here the photos that you asked for (I only use the thin tip when dealing with 1.27mm stuff..):
There is no point in posting on an International forum for advice if you are not going to follow it.So far , all you have done is try to defend your poor technique which was the reason you posted in the first place. Not once did you say that you had tried my / our suggestion to use more heat and less time . Can you submit any reason why we shouldn't think that instead of following the instructions you were given you are being stubborn and defensive ?
1) Sounds like you don't use the proper solder. Does it has flux in it?
2) Don't bake them that long And to solder the female part it can help to plug in a male part to stabilize them (leave them in until cooled).
And btw, if you need to set the soldering station higher "due to temperature drop along the tip" you're calibration is just off. Okay, most don't calibrate it but the set temperature should be the temperature of the tip. And a small not for the Chinese stations, most of them are like 50C hotter then you set them (without calibration)...
I don't use extra flux, I just use (lead) solder with flux in it. Works great all the time.
It might be a bit of an older station but it is an Esra, nothing wrong with that. Tips might not be in mint condition but I would say they're not terrible.
Sounds like you need some Flux to help clean the contacts as you solder.
Are you using lead-free solder? Switch to tin-lead solder, that can be easier to use also. Make sure you have a hot enough iron and a large enough tip for good heat transfer.
Clean up with 99.9% anhydrous alchohol, or a lower amount if that's what you can get. (like 90, 95% at the drugstore).
You can also crimp on connectors to your wires, or use pre-terminated wires: ..
The only trouble like that I've had is that the male pins sometimes slide part-way out of the housing and then I get poor contact. (If they are soldered to a board, of course that doesn't happen.)
There are all kinds of connectors - Do you have a catalog from an electronic parts supplier?
Have you read the PDF offered here? http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=376971.msg2599211#msg2599211
60/40 rosin core solder. Its actually worth your while to spend extra coin here.Not all solder is created equal.1.5mm solder MHO,, works best for this
Good solder and a 60w solder iron ,with a fine tip properly tinned and you should be able to dot these of with no issues.
Correct iron temperature - use a temperature controlled iron, then it will work and you won'toxidize and ruin the tips so quickly. The actual setting is higher than the nominal value for thesolder due to temperature drop along the tip, so experimentation required. If things are charring,its way too hot.
Use rosin-cored solder - never ever use plumbers solder (these have acid fluxes that corrodeand destroy)If you use lead-free (a good idea) then use the tin/silver/copper alloy, _not_ tin/copper, becausethe former is a true eutectic solder and works. tin/copper alloy is not eutectic and is horrid (butcheaper).
All parts to solder must be free of grease - do not finger everything first, bare clean metal...
Always always always clean the tip and apply fresh solder _immediately_ before use. Otherwiseyou are just smearing oxides on everything. Dripping wet sponge for cleaning the tip works well.
Tin each item first (to tin is to wet with solder)
Then apply iron and solder to the parts to join, solder should melt and flow readily over both partsand then remove solder, wait 1/2 second and remove iron. Allow to cool without movement (whichcan cause a pasty dry-joint)
If you see any hint the joint is not wetted properly, or you see bubbles forming, you have a badjoint.
The connectors and board , how old are they ?
Solder finish ?
Are you pre tinning the wires first ?
The thin tip will take longer to heat up the joint.
An abrasive such as steel wool or "Jif" ("Cif") might be more to the point.
The problem is your lack of experience with soldering makes it impossible for you to see the cold solder joints you are making.
The fact that you have not even mentioned flux in your post makes it obvious that you simply do not know how to solder , period and need to learn.
Your soldering iron, tips, and solder are garbage and your friend doesn't know what he is talking about. .. Throw away all your soldering equipment and buy a Weller WP35 iron.
Buy Kester 44 60/40 Rosen Core Solder in the diameter you need and buy some solder paste and a flux pen or a bottle of liquid flux. The flux needs to be cleaned off with Spray on flux remover and a flux brush after soldering.
One thing I noticed is he had the temp rather low. This is a common mistake made by beginners who don't know how to judge when a connection is hot enough to solder.
Typically they apply the solder and the tip at the SAME time instead of heating the joint up for a few seconds at the right temp and then applying the solder.
My guess is his problem is a combination of temp setting too low, not heating joint up long enough and removing iron before solder flows.
The trick to good solder joints is using a hotter tip but holding on the point of contact for a SHORTER period of time , as opposed to using a LOWER temp for a LONGER period of time. Either way, you need the paste to tin the tip and the flux to make the solder flow and stick and the flux remover and brush tro remove the flux.
...doesn't it seem obvious that what we are TRYING (possibly in vain) to TELL you , is that you need to put the FLUX ON THE SURFACE BEFORE YOU APPLY THE SOLDER... Why is that so hard to grasp ?
Is it even a "mission" to you or was you post just idle curiosity ?
FYI, are you aware that when soldering a male header, you are SUPPOSED to solder the two END connections FIRST , so it won't come out of the holes or solder on crooked ?
We are looking for RESULTS. (confirmation that the OP learned and applied what we suggested) ...We want to see a post stating you did as recommended (until you got it right) and the what the results were and photos of the joints (of the male header)...Until you have actually done that , your post is NOT finished.
AMTECH Flux Type: NC-559-ASM-UV That stuff is okay. ..
Look for dielectric grease....On the subject of using liquid flux, I was not a believer until I tried soldering fine pitch SMD chips ..
We are only interested in results.
I can't tell from your post exactly what you mean by "I used the additional flux to tin etc..."Do you mean you applied flux to the joint BEFORE applying solder ?