Solder trick to make your own surface mount breakout boards

surface-mount-breakout-trick

We think you’re really going to enjoy this trick for making surface mount breakout boards. It’s common to use magnet wire to connect individual pins of a surface mount part to breadboard friendly protoboard with pin headers. What’s new here (at least to us) is that [Raul] solders one wire to both pins directly across from one another.

The image at the left shows an eight pin part with four wires soldered in place. To get to this point he first taped the wires down to a work surface being careful to space them to match the pitch on the chip’s leads. He then tapes the chip in place and solders all of the legs to the wires. This seems to kill two birds with one stone as aligning one wire to one leg is tough. From there he flips the chip over and cuts the wire spanning under it. This leaves an easy job of soldering the trailing side of the wire to a hunk of protoboard.

It’s perfect for chips with a small number of pins. Of course you may still want an etched breakout board for something with a ton of leads.

41 thoughts on “Solder trick to make your own surface mount breakout boards

          1. I believe you mean +10100

            Or if you were trying to keep up the pattern: +11

            I don’t know what that weird squiggily thing next to the zero is, but it’s not part of my numbering system!

    1. That’s interesting. But ribbon cable usually has a pitch of 0.1 inch. Its only possible if you can get a ribbon cable which has the precise pitch

  1. The only problem I can see with this is that once you have the leads on the IC, if they’re too short or your iron too hot, the solder will melt and you’ll have to start over. I’d also recommend Kapton tape to hold the leads in place while you’re soldering them to your IC. Invisible tape stinks when it melts.

    1. As long as we are complaining about the method :P

      You need to be careful when cutting the leads so you don’t impart a lot of stress or shock to the IC leads, you could easily damage the lead or the connections inside the plastic package if the stress is too large.

      1. That’s what I was going to say. You need very sharp cutters for this. If you don’t have them, and have a grainy solder joint, you can break the joint.

      2. Now, now! I wasn’t complaining, just offering my caveat.

        I wonder how a Dremel tool would work to cut the leads? Of course, with my eyes and shaky hands, I’m sure I’d go through quiet a few of these (literally) before being able to do it right.

  2. Been doing something similar for ages, except instead of bothering with the breadboard mess, I just use IC sockets. Much quicker, and certainly cleaner.

  3. oh my god!! thank you for this
    used it in a slightly diffrent way but it SOOOOOOOOOOOO saved me a ton of time

    Flat ribbon cable connector and a direckt to flat ribbon conection

    Tape down wiere in grid then flood solder as norm.

    WHOOOOOOOT

    :)

    As sed above
    Why the hell didn’t i think of this.

      1. Agreed, the above spelling was rather atrocious, but I think the word you’re looking for is “ought”. :)

  4. I confess I was doing something along these lines with enameled wire as well as with some spare sockets I had lying around for about a year for some of my projects. I got the idea looking at the deadbug posts here on HaD. I’ve got a few thousand surface mount LED I’m prepping to do just this.

    The idea of doing it to SMD parts seemed such an obvious progression for deadbugging that I actually never realized that not everyone knows this.

    My point is, I’m not an expert and it’s nice to see “obvious” posts on HaD. I like to learn the “tricks” all the experts take for granted.

  5. How about hitting the wire with a hammer first to flatten it? That way it should move less and make better contact, assuming the wire doesn’t break in the flattening process of course.
    Just an idea.

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