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Integrated Circuits (IC) Tutorial

IC's, often called "chips", come in several shapes and sizes.

Most common are 4, 8, 14, 16, 18 or 20 pin dual in line (dil) chips.

IC's can be soldered directly into printed circuit boards, or may plug into sockets which have already been soldered into the board.

When soldering, ensure that the IC (or the socket) is the correct way round and that no pins have been bent underneath the body.

When fitting new IC's it is often necessary to bend the pins in slightly, in order to fit it into the board (or socket).

Some IC's are damaged by the static electricity which most people carry on their bodies. They should be stored in conductive foam or wrapped in tin foil.  When handling them, discharge yourself periodically by touching some metalwork which is earthed, such as a radiator.

Solder two diagonally opposite pins (say pin 1 and pin 5 in the diagram below) and check that the IC is flat on the board before soldering the rest. If it is not flat then reflow the solder on the two pins pushing the IC flat. When satisfied, solder the remaining pins.

Take care when removing faulty IC's from pcb's. You may damage a circuit board when carelessly removing a 20p IC.


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