BrownDog FAQ Page
Q: What is the cost for international shipping?
A: USPS (United States Postal Service) rates:
- First Class International - $7.10
- Priority Canada - $21.95
- Priority International - $26.50
International Priority mail reaches its destination in 6-10 business days. We can also ship to most countries using private courier services including DHL, UPS, or FedEx. Contact us for a quotation if you wish to ship with one of these carriers.
Q: Can you provide a tracking number for my shipment?
A: Tracking numbers are provided to you in an email confirming shipment when we have shipped your order. International mail shipments will be provided with a CN22 customs number. Some foreign countries' postal services use this number to track shipments all the way to the destination.
Q: Can you ship using my UPS or FedEx account?
A: Yes. You can include your UPS or FedEx account number and the associated postal code in a customer note on the order form or send them in an email.
Q: Are the op-amp ICs you sell genuine factory components?
A: Yes. All of our third-party components are sourced from authorized U.S. distributors. Mouser, Digi-Key and Newark Element14 supply our op-amps.
Q: I've never soldered surface mount parts before; is it difficult?
A: Soldering SMT parts is no more difficult than through-hole parts if you have the right tools. I use a conical 1/64" tip which allows me to solder 0.5mm pin pitch parts without any problem; compared to that, standard SO8 (1.27mm pin pitch) parts are a piece of cake. Probably the most important thing is to liberally apply solder flux to the pads before you put the part down. I like to use felt-tipped flux pins (they look just like marker pins and you can get them from DigiKey or Mouser).
Do the following:
1. Apply solder flux to the pads.
2. Position the part on the pads.
3. Touch the iron to one of the end pads; allow enough time for the pad and component to absorb sufficient heat and then feed in some solder using your other hand. If the positioning of the part looks OK, then use the same procedure to tack down the opposite corner.
4. Solder the remaining pins with a small amount of additional solder.
5. Use solder wick to clear any solder bridges that might occur between pins. This doesn't happen very often on SOIC parts unless you get too carried away with the solder; this is more likely to occur on finer pitch parts.
Here are some good Dave Jones YouTube videos on soldering.
In part 1, he talks about tools:
In Part 2, he does through-hole soldering:
In Part 3, he shows how to do surface mount soldering. At 9:10 he shows how to solder an SO8 IC.
Also, Warren Young at Tangentsoft has produced a series of very good tutorial videos addressing through-hole and SMT soldering techniques. You can view them here (requires Ver. 8 Flash (or later) plugin for your browser).