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Old 07-29-2008, 01:06 PM #1
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Default Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Hey,

I was wondering if anyone has ever used anything besides solder to make connections between their laser diodes and drivers? I'm not very good with a soldering iron and I was planning on making my first build so I was worried that I would fry my diode while soldering it to the driver. After a little research I found that Silver Epoxy (http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/8331.html) works just as well as solder. The great thing is that is uses no heat so I would think it would be much better for the diode while putting everything togeather. Has anyone ever used a type of electrical conducting glue for any of thier builds? Or will I be the first?

Thanks,


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Old 07-29-2008, 04:09 PM #2
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Push on connectors have been known to disconnect then zap the LD with the contents of the capacitor.

I would not trust conductive adhesives they can get very messy and in the wrong place will short things out.

Can I just suggest that you do some soldering practice.... If you are going to be harvesting LD's you will need to use a soldering iron to remove all the attachments anyway.......

When you come to solder things together use a croc clip stand ( i have forgotten the proper name for it...spare pair of hands? ) to hold everything in place before you apply the soldering iron.

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:38 PM #3
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

laser diodes don't actually fry that easily, especially if you leave it in the original heatsink while working on it - i usually remove it from the heatsink once im totally done with it so any soldering heat is absorbed
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:43 PM #4
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Quote:
Push on connectors have been known to disconnect then zap the LD with the contents of the capacitor.

I would not trust conductive adhesives they can get very messy and in the wrong place will short things out.

Can I just suggest that you do some soldering practice.... If you are going to be harvesting LD's you will need to use a soldering iron to remove all the attachments *anyway.......

When you come to solder things together use a croc clip stand ( i have forgotten the proper name for it...spare pair of hands? ) to hold everything in place before you apply the soldering iron. *

Regards rog8811
Would you trust the adhesive if it didn't get messy though? I was planning on applying it with a toothpick or something very small very slowly so I could prevent the epoxy from getting anywhere else on the driver. Yea there is the chance that you could get some of the epoxy somewhere where you don't want it but thats about it for risks and if you use solder you still have that small chance of dropping a blob somewhere where it doesn't belong and you have the chance of over heating the diode. I beieve that this would be better for the diode in the fact that there is no heat and if I am careful it should work fine.

I just wanted to know if anyone else out there has ever tried such a thing. I'm not for sured right now on what I am going to do, solder or epoxy. I may give the epoxy a try and if it works I'll definently report my results for everyone and maybe there will be a better alternative to soldering for those who have mediocre soldering skills (Like me) or don't have access to a soldering iron. Heck, if the epoxy doesnt work I can always clean it off and solder the diode back on.

Thanks for your suggestions, I most definently will practice my soldering.

P.S. The "croc clips" you refer to are called "Helping Hands" you were close with your guess for the proper name. I've used them before and I have a set here, they do make things much easier.

Extra P.S. That yellow pointer you made is awesome!

Quote:
laser diodes don't actually fry that easily, especially if you leave it in the original heatsink while working on it - i usually remove it from the heatsink once im totally done with it so any soldering heat is absorbed
How do you do that? Kinda confusing. Do you solder the driver on the diode before you put it in the module? But anyways, I know that it won't fry that easily but don't you think that that extra time you use the soldering iron on the diode shortens its lifespan? I'm still deciding whether or not to use solder or epoxy, I have to sleep on it some more.

Thanks for your input *
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:03 PM #5
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

You're going to increase the risk frying your laser diode more if you don't solder it than if you do. *A major cause of diode death occurs when you've powered up the laser, and the diode momentarily disconnects from the driver and reconnects. *It causes a short but powerful burst of current to pass through the diode, killing it. You won't even know it happened. *Soldering ensures that the driver is connected to the driver by a strong metallic connection, far reducing this risk. *It'll also be a pain if you make a mistake with the epoxy and have to remove the diode, possibly ripping the copper traces from the board.

If you have trouble soldering, invest in some better soldering equipment. Cheap irons may not heat the solder well enough, or have the precision you need. *Considering you're paying $20 for the diode itself, and more for specialized epoxy, you can afford to spend another $20 or so for some decent equipment if it means you won't lose those lasers. *The key is to tin the leads to the laser and tin the driver connectors. *Then, using some helping hands to hold the board and laser in place (rather holding the Axiz head with the laser diode pressed in already), just touch the end of the soldering iron to the joint where the connectors are supposed to be and they'll solder together.

If you need more help with basic technique take a look at these videos. *They cover all the different topics including what to look for in equipment, technique, and other good stuff.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:20 PM #6
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bionic-Badger
You're going to increase the risk frying your laser diode more if you don't solder it than if you do. *A major cause of diode death occurs when you've powered up the laser, and the diode momentarily disconnects from the driver and reconnects. *It causes a short but powerful burst of current to pass through the diode, killing it. *You won't even know it happened. *Soldering ensures that the driver is connected to the driver by a strong metallic connection, far reducing this risk. *It'll also be a pain if you make a mistake with the epoxy and have to remove the diode, possibly ripping the copper traces from the board.

