[sdiy] To SMT orNot to SMT.. that is my question

Olivier Gillet ol.gillet at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 08:44:53 CET 2013


> I don't see any DIY kits out there in SMT.. they are all still TH.

I used to sell a SMT DIY kit and I discontinued it after 200 pcs for
the following reasons:
- The failure rate was higher than for the through-hole kits (while
the product was much simpler).
- While it's easy to package PTH parts in small quantities (strips,
ammo pack, DIP chips inserted in foam), it's a PITA do to so with SMT
parts. I ended up having to leave 1 or 2 parts on each side of each
piece of tape I cut (0805), and it confused the hell of some builders.
- Customers inevitably lost parts during the build process.
- Some SMT parts are not labelled - so if you need to assist a
customer you can't just ask them to post a photo of their board to
figure out what they did.
- I had to build a fancy flashing rig for pre-programming the MCUs. I
could not have done that with a finer pitch MCU for which no ZIF
adapter would have been available. The first batch of 100 was sold
with a "blank" MCU, this is something I'll never do again :)

If your target community is the kind of DIYers on muff or
electro-music - who are used to building from bare PCBs, who do not
expect support, then it's probably fine... Didn't work for me since my
other kits set a standard for ease of build/support that I could not
match with a SMT kit.

Olivier

On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM, Dan Snazelle <subjectivity at hotmail.com> wrote:
> ultimately if you are making a cool project,people Will build it!
>
> I think eventually most people will work in SMT at home, especially those who are new to electronics and dont have supplies of old parts.
>
> Why? because thru hole is disappearing. I dont mean surplus. but in 2013 I watched scores of transistors and capacitors disappear, only to be found in smt land. i think the incentive is gone to keep making them.
>
>> According to my impeccable sources, doing SMD by hand is easier than
>> through-hole.
>
> this all depends on what tools , what eyes and how steady your hands are.( and of coursE
> WHICH smt form factor. some sizes are easy-others impossible. i still sort of suck at SMT by hand  and i never look forward to doing it. maybe if i had a heat gun, a microscope, and a good
> magnifier i could enjoy it ( I guess i should put some GOOD smt tools on my xmas list)
>
> i can solder a prototype very quickly ( and very sloppy) in thru-hole
> SMT requires far more "dedication"
> you cant watch movies ;)
>
> and another issue- even though all my modules are smt, I HATE having to repair smt
> boards. why? I dont have the right tools. ( hot air gun, etc) and ive ripped pads up before trying to desolder. on super small parts, i feel like testing by eye and a scope probe is much harder.
>
>
>
>> On Dec 20, 2013, at 12:41 AM, "David G Dixon" <dixon at mail.ubc.ca> wrote:
>>
>> A lot of DIYers (and professional module makers) do SMD by hand.  Indeed,
>> SMD prototype boards must be built by hand before they are mass-produced.
>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl
>>> [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of
>>> Michael Bachman
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 6:35 PM
>>> To: Synth DIY
>>> Subject: [sdiy] To SMT orNot to SMT.. that is my question
>>>
>>> OK, I just spent the last year working on a analog sound card.
>>>
>>> It was at the point of needing a revision.. so I did it.. in SMT.
>>>
>>> Now I am wondering if this was a mistake..(and big waste of my Holiday
>>> vacation)
>>> Can your average DIYer build and SMT board?
>>>
>>> The smallest part is a SOT23, resistors and caps are 1206,
>>> the ICs are all SOIC.. no fine pitch.
>>>
>>> I don't see any DIY kits out there in SMT.. they are all still TH.
>>>
>>> The size is nice, a 35% reduction  and SMT parts are more
>>> prevalent..stuffing houses love SMT...but I am about to rip
>>> up the whole layout and go back to TH.
>>>
>>> Opinions?
>>>
>>> Mike
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Synth-diy mailing list
>>> Synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
>>> http://dropmix.xs4all.nl/mailman/listinfo/synth-diy
>>
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