Their SMT breakout boards are the impressive ones. They have a system with inset channels that are pre soldered. An SOIC, SSOP, QFP or other chip with leads can be very easily fixed into place with the inset channel pads. I'd definately recommend going to their website and watching the videos.
One note of caution though - you probably shouldn't try to use a Schmartboard for the first time with your only chip. Especially if it's a QFN. I tried it for the first time with a 3mm x 3mm, 12 pin QFN. I managed to cross-solder all of the leads on one side. The parts with leads are easy to align and keep aligned, but QFNs are a little more difficult.
I am planning on ordering some more parts and trying it again though. I need access to the pins on this little part and, other than making a custom board, there really isn't any other practical way to do so. Wish me luck.
Max, I was using such board (square pads on one side, round on another, metalised hole), at least TEN! years ago. I do not understand what is so impressive in SchmartBoard. There are multiple companies, manufacturing similar universal board for THT and SMD, and all of them are claiming they are best.
Honestly, I have been out of practice for a while. My first interaction with Schmartboard was these little round piece of solder I was using for Arduino projects. Now I'm a firm believer in all they do. It's not just these boards, it's the boards for their chips, it's these easy solder boards. I have gotten kind of spoiled now with their products. Really, take a moment to check their site. My soldering skills are back on par, but I was able to get my 12 year old daughter to solder with their little solder rings. She's hanging out with me now because she can help. The products are great, and like I read before in here.. I too am suprised that they're the only ones doing this.
For SMT prototyping, especially those situations you need a devoce, like a single logic inverter in your circuit and SOT23 and smaller packages are available, Schmartboard is the answer! Plus, the board has pads that are hollowed out and tinned so aligning of a tiny SMT device is a cinch. The board in the article looks like it'll make prototyping a breeze!
I have been looking at their SOT-23 and SOIC breakout boards too, lately. At about $6 for a set of these (multiple), they are a great deal: Each of them has grooved traces pre-filled with solder that you can just heat up with a fine tipped soldering iron. This'll help my first SMT project prototype more smoothly for sure, and I think I'll order these gridded boards too.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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