Mounting a BGA on a PCB Quickly and Cheaply.

Posted by: Dave Vandenbout 5 years, 6 months ago

(9 comments)

Well, the XuLA2 PCBs arrived last week and now they are moving through assembly. But before I could start that, I had to build up one of the boards to make sure it worked. (I wouldn't want to assemble a batch of boards at $60 a pop and then find out the PCB was wacked.)

The XuLA2 board has a 256-ball BGA on it. In the past, I've sent a single board and BGA to my assembler and had it mounted. Then I would assemble the rest of the board and test it. The problem with doing this is the delay:

Monday: I mail a PCB and BGA to the assembler. (They are forty miles away.)

Tuesday: The assembler receives the package and - if they jump right on it - mounts the BGA on the PCB.

Wednesday: The assembler mails the mounted BGA and PCB back to me.

Thursday: I receive it along with a bill for $50.

To avoid a three-day delay and $50 out-of-pocket, I wondered if I could mount the BGA myself. The total cost of the BGA and PCB was less than $35, so the potential loss was minimal if I screwed up. And I could always fall back on my assembler if I failed.

While I didn't have the temperature-controlled convection heater or the X-ray inspection machine like my assembler, I did have a $40 paint stripper that should heat the BGA enough to make it reflow. Surprisingly enough, I was able to successfully mount the BGA to the PCB using very simple tools and procedures. Here's a video that shows how I did it:

The first BGA I mounted was a failure, but every one since then has worked. I wouldn't employ this technique on a board I'd send to a customer or one with a large, expensive BGA, but I would use it for short-term prototypes with mid-size BGAs.

Current rating: 5


Comments

  • Jerry L 2 years, 7 months ago

    Nice video! I tried but failed to mount a BGA chip properly, probably due to the GND layers which dissipate heat fast. Which assembler did you use? I quoted around but the prices are always several hundred $$$ for a single chip...

    Link / Reply
    • Dave Vandenbout 2 years, 6 months ago

      I use a local assembler called C-TRON in Franklinton NC. Since I have a relationship with them, they may be giving me a better price than if you walk in off the street.

      Link / Reply
  • Chris 1 year, 9 months ago

    Awesome Video !!

    Have you mounted all the components completely with the Liquid Solder Flux?

    Link / Reply
    • Dave Vandenbout 1 year, 8 months ago

      Hi, Chris. I use liquid solder flux for all the components except the thru-hole stuff. It makes the solder join much easier because you just put a bit of solder on the iron tip and touch it to the pad + component pin.

      Link / Reply
      • Chris 1 year, 8 months ago

        Oh ok.

        And out of curiosity, which fab house do you use? OSH park?

        Link / Reply
        • Dave Vandenbout 1 year, 7 months ago

          I've used OSHPark a couple of times, but mainly I use DirtyPCBs.com, PCBWay and PCBCart.

          Link / Reply
  • Solder Training 9 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hi, It's a nice post. I just started studying about PCB, Soldering, and BGA. Soldering of BGA devices requires precise control and is usually done by automated processes. BGA devices are not suitable for socket mounting. Thanks.

    Link / Reply
  • Solder Training 9 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hi, it's a nice post. I just started studying about PCB, Soldering, and BGA. Soldering of BGA devices requires precise control and is usually done by automated processes. BGA devices are not suitable for socket mounting. Thanks.

    Link / Reply
  • BEST Inc. 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing nice tips and trick for mounting BGA on a PCB quickly. No doubt, a video can save a lot of money of others also by mounting BGA's on your own but I still believe that hiring an expert can save a lot of time and money if you have any big project.

    Link / Reply

New Comment

required
required (not published)
optional

Recent Posts

Archive

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

Categories

Authors

Feeds

RSS / Atom