Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

TSSOP breakout by hand


WARNING: The following post contains graphical content that could hurt the sensibility of engineers who appreciate professional-looking results with no mark of handcrafting.  :-/O

I am waiting packages for TSSOP breakout boards and photoresist for etching, the toner from my printer is not soluble to acetone and gave terrible results, so did the thermal transfer method, and no CNC or laser engraver around, redrawing the traces with a sharpie was not accurate enough, and I love complaining as you see.

This looks bad, but it works!

1. Sand a blank single-side PCB: full of copper, not etched.
2. With a cutter, cut a rectangle of the exact size of the TSSOP minus the pins, so that the pins are not connected to the ground on the middle of the chip.
3. Solder the TSSOP chip to it. It will be very easy.
4. Remove as much extra solder as you can from around the chip with a soldering iron by dragging it away.
5. Sand each side of the TSSOP to remove the extra tin
6. With a cutter, cut lines on each side of the TSSOP to split the copper between each pin, and have tracks.
7. With a cutter, keep these lines going but widen then until you arrive to 0.1" (2.54mm) pitch (convenient for breadboards) until the edge of the PCB.
8. Drill holes between these 0.1" lines, put pins through, solder them.

You end-up with the worst-looking dev board possible to make.
Please, forgive my madness.

Other madness I have tried but did not work:

1. Solder small copper wires one by one to the chip.
2. Solder the chip on a grid of wires as presented on the image below.

Flux party in both case, and I believe the reason it failed was the wrong solder tips: too big or too small.

For (2.), the idea is building-up a grid thin enough by attaching copper wires to headers, then shifting down one of the header: the pitch between the wires goes down as one of header is translated.

Shortly after, on another project (top post), I discovered the wonders of the chisel soldering tip./

In case you happen to work for SIliconLabs:

> No EFM8BB51 was harmed in the process of this experiment.


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