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Methods for soldering a surface mount chip to a circuit board

Make a Clamp

Bend a bobby pin or coat hanger into a C shape.  Drill a hole in the end of a 2x4 and stick the bottom of the C into the hole.  The end of the top part of the C should make perpendicular contact with the top of the 2x4.  Clamp the chip to the board at this perpendicular contact point. [ photo 1 with a SurfBoard adapter ] [ photo 2 showing the clamp shape ]  Tape a piece of cardboard under the SurfBoard to level it out, and tape the SurfBoard to the wood block too so it doesn't slide around.

1.  Soldering iron and wire solder

Wipe on, then wick off extra so no pins are bridged.

2.  Solder Paste:

Solder paste is a mixture of solder powder and flux.  When its heated up, the solder melts and sticks the parts together.  Apply to the area being soldered and heat it up with a soldering iron.  Wash off extra flux after soldering with rubbing alcohol.

Radio Shack has solder paste. It comes in a syringe and costs $3.99. It's a mixture of silver, tin, petrolatum, and glycerine. It's part number 64-029. On the package it says:
Five times stronger than ordinary solder.
Ideal for making connections where soldering irons won't fit.
Wash the flux residue off, using warm water and a stiff brush.

Kester makes solder paste in a 35g syringe.  R276 - regular solder and flux, R500 - regular solder and water soluble flux.  There's a third kind.  It's R276 with silver in it.  Price is $12.50 for the regular solder and $18.25 for the one with silver.

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