SparkFun will be closing early at 3:30 Friday 5/27 and remain closed Monday for Memorial Day (5/30). Orders placed after 2pm MT on Friday (5/27) will process and ship out on Tuesday (5/31).
It's Not That Bad!
More and more ICs come in surface mount packages only these days. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say 'Well I can't solder that because it's SMD'. They're wrong! You can solder anything. That's right, anything from your own dorm-cell-room.
That's 0.5mm from pin to pin! 50 pin connector for the GM862. You too can solder this!
This tutorial will show you just how to solder crazy things like this connector, leadless ICs, etc. There are a very few tools that are required and a handful that are recommended but you'll be able to solder:
The tools you absolutely must have:
$50+ soldering iron
Solder (leaded is always easier to work with, but here at SFE we use lead-free)
That's it. That's all you need. But how can this be? The process of soldering very tight pitch components or even the larger SMD 1206 components just takes practice, a good iron, and some solder wick.
Here is a list of tools I recommend:
Wire wrap wire (for 'jumper' wire fixes)
Wire strippers (adjustable down to 30AWG)
Hot-air rework station ($200 will do it)
Monocle (I haven't used one, but others have recommended it to me)
Combo hot air station and soldering iron (shown later) that we use extensively at SFE. $175 goes a really long way these days! Buy the HR-906 here.
We decided to make a series of videos to help show what exactly where trying to do. Unfortunately the videos came out to be 50-90MB so we can't really host them from our server (you crazy visitors would kill our site). So we've had to use YouTube and the quality is so-so. Please have a look at Andrew Lance and his crazy soldering skilz. Be sure to search YouTube for other SMD soldering videos! There are some ok examples available.
Page 2 - Soldering a SOIC part