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SMT soldering

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by notbob, Jul 6, 2006.

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  1. notbob

    notbob Guest

    I have zero experience with SMT soldering. I have a Weller WTCPS
    soldering station. Is there a tip that is good for SMT soldering or
    should I get a different model station?

  2. Simoc

    Simoc Guest

    You don't need anything more than a sharp tip. The smaller the better,
    but as considering your zero-experience, I don't think that you are
    going to solder the smallest and the most difficult components on a PCB
    with the highest component/surface -density, so I'm pretty sure that
    any sharp tip will do :)
  3. notbob

    notbob Guest

    I guess my real concern is temperatures. The WTCPS station is a
    regulated power supply with changeable fixed temp tips. The lowest
    tip temp I've been able to find for it is 600 deg F. From what little
    I've been able to find on SMT solder temps on the web, it appears most
    SMT work is sub-500 deg F, making my station a bit hot. Will my
    station be ok if used with a judicious touch? I may have no
    experience with SMDs, but have more soldering experience than I care
    to relate.

  4. phaeton

    phaeton Guest

    I always thought most guys used solder paste and a hideous $4.99
    toaster oven they bought at the local GoodWill or Starvation Army.

    When doing SMT stuff.

  5. notbob

    notbob Guest

    yeah, I got that page bookmarked, too.

  6. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

  7. notbob

    notbob Guest

  8. No actually. You need a small wedge shape tip that gets good contact
    with the pad and component, sharp conical tips are not very good for
    The rest is pad layout, technique, and 0.46mm or finer solder. A pair
    of tweezers is absolutely essential, I prefer the straight sharp
    pointed type, but the angled type can be handy too.

    Re. pad layout. If you are designing a board for hand soldering then
    you have to have larger pads that allow surface area for the tip. It's
    much more difficult to hand solder "high density" pads that have little
    or no oversize. The recommended IPC footprints are large and are good
    for hand soldering, but crap for high density production layouts.

    Dave :)
  9. phaeton

    phaeton Guest

    I don't, but a lot of guys in an IRC channel I haunt periodically do
    just that. A few of them build SMT boards exclusively.

    It's probably a bit too much fine detail for me. CTS/Tendonitis and
    all makes me a little 'clumsy' in the hands, and the eyes aren't the
    20/10 that they used to be. I plan on giving it a shot sometime down
    the road, but for now I'm still getting better at soldering
    through-hole stuff.

  10. Simoc

    Simoc Guest

    OK, I agree, but by putting a little solder to the bit before
    begionning to heat the component and the pad, both will get heated, and
    sharp bit will do...but of course, in case of more advanced work, some
    kind of more advanced tool will do better :)
  11. Melodolic

    Melodolic Guest

    I put a little touch of solder on one pad, and then slide the component onto
    it while heating with the tip of the iron (fine tweezers and wedge shaped
    bit!). The part slides into a little pool of solder and can be positioned
    before withdrawing the iron. With the part tacked in place, I then do the
    other end normally, using just iron and solder, before redoing the first
    joint with iron and solder.

    Can't say I've found pointy tips to work reliably - hard to get the heat in
    fast enough. Maybe they're okay for 0603 size?
  12. A wedge shaped tip is hardly a more advanced tool!, it's the right tool
    for the job. Better for normal soldering too. Conical tips are pretty
    much useless for normal and SMD soldering.

    Dave :)
  13. Yeah, that's one of the standard techniques, and works very well.

    Dave :)
  14. Simoc

    Simoc Guest

    "Righter" for the job --> more "advanced" to the job, isn't it?
    Agreed, and good if the OP has better tip for doing, but my points were
    originally just that
    a) If the OP has just a tip that is non-sharp and is too big, it won't
    b) If he has a sharp tip, it will probably do, even if it's quite big.
    c) I would think that soldering irons/stations have more often as
    original tip either a sharp tip or a one that is not suitable for this
    job, than a correct-sized wedge-shaped one.
  15. Melodolic

    Melodolic Guest

    I think the idea is to go to the wedge-shaped bit shop and buy one.
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