[hackspacebristol] Soldering QFN packages

David Smith David.Smith at imgtec.com
Fri Jul 11 11:06:43 UTC 2014

From: Hackspacebristol [mailto:hackspacebristol-bounces at lists.aktivix.org] On Behalf Of si at simonchambers.co.uk
> I’ve reflowed hundreds boards in my own [pizza/toast type] oven for a year or so - here’s a bit of a brain dump of what I’ve found/experienced:

Thanks for all that info; I'm currently in the process of designing my next PCB (I'm not currently a Hackspace member but considering joining), and am trying to decide whether to hand-solder or go for reflow - most of the components on my board are SMT; I have quite a bit of experience hand-soldering down to 0805 and a bit at 0603, but most of this board is 0603 with some 1210 quad resistor packs which might prove a bit tricky to hand-solder.

Do you have any experience on the life of solder paste?  I don't build PCBs very often (typically less than one small board per year), and from what I've read, solder paste has a limited lifespan (measured in months).  If I have to buy a new tub of solder paste each time I build a PCB because the stuff I used for the last board has already gone off as it's 18 months old, it's going to turn out quite expensive...

Googling around, some people say it's fine to keep using, others say it becomes too hard and unusable.

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