PC boards ?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Mathematics!, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Ok I am new to electronics and I have been using a solderless breadboard's to experiement with. Now I want to make some of my circuit's perminent. So I have a soldering iron , some rosin , a sponge, and some perfboards.

    However I am new to soldering and I am unsure of the best way to solder. I have heard about cold joint's and other things.
    What is so important about tinning the tip?
    Is the steps like
    1) tin the tip
    2) press tip on circuit wire to heat up
    3) press rosin on other side of wire not touching solder iron
    4) remove rosin after like 2 seconds
    5) remove solder iron after a few seconds after rosin.

    Because I am still having a little trouble I get these little tin balls. So I am probably doing this wrong.

    I have a 30 watt general purpose soldering iron.


    Also with the perfboards how do you connect the component's.
    On my solderless board I just plugged in the components and their was a row for power and one for ground but on perfboard's how do you get power to the correct components and where is ground???

    Basically do you twist the ends of components together before soldering to make components in series?

    Thanks for any help.
    Sorry if my questions are really basic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008
  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    This guide isn't too bad:
    But don't use steel wool. Use 3M Scotchbrite pads instead, available in your grocer's cleaning supplies section. Steel wool can imbed in the soft metals you're cleaning and cause rusting later. Scotchbrite pads won't do that. Steel wool is also highly flammable.

    Lacquer thinner works, but I much prefer to use 91% isopropyl alcohol, available at a pharmacy, and frequently in the home remedy/vitamin section of grocery stores. Fewer fumes, less hazardous than lacquer thinner. 70% has too much water in it. Isopropyl alchol absorbs moisture from the air, so keep it covered unless you're using it at the moment. Isopropyl alcohol burns with a near-invisible flame; keep it away from possible sources of ignition.

    You can get several types of perfboards. Some are just all single pads; you connect the pads you need with either component leads or buss wire; a plain tinned copper wire available in various gauges. Some IC-type boards have buss runs for power/ground, and individual pads for discrete components. Radio Shack's catalog # 276-150 is a small example of this type of board. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102845&cp=

    Twisting the leads together isn't necessary; generally I fold them over flat against the board, cut to length and solder.

    Sn63/Pb37 or 63/37 is the easiest to solder with. It has a low temperature melting point, and no "plastic" state when cooling from liquid to solid, which is where most "cold" solder joints happen. Keeping the parts movement-free during cooling is essential if you are using other types of solder.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  3. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    I have cat. no 276-1394A , and 276-149.
    Will these do.
    I noticed that the one in your link has a little copper circle around the holes. Does it make alot of difference not to have it.

    Also when soldering is it ok to touch the board with the solder iron.
    And do you really need Lacquer thinner or alchol. I have read that rosin
    contains some of the stuff that the thinner has.

    After I have my components in and the ends bent. Do I just spin it over
    and start laying the solder or do I trim ends first.

    Plus when I turn the circuit board over to solder is it ok to let the component's lay on the table.

    I have also noticed computer motherboards have the (green!) circuit board all mapped out. (i.e the holes and line connections are all draw in)
    Is it possible with a small amount of money to beable to make your own
    mapped out circuit board. I also wonder if their is a way to get everything from a local store such as radioshack or ace , etc etc...
    I just don't want to send away for stuff right now.

    Thanks for all your help.

    One last question
    Soldering VGA 15 D-sub connectors is their a trick to doing it I have tried it and I got about 8 or 9 wires connected but I find it impossible to get at all of them with out soldering them together.

    Anyway VGA connectors did say that they where solder terminals?
    This was probably not something to begin with but I was trying to make
    a cable that goes from VGA out to RCA video in.

    I know how to convert from RGB to YUV. So other then soldering the only probably would be because I have to use RCA composite.
  4. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    It's helpful to have the copper there; it gives an anchor point the components.

    If there is no copper on the board, there really isn't a point in touching the board with the iron. A few seconds won't hurt it.
    If your parts aren't clean, they'll be difficult to solder. Just handling them with your fingers transfers finger oils to them, which makes soldering much harder. Also, you will need to remove the flux residue after soldering.

    It depends upon the particular situation. This is one of those things that's hard to explain in words. Practice will help a lot.

    Well, protect your tabletop ;) It's good to use something that is at least moderately conductive.

    Radio Shack used to sell complete PC board etching kits. Ferrous Chloride, the ingredient used in their etchant, was declared a hazardous material because it's corrosive, and shipping it became cost-prohibitive. Do a Google search on "making PCB" s - it would take too long to explain various methods.

    That's a difficult item for a beginner to solder. Try practicing on standard D-type connectors for a while first. Holding the connector body in a small vice (like for a drill press, or a vacuum-mount swivel vice) makes it a lot easier. Try positioning it so that the solder cups are facing upwards at around a 45° angle. Solder the lower row first. Use a pencil tip iron, and thin solder.