Roy J. Tellason wrote:
the notion that surface mount is somehow "harder to
solder" is nothing but a load of crap. It is DIFFERENT...not harder.
In fact, I find all but the very smallest SMT parts EASIER to work with
than through-hole components.
I suspect that someone, way back when, was afraid of it and said
"it's to haaaard" and people have been propagating that rumor ever since.
It's _SMALLER_ and these eyes ain't what they used to be! (Which really
sucks, but at least I can still see...) I have to grab for my lower-power
magnifier more often than not if I want to read a number off a chip or a
transistor, and I didn't used to have to do that.
Good mangification solves that problem. I use an ancient but very
effective Bausch & Lomb binocular 'scope with about 30x magnification.
For larger stuff I use a boom-mounted magnifier with a circular
fluorescent bulb around it.
When I have more lab space (hopefully soon) I hope to set up a video
magnification system, of the sort that vision-impaired people use for
reading. That'll be a lot easier than bending over the microscope for
hours at a time.
Couple that with half the darn things not even being
marked at all, or being
marked in such a way that only makes sense if you have the datasheet, and
the're definitely much more of a PITA to deal with as far as I'm concerned.
Well again, like I said, it's *different*. Trying to apply the same
techniques used for through-hole parts is the wrong approach. When I
buy a bag of 0.1uF bypass capacitors in through-hole packages, for
example, I open the bag and dump them in to the parts drawer. When I
buy a reel of surface-mount 0.1uF capacitors though, I leave them on the
reel and store the reels in much larger parts drawers. You remove the
parts from the tape one at a time as you use them...at that level
there's no need to look at the parts themselves to identify them.
I started through-hole PCB soldering in the 1970s when I was a kid,
and I was terrified to move into SMT stuff but I had no choice...Once I
tried it I realized that it's really quite nice...faster, cleaner, and
generally easier to work with if you have the right tools and IF you
don't try to treat it as just a different kind of through-hole
construction. Now, I do SMT pretty much every day.
Do give it a chance Roy, you may actually come to love it as I have.
Cape Coral, FL