering

SAFETY MEASURES

  1. Wear a mask to prevent inhaling the smoke generated during soldering.
  2. Buy or Build your own exhaust fan, to extract the exhaust fumes generated during a soldering session.
  3. Make sure you practice carefully and with focus, so that you do not burn yourself and the surrounding items when you are using the device. Sometimes you can burn you power wires and other things around you by mistake, if you are not focusing on the task properly.
  4. Keep some first aid material incase you get a burn due to soldering iron.

This is a video of a SMD soldering task that i had to accomplish. Hand-soldering the ADS1299 IC.

-TO BE UPDATED-

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