Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Using 0603 Surface Mount Components for Prototyping

 As a quick little tip, when I'm prototyping circuits on 0.1" perf board, I like using 0603 surface mount components for all of my passives and LEDs, since they nicely fit between the pads. This way I don't need to bother with any wiring between LEDs and their resistors, since I can just use three pads in a row to mount the LED and their corresponding current limiting resistor and just need to wire the two ends to where they're going.
I also like using it as a way to put 0.1uF capacitors between adjacent pins on headers, so filtering pins doesn't take any additional space or wiring.

The fact that this works makes sense, since "0603" means that the surface mount chips are 06 "hundredths of an inch" by 03 "hundredths of an inch", so they're 0.06" long, which fits nicely between 0.1" spaced pads.

I definitely don't regret buying an 0603 SMT passives book kit, which covers most of the mix of resistors and capacitors I need. I then buy a spool of anything that I manage to fully use up since it's obviously popular, so I eventually bought a spool of 0.1uF capacitors and 330 ohm resistors to restock my book when those strips ran out.