Today was the day I etched the (first) PCB. I began by printing the design onto paper and ironing the trace onto a copper clad board (remembering to mirror the image because it is SMD).

ironed

 

I then etched the board in Ferric Chloride, washed it, cut it to shape and drilled the necessary holes.

cut

After multiple rounds of checking connections and scraping off incorrect connections it was time to ATTEMPT to solder the SMD components.

I began with the resistors. What I had done before was to pre-solder the pads before placing the components down. Massive mistake. This deposited loads of solder on each pad meaning I had to reheat and “solder-suck” repeatedly resulting in traces melting off the board and ruining it 😦

Accepting that this was a lost cause I chose to practice different methods of soldering.

I finally came upon the perfect method: Flux on the component, a tiny bit of solder on the component, flux on the pads, hold the component down with a sewing needle and heat each pad. This resulted in really neat joints which somewhat made up for the disaster.

massacred
Sorry for the poor image quality

Perhaps you can just make out some very neat resistors to the left and right and a complete massacre in the centre. I think this speaks for itself.

I will repeat this process again tomorrow, hopefully with happier results.

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