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How to solder (by hand) 01005s?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Michael, Nov 29, 2007.

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  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Howdy gentleman - I got into surface mount soldering about 4 years
    ago. The first board I did was full of 1206s and 1210s, along with a
    couple 0805s, along with a TSSOP. Man those 0805s scared me. I did the
    TSSOP with the flood technique. On my next board, I used all 0805s and
    by that time was comfortable with them. I did a TQFP on that board
    with the flood technique still. After that, I switched to 0603s and
    got comfortable with them. I also switched to the drag technique for
    ICs. A couple years have gone by now and I've stuck with 0603s. I had
    to send out a new PCB a couple weeks ago, and so I decided I'd throw
    some 0402, 0201, and 01005 pads on an unused part of the PCB. So - I
    got the PCBs on Monday along with some parts to throw on those pads.
    The 0402s were a breeze - only the slightest bit harder to solder than
    0603s. The 0201s stepped up the game a bit, but were still fairly
    straightforward. However, the 01005s were another story. I barely
    could even see the things!

    My standard technique is to put a small ball of solder on one pad,
    pick up the discrete with my tweezers at about a 45 degree angle away
    from vertical, then heat up the pad that already has solder on it and
    hold the part in it while removing my iron. This technique worked just
    fine for the 0402s and 0201s. The 01005s, however, just were too
    darned small. I mean my tweezers pretty much covered the entire part.
    I think I might try and find some ultra fine tipped tweezers (the tips
    on mine are maybe .5mm wide). Is that all I can do, or are there some
    clever techniques to solder these buggers that I just don't know


  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    And absolutely no coffee drinking for three days :)
  3. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Believe it or not, I haven't had coffee even once in my entire life.
    The smell just bothers me so much and I like my pearly whites to stay
    pearly white :). I also typically avoid all caffeinated things like
    the plague.

    I think this makes me a bit of a freak. But in a good way. I think.

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    That's probably why you are one of the few who dare to solder 0201 ;-)
  5. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Ah, the quantum capacitors.

    The only reliable (to my sanity at least) way I've found to solder
    such small parts is with solder paste - dab a dot of paste on each
    pad, place the part, use the iron on the copper NEAR the pad (don't
    touch the part - the surface tension will pull against it) and let the
    heat reflow the paste. For bigger parts, you can put the iron right
    in the paste.

    I have a set of tweezers with needle points, the tips are about 10
    thou across. Sometimes, though, a sharpened toothpick works better.
    I place the part with the tweezers, then hold it down with something
    else while I solder.

    You could probably pre-solder the pads, and use the "heat near the
    pads" trick to melt it without the iron actually touching the part,
    which gives you more room for the tweezers.

    Or use paste and a reflow oven or hotplate. I usually use a hotplate
    (at home) for my smt parts.

    SMD challenge board prototype:

    My first 01005 part, hand soldered (wire, no paste):
  6. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I'm still in 1206 land..and I try to keep it that way :)
    If I ever needed to go smaller, I'd probably resort to needle + vacuum
    placement + solder paste + hot plate.

    I already have a DIY vacuum placement system + stove top technique.
    I make my PCBs bakery style :)

    Wild idea...

    How about a titanium solder mask + part stencil??
    Have laser cut holes that are nearly the same as the part size.
    Perhaps include more hole area for solder paste too..

    Then you 'shuffle' the tiny parts with a stick until it plops into the
    hole in the foil.
    (Rectangular part in the rectangular hole...)

    Apply solder paste at ends of part (It's kinda like a solder paste
    mask too.)
    Leave the titanium foil on and hot plate..
    Let cool. Remove foil.

    I suspect thermal flaws in my idea but it's an attempt in combining
    paste masking with SMD part placement socketing in a DIY environment.

    D from BC
  7. Michael

    Michael Guest

    That is one dirty breadboard! I bet it's seen alot of good use. I
    should have mentioned that I was successful in soldering the 01005s
    (verified with a microscope) - it just took me oh about 5-10x as long
    as the 0201s. The pads I used were .2mmx.3mm. I mean, after all, what
    good is a part that small if the pads for it are large?

    How does your technique work when you have soldermask? All of my PCBs
    have soldermask, so I would imagine that'd get in the way when trying
    to touch copper near the pad.

    I like your idea of placing with tweezers than holding down with
    something else. I'll give that a shot.

    I think in the next olympics there should be a soldering event.

  8. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Yeah, I've had that one since grade school. Some of the contacts are
    mangled internally, it doesn't always let you plug stuff into it. I
    have a newer one that I use for big projects.
    Yay! My first 01005 took 20 minutes.
    I don't know. I don't put soldermask on my home boards. Even the
    ones I made had big enough pads that you could touch the pad and not
    the part, barely. Otherwise, you just touch the part and make sure
    you're holding it down.

    The reflow idea works best with parts that have pads *under* them,
    like CSP chips. Touch all you want, you still won't be touching the
    pad itself.
    Since I often check the placement under the microscope, you have to
    figure out how to let go of it and then hold it again anyway.
    Switching tools doesn't add to the excitement, and you can nudge the
    parts around with a toothpick too.

    I might try an xacto knife next time; it's even sharper than a

    Also, with a toothpick, you can focus on holding it in the right
    place, without the problem of also squeezing it. I touch the board
    with my fingertips, holding the toothpick near the working end, to cut
    down on jitters.
  9. Tony Burch

    Tony Burch Guest

    Hi Michael,

    Personally 0402 is the smallest that I have done by hand, but I watched
    another guy very successfully hand solder some 0201. His board was tinned,
    so he did not apply any solder or solderpaste (he said that there was enough
    tin-lead on the pads already).

    All he did was wipe the pads across with a flux pen, put the 0201 down, hold
    it with something like a sharpened toothpick & then bring the iron tip down
    onto the pads. He did it very quickly and with an excellent result.

    I don't know if you could do that with 01005, though. I appreciate just what
    that size means. The components are like dust specks.

    I have a feeling that a good way to approach 01005 might be to not use an
    iron at all, but maybe hot air butane pencil torch (the Weller one is the
    best - other brands just don't seem to focus the heat properly).

    Maybe wipe the pads with liquid flux (eg. from a flux pen). Also maybe apply
    the tiniest bit of solderpaste using the end of a tootpick as the
    applicator. Place down the component somehow. Then use the hot air butane
    pencil torch to reflow. I realise that because the component is so small,
    the air flow from the butane torch could potentially move the component, but
    hopefully the flux / solderpaste will be sticky enough to hold it in place.

    Or maybe like DJ said, use a reflow oven or hotplate.

    Or maybe something more lateral - don't use solder at all! I have not tried
    this, but maybe you could try tiny little blobs of conductive silver epoxy
    on the pads, then just place the component - no soldering. Something like , or just Google "conductive
    silver epoxy". Could be a nice technique for prototypes.


    Tony Burch
  10. krw

    krw Guest

    I'll do it then[*]. I've been off caffeine for almost a year. That
    and alcohol are off-limits after the A-Fib. :-( The good news is
    that I can drink as much decaffeinated coffee as I want. The bad
    news is that it doesn't do anything. The time someone slipped the
    captivated coffee into the decaf container was "interesting, but
    noooot funny". I drank most of the pot before I realized what
    happened. %-[

    [*] If I can see the bloody things - just got back from the eye
  11. ^ sounds addictive.
  12. krw

    krw Guest

    Damned speel czecher.
    Maybe he's not so good.
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