Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

SMD and shaky hands - please help.

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asmi:
Once I bought stereo microscope, I found that my hands are capable of much finer movements when I can actually see what I'm doing. So now I just can't imagine soldering anything - big or small - without a microscope. This is the second best investment you can make to improve your soldering experience - right after buying quality soldering iron (ADS200 FTW!!). Nowadays you can buy a good stereo microscope for US$150-200.

jmelson:

--- Quote from: gnuarm on January 26, 2022, 02:51:57 pm ---
--- Quote from: FriedMule on January 21, 2022, 11:10:39 pm ---But how do you get the component from outside to the correct placement on the board? To me, is it like placing a dot on a random orbital sander:-)

--- End quote ---

I had that problem about 20 years ago.  I have intentional tremor which is natural, not medicine related... unless they are giving me meds in my food! 

--- End quote ---
Don't be sure they aren't.  God only knows what is in our food these days.
--- Quote ---I remember assembling a tiny board (about 3/4 inch by 3/8 inch) with 0603 components.  Some of them took about 20 tries before I was happy with the result.  I would use a toothpick to move the part in place, repeating it several times to get it right.  Then I'd bring in the soldering iron and watch it move off the pad or pads.  The wet solder making the part stick to the iron didn't help.
--- End quote ---
I use bent-nose  tweezers, and rest the heel of my hand on the work surface.  Observe through stereo microscope.  Place a dot of solder on one pad of component position of board, place part and hold with tweezers while soldering that pad, then solder remaining pad(s).  Solder won't stick to stainless tweezers, but the flux will, and makes them a bit sticky.  I've used this technique for 30+ years and it has worked quite well.  I now do all production work with a P&P machine and homemade reflow oven, but still do one-offs and repairs this way.
Jon

gnuarm:

--- Quote from: jmelson on January 26, 2022, 05:02:35 pm ---
--- Quote from: gnuarm on January 26, 2022, 02:51:57 pm ---
--- Quote from: FriedMule on January 21, 2022, 11:10:39 pm ---But how do you get the component from outside to the correct placement on the board? To me, is it like placing a dot on a random orbital sander:-)

--- End quote ---

I had that problem about 20 years ago.  I have intentional tremor which is natural, not medicine related... unless they are giving me meds in my food! 

--- End quote ---
Don't be sure they aren't.  God only knows what is in our food these days.
--- End quote ---

I hope you are kidding.  Science is not able to find every last cause and effect such as exactly what chemicals cause cancer in humans and which don't.  But if there is any significant impact and it were caused by something in the food, it would become very apparent what was causing it. 



--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---I remember assembling a tiny board (about 3/4 inch by 3/8 inch) with 0603 components.  Some of them took about 20 tries before I was happy with the result.  I would use a toothpick to move the part in place, repeating it several times to get it right.  Then I'd bring in the soldering iron and watch it move off the pad or pads.  The wet solder making the part stick to the iron didn't help.
--- End quote ---

I use bent-nose  tweezers, and rest the heel of my hand on the work surface.  Observe through stereo microscope.  Place a dot of solder on one pad of component position of board, place part and hold with tweezers while soldering that pad, then solder remaining pad(s).  Solder won't stick to stainless tweezers, but the flux will, and makes them a bit sticky.  I've used this technique for 30+ years and it has worked quite well.  I now do all production work with a P&P machine and homemade reflow oven, but still do one-offs and repairs this way.
Jon

--- End quote ---

Thanks for the advice, but the sort of electronics I would be designing requires reflow for soldering the chips (like BGAs) so no reason to worry with soldering the parts I might be able to do if I were to work at it.

gnuarm:

--- Quote from: jpanhalt on January 26, 2022, 03:15:16 pm ---CA = cyanoacrylate adhesive.  Very widely used in the US.  Even Wikipedia lists a subject matter page for "CA glue." Had you clicked on the link, it is described there.  In the context of my comment, I have a hard time visualizing a microdot of a "contract assembler."

--- End quote ---

The quote I cited was
--- Quote ---For lots of chips, I use the CA.
--- End quote ---
  CA was an obscure reference.  I don't see why I should have known to check with Wikipedia for "CA glue" in this context. 

I'm just trying to explain that your use was not clear to me and that it is a good idea to not abbreviate everything if you wish to be understood.  I figure if what I'm writing is worth saying, then it is worth making enough effort to be understood.

rfclown:
Stereo microscope and good fine curved tweezers. I'm 60, don't have the steadiest of hands, and my prefered parts size is still 0402. I hate doing 0201, but I can. I have Bauch & Lomb stereo zoom 4s. You can get them on eBay for < $200. Fluorescent ring light. Metcal iron with fine tip. Put solder on one pad, hold part with tweezers and solder that one pin. then solder the remaining pins. Use fine solder. I have a 1 lb roll of Kester 44 63/37 0.02 in diameter that hopefully will last me forever since I detest lead free.

Stereo microscope, good light, good fine tip curved tweezers, fine leaded solder, good iron (I have Metcal) with fine tip. If I'm missing ANY of these I can't do it. But with ALL of these items I can. Hand shaking does make 0201 frustrating.

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