curved forceps. Touch the
soldering tip to the pad and
component. If it sticks, you are
home free. If not, add a small
amount of solder to the pad
and try again. Once tacked, use
sparse amounts of solder that
touch both the pad and the
component’s connector. If you
put too much solder, you’ll
create a solder bridge! Just take
the clean end of a piece of
solder wick and touch it to the
part. Ta-Da ... it’s cured!
Some quick rules of thumb:
605s are very difficult to hand
solder; 805s are fairly easy to
hand solder; and 1206s are a
piece of cake.
THE “DAUNTING” CHIP
Actually, chips are really easy. Place tacky flux on
each pad and place the chip onto the pads. Make sure pin
1 is in its correct position! Remember: Rotate the board,
not the components.
Tack pin 1 and the pin in the upper right-hand corner.
Solder the rest of the pins. Some people flood all the pins
by dragging the solder across them, then remove the
solder bridges using solder wick. This is up to you, of
course, but if you’re a novice, I would practice soldering
each pin individually.
Now that I’ve made you an
expert in hand soldering
surface-mounts, let’s complete
To keep track of all the
colored LEDs, I would mount all
the greens at the same time,
following with the other colors.
Dump all the greens into a
canister (or receptacle of your
Solder all the green LEDs,
then the red, yellow, and blue
ones to the top of the board.
Remember the cathode goes to
the color marking. Only LEDs will be on top of the board.
Note: For comparison of sizes, I soldered a 1206 LED for
the top and two 605s on the vertical LEDs just to show
you can actually hand solder 605s. The rest are 805s
The reason we did the top first is that it makes a flat
surface when turned over.
So, turn the board over and place the top of it to the
double-sided tape. Solder the two transistors, U2 and U3.
Solder the two 10K (R1-R2) resistors just above the
40 December 2014
■ FIGURE 3.
■ FIGURE 5.
■ FIGURE 4.