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Old 08-11-2011, 08:41 PM #1
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Default Diode leads for shakey hands, wirewrap

I have a slight tremor and haven't been able to attach leads to diodes the usual soldered way. I got a wirewrap tool from radio shack and started attaching leads to laser diodes using this. It works fine and I have a couple of burning working lasers that I used this technique to get the leads attached. Yes the wire is only 30 guage and no it's not as good as solder, but it can be done safely and easily with no danger of damaging the diode with too much heat.


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Old 08-11-2011, 09:00 PM #2
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Default Re: Diode leads for shakey hands, wirewrap

With the below technique, you can rest the heels of your hands on the table/workbench and use them both to hold the other steady.



This method is also used when making wire-to-wire solders with small wire
Soldering diode pins takes a fraction of a second

Pre-tin BOTH the pins and the wire or solder pads

Use a small bit of flux on BOTH the pins and the wires/pads BOTH for the pre-tin and the final solder joint

I don't care if you use rosin core solder. USE THE FLUX!

Use a set of "extra hands" to align the pin with the wire/pad.

Make sure that they are side-by-side, touching, and secure

Get a small bit of solder on the tip of your soldering iron

"Touch" the melted solder on your iron to the pin to wire/pad joint

The solder will all flow together in a fraction of a second.

I recommend that you also use some shrink tubing to protect and reinforce the joint



You DO NOT "heat the joint" as with other solder jobs
You DO NOT place the solder source anywhere near the solder job

Only the melted solder on the tip of your iron should approach the pin to wire/pad joint

If you are new to soldering, I recommend that you get yourself an old PCB and some scrap wire (etc.). Practice the above procedure until you can get a good solder in a fraction of a second.

Peace,
dave
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:33 PM #3
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Default Re: Diode leads for shakey hands, wirewrap

Those are some good tips dave! +1

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Old 08-12-2011, 12:58 AM #4
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Default Re: Diode leads for shakey hands, wirewrap

wow Dave, SERIOUS flashback to my high school shop teacher circa '82, teaching me to solder during robotics class. Mr Fahey, what a great guy and one of the best teachers.

did YOU have him too?
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:27 AM #5
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Default Re: Diode leads for shakey hands, wirewrap

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoolGaul View Post
wow Dave, SERIOUS flashback to my high school shop teacher circa '82, teaching me to solder during robotics class. Mr Fahey, what a great guy and one of the best teachers.

did YOU have him too?
My robotics teacher encourages using electrical tape when possible (which included attaching wires to the pins of lm317s )

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:42 PM #6
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Default Re: Diode leads for shakey hands, wirewrap

Do make sure to flux only the region where you want the solder. Sometimes it might drip, possibly guiding the flux onto the diode's back.

Done right, wirewrap can actually be mechanically superior to soldering. The problem you'll have is that the wires are going to be long, you'll want thicker wire wrap wire instead of that really thin stuff that you'll usually get and may degrade and break, the leads on diodes often aren't very long, and you need to make sure all your stuff is ESD protected. Wirewrap is also expensive, tools and even wire. I've got the tools and have wanted to use it for other projects; however, other than the free stuff I get from my lab, it is expensive to buy even the wire.

I'd just learn how to solder.

Also, get some heat-shrink tubing. Much nicer than electrical tape if you can manage it. Hot glue guns are also very nice for mechanically securing wires.

Last edited by Bionic-Badger; 08-12-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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