SMD Soldering Training PCBs

Just ran across this and though someone else might find it useful - a PCB and around 150 SMDs to practice soldering with.

http://www.electrodragon.com/?product=smd-soldering-skills-training-board

And just $1.44 / set

Who knows? There might even be some usable components in the mix, but realistically they're probably rejects of one sort or another.

(and of course I have no affiliation with them or the product).

Good find! Might have to grab a few of those.

When I was starting with SMT, I made my own “practice” board, eight 1206 LEDs and 0805 dropping resistors in a common-cathode configuration. I use them frequently as indicators on breadboards. Eight LEDs in less than an inch. Eagle files are attached if you’d be interested in having some made. Here are the LEDs I used in red, green and yellow, and here are the resistors. Just add standard pin headers.

Edit: Actually boards can be ordered directly from OSH Park.

ledBreakout.zip (37.7 KB)

Nifty. That's a cool design with the power rail connectors and all.

For now, I need practice in handling the bare resistors. I bought a tape of 50 and have probably lost 15 of them already, just putting them in a little tiny parts bin. Maybe it wasn't a great idea to take them out of the tape. Storing them in lengths of 5 instead would probably be a wise move.

Just ran across this and though someone else might find it useful - a PCB and around 150 SMDs to practice soldering with.

I found those a few days ago and ordered 2. I wonder how good they will be. :slight_smile:

SirNickity:
Nifty. That’s a cool design with the power rail connectors and all.

Thanks!

For now, I need practice in handling the bare resistors. I bought a tape of 50 and have probably lost 15 of them already, just putting them in a little tiny parts bin. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to take them out of the tape. Storing them in lengths of 5 instead would probably be a wise move.

Yep, I leave 'em in the tape. Capacitors (MLC types) usually aren’t marked so I will write the value on the tape and/or leave the tape in the bag from the distributor with the part number etc. on it.

SirNickity:
Nifty. That's a cool design with the power rail connectors and all.

For now, I need practice in handling the bare resistors. I bought a tape of 50 and have probably lost 15 of them already, just putting them in a little tiny parts bin. Maybe it wasn't a great idea to take them out of the tape. Storing them in lengths of 5 instead would probably be a wise move.

My wife is into fabrics and materials, beads etc.. i stole all her empty plastic round containers to stick all my smt parts... the trick is to peel the tape slowly upside down so as you peel the tape back the component drops in.. i can drop 50 components accurately into little plastic boxes in a couple of seconds...

That is a very good use for floor sweepings... When SMD parts are placed on a PCB sometimes they don't stick and the machines spit a part once in a while... Obviously even in Asia labor is too dear to pay someone to sort them and when 10K .01 Uf caps are less than $100... It cost's more to sort them then they're worth.
PCB's are typically defective ones... those that failed visual or electrical testing.
That having been said the parts and PCB's are a great source of training materials... For Free... From the various sources...

Doc

I use these little parts boxes. Sure Electronics also sells resistor/capacitor assortments cheaply so it's a good place to build a starter kit.

Yeah they are fiddlier.

But once you've done 10 or so you'll find them quicker and easier to mount than through hole, i'm usinv that thick flux which holds the component in place long enough to wet one side to tack it down.

Or get solder paste and a heat gun, but it's not required unless you start dealing with removal of sm ic's

Chagrin:
I use these little parts boxes. Sure Electronics also sells resistor/capacitor assortments cheaply so it's a good place to build a starter kit.

Yep! Adafruit started carrying that line, so I got a few of the larger multi-compartment ones.

Any veterans have opinions on Sure as a component manufacturer? I just bought a bag of 1000 white LEDs on eBay that turned out to be Sure. For passive components, I've been using (e.g.) Panasonic, TDK, and Stackpole parts. I'm willing to pay a little more for better quality, but a kit of 100 values would be convenient... Although it seems like a lot of the kits I find are like 5% tolerance, while the parts houses seem to be carrying 0.1% to 1% typical. (Don't care for the likes of pullups and current limiters, but my op-amp circuits like 1% or better.)

Today I received my SMD training board plus parts. So it was time to warm up the iron and just do it. Here are a few pictures of my first trials. It's not as hard as I expected!

One or two resistors are not completely flush with the board. Like the R3 on this picture:

The USB camera made it possible to verify my work close up; not bad for a first-timer if I say so myself.

Also got mine today. I bravely tackled the 16-pin chip as my first go with an SMD package -- using hot air.

The result: 4 bridged pins and a realization of what is 'too much' solder paste was my initial lesson learned. I was able to easily open the bridges beween those pins with a pick. However, the fillets are rather uneven from pin to pin - way too much balled up on several of them. I should have gotten some desoldering wick. I can see it's going to be necessary. I tried a little flux and reheating, which helped some. The connections look shiny and solid, at least.

Not really able to take a useful photo from my phone to share.

I didn't do the chip yet, as i've got no paste or a hot air iron. I saw some youtube vids on so-called drag soldering. Before i try that, i want to do some more research.

But in a nutshell, it's fun! Such a practice board i recommend to anyone. 8)

It's nice to know you aren't screwing up something important or costly. Takes the pressure off.

JohnHoward:
It’s nice to know you aren’t screwing up something important or costly. Takes the pressure off.

That too. I liked how you can do 1206 comfy and gradually go smaller. I wish i bought more, just to give away.

This is a great idea. Next time I order PCBs, if I have any extra real estate between circuits I'm going to put in some practice pads. I wish I had thought of this last time--I had quite a bit of wasted space.

Personally i would not put unneeded pads on my pcb just for practice.. These practice boards were only $1.10 on ebay free shipping and included all the parts. And after i did 20 resistors, i have enough confidence to take it out on a real board!

A few months later, learned a LOT, here’s the top copper prototype for my current clock project. I’m moderately confident that it’s good (because i just shipped it to iTead). Bit the bullet and going for SMD for the IC’s as well.

Pretty.... :stuck_out_tongue: