As the previous post implies, soldering the surface mounted keyboard connector isn’t an easy task and may take several tries and destroyed boards before getting a working one. This isn’t a very big problem since I already managed to hand solder one board and I am not in need of any more, but when it is time to create a final product, I really want to know that I can assemble it without first destroying 10 expensive boards.
To boost my soldering self-esteem, I redesigned the breakout board to make it more hand solder friendly. My idea was that longer pads on the connector footprint would make the soldering procedure a bit easier because the tip of the soldering iron does not have to be as close to the pins as with the old one. There is a big risk with getting solder near the pins because they may easely get soldered together. The other benefit with longer pads is that mistakes are much more easely corrected.
The connector became more solder friendy, especially the “mounting pads” but the other pads where too thin to let the solder flow to the pins. I solved it by moving the tip towards the pins (with pre-applied solder).