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Old 02-15-2012, 10:43 PM #1
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Default Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

I've never been fond of relying solely on a diode's case pin for the tailcap feed in a portable. If you're using thermal compound, or if there is any kind of strange design element to the host, I often find myself feeling less than satisfied with a case-pin-only arrangement. Sometimes I'll add redundancy by also grabbing the tailcap feed via a piece of stiff aluminum pressed inside the head.

Here's a better and much more elegant solution. $10 bucks with free shipping, and it came with enough to do a couple hundred solder joints (easily).
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

It's a simple product, there's not much to say for it other than that it solders to aluminum as easily as you'd solder to anything else. I gave it a shot, and soldered some silicone wire to the inside of an extra SH-032 body tube. Then I realized that I didn't know for sure whether the body tube was aluminum, so I soldered the other end to an aluminum heatsink. The hold is phenomenal. Here's a quick demonstration:

Aluminum soldered - YouTube


At $10 its not cheap for solder, but you would only use this for one joint per build, not for all of your soldering, so you end up with enough to go a really long way.


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Old 02-16-2012, 12:04 AM #2
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Fantastic! Aluminum and copper can be TIG welded together but it is an advanced technique. I can't tell you how many jobs where I was called in just to make a mechanically strong ground connection between Al and Cu. This is some pretty nifty stuff!
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:23 AM #3
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Wow, never thought it could be so easy. Wonder what composition of that solder is.
You used a blowtorch to heat the pieces, right?
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:52 AM #4
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Hm. Yeah, it could be a problem if you needed to heat it. But at the same time, that looks brilliant. May get some at some point....
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:00 AM #5
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Good quality flux takes the oxide layer off the aluminum which makes it much easier to solder to. I have never worked with this product... But I guess I'll give it a try. Can you melt it with a soldering iron? Or does it wreck the tip?
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:03 AM #6
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobhaha View Post
Good quality flux takes the oxide layer off the aluminum which makes it much easier to solder to. I have never worked with this product... But I guess I'll give it a try. Can you melt it with a soldering iron? Or does it wreck the tip?
Good question - I don't know. I didn't use a soldering iron to solder for my test. That would have taken forever / not worked. A heatsink is, after all, a heat sink. To achieve that joint, I just put the heatsink/host body on a heating element for a few minutes.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:40 AM #7
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

I use the butan lighter for soldering large volume of metal. It works well for me. You need to monitor the temperature because it will overheat the metal very fast.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:10 PM #8
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blord View Post
I use the butan lighter for soldering large volume of metal. It works well for me. You need to monitor the temperature because it will overheat the metal very fast.
Jet 1300-C Butane Lighter - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

lol i worned out 5 of those lighters :P mine were really crappy

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Old 02-24-2012, 03:23 AM #9
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

I just ordered some. I'm guessing that there is some exotic metal in that
alloy plus a good flux. Practice first as a 30 to 60 watt iron is recommended.
Too much heat can oxidize the whole shitteriee too fast.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:41 PM #10
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

Hey im using sticks of alumaweld. Spelling looks wrong...nice thick sticks, melts beautifully onto aluminum and even zinc, but the working temp is about 700 f. I use a mini butane to heat the two pieces. Just my experience
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:32 PM #11
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Default Re: Getting a Better Case Feed - Soldering Aluminum

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Originally Posted by offroadfreak8582 View Post
lol i worned out 5 of those lighters :P mine were really crappy

greetings,,
Haha, I must be on my 8th and 9th ones (got 2 atm)
They never last more than a couple of months but I just like them for some strange reason
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