SMD tools?

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RnFR
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Post by RnFR »

so, I'm think about taking the SMD plunge, and was looking at specific tools for the job. how important are a good pair of precision tweezers? I've seen them from 1-89$, and am trying to figure out what I should get. I've seen ESD safe, ceramic, stainless, plastic, different styles, tips, bends, etc. whats the deal?
also, is a flux syringe important? I'm going to be mainly doing resistors (1206)and some ICs, so I'm trying to find the best tools for the job. here's a few auctions I'm watching.

https://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewite ... 0094130291

https://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewite ... 9928996267

https://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewite ... 9959924196

https://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewite ... 0094130291

thanks guys!
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minnow
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Post by minnow »

Hi RnFR,
I'm no expert, but the place where I am working has got a decent SMD rework station setup.
We use stainless steel ESD safe precision tweezers, no fancy stuff.

Are you going to be using hot air gun or soldering iron?
We use hot air gun with Kester solder paste HM531 Sn63Pb37, no flux.
We have a solder paste dispenser to keep the job clean, but it is not a necessity.

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RnFR
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Post by RnFR »

I'll be using my xytronic iron, hence the 1206s. :wink: I have noticed that the price on hot air guns seems to be going down though. maybe someday... really looking forward to the possibilities, just want to get the right tools without spending a fortune.

also, i found this nice guide on smd soldering-

http://www.tayloredge.com/reference/Ins ... index.html
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Post by minnow »

Nice!

The guide is pretty good too. That's how we do it at work as well - secure one end, and then finish off the other end.
It comes out neat and clean! Not every time, but most of the time :secret:

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Post by Hides-His-Eyes »

Are these for using with paste or with normal solder?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Soldering-Station ... 33684dc14e
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Post by minnow »

Hides-His-Eyes wrote:Are these for using with paste or with normal solder?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Soldering-Station ... 33684dc14e
Those hot tweezers - usually we use to remove components from the board.
So, I guess it doesn't matter whether it is solder paste or normal solder.
Never tried to place a component with it before. Might not be a good idea to do that.

Edit: Can also use a couple of irons (one on each hand) to get the job done (removing onboard soldered SMD components).
This is the favourite method, even though the Hot Tweezers are there in each workstation :mrgreen:

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Post by the wizards beard »

I wouldn't bother buying fancy tweezers. Mine are expensive bio tweezers that have been bent or crushed and just grind them straight, they work great for 0805 and 0603 stuff. I would recommend trying a few different sizes and shapes, most people settle on one or two favourite designs and use those forever.

The most useful thing you could buy is a good light and magnifier. A nice stereo microscope makes SMD assembly much, much easier.

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Post by RnFR »

right on, thanks. I've got one of those lit magnifying lenses on a big swing arm. I figure that should do the trick.
so it sounds like a flux syringe is pretty mandatory. I don't mind picking one of those up, as I'll probably end up using it for other stuff, too. I'll post whatever I get when I go through with it all. anyone have any favorite shape tweezers for using with 1206 packages? instinctively, I want to say that one of the larger tips would work better, but I'm not quite sure. I definitely like the idea of the ergonomic style with the bend in it, though.
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Post by DeanM »

RnFR wrote: also, i found this nice guide on smd soldering-
http://www.tayloredge.com/reference/Ins ... index.html
Yeah i've been interested in using SMD for a while now too, having seen KMG's projects that use SMD. It would be pretty cool and possibly save loads of space on a PCB.might also make design easier...e.g. in some cases using surfacemount as opposed to a top layer.

My final year project for college used an SMD SO16 IC and i found it was much easier to solder than i expected!

In that guide, he uses the solder plate on the PCB to hold the component in place. obviously that wouldnt work with a bare copper pcb but its easy to thin tin the pads before hand. or alternatively get some of . looks very cool!

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