Ever wanted to solder surface mount components onto a PCB but were afraid because your soldering iron tip is so big and the pins on the chips are so tiny? I used to be scared. But with the right tools and some practice, you can do it!
The approach I use in this video:
- Get chip secured to the PCB using solder paste and a heat gun. It's okay if we have some solder bridges or not all pins have solder on them at this stage. The important part is that the chip is properly aligned to the pins on the PCB.
- Apply flux to pins
- Drag solder iron across pins to pull all of the extra solder to one end.
- Remove extra solder using solder wick. This will not remove all of the solder, just the excess (phew).
- (optional but recommended) Test the board to make sure soldering job is correct.
- Clean off flux using rubbing alcohol or (my favorite) Goo Gone. Rinse in water while alcohol/go gone has not yet dried (yes, really) and let dry completely before testing. If white film shows up after drying, it means you did not get all of the flux off so repeat this step until the board looks clean after it has dried.
NOTE : I've used this approach many times for prototype work and it works just fine. For production work, I'd have a PCB fabrication house assemble the board for you. I use 4pcb.com.