Fastest way to solder 12 pin headers 100 times

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by DuzMontana, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    Hi Guys,

    anybody has experience soldering headers with hot air.

    I have about a hundred of those single row 12 pins male to do and I have the feeling I could save some time using my rework station.

    If somebody has experience and could share best practice, it would be much appreciated
     
  2. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    3,237
    619
    Through hole or SMT? What is the size of the board and position of the headers? A picture would help.
     
  3. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    through hole, plenty of space around. I can post a picture tonight
     
  4. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    There you go, I have 25 of these to go. I did not mention but there is another 6 pin header, but at this point it won't change much the end point.

    IMG_20160623_114718.jpg
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,676
    899
    For three-wire headers, I use this:
    upload_2016-6-24_12-17-30.png

    It holds the wires in alignment with the header. You might also consider using a hot-air gun and spring clip to strip the wires evenly. Described in post #9 here:
    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/how-would-i-strip-ribbon-cable.147010/#post-1248668

    upload_2016-6-24_12-26-43.png

    John

    Edit: Hadn't seen the "header" you meant until after I posted. I was thinking of a pin header. In your case with holes, just stripping, inserting and soldering should work. I don't know of an easier way with simple wires. You might find an IDC connector that you could make up with your cable, and then solder that to the board.

    Edit2: The fact you were worried about soldering headers to the board instead of the much more difficult proposition of soldering wires to the headers just flew over my head. Sorry for the tangential posts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  6. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    This thing

    [​IMG]
     
  7. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    That is what I thought you meant, but the picture in Post#4 seemed to show all you needed was to solder the through-hole bare wires. For the header, you need a jig. I would make something out of a Teflon block with 12 slots. Put the header or wire in the slot, put the other component on top, and solder away. I think the better solution is an IDC connector and either an on-board socket (female part) or solder the pins of the IDC to the board.

    John

    Edit: The fact you were worried about soldering headers to the board instead of the much more difficult proposition of soldering wires to the headers just flew over my head. Sorry for the tangential posts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  8. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    3,237
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    You could try using a solder pot. Even a small one should be able to get to the 12 pin header. The 6 pin might need a larger one.

    Personally, I'd just solder by hand so I wouldn't need to worry about bad joints from the solder pot.

    I have one like this:
    upload_2016-6-24_10-0-59.png
     
  9. killivolt

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    345
    310
    If you use a good water soluble flux, you can float solder with a broad tip on your soldering Iron. You'll want a good soldering station, you can get a good thermostatically controlled one around $89 here in the U.S.

    The principle is to float a bubble of solder from the tip to header pin in a straight line and the excess will stay on or near the tip of the Iron and only what you need is left behind.

    kv
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  10. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    Pretty cool that solder pot
     
  11. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    So if get this straight, you would put flux on the pins and through holes then load the soldering iron with solder and then drag the tip on the interface between the pins and the through holes.

    Would you need to constantly feed solder to the tip as you go?
     
  12. killivolt

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2010
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    310
    Your header pins will eat a lot of solder so, you can slightly bend the 2 end pins outward and they will stay in place while you load the tip and move.

    kv

    Edit: If you plan to place surface mount chips you can use the same method.
    but, in that case you'll need to set at least 2 pins on each side before you float.
     
  13. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    I've done that with smd but usually a small amount of solder will do all the pins, in this case, I'll need at least 4-5 inch of solder to do all 18 pins
     
  14. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    In the time spent on this post you would have hand soldered them all by now.. :p

    If you have a hot air station and solder paste you can do the pin in paste method (fill holes with paste.. push connector in.. heat from solder side.. it will wick right up..) Works great..

    If you have a solder pot.. (and some kapton tape to mask any areas you don't want solder) then that would be even faster by just dipping them in to the molten bath..

    If you were making thousands of these a wave solder machine would be the fastest or pin in paste may also be used if running only on a reflow line..
     
  15. DuzMontana

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    24
    2
    Ouch! LOL

    I must admit that I'm obsessed by processes, and that wave solder machine sounds awesome, maybe I should see how I can build one with spare parts, then I could save so much time soldering these boards...
     
  16. JWHassler

    Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    201
    33
    You could sacrifice a PCB blank, fitting it with oh-so-well-aligned female headers.
    This could be used as a jig for soldering the rest.
     
  17. dannyf

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2015
    1,775
    360


    Hire 1000 guys to do that for you.
     
  18. Nykolas

    Member

    Aug 27, 2013
    87
    31
    Use insulation displacement connectors, like Panduit Mas-Con, to plug onto the headers. E
     
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  19. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    5,992
    3,744
    Put a row of pins into a solderless breadboard, set the board on top, solder one pin, make sure it is straight with a quick check. Solder pins 12-2 back to start. Repeat 99 times.
     
  20. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
    2,574
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    I replace the tip in a small Weller soldering gun with a loop of 12Ga copper wire. I bend it into a shape that allow it to contact multiple pads at the same time. Clean, flux, and tin it. Though I use it for desoldering, you could also use it for soldering. In soldering this might cause a bridge between some pads, but a touch-up with solder wick cures that.
    Ken
     
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