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Building a Modular Synthesiser Part 4: Soldering Surface Mount Devices

Dave Ives


I currently look after production at AB Open. I have a background in the arts, environmental conservation and IT support. In my spare time I do a bit of DJing and I like making things.


January 7, 2020 09:04

An appropriately small solder tip and solder is a must with surface mount components. Good luck when encountering 0603 sized components. If you use a pin vise and small drill bit you can hand drill a pilot hole to utilize the fixing lug on potentiometers. It also comes in handy when installing 10 turn potentiometer dials which have an indexing bump.

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January 1, 2020 13:39

Very many thanks for the brilliant practical intro to SMT soldering!
Just one question: why use solder wick to remove solder shorts between legs? why not use a solder pump (solder sucker)?

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January 2, 2020 15:23

@geek45 I find the solder wick easier to use and more effective for removing the right amount of solder. As Boss says above the pump feels a bit big and clumsy - but each to their own, I'd say use what ever method works for you

January 2, 2020 15:23

@geek45 sorry to jump in... I use the solder pump and wick. I find the wick much better for the finer pitch parts and use a bit of flux on the offending solder bridge. The wick is directly on the leads and pads so seems to wick the bridge away easily often leaving enough solder for the required joint (probably not enough for a pro inspection!). The pump is a bit on the large size for the small pads and then you have the soldering iron bit in the area so it just gets more fiddly, but it does work when done carefully.

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