Many DIY's shy away from surface mount resistors and capacitors in boards they design. But I think once you do a couple it is actually quicker to use 1206 components than bending leads for through hole parts and flipping the board over and soldering, then trimming the leads.

So here I am demonstrating some SMT soldering with a 1206 resistor. Using a Hakko E80 iron, tin-lead solder, +2.50 reading glasses and a good light, nothing up my sleve.

So here is the board and the 1206 resistor.

ready to solder

Put some solder on one of the pads (there will be a little on both pads from the assembly house)

Add solder to one side

Then with a pair of tweezers, place the part and solder to that pad you added solder to. It will melt very quickly only takes a second.

Solder one side

Rotate the board and solder the other side.

Complete the soldering

Now wash the board in alcohol, flux remover or even some dish soap and a toothbrush. Most components can handle this, though not switches. And you are done.

Yes lead is avoided in electronics these days and our boards are assembled by professional houses as lead-free, but for hobbyists, it still flows better, coats better and at a lower temperature than the alternatives. And you probably use less than a few fishing weights worth over your lifetime. For surface mount work a finer guage solder works better, as you need less than for through hole components. I'm using a Hakko iron these days, available on eBay, but for years I just used a pretty garden variety Weller with a fine tip (gave that away to one of my users). There are probably cheaper alternatives, but you want a temperature controlled iron. Most solder stations start around $50, and there are some temperature controlled pens (I've never used one, but if you have feedback on one, drop me an email).

After a while you will find it easy to handle 0805 parts or even 0603, which we use for most of our designs.

Younger people with good eyes can eventually tackle QFP devices with reading glasses, but these days I am using a variable stereo microscope (usually set at 7x).

Now who does that guy's nails...

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