SMT IC Sockets: Will this work?

I’ve yet to solder my first SMT component, but I think my current project will use them. But not exclusively. One thing where I feel like I might want to hold out and stick with through-hole are for the IC sockets. I still like the idea of using sockets for ICs, so I want to know if such an animal exists. I did find this socket on Mouser:

The picture is wrong for that, but if you look at the datasheet, you can see it is indeed a surface mount. But the holes look weird to me. Will that socket work with most ICs? What holds the pins in place? If it matters, I am looking for a 20 pin socket to hold a TPIC 6A595NE shift register.

Sure that will work, The pins are held in place by friction, they are standard turned pin sockets.

But for £6 I would give it a miss and try SMD chips, SOIC at 1.27mm pitch are quite easy to solder, with regular iron and a low mag magnifier, like a “helping hands” etc

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To echo @bobc, it will work but I would also recommend just using the SOIC.

To answer your question: The Mili-Max sockets do look a little different due to being round (and nicer). The datasheet shows in the upper left a rectangular pin size of 0.010 x 0.018":

The TPIC 6A595NE package datasheet from TI shows a pin size of 0.010 x 0.015-0.021", so it should fit

So you both think I should get over my fear of directly soldering an IC to a circuit board??? :slight_smile:

I’m ok with this. I think that in the past, it made sense to use sockets, but I think the chips are a lot more forgiving of poor soldering techniques now, so I can probably pull it off.

OK, you convinced me. I’ll try and do this with SMD chips.

Thanks for the advice!

Going into this venture, I recommend a higher quality board vendor, such as OSHPark and setting the Pads to Mask Clearance to 0 (zero).

A good iron, with a good tip, and a fresh coil of quality solder will only help to make it easier.

Stick to 0.05" pitch SOIC to begin with. The finer pitch PQFP and TSSOP do really need a microscope

Are the SMD chips easy to remove once they are soldered in place? You know, in case I dork something up?

I was already looking at OSHPark. This will be my first circuit board printing.

Yes. If the chip is damaged simply remove it by cutting its legs with a sharp knife. (Use it at an angle such that you do not damage the board)
After that it is very simple to remove the soldered legs one by one using a soldering iron.

Alternatively you can use a hot air station with a heat directing thingy. Something like this:

Another way is to use Chip Quik. See this video around 1:40 for desoldering SMD components:

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