Hi, I bought a mp3 decoder chip, and thought it was surface mount, but i dont think its even that. The contacts are right on the bottom of it, its about 0.5cm X 0.5cm square, and the contacts are thinner than any wires. Theres also 49 contacts. Basically disastor purchase.

Does anyone know of a service where i can get soldering done in the UK of this tiny size. I have built the rest of an mp3 player project, and now I am held back by size!

Thanks guys


Yikes! Chips like that are usually assembled by machines (robots building robots!) using convection ovens instead of contact irons. I destroyed a few chips like that practicing soldering with a hot-air pen.

What happened with that company that sold custom breakout boards for the mp3 chips that would solder them together for you?


I rang him and he has stopped selling the chips at all. I have bought the VS1002 breakout board from sparkfun now, and am going to find out what i have to do differently. I think it will make my life easier though, because it has its voltage regulator already on it, and the oscillator is already there…

Do you know how i tell what voltage to attach to the breakoutboard though, because the schematic says VCC input, can that be my 9v power supply?

Just to be clear, you got the green breakout board (SKU#: BOB-00519) right? Not the red one with the battery and SD card socket?

They don’t seem to identify which regulator they use on the board. 5V input will almost definitely be fine, but I’m not as sure about 9V. I would ask SparkFun tech support about the input voltage and/or for the regulator’s part number to look up the datasheet before plugging it into 9V.


I found out ( i think) that the VS1002 can run off 3.3 volts only, so I was going to dismantle the power supply i have already set up, so that it is only outputing 3.3volts, run that to the mega168, and run it to the breakout board (yes i bought the green one). But wasnt sure what would happen with the voltage reg on the breakout board if i only put 3.3volts in. will it not like that. If you look at the schematic of the breakout board, it shows voltage regs of 3.3v … VS1002.pdf

so maybe i can put 9 volts in to the VCC input pin???

You will definitely need to power this breakout board with more than 3.3V at the VCC pin.

All linear voltage regulators have what’s called the “dropout voltage”, the minimum difference between their input and output voltages. It actually depends on how much current you’re drawing, but you can usually find a single number to work with. Depending on the regulator, the dropout can be quite low, like a few tenths of a volt. If I don’t know from a data sheet I would normally assume the input voltage has to be at least 1V higher than the output voltage for things to work right, so you want to feed your regulator at least 4.3V, and 5V would be just fine.

Larger regulators can handle very large input voltages, and this little tiny package can probably handle a 9V input, but I would still ask first to be sure.


OK I’ll contact Sparkfun, but what i could do is change the 2.5 volt regulator in the power supply that i built for this project (in photos), for a 5 volt regulator, because the 2.5 volt reg was for the vs1003b but thats gone now…