EEVblog #434 – SMD Thermal Pad & Drag Soldering Tutorial

Dave shows another method for hand soldering a surface mount SMD chip with a thermal pad, using both liquid and gel flux.
A method using hot air is HERE
Also, drag soldering TSSOP packages is demonstrated.

Forum Topic HERE

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    • Simon

      Hi Dave

      I’m fascinated by your logos on your PCBs.

      As a fellow Altium user I’d love to see a small tutorial on how you make them.

      I’m familiar with the Altium import from BMP script, but first of all making a nice BMP is an issue and the script is dreadful – do you have a preferred method?

      Looking forward to seeing more on the uSupply, thanks for the excellent blog.

      • I just use the supplied script. Not the best, but it works.

    • J.R.

      Dave, I would love to see how you cope with QFN and ball-grid devices. Those blind pads are a bear.

      • I’ve done a video on soldering QFN using paste.

    • Allan

      Dave, You are tempting me to try my hand at SMD again.
      I learned:
      (1) Prerequisites for hand-soldering SMD’s are:
      A flux pen
      B X4 magnification
      C Solder mask between pads

      (2) Don’t get a solder station with an LCD!

    • wandoz

      hi dave
      again a great video

      about your camera getting into your way while soldering, why don’t you mount your camera behind your circuit facing more towards you, so you would have neat space to solder without anoyance.
      it shouldn’t be too hard to fix a small stand to support your camera for those near shots, you would monitor what you film thru an external monitor or if your cam has a movable viewfinder, just by fliping it

      have a very nice day and keep on with your great work !

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    • Wayne Carpenter


      First of all, I would like to say your video was interesting about soldering a device with a thermal pad to a board with a soldering iron.

      I would like to solder a single die LED to a small double sided two ounce plated board about 9 x 10 mm to make several prototypes. To facilitate heat transfer to the other side I will be making the board with many small vias under the thermal pad of the LED. Since the LED only has pads underneath which are not accessible to a soldering iron, I was wondering what size vias would you suggest since it wasn’t mentioned in the video, in order to allow solder to wick up to the top side using a similar technique you did in the video?

      Also, how would you suggest soldering the anode and cathode pads to the board. And, would you have any board design suggestions that would help. I plan on getting a solder flux pen to help with the soldering.


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