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First Time I Solder SMD Components with a Heating Plate

I was so happy when all those components arrived. At last I would be able to put my project together. Unfortunately, the PCB they sent me was printing in the wrong side, so it was useless. But at least it gave me something to practice with my new hot plate. It costs just $70 from Amazon, but I have high expectations of it. Same goes for the two solder pastes I bought. One of them works in very low temperature. First of all, I have to remove some of the components from the breadboard. I have to admit, this is so much fun. The PCB was so much off that I had to scratch the solder mask in order to expose copper. I will use the low temperature soldering paste and I will quickly apply it. Then I will place this voltage regulator. As you can see, most of the soldering goes under this component. Okay, I think it looks pretty good. This thing is hot, so I would carefully place the board in the middle of the plate. I'm overly optimistic. So I set the target temperature to the melting point of the solder paste. And then I wait and I wait and nothing happens. So I rise the target temperature

And again and again. If you put some solder paste on the board, it melts immediately, but it doesn't solder the voltage regulator. And then at some point it reaches 150 degrees. And look what happens. The solder paste melts and the component moves and aligns itself. It's magic. Even if you accidentally move it, it snaps back to where it was supposed to be. That's great. Okay, ready to remove the board and let it cool. The result looks amazing. I can see the soldering being pretty good, even under the regulator. You can see how perfect those solder blobs look, and I think I can trust this soldering both for its electrical properties, and it seems mechanically strong. This might look like a small deal, but for me, being able to solder SMD components in bulk at home is so important. I'm so happy and I can't wait to see what I will do with this.

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