Hein (fub) wrote,

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Yesterday evening, I soldered my first SMD chip. It's the FT232BM -- a USB-to-serial chip from FTDI that will enable me to hook a PIC up to a PC by using USB.
The FT232BM is an older model, but I had acquired it as part of voti's USB-1 kit. Until now, I hadn't gotten around to actually building the kit.

So yesterday, it was the day. I put the very fine tip on my soldering iron, and went to work. It took me a bi tof time to get the technique down, but it's quite simple really. The trick is to put a tiny bit of solder on each pad. Then align the chip on top of the pads, and, with the tip of your soldering iron, gently press the feet into the solder on the pad.
I used my multimeter to make sure that all the connections were OK, and that all seemed to work fine. The SMD EEPROM was even easier.

So! Now I have a working USB-to-RS232 kit, which is fun in itself, but I also know I can solder SMD chips. Now I don't have any qualms about sampling some interesting LED-driving chips from Maxim, and I can look at minimising the footprint of some of my designs.
Also, I have acquired five FT232RLs, which is the improved version of the FT232BM. The whole kit could be replaced by four condensators and two resistors with the FT232RL, which is quite cool!
Tags: electronics

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