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Through hole socket for Surface mount components

  1. Aug 23, 2007 #1
    Hello All,

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of any sockets that will fit an LFCSP (CP-56) surface mount package?

    I want to put an AD9959 chip onto a protoboard and am wondering if there are any solderless sockets for it available. So far the only one I found was for high end processor chips and it costed like $500.

    Right now, my current alternatrive is this E-Z board made from SMARTBoard.com here:

    http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=products_qfp&id=70

    Thanks,
    Jason O
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2007 #2

    berkeman

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    Another option might be to just make some simple adapter PCBs youself. That would be a first step towards laying out and making a little more complex boards as you learn more and want to grow your projects. This company is used by a co-worker of mine to make simple-to-moderate complexity PCBs:

    http://www.expresspcb.com/

    You download their PCB layout tool, and order the PCBs through them. Their prices are pretty reasonable, and the resulting assembly is much cleaner and more robust than even using the Surfboard adapter things. For example, you can put a good ground plane and decoupling caps on a 2-layer board, along with your chip.
     
  4. Aug 23, 2007 #3

    berkeman

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  5. Aug 23, 2007 #4
    Thanks for the links.

    Will these companies actually place the chip on the board for you? I just got in the sample of the AD chip and the thing is waay to small for me to solder (I don't have great eye sight). If I could have the chip soldered onto a through-hole PCB for me, that would be the best solution.

    - Jason O
     
  6. Aug 23, 2007 #5

    berkeman

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    No, the links were just for resources to get you the blank PCBs. For the soldering part, you will need an assembly house to do that for you, but they won't generally take on small-size jobs like a couple of boards. There are folks like consultants who do small assembly jobs on the side. I know of an excellent lady who works out of her home here in Silicon Valley (with city permits), and does small-to-medium size assembly work. Her fine-pitch assembly soldering skills are first rate.

    Are you anywhere near Silicon Valley? If not (EDIT -- Oops, I checked your bio later and saw Ohio, so the answer to that question would be no), I could maybe link you two up, where you could FedEx her the PCBs that you have done, and the parts, and she could solder them up for you and FedEx the assemblies back. It won't be real cheap, but it won't be expensive either. You can also maybe look in your local yellow pages for PCB assembly houses, and call a few to see if they have ideas on local places that can do just a few assemblies for you.


    EDIT -- BTW, there are some basic pieces of equipment that are needed for fine-pitch SMT assembly work, and you might look into acquiring them as you do more work on your projects. You will need at least a medium-size microscope (preferably binocular for 3-D depth perception as you solder), and a good soldering iron like the Metcal RF irons. They are so much better than a magnetic Curie point soldering iron at keeping the tip temperature constant and hot. If you will be removing any SMT ICs, you will need a hot air gun with an attachment that matches the outline of the IC, and other simple stuff like solder wick braid strips. I also highly recommend an exhaust fan, or something else to pull the solder smoke away from you. We have several stations in our HW Lab with equipment like this, and I can do a fairly good job with SMT assembly and rework on my prototypes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  7. Aug 23, 2007 #6

    berkeman

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    Another BTW, Jason. Does your EE department have an assembly/soldering station like I described, with a binocular microscope, Metal iron, hot air gun, tools, etc? If not, it sure seems like they should. Maybe ask around the department to find the best assembly/rework station that they have, and get permission to do some of your project work there. Honestly, the microscope and Metcal make a huge difference in what you can do.
     
  8. Aug 24, 2007 #7
    HI Berkeman,

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. Unfortunately, my school doesn't have anything close to that for doing SMT work, unless one of the research labs has one (which I don't know about). The local chapter of the student IEEE organization has a kit to etch PCBs but thats about all I know of. ANywho, I'm actually going to be out of town for the semester on Co-op so I won't have access to any of that equipment. With any luck, I *may* have access to such equipment for my projects at my workplace after hours.

    I will definitely look into getting my own equipment for doing the SMT work, although It'll take me a while to save up for it all.

    I would be VERY interested in having your friend do the solder work for me if possible. I just need to make two adapter boards for the AD9959 chips I ordered so I can plug them into a breadboard. Once I verify that I have the thing wired up, I'll have a nice PCB made. I only need two chips soldered (thats all I could get for free samples :smile:)

    Thanks,
    Jason O
     
  9. Aug 24, 2007 #8

    berkeman

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    Just send them to me, and I'll solder them up myself. I'll PM you my work address info. And I'd bet that your coop work experience place has an SMT rework station too.
     
  10. Aug 24, 2007 #9
    Thanks a lot Berkeman :smile:

    I'm going to look and see if there are any adapter chips I can buy and I'll have them sent to you along with the ICs.

    Thank you,
    Jason O
     
  11. Sep 9, 2007 #10
    Hello All,

    I finally got the AD chip soldered onto this SchmartBoard EZ adapter that I bought. I had a tech at my school help me solder it to the board (see attached photo below).

    @berkeman,

    I still may contact your friend about soldering these things for me. Once I get the prototype board working, I'm going to order some nice PCBs so I might need her help later :smile:

    Thanks,
    Jason O
     

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