The previous page showed how to make a good through-hole joint.  But more and more components are only available in surface mount form these days.  Not all surface mount packages are easily worked by hand, but there are plenty that can be managed with the same basic tools used for through-hole soldering.

Let's start with a surface-mount part common to several Adafruit kits: The SD Card Holder:

Immobilize the Joint

Unlike many surface mount components, immobilizing the SD card holder is relatively easy.  There are small pegs on the back that fit into positioning holes in the board.  Once it is in place, solder the four small corner tabs to make it permanent.

Heat the Joint

Start by putting the tip of the hot iron on the solder pad adjacent to the pin.  The pad will take longer to heat, so we apply most of the heat to the pad to start.

Apply the Solder

When the joint is hot, apply solder to the side opposite the iron.  The solder should melt and start to flow into the joint.

Let it Flow

Apply just enough solder to ensure a good joint, then keep the heat on while the solder wicks up between the pin and the pad to make a good electrical bond.

Let it Cool

Remove the iron and allow the joint to cool undisturbed.


The last page of this guide illustrates a number of common soldering problems with advice on prevention and repair. 

This guide was first published on Sep 06, 2012. It was last updated on 2019-05-18 15:33:51 -0400.

This page (Surface Mount Components) was last updated on Sep 12, 2012.

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