Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 19, 2011

Hand Soldering an LGA Surface Mount Chip

at 8:56 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

With electronic parts getting less and less hobby friendly there will come a time when you can’t get a part in a through hole DIP format. Our friend Dave from the EEVBlog has a new 3 axis accelerometer that he is playing with. The issue is that it is a LGA surface mount chip these chips only have pads on the underside which makes it a pain to work with unless you are using solder paste and reflowing. Dave demonstrates how the part can be stuck upside down onto a project board using some super glue and then using some wire wrap wire the part is able to have its pads soldered to the project board. The soldering looks simple when it is magnified this much but after soldering these wires onto a thumb drive for the VHS Tape Storage Drive Project I know first hand how hard it is.


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5 Responses to “Hand Soldering an LGA Surface Mount Chip”

  1. Martin Says:

    Tried exactly this a few days ago with a Buck-Boost converter. It definitely works well with a steady hand and maybe some extra flux. But after I had 8 out of 10 connectors done, I messed up 6 with a single unlucky swipe of my fine-tip solder iron. It’s still lying there…

  2. Pyrofer Says:

    I did this with a BGA chip once.

    Not something I would like to do often, but certainly possible.

    Mad props to whoever pulls this sort of thing off.

  3. adw Says:

    I think I still prefer the pizza oven method, but this surely an alternative if you only have one chip and no way of testing the soldering.

  4. Fuming Solder Says:

    This is nothing short of torture. I would NOT attempt this. Even if successful, no amount of Advil is going to carry me through the next day. My eyes and my back and shoulder muscles will be killing me. Maybe when I was younger …

    In any case, it’s not even the size of the IC that’s the killer, it’s the free-floating wire leads. This is why I keep breadboard adapters for every size/package of ICs imaginable. It only costs you $0.5-$5 for each type and you only need 1 or 2 per IC package type. When you used one up, just reorder this type.

    It is much, much easier to apply solder paste by hand, then bake the breadboard adapter in a pizza oven (AKA toaster oven) . I just liberally swipe paste across the pads on the board, then remove excess between the pads by a toothpick and drop the IC ontop. Don’t even have to position is too carefully – it’ll just float to its intended place once the paste turns liquid. Once baked and cooled, just solder the adapter with the mounted IC into your board as a normal DIL chip.

    Dave, Dave, why did you have to publish this? I will be having soldering nightmares tonight…

  5. Domingos Says:

    Good Technique.

    I did something very similar,for about one year.
    But i buid the board too.
    Handmade board.

    see the Pictures:


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