Sunday, April 18, 2010

SMT kits

My friend Charley, the author of Intruderchron software for the adafruit's Monochron clock, sent me this SMTCylon kit he sells through his web site. It is an SMD-only kit, that is, all components are surface mounted.

Although I soldered SMDs before, this was the first time I built an entire kit made of SMDs.
As challenging as it looks at first sight, after warming up by soldering a few LEDs, one may be inclined to give up through-hole soldering altogether. Soldering SMDs is not as scary as it sounds once one gets the technique, described in 4 steps: "wet" one pad, place the SMD on its pads, solder one terminal to the "wet" pad, then solder the other terminal.

The step-by-step tutorial for assembling the "SMTCylon" is very good, in the adafruit style, with lots of photos. Assembling takes about half an hour. The attiny microcontroller comes already programmed.

I highly recommend this kit as a great introduction to SMD soldering. And after the soldering fun was over (with absolutely no glitches), the playing fun started. I am thinking of incorporating the small board into a bigger project.

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