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.