SchmartBoardTM: An Easy Way to Hand-Solder PIC MCUs in SOIC Packages
Once upon a time, an engineer, student or hobbyist could easily use prototyping boards, wire-wrap and bread boards to prototype and troubleshoot a circuit. The IC’s were in DIP form and soldering was not a hindrance. With advances in IC packaging technology though, it is uncommon to find a new IC available in a DIP package. For most engineers, hand soldering, SOIC, QFP, QFN or BGA with pitches as fine as .4mm is not possible.
SchmartBoard’s patented “EZ” technology resolves this problem. On any normal printed circuit board (PCB), the electronics pads (which the components are soldered to) are slightly higher than the solder mask (the colored part of the PCB). SchmartBoard has reversed this. On a SchmartBoard|ez board, the solder mask is much higher than the pads. This creates canals for the chip legs to sit in. Additionally, the canals have solder in them. This allows the user to easily melt the solder in each canal to the respective chip leg, without the possibility of creating a bridge. Virtually anyone can now hand-solder a .4mm pitch IC easily, quickly and flawlessly.
The “SchmartBoard 8 Bit PIC® Microcontroller Development SchmartModule A” supports all 8 bit PIC MCUs in an SOIC package, up to 28 pins. The user simply solders the chip onto the board using SchmartBoard|ez technology and then configures the on-board jumpers. The 2” x 2.5” board has a 5V voltage regulator, onboard reset, external clock options, and ISCP header and RJ11 option for programming.