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How to solder properly

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Hemlock Mike said:
Try to find .022" dia solder for most work.  I reserve the .010" stuff for SMT jobs.  Do not use acid core plumbers solder.

Mike
Lol ok, well where would i find it? my electronics and hobby stores dont have the thin stuff.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Isn't there a RadioShack near-by??

PM me if you can't find anything....

Mike

Fine wire --- look inside old transistor radios -- Battery leads, speaker leads etc.
 

Ace82

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Can I add a few?

Wet your sponge! It's best for the longevity of your tips to keep them clean.  keep your sponge wet and keep your tip clean.  

Always remember to put your shrink wrap, or connector cover on the wire before you solder it together!  One of the biggest things to remember is that once your joint is complete, you can no longer slip a piece of shrink wrap or the cover (if it's mounted from the rear, like a coaxial or AV connector etc.).  If it's shrink wrap, move it as far away as possible from your soldering joint, because if it's too close then it could cause it to shrink if the heat travels down the wire.  

Getting your joint to stay in position can be tricky! Wires can be "molded" or formed by twisting them and bending them, and plan how your going to connect the two solder joints in advance, sometimes your wire will try to "run" away every time, and you just can't get it.  Sometimes a 3rd hand can help. http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Hands-with-Magnifying-Glass/dp/B000RB38X8

Here's a pic of my station:
 

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crocie

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I've found these are pretty much a must for this kinda work, unless you have a sibling or mate with very steady hands.


So 'lead free' 99.3% tin, 0.7% copper solder is bad?
Also, i have a 'flux pen.' I recently had a problem where the solder just would not stick to important parts such as the diode and the wires, will this fix the problem?
will this lead solder be safe to use if i use it in conjunction with flux?
 
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crocie said:
[quote author=Ace82 link=1228338567/0#18 date=1228369972]Sometimes a 3rd hand can help. http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Hands-with-Magnifying-Glass/dp/B000RB38X8
I've found these are pretty much a must for this kinda work, unless you have a sibling or mate with very steady hands.


So 'lead free' 99.3% tin, 0.7% copper solder is bad?
Also, i have a 'flux pen.' I recently had a problem where the solder just would not stick to important parts such as the diode and the wires, will this fix the problem?
will this lead solder be safe to use if i use it in conjunction with flux?[/quote]

I recommend using standard 60/40 rosin core solder. It is not ROHS compliant, but works MUCH better than lead-free. As far as solder not sticking, this was caused by not enough flux being present, or because the diode and wires weren't hot enough for the solder to flow around them. In order for solder to flow, all the surfaces that it touches must be hot. With laser diodes there is a very fine line between just hot enough and too hot, so be careful. As long as you observe the contact times that I stated in the opening post, you should be able to make multiple attempts at making the connection without hurting the diode.
 

Benm

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As far as solder not sticking, this was caused by not enough flux being present, or because the diode and wires weren't hot enough for the solder to flow around them.
Copper wire can be so badly oxidized that the flux wont be able to help you. I had a fairly long stretch with that problem (decade old cable if not much older). Cilit Bang! (the cleaner from the coin test) actually works - though not recommended on anything more senstive than a hunk of metal ;)
 

Joe

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So are the 'cold heat' type of soldering irons safe for our applications or do i need to get a regular iron?
 

Benm

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The cold heat ones are usually pretty bad - they heat up the part to solder by running a current through it. If misplaced, they can easily fry electronic components.

You are much better off using even the cheapest of regular soldering irons, as long as they are intended for electronics. A station with temperature control is nice, but not required when working on most electronics. A usuable 25W or so iron can be bought for as little as $15 (even weller brand sometimes), so i see no reason to mess with anything else.

Considering budget options: Aoyue makes very usable soldering stations with temperature control, the 936 and 937 (analog and digital) models sell for $40 or $50 respectively, and make a fine choice on a low budget. I'd get a .5mm radius tip with it - those things will last you a long time and are usuable on (nearly) everything electronic proposed on this forum.
 

Montana64

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When the cold heat soldering irons came out, I thought "wow.... thats the greatest thing since sliced bread!" .... that is until i wasted $19.99 on one! To be honest, I've never really been able to solder anything with that stupid thing. It is a real piece of *insert expletive of choice* :mad:

Ted :cool:
 

Joe

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Benm said:
The cold heat ones are usually pretty bad - they heat up the part to solder by running a current through it. If misplaced, they can easily fry electronic components.
thats what i was worried about. i was able to repair some delicate stuff inside of a wireless transmitter with one, but i dont want to fry a good diode. Thanks!
 
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Joe said:
So are the 'cold heat' type of soldering irons safe for our applications or do i need to get a regular iron?
Those will fry a laser diode... It runs an electrical current between the two prongs...
 

phoenix77

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At some electrical supply stores, you can find a very flat, fine-tipped, spring loaded heat sink that you can clip on the diode pins to deflect heat away from the diode till you get good enough not to need one. They're also made of Aluminum so that solder won't stick to them ;)
 

Montana64

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phoenix77 said:
At some electrical supply stores, you can find a very flat, fine-tipped, spring loaded heat sink that you can clip on the diode pins to deflect heat away from the diode till you get good enough not to need one. They're also made of Aluminum so that solder won't stick to them ;)
Please clarify this....I'm quite interested in this but am a little confused at what you said...... sorry for my misunderstanding.

Ted
 

phoenix77

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It sort of like a flat alligator clip. You just clip it to the diode pin, & the heat is drawn into it instead of the diode, & since it is pretty flat, it doesn't take up much room ;) rob :cool:
 

Montana64

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phoenix77 said:
It sort of like a flat alligator clip. You just clip it to the diode pin, & the heat is drawn into it instead of the diode, & since it is pretty flat, it doesn't take up much room ;)     rob :cool:
Ah, OK........ thank you.

Ted
 




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