Monday, September 21, 2009


More and more parts are SMD type package only and is just to hard to manually solder, with my old age eyes. Has anyone out there heard of any DIY methods for soldering the SMD type packages to boards? Sparkfun puts out a nice breakout board for 6 pin SOT-23-5 so if there was an easy way to solder the component to the breakout board, it could then be worked with in a normal fashion.

Anyone have any ideas?


Jon said...

I've only used it for removing components from old boards, but I bought a "Wagner HT400 Heat Gun" off eBay for less than a tenner. I'd imagine it would work fine for some budget hot-air soldering too..

desNotes said...

Interesting idea, especially for something simple like the breakout board. I will look around for a heat gun on eBay and see what I can come up. Thanks for the tip.


Anonymous said...

I got one of the lighted loupes from SparkFun and did my first SMD and it went beautifully. My old eyes can't see anything up close anymore and I now even use it for through hole. I also bought a Weller digital soldering station so I suppose that helps to.

CalgaryDon said...

Noticed this post and seriously identified with your comments on eyesight and fighting with the small pin sizes. My problem is refusing to admit I need bi-focals!

Anyways - what I came across that I'm going to try out is a Schmartboard. They're sending a sample board shortly - will keep you posted.

If you want to have a look for yourself - their website is

Instructions looked easier than I thought

CalgaryDon said...

Last url didn't seem to come through:

CalgaryDon said...

Not sure why it's getting cut off
maybe try two lines..


desNotes said...

Thanks for the link. I signed up for a free sample and read through the pdf. Looks like it just might work for these tired eyes. said...

I use a soldering with a 20mil tip and
wire solder. SOT23's are very easy to solder. If you stick to 0805 (or larger), 0.5mm pitch (or greater) you should not have a problem. The tools I use are listed at

I have also developed a prototyping
board that works with my ATmega + XBee
board. My board enables mixed TH and SMD soldering (300mil DIP, SOIC and SOT23).

(* jcl *)