Notes on How To Solder Belly Connectors

A project log for VDC-II

Commodore 8568-inspired (and mostly compatible) video core for driving VGA-type displays.

Samuel A. Falvo IISamuel A. Falvo II 12/03/2020 at 18:430 Comments

I have been thinking about how to reliably solder the surface-mount pin headers to the TinyFPGA BX module for some time now.  I think I've come across a solution.

  1. Solder on the 14-pin outer/through-hole connectors. It’s important that they be soldered for mechanical stability in later steps.
  2. Insert two pins of the surface-mount pin header into female strip socket.
  3. Insert the female strip socket cross-wise on the TinyFPGA’s through-hole pins.
  4. Insert another strip socket a few pins away to lock in the registration.
  5. Now you can solder the ends of the surface-mount connector to the board with full confidence that they’ll line up correctly with the socket on the PCB.
  6. Scoot the cross-wise sockets down, and solder the other end of the surface mount socket.
  7. Now you can remove the cross-wise sockets, and solder the remaining pins.

Here's a picture of a mock-up which demonstrates what the arrangement should look like after step 4, but before the completion of step 5.