Soldering SMT components

Until now I have only made through-hole circuits.But the Airsoft Rounds Counter project's demand for a small PCB made me decide to use SMT. The components are a lot smaller so you can fit a lot more onto a small board but they are more difficult to solder by hand. (But easier and faster to assemble automatically. And cheaper.)

So I have to practise my SMT soldering. Fortunately there are a couple of great tutorials on the net. I used these:

And it's actually not that hard. I have – so far – had much success with flux-pen-and-solder-on-the-tip-of-the-iron method. A flux pen if your friend – trust me.

Here's an example of my handiwork (the ting at the top is a millimeter scale ruler):

One of the first attempts: a 1206 resistor

The resistor in the image above is a fairly large SMD component: a 1206 sized resistor. The smallest I will be using to begin with are 0805 sized capacitors and SO-20 and -24 ICs. You can see the various SMD sizes here:

Image from SMD sizes (click for larger version)

(Note: SMD means "surface-mount devices" and SMT means "surface-mount technology". I use the terms pretty much interchangeably. Which is wrong. I know.)

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