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Author Topic: Button pad out of silicone or rubber  (Read 7676 times)
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Oh thats not a bad idea.  Is that a specific type of solder or will any work?

Lemme just go raid fort Knox and grab some gold real quick..
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Oh thats not a bad idea.  Is that a specific type of solder or will any work?

Since you live in the states - you can easily get it (finding it in Europe can sometimes be a pain, what with the RoHS laws and such). Basically, 60/40 solder is a 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead alloy (in reality, it is generally 63/37 - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solder). Your ordinary standard electronics solder will work here, but you should clean the copper really well (ideally with weak sulfuric acid - but a good stiff wire brush will work fine, too) and use plenty of flux. Heat the copper well (use a butane torch or similar - a soldering iron won't likely work well, given the size) and apply the solder. You'll want a smooth and even coat, but not a thick one; just thick enough so that the copper doesn't show.

You might also try "dip soldering" the copper, which may make a more even coat: Get a copper plumbing pipe end "cap", and buy some 60/40 solder bar (this will be pure solder - no flux). Mount the end cap in some kind of solid holder (a large vice is a good choice) and heat it up with a propane or similar torch. Melt the solder into the cap so that you have a "pool" of solder to dip into. Remember to wear full protective clothing (long pants, shoes, long sleeves, gloves, eye and face protection). Clean your copper rings, perhaps dip/wipe in flux - then dip the rings in the solder (you might have to fashion some kind of tool to allow for this, of course).

Lemme just go raid fort Knox and grab some gold real quick..

Gold is what is used as a plating when you need the best conductivity and longevity possible for an electrical contact point - it's probably not even possible to do such plating at home, even if you had access to the gold needed (mainly due to the chemicals involved in the process - very ugly). Something to keep in mind, though, is what your contacts on the PCB will be - if they are gold, you don't want solder to contact them - over time they will fail, likely - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_plating
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Mount the end cap in some kind of solid holder (a large vice is a good choice) and heat it up with a propane or similar torch. Melt the solder into the cap so that you have a "pool" of solder to dip into.

Alternatively, there are small solder pots available at fairly reasonable prices (like the first two in this link).  Not as cheap or adventurous as cr0sh's suggestion, but muc easier to work with if you are going to a sizable batch at the same time.

Clean your copper rings, perhaps dip/wipe in flux - then dip the rings in the solder (you might have to fashion some kind of tool to allow for this, of course).

Or you could just buy a extra large pair of hemostats and wear leather work gloves.
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