Frustration with size and placement of battery pads of ESP32C3

This might be an unpopular opinion and I am sure that this comes down to how new I am to PCB design and soldering, but I am shocked how bad the size and placement of the battery pads are in order to try and add the controller to a PCB, or just have a good connection to a battery. Why do they have to be so small and in the middle of the darn board, in my opinion this design decision seriously limits how you can mount this board effectively and the overall footprint of a project.

I have seen suggestions of using a reflow oven and that is fine if you do not want any SMD components on the other side of a PCB you mount to or massively increase the footprint. It just seems so limiting!

Sorry, I know I am just venting. It just seems such an oversight between this design decision and the fact that they left out a fuel gauge on a board that has battery management.

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Hi there,
WE feel your pain, :sweat_smile: You can see some the methods I used to attach/mount to PCB check out those threads.
The Xiao has been around for a good while now, a refresh is coming I’m feeling. The battery issue, and other items would be improved with a New Nordic chip also I would think. It’s not impossible as you can see from those posts of a PC board I’m using.
GL :slight_smile: PJ :v:

Thanks @PJ_Glasso,

I already have oval through holes directly over the batt pads. It I have tried securing in place via kapton tape, Good tip, I will see if I can switch to a spring loaded hand clamp to provide downward pressure while soldering. I think I will try to also switch to a needle nose soldering tip to try and get into the hole for better flow, a bit concerned that my ground plane is sucking too much of the heat, but who knows that might be good thing since it might need longer as you mentioned. I also might try and focus just on the positive pad as I did make a pad for the boards ground header hole and that one is much easier.

Before possibly damaging boards, might have to try a bunch of trial runs with perf board.

It would be handy if the blank PCBs used for the XIAOs were available for ‘practise’.

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Hi there,
No problem, I also tin both the PADS and the PC board Ovals prior to clamp and putting bigger heat for a slightly longer time, Then fill the holes, Works so far for over 20 PCB’s :v:

GL :slight_smile: PJ

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Ya tinning all apropos as well, I actually even gave the pad a bit the pointed gnome hat treatment for better placement and reaching up through the hole, funny I usually try and not have that exist! The needle tip really helped to get down in the oval, and I think minimize heat on other components. I think if I keep this ESP board for next PCB run I will make the ovals rounded rectangles and a bit over sized as well (as much as I can in that limited space so probably off to the sides).

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Yes- I say try the thru hole method, if you solder the pins down you should be able to flow soulder from a thru hole properly centered on the pads from below

What about a card edge connector? i am thinking it will cost too much with all those exposed contacts?
like half of a DDM Ram chip connector?