SN wrote:I've got a real of 0.56mm solder but what size tip are people using on their iron? - end to end mine is BIGGER than those resistors
You don't mention which Antex Iron you have but the 15-25W versions come with a 2.3mm oval sloped tip that should be adequete if it is in good condition. The tip being bigger than the components is not a problem as you don't put the tip on the component, only touch the ends of them. If you find the normal tip a bit difficult then you may find the conical pointed tip easier like this Antex 0.5mm Fine TIP
. Make sure you get the right tip for your iron as there are different ones for each wattage. The screwdriver type tip is the worst type to have for such delicate work, experienced people like Gert can make do with such a tip at a push but they are really intended for joining wires.
SMD Soldering Procedure
Before starting ensure your tip is clean and in good condition, while the iron is heating up apply a small amount of solder with flux core to protect the tip. When the Iron is nice and hot wipe the tip on a damp sponge to clean off solder and resedue and put a small amount of fresh solder on the tip so that there is a fine coating
(not big blob) of solder on the tip.
1. Apply the Iron to the PCB pad (2-3 Seconds should be adequete) then touch the end of your solder on the point where the tip is touching the PCB pad so that your solder is touching the pad and the tip. The aim is to get a thin coating of solder on the pad, this is more easily achieved using a fine gauge of solder ideally 0.7mm or thinner. Now move the solder wire away and then the iron. If you end up with a big blob of solder then use a solder sucker or wick to remove some of the excess solder before moving to the next step.
2. Use a pair of long nosed tweezers to hold the component so that the end is on the edge of the pad. Re-heat the pad with your iron and slide the component into the molten solder on the pad. Don't be tempted to put the component on the top of the solder and try and press it into the solder by heating the end of the component this will not work.
This should hold the component in place, if you are unhappy with the position re-heat the join by touching the tip of the Iron on the pad and end of the component and re-align with tweezers.
3. Now the component is in the position you want it the other end can now be soldered in to place. Apply the iron to the pad and the end of the component. Then touch the end of your solder ideally so that it is touching the point where the Iron, Pad and component are in contact. The solder should flow on to the pad and end of the componet, take the solder away and then the iron.
4. Now that you have a secure joint on the second point you can return to the first and follow the same procedure as in step 3 to add a little more solder to the joint if required.