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I ordered an op amp to experiment with. I knew this was a surface mount component when I ordered it. I assumed that I would be able to somehow attach leads to it, so I could use it on my breadboard. Using a simple soldering iron - is there a way I can attach leads to this component to use on my breadboard?

I know when these components are surface mounted they are only rated to come in contact with high temperatures for a second or two. I was thinking of getting a small bead of solder on the end of a wire - getting the bead to melt using the iron - then touching the wire and bead to the one of the pins on the component (so the soldering iron doesn't touch the component directly).

Enter image description here

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Search on "dead bug protyping". It's most certainly possible, and often a fast and easy solution to your problem. – Scott Seidman Mar 23 '14 at 17:27
A better photo could have been achieved if you had put the thing on a white piece of paper and held the camera with both hands for steadiness and cleaner background. – user1306322 Mar 23 '14 at 18:08

There are DIP adapters for several SMD packages. Your specific one looks like a SOT-25 and an adapter like the following could be used

enter image description here

You can either make these adapter boards yourself (if you produce your own homemade board) or buy then from an online store.

This image is just an example of the variety of SMD to DIP boards

enter image description here

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Often also called SOT-23-5 as a search synonym for SOT-25. – David Mar 22 '14 at 17:18
Your description led me to an adapter on Digikey digikey.com/product-search/… – Tinkerer Mar 23 '14 at 17:00
@gerrishp2 You can get much cheaper ones from ebay (usually China). I also found a cheaper one in Newark – alexan_e Mar 23 '14 at 17:17
@gerrishp2 25 pieces for less than $4 – alexan_e Mar 23 '14 at 17:22

You could attach leads but this isn't a particularly good idea, especially for use at moderate to high frequency. The last thing you want is wires hanging off it picking up noise or leading to oscillation. The same applies to breadboards, they are often not a good way to test high frequency, low noise opamps that are prone to go into oscillation without decent grounding.

Some manufacturers sell evaluation boards designed to be used with surface mount opamps. For example there are a range by TI stocked at a number of popular retailers.

These boards are specifically designed for the surface mount opamps and have large ground planes that open up underneath the package body to minimise capacitance around the pins. Below is a picture of one I populated to test an opamp (before I cleaned it!).

TI opamp demo board

Alternatively if you are using a general purpose opamp at low speed you could see if it is available in a DIP package. This would be a much better idea than tacking wires onto the easily damaged SMD legs, but still be careful of using a breadboard for anything particularly sensitive.

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+1 Nice, thanks for that. At $5 each, worth having a few around, even with lots of the other kinds of adapters. – Spehro Pefhany Mar 22 '14 at 17:50
@SpehroPefhany you can get them as free samples from TI if you navigate their eStore correctly. – David Mar 22 '14 at 18:24

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