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Prototyping your project with high density SMD - where, how?

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  • Prototyping your project with high density SMD - where, how?


    I want to use contemporary, high-performance parts. They all come in extremely tiny packages and usually require super-small components for layout purposes. As an example LT8582 (DFN24) and OPA1622/INA1622(VSON10). They are all not solderable by hand. What if I want to make 5 pcs as prototypes and eg. JLCPCB doesn't stock the parts I need?
    Is there any home trick to solder them? Hot plate and solder paste? Hot air? Any other fab houses to recommend? How do you go about it?

    Cost is a big deal as it's just a hobby and I'm paid in PLN and they are not worth too much in the world...

  • #2
    I've had luck with hot air for rework but prefer hot plate for prototype assembly. Make sure to order a stencil! I would suggest you add aperture for the difficult footprints on the edges of your stencil. For rework i have used a cut out piece of stencil for applying paste before hot air reflow. So much easier than trying to pre tin or eyeballing paste amount.


    • #3
      There are also special proto board companies, like this one in the Netherlands:
      But, these components you mention can be soldered by hand, just not with a soldering iron.
      I have seen video's where they used a (modified) clothes iron to melt the solder paste.
      Otherwise hot air and pre-heater.


      • #4
        I'm getting a LT8582 eval board. Remember, always talk to sales reps. Got mine for free, Poland has an amazing Analog Devices rep. He even invited me (some time ago) to a seminar with LTSpice author. The point is, that I belive sales reps have some sort of budget for DIY/ads and they will help you if you ask!

        I thinking about USB based power supply for DACs and else. LT8582 + LT3045-1 + LT3094 are actually recommended to work together as very efficient and super quiet precision PS. They use some kind of pin for LT8582 to control both LDOs. Impressive stuff.

        I might design a board for that and eventually have it assembled for me.

        I've seen the trick with iron, or hot plate for LCD screens. Hard to say if it will work with parts this small, but worth a shot.


        • #5
          At the time of writing, JLCPCB actually now allows for components from third-party distributors (Mouser, Digikey, ...) to be ordered and assembled by them. Hope that can help out - I've yet to give it a try!