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Old 06-26-2011, 06:55 AM #1
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Default Tinning a LD

In many threads it's stated to tin the ld pins prior to soldering them but no one really gives any clue on how to accomplish this.

Seeing as ld's are heat sensitive would it be the same as pretinning a wire by applying heat and solder to each side or is there another method that avoids placing so much heat on the pins?



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Old 06-26-2011, 08:40 AM #2
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

Just put the teeniest amount of solder on your iron, touch the iron to the diode pins, and apply a little bit more solder until the solder flows over the pin. You don't have to tin the whole pin, just the part you intend soldering wires to.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:56 AM #3
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

Sometimes it helps to put a VERY small amount of flux on the pins first. Then put some solder on the iron and just touch it to the pin.

I've actually only tinned the LD pins a couple times. I've found, for me, it's not really necessary. I will just tin the leads of the driver, put a small amount of flux on the LD pins. Then with the tinned driver lead touching the LD pin, just touch it with the iron for 1-2 seconds and the solder flows over the LD pin and creates a nice joint.

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Old 06-26-2011, 12:47 PM #4
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

The trick is to use small diameter Flux core solder
to tin the LD pins (or any small electronic component)...
I can tin a pin in a fraction of a second... The heat stress
is kept to minimum.. Extra Flux doesn't hurt...

I would practice on resistor leads before tinning a Laser
Diode pin...


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Old 06-26-2011, 03:25 PM #5
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

Using flux can help if you're new or somewhat inexperienced to the soldering scene, or just for those solder blobs that just don't wanna flow. Like lasersbee said, I only need to keep the iron on the pin for a fraction of a second, however it has taken a few years of soldering to get to that stage. Some solder also comes with a little string of flux inside it, which may also help.

But it is really important that you have a nice, clean iron tip, and one small enough for the work you're doing. There's no point using a huge hunky automotive soldering iron on tiny little laser diode leads, otherwise you'll end up with something like this:



(Sorry Simon )

Also, even though it is environmentally friendly etc etc, I'd try and avoid lead free solder. It just doesn't seem to flow as well as it's leaded counterpart.

Cheers,
Dan

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Old 06-26-2011, 03:39 PM #6
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

Its also a good idea to tin the leads AFTER you have installed it into a module when ever possible, that way some heat can be allowed to escape away from the diode.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:31 AM #7
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

Haha that is the best picture I've seen yet of a solder joint and thanks for the clarification that really helps quite a bit.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:40 AM #8
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Default Re: Tinning a LD

Like Kevlar I only usually tin the wires. I've found that a small dab of flux not only helps the solder flow nicely but also since it's a bit sticky it helps to hold the wire in place until I solder it.
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