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Author Topic: basic soldering iron - tips and advice?  (Read 875 times)
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Hello,
So I read a bit and looked at some youtube videos.  I have a Weller 40W with a fine tip that I just got.  I plugged it in, let it get nice and hot, and then tried to tin the tip.  But it didn't work, the solder seems to be repelled by the tip.

I cleaned the tip with a wet rag and clean it with a flux pen.  Tried again, still the solder kind of repels the tip.  I'm using 3% Silver 96%Tin 0.5% Cu Lead-Free .015" solder.

I also had a hard time getting the solder to get sucked onto the pads of a RFM69 module.  I am applying flux pen on the pads before soldering.  Am I suppose to heat the pads directly or the pin headers?  I'm unsure.

Any soldering tips would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Lebanon, Indiana, USA
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You apply heat to both the pad and the pin at the same time.  Touch the solder in amongst it amongst it all and allow the joint to heat up just enough to cause the solder to flow into the joint.  You want to tread the fine line between starving the joint and creating a huge blob that might even connect to the adjacent pad/pins.

Look at solder joints on a variety of boards and you will have examples of how it should look when you get done.

I'm not sure about the lead-free solder.  Haven't used.  For the regular stuff, I have used 0000 steel wool to clean a cruddy tip and have always had good tinning of the tip.  If you have an extra tip and don't mind possibly ruining one, you could try it.

Weller is a good brand.  Mine is a cheap POS, but it works for my limited use.  I had a computer repair business.  When it closed, the technicians stole all the good equipment.  I don't think they were worried about being fired for it.

John
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 12:05:21 am by OldSalt1945 » Logged

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I use only 60/40 lead tin.
Never used lead free.
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The way you have it in your schematic isn't the same as how you have it wired up!

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Hi, if you are using a WELLER iron ,does it have replaceable tips, Weller tips are usually coated, which is what you tin. If the coating has worn away, and it does, then underneath I think they are iron, and that will not take solder to well.
You may need a new tip, clean these tips with damp sponge, never anything abrasive like the metal wool cleaners you can get.

Check the
http://www.weller-tools.com/

To see what you have.

Tom.... smiley
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Valencia, Spain
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40W is an awful lot of heat for fine soldering work, just sayin'.

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I would get some tip tinner (http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0051303199/0051303199-ND/1801474 is what I've been using)) which you (as I understand it) just dip the tip into.  Lead-free is just hard to work with.  I have to do a lot of work with it at my job and there seems to be a sweet spot of about 1-2 hours after you start using a tip for about 5-6 hours where it actually seems to work well before it starts to build up crud.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get tips to last longer (Mine seem to be usable for roughly 20-30 hours of use)?  My problem seems to be that over time, something starts burning/encrusting on the tip and slowly eats away at the tinnable area.  Right now I just try to turn off the soldering iron when its not in use and leave it with a bit of solder on it when it cools, but beyond that I'd like to know any other suggestions.  This is with Lead-free solder (I don't have the option to use Leaded solder).  Also, what temperature do people tend to use for soldering say large surface mount or standard through-hole parts with Lead-Free solder?
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This was a brand new iron and a brand new tip, which is why I was wondering why the solder doesn't tin the tip.  It was the first use of the iron.  Thought maybe I'm doing something wrong?
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Get some 60/40 lead solder and try it.  Could work.  Just don't EAT a large quantity of it.  It might make you sick. smiley-grin

John
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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get tips to last longer (Mine seem to be usable for roughly 20-30 hours of use)?  My problem seems to be that over time, something starts burning/encrusting on the tip and slowly eats away at the tinnable area. 

You must have bad/cheap tips or really aggressive flux. Mine last for years.

Also, what temperature do people tend to use for soldering say large surface mount or standard through-hole parts with Lead-Free solder?

Most people don't use lead-free for that, it causes too many problems.
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Also, what temperature do people tend to use for soldering say large surface mount or standard through-hole parts with Lead-Free solder?

Most people don't use lead-free for that, it causes too many problems.


Really?  I thought Lead Free was industry standard for most manufacturers that wish to sell in Europe or California without severe restrictions and/or having to supply disposal.  Our board builds usually involve a outsourced company doing it with paste/pick and place/wave solder, but its not like I have an option when having to do rework or building one by hand.


Its also possible HAKKO's tips are cheap.  Its one of their own brand (Not Weller though), though I hadn't considered the flux (I don't add much to the board usually).  I know my leaded tips have lasted for years, so I figured it was something to do with lead-free.  I've been using a larger Weller soldering iron for some bigger applications and that tip hasn't ever gone bad over 2 years.

Is there a weller tip that is usable with the HAKKO 888 or something similar that is better?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 11:26:01 am by mirith » Logged

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Most people don't use lead-free for that, it causes too many problems.

Really?  I thought Lead Free was industry standard for most manufacturers that wish to sell in Europe or California without severe restrictions and/or having to supply disposal.
[/quote]

At an industrial level, sure, where boards are soldered in ovens, etc.

Hand soldering with an iron? It's really horrible to use.
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At an industrial level, sure, where boards are soldered in ovens, etc.

Hand soldering with an iron? It's really horrible to use.


You mean solder containing lead is really horrible to use when hand soldering?  In terms of health concerns?  Or do you get poor soldering joints/results?
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Lead molecule is large for absorption, avoid cuts cover with bandaid, wash hands, use ventilation if concerned.
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You mean solder containing lead is really horrible to use when hand soldering?

No,  he means that solder without lead is really horrible to use when hand soldering.

That is why people doing hand soldering,  still prefer to used leaded solder.
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You mean solder containing lead is really horrible to use when hand soldering?

No,  he means that solder without lead is really horrible to use when hand soldering.

Correct.


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