Workshop Video #10: BGA revisited

in skills, Videos by Ian | 19 comments

In an earlier Workshop Video we challenged Sjaak to solder a TMP006 non-contact temperature sensor in a BGA package. We lacked the skills to make it happen, but this week DP engineer Jer shows how he successfully soldered 2 of 4 breakout boards.

Jer doesn’t hold the the chip in place with kapton tape like we did. He instead relies on the surface tension of the solder to keep the chip aligned and on the board.

He positions the chip and then heats it with hot air for around 35 seconds. He doesn’t preheat the board like many recommended, but he’s really persistent and ensures that the solder balls reflow completely.  We were far too timid with the hot air, and worried about ruining the chip.

Ball Grid Array is a type of chip that doesn’t have any legs to solder. Instead it has a bunch of little solder balls aligned in a grid on the bottom. Because there’s no way to solder the IC directly, it’s pain for DIY-ers to work with. Even with special equipment, there’s a ton of skill involved.

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Comments

  1. Sjaak says:

    That BGA soldering keeps hunting me :)

  2. juani_c says:

    I built my TMP006 Breakout free PCB as well!!. In the first attempt while I was trying to align the TMP006 I made to much preassure and the chip flew away. All the solder balls were still on the board… I tried then with a new chip with better luck;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ES9vT_llvw

  3. Harm says:

    Just wondering was the video recorded in the netherlands, because of the “vlaming verhuizingen” boxes?

    Great blog bye the way :^)

  4. Harm says:

    Can’t help it! I am Dutch…

  5. Drone says:

    BGA Balls… Hmmm…

  6. fcobcn says:

    While watching the video, I was opening the envelope of my free TMP006 pcb BOB.
    Perfect timing, Thanks Ian!

  7. Matthew says:

    I’d love to see you put together a video of trying the Sparkfun Skillet method with a BGA package!

    • Sleepwalker says:

      Well if Ian wanted to send me some boards and chips I could perhaps try this, I have a controller half built and the frypan just waiting there. Only problem is the video, as the only digital video I have is my crappy 2MP phone. I could possibly borrow a decent digital (still) camera from a family member, so could probably get some decent pics and it may even do video.

      I’d actually been thinking about this very thing myself the other day, would be interesting to see. I’ve actually done some boards without the controller, though it got a bit hot and darkened the board a bit, but worked.

      • Ian says:

        I’d be happy to send a board, unfortunately this one was super popular (and we fried a few), so they’re all gone now.

        I may have some more made and try the hotplate method go, great suggestion.

  8. I’m surprised no one has asked what temperature he had the hot air station set to yet?

    So what temp was used? ;-)

    Also, just a suggestion.. I typically follow what’s going on by subscribing to your youtube channel. I know that doesn’t have everything that’s going on at your site, but you should put a link to your website in your youtube video description. If you could put a link to the page you post the video on, that would be best… but not absolutely necessary.

  9. dext3r says:

    haha “…and a better camera angle!”

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