Learn how to solder small surface mount components, just don’t lick them.

Many folks learn how to solder electronics as a child with a soldering iron. While this is useful for large scale components, wires, etc, most interesting electronics parts these days are smaller “surface mount” components and cannot easily be soldered with an iron.

In this talk, I taught a group of software developers how to do surface mount soldering to assemble a McHck, a small microcontroller development board based around the MK20DX128 ARM microcontroller. The talk explains the difference between surface and through hole components, demonstrates the various sizes of components, and shows what a good solder joint looks like. Then it walks through the process of screenprinting solder paste with a stencil (the orange transparency), placing components, and finally using a hotplate to heat up the board and melt the solder.

Note that the talk has a number of videos that don’t appear in the PDF below; you can view the full talk in your web browser. Additionally, the printable notes are available that explain each of the components in detail and explain their placement.

(Download PDF)