Surface Mount Soldering with Simon


Just a heads-up: Friday January 11, 2013 is our favorite day of the year, Inventory Day. That means we’ll all be busy counting every IC, wire, and switch we have in stock, so orders won’t be going out that day. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

The first time I tried surface mount device soldering, I had just started at SparkFun and decided to take a kit home with me. When I got home, I set up my table with my Simon Kit, my dusty old soldering iron, and was ready to go. When I opened the kit, I realized I had mistakenly gotten the SMD version, when I had really meant to pick up the through-hole version. No worries, I thought - I got this. Without boring you with the details, it did not end well.

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Later, I signed up for a SparkFun SMD workshop and was shocked that when you know the tips and tricks for doing surface mount work, it’s really not that hard. Which brings me to the point of today’s post (yes there is one!) - one week from today (January 16, 2013) we are hosting an SMD Simon Soldering Workshop. In this class, which takes place at SparkFun HQ and goes from 6 p.m. until ~10 p.m., you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of surface mount soldering. You’ll leave with not only a working Simon Says game, but the skills to do surface mount work like a pro.

Sign up over at Learn.SparkFun.com today. Hope to see you there!


Comments 7 comments

  • I’ve found that SMD soldering is incompatible with coffee consumption. ;-)

  • It would be awesome to create an online training course that would show exactly what you are doing and demonstrating in these sessions. I would envision something that had both text/pictures and video. Some things can be better explained in written form, with video backing up what was explained with a real example.

  • I really wish I could attend, but I live in north Louisiana. I wish I lived closer because I would attend for sure!

  • We’re encouraged by all the support you guys have given us and we’ll continue to supply hardware, various forms of documentation and curriculum and workshops as much as we can in the years to come. Those of us in the young educational department are honored to work under the comparatively older SparkFun umbrella. Thanks to Nate for making it all happen.

    Also- Yes tinkertoy, espressos do not a tidy IC make when working with fine pitch. Nor does a pretty thumb result from inept use of a rework station. ;)

  • I like the progress the learning site has received. Hopefully one day, school curriculum will be designed around it.

  • The first SMD gizmo I ever tried to build was the DDS-60 kit http://midnightdesignsolutions.com/dds60/ although I had earlier hacked up an old socket-7 mb by changing out a few SMD resistors so the board would work with an AMD K6-266 processor which needed a different core voltage than the board could provide. Changing the resistors re-programmed the on board voltage regulator. THAT was NOT easy, my tools were way too large and I almost destroyed the motherboard. (In the end it did work). The DDS-60 OTOH was easy because I had bought myself a 1/64" tip for my Weller soldering station and found a good pair of tweezers as well as a good magnifier. Having the right tools makes all the difference in the world!

    • No biggie- pulled this off of my motherboard so i could get backlight back on my mac. Size 0402 fuse, did the job with a 1mm soldering tip. Lets just say I really wanted a hot air station after an hour and a half trying to get it off and a new one on without ruining the pads… http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/21/dsc1659x.jpg/sr=1


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