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This may seem blatantly obvious, but I wish Sparkfun provided something dirt simple, as a Artemis option, to use a standard iron and solder to a custom PCB.

Wouldn't need to be PTH necessarily, but perhaps surface mount, yet easy to use?

I would be happy to pay a couple of dollars more, if I was sure I could fabricate successfully.



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By liquid.soulder
I understand the apprehension of soldering SMD parts using solder paste but I must say that once you try and develop that skill you will probably enjoy it a lot. For me it is the surface tension. That little aspect of physics makes it possible for me to solder things much smaller than I could ever do "by hand" with an iron.

You will probably want some equipment, though.
- Hotness source (toaster oven, heat gun, or smd rework tool (here's the one I use at work: ... ast_slp_dp))
- Solder paste - I like to get the kind that comes in a syringe b/c it helps application (at least until you graduate to using stencils)
- An x-acto knife to clean up applied solder.

With just those tools you can solder all but the most difficult SMD parts. If you want even better results you might try:
- Flux in a syringe-tipped bottle
- A griddle with sand to evenly heat the bottom of your PCB (I use this for large/difficult boards when I only have a hot air gun - it helps pre-heat the entire board)
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