Post - Soldering The Corne Keyboard

This weekend, I put together a new corne keyboard as I mentioned in Post - Building a new keyboard!. I have soldered only a total of 10 or 15 times, so I’m definitely not an expert. Here are some tips I’ve picked up especially for soldering surface mount components.

Basically, I soldered the surface mount diodes in 3 steps

Prepare the pads

I start by putting a small amount of solder on each pad. wide

Do the slide

Then I hold the component with some tweezers, heat up the solder I put on the pad and “slide” the component into the solder.

wide

Solder the other side

Lastly, I come back and solder the other side of the component. wide

The rest

The rest of the soldering on this board is pretty straight-forward. You put the component through the hole and then heat both the hole and the component. Flow solder into the tip of the soldering iron until you have good coverage on both the component and the hole. It takes some practice but there is this moment when you see the solder “snap” into place and create a minimal surface. At that moment you want to remove the iron. wide

The switches are very similar, they just have very large holes to solder into, so you have to flow quite a bit of solder before you get a solid connection.

Before you solder the switches, it might be worthwhile to do a bit of debugging1 to ensure all the connections are good.