SMD Soldering Guide Part 1 – Introduction

SMD Soldering Guide Part 1


Table of Contents

What Are MitchElectronics SMD Kits?

Congrats On Your New Kit!

Congratulations on getting your SMD kit from MitchElectronics! Whether you are just in need of some SMD solder practice or require a kit that is smaller than typical through-hole designs, the MitchElectronics SMD Trainer range is perfect for makers and engineers alike.

Things To Note!

The first thing to note about MitchElectronics SMD Trainer kits is that they often come with more components than you need to build the kit. For example, resistors and capacitors typically come in strips with a least 5 parts as this helps ease the process of kitting, but your kit will not need to use all of these components.

Imaging trying to count these individually!
To help us stay lazy, we cut extra parts just for you!

The second thing to note is that not all SMD components have numbers or markings which can make identification challenging at times. To aid in this, MitchElectronics labels strips of components that are hard to identify which include capacitors and resistors (integrated circuits rarely need these labels).

This is a capacitor, no idea what value though :/
This capacitor, however, is clearly a 10µF

Finally, it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you check the orientation of your SMD parts and confirm that the right parts are on the right pads. Most capacitors and resistors are 0805 which means that they have the same footprint. As such, it is easy to mix them up, so check, double check, and triple check where you are placing parts, and above all else, NEVER refer to the placement of components by the product image. If in doubt, the instructions you must check out!

LEDs can only be placed in one specific direction
So the manufacturers decided to indicate the cathode underneath

Interesting Facts On SMD Parts

Interesting Fact #1 - MitchElectronics Standard Layout

All MitchElectronics kits have been designed to have mounting holes positioned at full mm from each other, all mounting holes are a specific size, and all board sizes are a set number of mm greater than the spacing of the mounting holes. This means that designing enclosures and mounting holes for PCBs is far easier.

In the case of the SMD Trainer range, all mounting holes have a drill size of 2mm, and are 2mm away from each edge. This means that all SMD Trainer kits are rectangular, and the board width and length is the distance of the mounting holes + 4mm. For example, the Transistor Flasher SMD Trainer kit has mounting holes separated by 18mm x 18mm, and this means that the dimensions of the PCB are 22mm x 22mm.

We admit that prior to 2022, our PCBs had odd dimensions, so we changed that!

Interesting Fact #2 - Why Are SMD Components On Reels?

Most SMD parts come in reels that have holes along the edge and a plastic seal. The holes allow for automated machinery to both pull the reel along as well as determine the position of the reel. In a pick-and-place machine, a small suction tube grabs individual parts and places them onto the PCB, and the plastic top layer is automatically pulled away via a second reel.

Reeled components are easy to use in automation systems