SMD Holding Device (January 2007)
Surface Mounted Devices (SMD) are more and more common nowadays and many circuits are available only as SMD packages.
may find difficult to keep these tiny components in place during
soldering : until recently I used the classic "tweezers method" to hold
the SMD on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) while soldering it.
order to simplify the procedure when a large number of SMDs must be
soldered on a board, I designed a "holding device" built
from components and materials available in my junk box : the
result is shown below (click on the pictures to enlarge) :
PCB is kept in position on the lower white plate by the left and
right fingers and the SMD is held in place by the pressure of the
central tool. The three black circles (small rubber feet glued on the
plate) prevent the PCB from sliding when you solder the SMD on
1. Building the tool.
1/ The lower plate is a piece
of wood or chipboard (15 x 12 cm) in which I drilled three holes, two
for the left and right fingers and one for the central SMD holding tool.
2/ The fingers
are made of copper strips soldered at the end of banana plugs. The
small rubber disks glued to the strip's ends help to keep the PCB in
3/ The SMD holding tool
is based on a 5 cm length of an old potentiometer shaft : a strip of
flexible steel is fastened to one end of it, and a 4 cm length of
steel wire (the "Music wire" used by aeromodellers) is soldered
to the other end of this strip.
I gently polished the end of this steel wire with fine-grain
sandpaper in order it doesn't mark the SMD when it is pressed on.
2. Using the tool.A
picture being worth a thousand words, have a look at the photo below
showing a 14-pin SOIC-14 SMD component kept in place before
Built in no time, this little device can be a great help when you solder many SMDs on a PCB.