If you have trouble soldering, invest in some better soldering equipment. *Cheap irons may not heat the solder well enough, or have the precision you need. *Considering you're paying $20 for the diode itself, and more for specialized epoxy, you can afford to spend another $20 or so for some decent equipment if it means you won't lose those lasers. *The key is to tin the leads to the laser and tin the driver connectors. *Then, using some helping hands to hold the board and laser in place (rather holding the Axiz head with the laser diode pressed in already), just touch the end of the soldering iron to the joint where the connectors are supposed to be and they'll solder together.

If you need more help with basic technique take a look at these videos. *They cover all the different topics including what to look for in equipment, technique, and other good stuff.
Yea, I was worried something like that would happen. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to solder it. I'll take a look at those videos tomorrow because they take forever to load (I have Dial-Up). Good thing you said something about tinning the pins because I didn't know you could do that, I figured you had to hold the soldering iron on the driver with the diode until the solder liquified.

Thanks everyone for your input
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:48 PM #7
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Quote:
Yea, I was worried something like that would happen. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to solder it. I'll take a look at those videos tomorrow because they take forever to load (I have Dial-Up). Good thing you said something about tinning the pins because I didn't know you could do that, I figured you had to hold the soldering iron on the driver with the diode until the solder liquified.
Practice soldering some worthless components first.

Soldering is not very hard to learn, even kids can do it, but it does take some practice to get it right. Perhaps you know someone that has some experience that could teach you, although you can figure it out on your own just as well, it just takes longer
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:17 AM #8
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

I will have to disagree with everybody and say that this will work just as good as soldering,the only con is that if you ever need to remove the connection you are just screwed,it's not impossible but on sensitive things like a diode,the chances of damaging it is much higher than with solder.
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:17 AM #9
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Soldering must-haves:

-decent iron with small tip
-solder flux (highly recommended for beginners!!)
-solder wire
-desoldering braid

All those are available at radioshack, though I'd avoid the cheap radioshack irons (maybe their temp controlled ones, though). *A soldering iron with a base and a temperature regulator is a good idea, but I got along with a simple low powered iron (12W) for small stuff and a larger one (40W) for bigger stuff (ie tinning speaker wire, desoldering large components, etc) for many years, just recently upgrading to a good soldering station.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:32 AM #10
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

i am kinda curious of the resistance of the conductive epoxy
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:14 PM #11
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Quote:
I will have to disagree with everybody and say that this will work just as good as soldering,the only con is that if you ever need to remove the connection you are just screwed,it's not impossible but on sensitive things like a diode,the chances of damaging it is much higher than with solder.
Yea I figured it would work just as good as solder because of the high concentration of silver in it. Overall though, soldering would be much cheaper. You could actually easily remove the epoxy, all you have to do is touch a soldering iron to the epoxy and it will melt.

This is something I think some more expierienced people should work with first.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:08 PM #12
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Quote:
Soldering must-haves:

-decent iron with small tip
-solder flux (highly recommended for beginners!!)
-solder wire
-desoldering braid
I wouldn't recommend using separate flux really, solder intended for electronics has the flux in it already, and that should be sufficient when working on normal components. Perhaps its useful on badly oxidized parts, wires and circuit tracks, but not needed to solder some wires, a capacitor etc to a laser diode.

Desoldering braid is useful for removing components from circuits, though many people manage just fine without... depends on what you have to remove from what exactly


As for conductive expoxy: noone in electronics uses it in applications where solder can be used instead. It's messy, horribly expensive, and doesnt conduct all that well. It is only used to connect things that cannot be soldered because the surface is unsolderable (steel, for example) or the component is very sensitive to heat (blow-once thermal fuses and such).
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:12 PM #13
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Freestyle
I was wondering if anyone has ever used anything besides solder to make connections between their laser diodes and drivers? I'm not very good with a soldering iron
Soldering is easier, safer and better for many reasons. It just takes some practice, till you get the feel for it.

Start by soldering something else. Make a linear driver, or just practice soldering a wire to a resistor leg, untill you get it perfect. It's the same thing.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:39 AM #14
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Solder does come with flux in it, however, many people don't, or can't, solder by holding both the soldering iron and the solder to the joint to be soldered. Rather they put a small blob on the tip of the iron, and touch the two parts to make the connection (especially in small jobs). When you do that, the flux often burns away before the connection is made and you don't get good solder flow. Added flux gives you good solder flow when you need it, so you don't have to depend on the flux in the solder itself.

Rckstr also does a lot of surface mount soldering, which really benefits from having flux on the pads. In fact, I'd say you should go out and buy some Flux from DealExtreme or somewhere else if you're going to start SMD solder work, because it'll make it a lot easier. For $2.50, it's a nice investment.

IgorT's suggestion is also good: solder up a regulation driver as practice. The components are large and cheap, and you can use what you built in your project.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:59 PM #15
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

Alright, thanks everyone. I just recieved my diode today (one of the sleds from ndrew2505, had it placed in an AxiZ) and he already soldered some wires to it, didn't expect that. I have taken everyones advice and I have been practicing with the soldering iron, it gets kinda easy after awhile. Can't wait until I make my first build

Thanks everyone
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:07 AM #16
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Default Re: Solderless Connections, Anyone Tried?

the smd stuff is fun ...

i like the fun of making the little ark of solder from the board to the chip

a magnifying glass usually helps some but you need it to be supported for you so you can hold the iron in one hand and the solder in the other ... it also helps to glue or tape the chip in place while your soldering it ... but be sure not get get glue on the pads ...
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