[amsat-bb] Re: Anybody use a Soft66ADD SDR?

Jonathan Guthrie ka8kpn at ka8kpn.org
Thu Feb 11 06:21:24 PST 2010

Sebastian wrote:
> I looked at the kit, and when I saw surface mount ICs, I said no way.
> Most people don't have the equipment, eyesight or steady hands to solder
> a surface mount IC. Maybe those parts are already soldered in the kit, I
> really couldn't tell from the web site.

I started looking into this last year and it looks to me like the only 
equipment absolutely needed to solder a surface mount IC is a 
temperature-controlled soldering iron and a good magnifier.  I can't 
speak to the steady hands part, and there certainly is equipment that 
can be purchased that helps make the job easier, but I would expect 
anyone who does a lot of building to have a decent soldering iron, and 
magnifiers are available various places.

I also think that the IC's would be a whole lot easier to see and work 
with than the discrete components, or are you saying that the 
surface-mount IC's imply surface-mount resistors, capacitors, etc?

The thing is, if you're going to build equipment, you'd best get used to 
working with surface-mount parts, because that's the way the world is 
going.  While it is certainly possible for people to be physically 
incapable of working with them, I'd hope that people would do some 
research into the matter, and give it a shot before concluding that they 
couldn't do it.  Thereby psyching themselves out of doing something 
they're perfectly capable of.

There are a number of on-line tutorials and surface-mount practice 
projects that should allow anyone who wants to find out for themselves 
whether or not they can do it, and without spending a lot of money.

People interested in finding out more should check out my links page:



More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list