Friday, October 29, 2010

The future's cool #5- SMT for everyone

Okay, hardcore nerdery here.  Sorry to the non-believers in the audience, but...

5.  SMT technology for hobbyists.

Some will argue the point, looking back with nostalgia at the days when every IC was available in through-hole and sockets abounded, but I for one welcome our minuscule highly integrated overlords.

Ten years ago, when I bought my first parts from Digi-key, it was inconceivable to me that SMT parts could be usable on an at-home basis.  Now, the proliferation of adapters (such as Capital Advanced Technologies' excellent "Surfboard" series), cheap hot-air and fine-point rework stations, excellent reflow tutorials, and extremely low-cost low quantity PCB fabrication services (like BatchPCB and the DorkbotPDX group buy), it's now completely and totally reasonable for a hobbyist to use SMT parts to realize extremely advanced designs in surprisingly small amounts of space.

All that's really needed is the right attitude.

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