Introduction: Make SMD ICs Breadboard Friendly !
It happens many a times that our favorite IC is only available in SMD package and there is no way to test it out on a breadboard. So in this short instructable I would show you the way I made myself this little adapter for SMD IC such that It can easily be used to test your circuit on a breadboard and even solder it on a perfboard.
Note:Such breakout boards are available in the market with a professionally made PCB but this is just a quick and easy way to get the same result which I tried and works just fine for my circuit and I wanted to share it with you all. It is completely possible to fabricate PCB for such design and use it.
Step 1: Gathering the Parts
This project does not require a lot of parts as we intend to make just a pin extension board for the SMD IC
You will need the following:
- Small piece of copper clad board cut to appropriate shape
- Male headers (For an 8 pin IC you will need a pair of 4 pin male headers)
- A printout of the layout of the IC and header pins
- Permanent marker
- Ferric chloride solution for etching of copper
- Soldering kit
- Isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface
Step 2: Printout of the Circuit
I first designed the layout on a PCB designing software (I have used Esy EDA here but you can use any other software of your choice) keeping the IC in the center and 4 pin male header are positioned on each side just like a DIP package. The distance between the two male header pins is 13mm which is larger than the typical 7.62 mm distance between the two opposite pins of a DIP IC, the reason being the lack of space.
I have also attached the PDF of the layout which is upto scale for reference.
Step 3: Making the Marking on Copper Board
I punched in the necessary holes fin the printout using a compass at places where the header pins would fit and also pinched holes for the pins of the IC. I then used some tape to stick the printout on to the copper board and marked the points through the hoes on to the copper board.
NOTE: You can easily so this step using toner transfer method if you have a laser printer and glossy paper at home. I just tried to do it with whatever I had at my home, also I don't have a laser printer so I went ahead to do the traces with a permanent marker.
Step 4: Placement of Components
The following pictures shows how the IC and headers will be placed in the module
Step 5: Etching the Excess Copper Off the Board
It is now time to etch away the excess copper from the board and leave behind only the traces under the marker.For etching I have used ferric chloride solution in a small container and kept the copper board in the solution for about 10-15 minutes with occasional stirring to ensure uniform etching
NOTE: take proper precautions while using etching chemicals and use safety gloves as because ferric chloride solution can leave very bad marks on skin and cloth and can cause skin irritation.
Step 6: Success! ...well, Sort of
So this how the PCB turned out to be and while the pads for the headers cam out pretty well, the traces were not upto the mark. Then again, I did it with a marker and not much can be expected out of it. If you are using toner transfer method the results will surely be promising.
Nevertheless, I decided to tin the entire traces so as to compensate for the incomplete traces.
Step 7: Tinning the Traces and Adding Headers
After tinning the traces and soldering the male header pins,the connections were now consistent without any discontinuations. Use a fine soldering tip to tin the traces and use flux so that the tinning process is uniform.
Step 8: Soldering the IC in Place
This is what the final module looks like after soldering the IC in place. Again care should be taken to avoid shorts amongst traces due to excess solder, make sure that the traces have good clearance.
After cleaning the board with some isopropyl alcohol, I makers in the corner pins of the IC with a permanent marker so as to get an idea of the orientation.of the IC
Step 9: Final Result
The module fits nicely on the breadboard and can now be used to test out the circuits I wish to make with this IC
I hope this small instructable gave you an idea to use SMD IC for testing purpose
Don't forget to watch the video in the next step for detailed build process and while you are there, do subscribe to my channel for more such content and DIY ideas. Thanks:)
Tip 2 years ago
When soldering always try to get shiny solder, it has better electrical properties, but if you just can't get it shiny don't worry, it'll still work ;)