Hey guys, I'm starting my first project using SMDs. I don't have/want to buy an expensive iron with a needle point. I've seen some guys using copper wire wrapped around their iron tip with the wire filed to a point. Any suggestions/advice?
Sorry, should have been more specific. It's for an oscilloscope kit I bought. They're 0805 resistors, and two ICs with a bit more space. Pics attached! Thanks
Also I have a 30W RadioShack iron. I lost my weller!
>I don't have/want to buy an expensive iron with a needle point.
I've soldered a lot of SOP ICs with an $18 GAOJIE iron. If an Iron is under $10 it's probably garbage that will melt its own handle, but everything I've used in the $20 range is fine.
A soldering iron with a needle tip shouldn't cost more than a soldering iron with a chisel tip. The different tips that fit a model of soldering iron usually cost the same. A good store will let you pick the iron and tip separately instead of forcing you to buy an iron with a tip you don't want.
The difference between a $100 and $20 iron is higher wattage and better temperature regulation. You don't need high wattage to solder SMDs. Temperature regulation is nice, but not a must have.
Thanks! I looked at trying to buy a chisel or bent tip for my iron, but nothing fits. It's an off-the-shelf RadioShack deal. It seems like a lot of the websites don't offer irons with interchangeable tips for less than $150. Do you have a recommended site?
Needle point iron tips are pretty bad for soldering. I have a sharp needle tip, but I use it very rarely, usually for fixing a hard to reach joints.
Pretty much everything can be done with a chisel tip.
especially SMD components. Large tips provide a greater surface tension of the solder that's melted on the tip, meaning that you can just drag a chisel tip along an SMD IC package and the solder will adhere to the pins and separate well purely due to surface tension. Check this video out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUyetZ5RtPs
I use Eagle, but I draw the lines I want my CNC machine to cut away instead of how it's supposed to be used.