Buy Solder Paste
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Buy Solder Paste
This is 50g of high quality, Lead-Free Solder Paste, the perfect amount to keep around for prototyping and hobby projects that require a bit of SMD soldering. Solder Paste Stenciling is the easiest and quickest way to solder some of the trickier SMD components. Here at SparkFun, we use solder paste stenciling on pretty much all of our boards. It saves us a lot of time. But stenciling takes more than just a stencil and a dream... you're going to need some paste.
This is graded T3 and while relatively cheap it wont work if there is a stencil with holes smaller than 0.5mm. I recommend having T5 solder paste in stock which is a little more expensive but can handle stencils with holes 0.2mm-0.3mm.Also, manufacture date is very important as these things tend to expire after 4-6 months (regardless if you open them, refrigerate them or pray to them).
Could I use this paste to solder .008" brass wire to etched brass parts with a regular soldering iron? I think it would provide better control than solder because I can't have blobs of any kind - this is a 1:160 scale handrail for a model locomotive.
Checking with our recent stock (it's December currently), the manufacture date indicates that this shipment was manufactured sometime last month. The solder paste is currently stored at room temperature (so around 68-73 F) with the rest of the stock at SparkFun.
Someone asked this in the YouTube comments, but I'd like to ask it here as well. How much time do you have between applying the solder paste and placing components? Could I apply paste to say 100 boards, and then populate them all, or would the paste dry out before I got to board number 10?
I've been prototyping my own PCBs for nearly a decade now. Lately I've been getting all bent out of shape as components get smaller and smaller, but I can't figure out how to use them because the packages hide the pins (QFN, BGA, MLP, MicroFET..).I'd spent a lot of time making footprints larger than the packages so that I could solder one pin, and then wick the rest. But this was a mess, and often didn't work on the first try (which means it only gets worse from there).
I watched the video, and bought a little $15 hot plate. That works great but I'm not sure I needed it. I've also tried the hot-air-gun approach and I actually like it better because it offers a bit more control. The hot plate has a lot of thermal capacitance that gets carried away, and makes things a little more complicated to control. The paste is tacky enough that parts don't just blow all over the place if you're conservative with the airflow. Also the hot air gun seems to make more sense for 2 sided designs (which is sort of a necessity with two layer boards)
This is my first paste for SMD. I am using a stencil with this product and it works great. Easily clean your tools with a paper towel and a bit of isopropyl alcohol if you need. Keep cool after opening.
My first SMD PCB project benefited from the paste. I used a stencil from my PCB provider and just a little bit of paste. The paste was easy to spread and had a consistent density. While I took my time to lay out my parts, none of the paste moved. I soldered all of my components with a hand-held iron at 700 degrees.
As mentioned in an earlier blog post , a solder paste's alloy type, powder particle size distribution (PSD), and metal loading (weight of metal as a percent or "%w/w") affect the rheology, and hence the performance in use, of the solder paste. Three IPC test methods are used to guarantee that customers are receiving consistent product (within agreed tolerances).In this post, the one test that that we will be focusing on is the %w/w metal loading test, which has not changed in decades and almost always gives the wrong answer. That's a pretty strong statement to make, so I'll be showing you the evidence in this short series of blog posts - and presenting a proposal for improvement. Note that the %w/w metal loading test is the only one that