Is soldering necessary for a beginning project?

Hi,

I've begun my first real project with arduino, creating a small 5-push button panel to be used for my games, as sort of an experience-gaining project. I realized that when I got my puttons, I didn't have a drill bit big enough to drill holes for them, so I ordered a step-drill bit off of amazon, got it yesterday and it worked perfectly, and was able to drill holes easily to mount my pushbuttons.

Now I am trying to decide the next steps. Is soldering necessary? I have bought soldering equipment to learn when the time comes, but I would like to know if I can simply join the wires and bend them back(to prevent from coming loose) to the hooks of the back of the pushbuttons? This way I can prototype quicker to make sure that I am doing it the correct way. Once I am ready to finish it, I'll then solder it.

Eventually I will learn to solder, but for now I wanted to know if I can skip that step for now and come back to it later.

Thanks!

No, don't think of bending wires to make contact. That might work one minute or fail from the beginning, giving the most difficult problems what so ever, intermitent faults. Learn soldering! It's not rocket science!

You could use alligator clip test leads until you are ready to solder.

If your pushbutton switches have plastic housing, don't try to learn to solder using them. The plastic will quickly melt.

Paul

woolsey:
You could use alligator clip test leads until you are ready to solder.

Possible and okey solution. Just don't make short circuits if a clip falls off.

Paul_KD7HB:
If your pushbutton switches have plastic housing, don't try to learn to solder using them. The plastic will quickly melt.

Paul

Really a good piece of advice. For a rocker switch placing the connecting piece to the soldered pin, or keep the button pressed make quite some difference, but as You say, not suitable for the first soldering.

Thanks all,

I am using these push buttons: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q85G7GV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So these aren’t good to solder with?

I also did get these as well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XXLHLT6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They are all good for soldering but the lower 3 rows calls for some skill. The upper row, rocker switches, are a little bit less sencitive provided the switch is placed to the pin being soldered, but call for some skill.
Can You ask some soldering knowing friend to solder some pieces of cables to the switches and do the rest Yourself?

I have no friends, so I have to do it myself :slight_smile:

Kidding about the friends part, but I don't really think I know anyone that is interested in this kind of stuff. I've been watching several Youtube videos on this subject so I'll figure it out as I go.

Thanks!

Soldering calls for heating of both the switch part and the cable up to the same temperature for the solder to grab. The cable comes quickly, watch that the isolation is not overheated and “runs away”. The bigger mass in the sencive, plastic housed, button needs some more heating. However, “too much heating” will deform the inside of the switch and it might be destroyed.
Soldering is not at all like filling liquid tinn into a hole. Both parts must, like accecpt, adopt, the tinn in order to bond. Connecting an easy part of a cable, needing only a little bit of heating to the “heavy” ears of a switch needing quite more heating is the issue.

Soldering is a skill and like all skills you need to practice.

You do not need to start with your buttons. Just start soldering stuff together. You can even make little shapes out of wire. Or try removing some parts from an old PCB and then solder it back on. Solder a few minutes every day to figure out what works and what doesn't.

Klaus_K:
Soldering is a skill and like all skills you need to practice.

You do not need to start with your buttons. Just start soldering stuff together. You can even make little shapes out of wire. Or try removing some parts from an old PCB and then solder it back on. Solder a few minutes every day to figure out what works and what doesn't.

Good suggestion!

Just tack your wire on the edge of the solder lug so you don't fill the hole (takes a steady hand). Untack and solder through the hole when you're ready to make it permanent.

Note: You can just push the wire through the hole and solder it but good practice says to make a *secure mechanical connection * first, like a loop or hook, then solder.

Railroader:
Soldering calls for heating of both the switch part and the cable up to the same temperature for the solder to grab. The cable comes quickly, watch that the isolation is not overheated and "runs away". The bigger mass in the sencive, plastic housed, button needs some more heating. However, "too much heating" will deform the inside of the switch and it might be destroyed.

To that end, in the words of Robert Ruark, 'Use enough gun'. An underpowered iron will take too long to heat the lug to take solder and damage other parts of the piece.

Got a solder sucker?

I got along during plenty oy years using a 60 Watt soldering iron having a temperature controlled tip. That's a working standard for me. Less Wattage will make soldering difficult, hazardeous, unprdictable on "big eared" switches and similiar.

Weller soldering iron tips are grounded. this causes snaps and smoke if you solder on a live circuit.

Never solder in a connected, conductive circuit.
Else, use care, caughtion and a none grounded outlet. I did that for almost 45 years.

Many of use use duPont wires an protoboards and just plug everything in.
Great to use to test things.
Keeps ones troubleshooting skills active.

I have a full soldering station and a $5 pen with dial.
I find the cheap unit is great for LEDs and resistors

Use lead solder
Lots of Ventilation
Lead free is harder to learn with.

I have been soldering for over 40 years. 8 of those years were spent teaching soldering and PCB repair.

First suggestion. Buy a temperature controlled iron. There are plenty of "reasonable" ones on Ebay of course you get what you pay for but as a beginner these should be ok. Better ones are better but cost more.

Second. If you decide to buy one get one with a hotair SMD blower. Very useful.

Thirdly. If you need advice on the soldering process, YELL. I am more than willing to give hints and tricks to achieve great solder joints.

Fourthly. DO NO USE A 60W IRON. 30W temp controlled is more than enough.

dave-in-nj:
Use lead solder

Lead free is harder to learn with.

Man after my own heart.

Leaded solder is the way to go. So much easier.

60 Watt, and temperature controlled Weller.
30 Watts will not do well on beafy connectors ad I feel. Better to have some power in reserve.