Tips & tricks to sort and rework surface mount devices (SMD)

Tips & tricks to sort and rework surface mount devices (SMD):

I’m a member of the Superstition Amateur Radio Club (SARC) and each month we have a presentation on a ham radio related subject. I volunteered to record and upload the club’s monthly presentations.

There were two presentations at the March 2013 club meeting:

  • Tips & tricks to sort surface mount devices (SMD) – by Paul Estes AD7PD
  • Tips & tricks to rework surface mount devices (SMD)- by Steve Bowen N7CPU

Check out the second presentation after the break.

Via Toddfun.

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  1. For $30 I had all of the resistor and capacitor values and quantities I could possibly need. Better yet, all of the components were marked. So all I had to do is put them in to storage. For Storage I got this: 144 Compartment box-all case
    The tweezers I got (which I swear by): Tweezers

    Here’s a photo of some of my component storage. There is over 600 compartments in this photo.
    I use a spreadsheet for quickly finding the component I’m after. I’m still looking for a good component library program.

  2. “If you are trying to get cheap on tweezers you are also going to get frustrated”

    So true! Don’t buy the cheap ones, a good set of tweezers will make your life so much easier.

    1. How cheap is cheap?
      I can happily rework 0402, 0603 or 0805’s using my $3 set of tweezers.

      What do you use?

      1. I have several different sets of tweezers and prefer my $4 pair of Sparkfun tweezers that are the same shape as the ones you linked to on ebay. I love them and they seem to be rigid enough to get the work done.

  3. Also, does any of you really measure your resistors and capacitors to sort them? The only time I’ve measured a resistor was when a circuit was not working properly and I though I had the wrong value. I mean, SMD components are so cheap and easily to get properly marked from a distributor like digikey, mouser, RS, element14 (especially for you guys in EEUU and Europe). Why would you need to measure them?

      1. From the PDF you just posted:

        “To identify the product resistance value each single reel is labeled with all relevant data
        and will continue serving the purposes.”

        So it is well labeled and even if you don’t buy a full reel but rather a cut tape, the bag will be properly labeled by the distributor. So I don’t get your point.

      2. Sometimes even distributors may make mistakes : ( For example, I’ve spotted inconsistencies between the part code, and the description, of parts on Mouser website, so I’ve needed to measure the received component to find out if the description was correct or the part code was correct).
        I just use a low cost Inductance/capacitance meter, or a multimeter. You can get a cheap tweezer probe for plugging into a multimeter, from eBay.

    1. Yeah, description says 0.82nH should says 820nH but parameter says 820nH and so does the datasheet. So if you were looking for 0.82 it wouldn’t have come as a search result and it would only be a problem if you only look at the description when buying parts.

      But yeah distributors make mistakes. Although, it is not that often. So I only made measures when I think I got the wrong parts. Do you measure every resistor/capacitor/inductor you buy?

      1. Agree, usually I trust the distributor and don’t double-check at all. Recently I built a semi-complicated bit of RF hardware (a vector analyzer with several hundred components) that personally would have been difficult for me to troubleshoot because it was not my design (and may have needed test equipment beyond what I have), and here I measured every SMD resistor and capacitor before I inserted it, so that I’d be confident for the board to function correctly. That’s a rare scenario though.

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