Manga Guide To SMD

For those that have always felt a bit treppidatious when approaching SMD, you can relax. Here’s a simple guide to walk you through your first shaky steps into surface mount devices. Distributed freely under the creative common license, the Manga Guide to SMD is an 18 page comic that has a goal of making SMD producers out of all of us. There’s a good visual explanation of what SMT is and why we use it, as well as a thorough walk through of how to solder the tiny devices with your soldering iron. They don’t go into dealing with a small reflow oven in this issue.

If this fits well with your learning style, you might also be interested in the Manga Guide to Electricity.

22 thoughts on “Manga Guide To SMD

  1. Well when I seen it was in a comic book format I was meh, because the ARRL’s attempt of using comics to lighten instruct runs a an otherwise decent book. With the link to page taking a long time to load up, and not loaded up properly when it did. When I found what to click on, I had to long on to Google Docs to see the guide. One can share for viewing to the general public with out having to log in. Yea I know they are soliciting translations, but that could be handled separately.

    As the quide goes is great considering is a hand drawn, but there is one text error, and a term I wouldn’t use. In the Illustration considering soldering iron tips I sure they meant to best not test. Considering this is a technical pursuit. I would have used the word fillet rather than “tents”, tents work if there’s an illustration, but not so much in the print or spoken communication. IMO newcomers should be taught the most common terminology. This is a good manual to accompany the EEVLOG’s video series on the topic. The creators might consider uploading a copy to the internet archive.

  2. I did not press SUBMIT! That last post was unfinished. I pressed the backspace key to fix a typo, and google chrome went back to the previous web page. When I reopened this page I saw the partial post. This is a big problem at HaD where the backspace key has bitten me here before in the “Leave a Reply” edit box.

    Anyway, I *LIKE* comic book guides. I bought all the comic guides at the bookstore (mathematics, physics, computer history, american history, world history) and I love them. These guides are really appreciated. For CONSTRUCTIVE improvements, here are the SPELLING errors that I spotted (NOT including grammar and punctuation errors):

    Page 2, is “ATTINY” intended as an off-topic pun, or should this be changed to “TINY”?


    Page 4, “THE TEST FOR” to “THE BEST FOR”


    Page 6, “JERWLERS” –> “JEWELERS”

    Page 11, “REMEBER” –> “REMEMBER”

      1. It is obvious that it is the ATTINY if you visit their website, which uses the ATTINY in one of their kits. But they want to translate this Manga to other languages, and it is used in a PUN that requires that you understand what the English word “Tiny” means (especially when it is completely out of context outside their website). Puns rarely translate well due to their reliance of word similarity. That is the only reason I suggested that they may want to change it to “TINY” and eliminate the potentially problematic pun.

      2. They typos do not hurt the great content. It would be a good idea to fix them to make transation to other languages easier, as they are asking for help with at their website. That is why I poste the list HERE after I did not find an easy way to contact them at the web page hosting this Manga. I did later find a contact form while browsing the rest of their website, and I posted the corrections there too.

        Personally, I have published a LOT of stuff, and I appreciate corrections. Unfortunately, I have not yet located the EDIT button that lets me fix typos in HaD comments that I have posted.

  3. I have a few things about smt hand soldering I learned by myself:

    -pin header. on both 1 row and 2 row you can fit some smt part and solder them. Better yet, for resistor, capacitor, you stack them, and make them parallele!

    – on some wider soic part, you can bend 90° 1 pin down, then the next on 90° up on each side, and you can solder it to a protoboard! (use 30awg+ wire the solder the other important pin on the upper side)

    – soldering a +100 pins tqfp chip is a pain in the ass. get some experience first.

    1. tqfp is not so bad with the right tip and flux. You need a mini-reflow tip which has a tiny cup at the end of the tip. You flux the pins, and wipe the solder down the part, flowing 3 to 4 pins at a time. Then clean up with solder wick.

      It takes a little practice, but most people get it very quickly.

      BTW, anyone know of a product that you can put under an SMT part to tack it down and help with alignment? I have tried little dabs of gel glue (elmer’s) using a toothpick. It works “ok”, but I imagine there has to be a more specific product for this?

  4. Are you kidding me?? You total tool bag a holes.. Typos?? Really??? Why wordpress does not sitck a huge knob in your bumms i dont know.. Again great guide and kep upthe good work.

    1. I was trying to be helpful with spelling corrections BECAUSE they want to translate this to other languages, which will be easier with spelling corrections.

      Your choice of foul language shows us that you are one of those “Total Jerkwads” that looses control when anonymous — so either you have are using a fake name, or you just have a mouth bigger than your brain.

  5. I’ve always looked at SMT and said “F*** that, It looks too hard” After reading that guide however, I think I would have a crack if I had a project that required SMT instead of skipping it. And I would say that was the intent of the guide. For that I’ll ignore some typos

  6. on tqfps:
    line up diagonal corners, tack one corner pin down, check alignment and tack the opposite corner. drag solder the rest. I use liquid organic flux/washable leaded solder; although it creates weird alloys with the newer lead free component tinning. sometimes some sharp tweezers can be held on the edge of the footprint and help alight the component tacking it down. A large chisel tip and good solder flux is all you need to drag solder these. smaller tips actually make the job trickier by not having enough heat/solder to drag the solder ball down the row. Use copper desoldering braid to clean the extra. Hot air pencils and solder paste should be used on smt ceramic caps or you can stress fracture it with stick soldering leaving you with a cap that won’t be the value you think it is when you are finished.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.