New at the 2018 Hackaday Superconference is the SMD Soldering Challenge! Over three days of the conference, 48 people will try their hand at soldering all the way down to 0201 surface mount packages. Just finishing this challenge successfully shows you have the best hand soldering skills. But for fun and bragging rights we'll also be keeping a leader board as the weekend progresses.
There was a time when this was a useful soldering tool for the electronic hobbyist. But these days things we hackers want to solder are more likely to resemble a flake than a fender. Sure you’ve mastered soldering the big surface mount components, but are you the best? Here’s your chance to find out.
This year’s Hackaday Superconference is your chance to earn show off your hand soldering skills! Just show up and sign up for the challenge and have your mad soldering skills immortalized as you complete the SMD Challenge Board designed by MakersBox. You can sign up for a heat (pun intended) with 5 other people. That is, we sit 6 people down at once, each soldering their own board. We supply the tools, the supplies, the boards, and the components. You get to keep the board.
This event will fill up fast, with sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis.
- You can only compete in one heat. If you attempt to compete in more than one heat we will disqualify you.
- You must use the provided soldering iron and solder. If you would like to use other ancillary tools, you are welcome to bring them with you. We will provide tools such as: tweezers, flux, and magnification. You may not use your own solder or soldering devices.
- You will be given 5 minutes to open the kit, inspect its contents, review the instructions, and set up your workspace how you like. This is the Get Ready phase.
- If you have any special requests or requirements, please make them know before the Get Ready phase. You may not solder or do other prep work on the board during this time.
- If the kit is missing parts, please let us know during the Get Ready phase! We will be unable to add time to the heat for missing parts reported after Get Ready.
- Lost parts will not be replaced!
- At the end of the 5 minute Get Ready phase, the heat will begin.
- The heat will last 35 minutes. At this point, irons are down and your board will be inspected.
- Any attempt to interfere with other competitors or circumvent rules or fair play will result in disqualification. The judges have final say on disqualification.
- Entries will be scored on a 1 (worst) to 5 (best) scale in the following criteria:
- Time (top 20% of times receive 5, bottom 20% receive 1, etc.)
- Functionality of completed circuits (Judge only the circuits you attempted to complete)
- Neatness (flatness, alignment, centering, etc.)
- Quality (robust joints with the proper amount of solder and good fillets)
- In the event of a scoring tie, winners will be determined by fastest actual time
- Neatness will not take into consideration flux residue no clean flux will be used
- Competitors are encouraged to leave time to test their work before the end of the heat
- Only circuits (resistor and LED of one package size) where a competitor has attempted to solder the components will be judged for Functionality. If all attempted circuits are functional and one or more circuits were not attempted it is still possible achieve a score of 5 for Functionality, but deductions will be made for Completion.
The highest total score is in the top 6 across all heats, there will be a prize (details to follow). The judges may award special prizes at their discretion.