How do you assemble the 6 port hub


New Member
I ordered several Hobby Board units , and one was a kit, the 6-port 1-wire hub. I have never assembled anything with such tiny parts. I can hardly see them let alone solder them. Had I known what I was getting into I would have gone for the assembled unit. The rest of the 'assembled' boards look good and work fine.

What kind of soldering iron should I use? (wattage?, manufacturer?)


The wattage and manufacturer doesn't really matter. What matters more is having a good small tip, a magnifying glass and some tweezers.

It is really not that hard. Mainly you have to hold the part down while you tack it in place with a bit of solder and then you can solder the rest of the part down. The 3 capacitors are the hardest parts on the Hub.

I'm happy to provide any help I can but if you Google on soldering and SMD you can get some good tutorial sites.

Also if you don't even want to try you can send the kit back to us and for the difference in price ($10) and return shipping we will assembled it for you.

Thanks for the offer. My soldering iron is an old Heathkit bench model, but I lost the smaller tip along the way. I will probably go out and get a newer unit with the appropriate tip and give it a try. I am not new to this, just to the itsy bitsy parts. I was a little intimidated when I first looked at them. I can do a pretty good job with normal sized stuff. As long as I keep my work area clean I won't end up trying to solder up a piece of potatochip instead of a component.

Do you have a toaster oven that can do 450 degrees? Assembling surface mount components is a lot faster than through-hole components if you give up on the soldering iron.

You can buy solder-paste in a syringe, and put it down first. A dab on each solder pad, almost covering the pad. Don't worry if it runs, it will flow back onto the pad when you re-flow.

Next, place all of the components onto the board in the paste. I use tweezers for this part. The paste will hold the components in place.

Then put the board in the preheated toaster oven for about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully, or you could burn the PCB. I take it out 30 seconds after I see the solder re-flow.

Cool for five minute before serving.

Wow, I never thought of that! I didn't realize you had updated the thread till today, but the toaster oven seems like a neat solution. I did purchase a new soldering iron and assembled the unit, but it was was pain in the neck. I had problems with solder bridges between the pins on some modules, and it was a real pain to hold the components in place while soldering (three hands anyone?)

I used to work in a manufacturing facility that used a 'wave solder' machine to do through components. It was a marvel to watch if not something to strike fear into your heart. Molten solder being pumped up through a channel forming a wave and the circuit boards were passed over it, just high enough to skim over the surface and not let the solder run over the top. (that was back in the early 70's).

I suppose I can tell my wife that I am making 'digital toast' !

First of all I want to thank hobby-boards for good and quick service, ordering and getting the package home to Finland went very well, except for the days the finnish customs drooled over my parts of course :D

I also ordered the 6 port hub kit, and my first thought when I opened the small plastic bag with all the tiny parts was "Oh sh*t!!". But after couple hours of thinking I started heating my soldering iron. I thought that if I get this thing working I'll be very proud of myself! :) And only about 30 min later, I sat there with a working hub! At that point I was sweating and shaking, but IT WAS WORKING!

I used a pretty cheap soldering iron, but following the tips here; a bit of solder on one pad, tacking one of the tiny parts end to the board and then do the "real" soldering worked really well for me.

And I really want to recommend the hub case, because it gives the final touch to it. Even if the case is bought, I know it was my shaky hand that soldered the tiny parts inside!