Breadboard and SMD components

In summary, The conversation discusses different options for breadboarding a surface mount IC, including purchasing a connector with wire leads, soldering leads to the IC, or using a ZIF socket or adapter PCB board with 0.1 headers. The conversation also mentions the possibility of using SMD prototype boards or a regular iron with the correct flux and clean equipment. The recommendation is to use a Metcal soldering iron for better temperature control.
  • #1
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I'd like to breadboard a surface mount IC for testing. Is there some type of connector that can be purchased to plug the IC into which will provides wire leads for breadboarding? Failing that, I guess I could try to solder leads to the IC. But at 3mm x 3mm and 10 pins, I think that's next to impossible. Especially with my $15 soldering tool.
 
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  • #2
For large complex parts (like FPGAs CPUs) you can get ZIF sockets but they cost a fortune.
Normally you make up a little adapter PCB board with 0.1 headers that mounts in the same way as a DIP package.

I also found these guys selling SMD prototype boards - but I don't have experience of them.http://protoboards.theshoppe.com/pcb_index.html

You can solder SMD with a regular iron, the trick is the correct flux and having everything really clean. The surface tension pulls the solder onto the pads.
 
  • #3
mgb's link looks good. You can also do a google search on surf board prototype adapters.

I've never tried to solder SMT stuff with a cheap soldering iron, but it may work. I'd recommend using a Metcal soldering iron, if possible. They use RF heating and feedback to keep the tip temperature much better controlled.
 

1. What is a breadboard and how does it work?

A breadboard is a device used for prototyping electronic circuits. It consists of a plastic board with a grid of holes, which are connected by metal strips underneath. This allows for easy connection and testing of electronic components without the need for soldering. The holes on a breadboard are typically arranged in rows and columns, with each row and column connected internally.

2. What are SMD components and how are they different from through-hole components?

SMD (Surface Mount Device) components are electronic components that are designed to be mounted directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB). They are smaller and more compact than through-hole components, which require leads to be inserted through holes on the board and soldered on the other side. SMD components are typically used in modern electronic devices due to their smaller size and higher density of components on a PCB.

3. Can SMD components be used on a breadboard?

Yes, SMD components can be used on a breadboard with the help of an adapter board. This adapter board has the same layout as a breadboard, but it has small pads on top where the SMD components can be soldered onto. The adapter board can then be plugged into the breadboard, allowing for easy testing and prototyping of SMD components.

4. What are the advantages of using a breadboard for prototyping?

One of the main advantages of using a breadboard is that it allows for quick and easy testing and prototyping of electronic circuits. Components can be easily inserted and removed without the need for soldering, making it ideal for experimenting with different circuit configurations. Breadboards are also reusable, as components can be removed and the board can be used again for a new project.

5. Are there any limitations to using a breadboard for prototyping?

Yes, there are some limitations to using a breadboard for prototyping. Breadboards are not suitable for high-frequency circuits, as the connections between components may introduce unwanted capacitance and inductance. Additionally, breadboards are not suitable for high-power circuits, as the metal strips underneath can only handle a limited amount of current. In these cases, it is best to use a printed circuit board and solder the components for a more reliable and stable circuit.

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