Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sat Dec 4 22:25:18 CST 2010

On 5 Dec 2010 at 3:57, Phill Harvey-Smith wrote:

> I had considdered that, however this does mean doing fine pitch smd
> work, which whilst not really (yet) a problem for me does serve as a
> barrier to some members of this list (and the community in general).

There seems to be more fear than reality.  I'm in my "golden years" 
with many pairs of glasses (one I use for walking around, another for 
computer use, another for reading music, another for electronics 
work...) so my vision's hardly optimal and I have terrible depth 
perception and congenital nystagmus.

For the *really* small stuff, I use a stereomicroscope which makes 
the end of a soldering iron tip look like baseball bat.  But I rarely 
have need for that.

For QFP microcontrollers on a prototype, I use an adapter to 0.100" 
pin spacing (cheap) for the MCU.  The remainder of the board can be 
through-hole or even wire-wrap.

Easy to solder one, using only a bit of solder wick to grab any 
excess.  Strangely, it does not take a fine-point soldering iron tip--
I find a broad chisel-tip.

Note that we're not talking about tiny SMD resistors or BGAs here, 
but good-sized ICs.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Another option might be a vintage, but faster CPU like an 80C188, 
which can be had in PLCC.  Still easy to interface to external memory 
and other devices.  Familiar instruction set.

But, I'm not the one designing this thing or building it.  I've got 
my own project list to work on.  Your opinion, obviously counts the 


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