Soldering stuff ...

Hi everyone,

After months of tinkering I am out of breadboards and converting some of my projects to a more permanent solution. I'm soldering various components to small PCB's and using wires to connect things together.

I'm looking for good resources, preferably video, with some good soldering tutorials. At the moment I am using multiple iron's and the results aren't too pleasing. I've bought a professional soldering station (shipping) and I would like to have some training on how to use it properly. The new iron will be digital and has a temperature dial, which temperatures do I use when? I have no idea.

Thanks for your response

I searched for 'what temperature to solder stuff' and found a wealth of information. Have you tried this?

The main trick with soldering is to get the component (or wire) hot enough so the solder melts when it touches it. Bringing melted solder to a too-cold component does not work.

It is common practice to "tin" the two parts to be connected prior to trying to connect them. Tinning is the process of putting a thin layer of solder on the component or wire.

If both parts have a thin layer of solder then they can usually be joined by applying heat without needing any more solder and this will give a neat joint. However you may need to add a small extra amount of solder to make the joint stronger.

You also need a tip for the iron that is the right size. It will be obvious that a large tip gets in the way for small tasks, but a small tip won't be able to produce enough heat to join larger parts.

Learning how to make a joint quickly is also important so you don't damage heat-sensitive components.

Practice, practice ....

...R

Leaded (63/37, 60/40) or leadfree solder? Rosin core leaded solder is the easiest to use. Get the smallest diameter you can. Here's what I use http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?pv76=289&FV=fff40014%2Cfff80076%2Cfffc01d9%2C2dc186f%2C145c0001&k=solder&mnonly=0&newproducts=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&stock=1&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=25

Or Kester EP256 solder paste from www.cmlsupply.com for reflow soldering.

Look for IPC soldering videos on U-Tube. They are not tutorials, but will give you a good idea of what proper soldering should look like.

Paul

See YouTube lots there. Here is one example:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M0wI-5YZQm4

.

Make sure you have enough different tips to choose from. There's no one-size-fits-all here.

Get 63/37 solder to begin with. 60/40 has a plasticized state which can be difficult to manage for beginners.

Buy a spool of uninsulated, stiff jumper wire. Find a decent sized board and hammer in nails halfway, in the outline of a square. Run the jumper wire back and forth around the nails to create a mesh. Now practise soldering all the joints.