For those of you reading this that are generally quite clumsy, favoring electronics that use screw terminals over everything else, then perhaps you should stop reading here. Yes, today I’ll be talking about surface mount devices, commonly known as SMDs. According to the Collin’s Lab video seen below, “The process is pretty straightforward once you get used to the scale,” and “It’s actually quite relaxing.”
Though you may be skeptical about this claim, Collin does give an excellent introduction to the process. He notes that you’ll need a good soldering iron with a fine point pen, tweezers, and a magnifying device, as well as a solder wick and/or solder sucker to do this well. Relaxing or not, using these components does have some important benefits, such as allowing you to use devices that aren’t available as through-hole components, as well as letting you save space on your board.
If you are ready to give this technique a try, the I Can Surface Mount Solder board from Makersbox is meant as a “gentle introduction” to this technique. It comes with a board in the shape of a heart, as well as several components to solder on. It also comes with a small section of solder wick which should be helpful. If that seems too easy for you, check out the SMD Challenge, which is designed to “punish the Hack-a-day folks who love such frustration.” It comes with more components, and no solder wick, presumably because you already have one if you’re going to attempt to take this board on.