This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
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I think the best way, for few parts, is to use a small soldering iron and fine wire solder. Use tweezers to hold the LED in place. I have done it by coating the pc board with a generous amount of solder, brush on solder paste, and heat on the stove until the solder melts. Be careful not to get too hot and burn the pc board. Surface tension of the solder will pull the LED so it is centered on the pads, you only have to place it so it touches both pads.
I've soldered many fine pitch SMT devices by hand, several things come to mind.<p>I find bulk soldering of many pins at a time using flux/solder paste to be a messy disaster if you do not have the proper IR or forced air reflow systems available. Pin by pin hand soldering is more reliable on any part with the pins on the periphery (outside edge). I've never tried the stove method (do you use a frying pan), it sounds scarey to me.<p>Use Flux, even if the sloder has a flux core, this will help prevent both bridging and cold solder and will reduce the amount of time you need to dwell on the spot for the solder to flow. I always use a water based flux (OC) so I can clean the boards with soap and water (followed by alcohol, compressed air and a warm oven) but RMA flux is OK if your components can handle a harsher solvent. <p>Use Magnification: This is probably the most important tip. The human hand is much steadier when the visual feedback is adequate. <p>A fine, clean, well tinned tip on your soldering iron. If your current tip is solid copper, you can probably file it down and re-tin it but if there is a different metal inside, it will resist tinning and be useless.
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