Soldering Novice help

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Blargenth, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Blargenth

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 30, 2015
    45
    0
    I'm currently working on a personal circuit project and I've only soldered a total of 3 times in my life, and not very efficiently either. But this one chip I'm working with right now is driving me crazy! I must be doing something wrong cause it can't be this hard....

    [​IMG]

    I have this Reciever with the little metal pins coming out on one end, and I have solid copper wiring (not stranded) but I can't seem to make the two stick together without excess solder getting on more then one pin!
     
  2. Randy 7140

    Member

    Jun 17, 2015
    32
    6
    Are you using a temperature controlled soldering iron? Are you using electronics solder? Proper soldering is not that hard, but takes a little practice to get used to. Iron temperature should be 700 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The smaller thinner solder is the best to work with.....
    http://www.amazon.com/Kester-Rosin-...ie=UTF8&qid=1436241138&sr=1-5&keywords=solder

    The idea is to first make sure both surfaces being soldered are clean. Put a little solder on the tip of the iron and then hold the iron to one of the pins and add solder a few seconds later to the pin, NOT to the tip of the iron again. Once the pin gets hot enough the solder will flow right on to it. The same thing goes for the the pad on the circuit board. Once you get solder on both the pin and the solder pad on the board(This method is called tinning), then you put them together and add more solder to complete. Try to practice on something else first if you have another scrap board laying around. That way you can practice and not do any damage. DO NOT press hard or put your temp over 750 degrees. You can damage the circuit board, solder pads and traces.

    Good luck
     
  3. Blargenth

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 30, 2015
    45
    0
  4. Randy 7140

    Member

    Jun 17, 2015
    32
    6
  5. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    I can't agree that the tip is too big on your RS iron. I started with an iron like yours and still keep one in a tool bag. I suggest you practice with what you have. Soldering is a skill. Low end tools will push you to develop your skill level quicker. The station Randy suggested is a very very nice iron, I have two of them.
     
  6. Randy 7140

    Member

    Jun 17, 2015
    32
    6
    Hi Les....wouldn't you agree the tip is too big if you can't just touch one pin at a time? I've ran into that same thing in my beginner stage. Larger solder joints, I would agree....but for that chip...his tip needs to be smaller...no pun intended
     
  7. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    Randy, the tip comes down to a point on his iron. Also he is soldering a chip with .1 inch lead spacing.

    Hey Blargenth, do you have a problem heating one lead at a time??
     
  8. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    Here is a youtube video for starters

     
    tjohnson and absf like this.
  9. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    Here is another one. I like this guy

     
    absf likes this.
  10. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    Practice practice
     
  11. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    1,513
    193
    I agree with Lestraveled - you just need some practice to get the technique down. I'd suggest practicing on some spare headers if you have some first so you don't damage the boards you're working on.

    Here are a few suggestions:
    • Tin the wires first -
      • Strip the wire about a 1/4" or less
      • Put the wire in a vise/holder or tape it to a table with the stripped portion overhanging the table by half an inch so the wire doesn't move
      • Use one hand to hold the soldering iron, the other to hold a length of solder and first heat the wire briefly with the iron then add solder. Gently run the iron up and down the wire to help heat evenly (at least about the first 1/8" an inch - don't run the iron all the way to the insulation). All-in-all, this shouldn't take more than 2 seconds, 3 tops, but it won't happen in a fraction of a second. Solder won't stick if the wire isn't hot enough, but the insulation will begin to melt very quickly if the iron is on too long.
    • Tin the leads on the receiver board pins. Similar process - secure the board so it won't move while you're soldering. Tape might work, a vise would be best, but you could also just put a heavy object on the board like an office tape dispenser or an old hard drive - just be careful not to damage any components. I'd start with the middle pins and work your way out. The barrel of the iron should be parallel to the pins - this will allow you to put all the heat onto the pin you're working on and avoid getting solder on other pins. Again, heat the pin then apply solder. Feel free to add/leave extra solder on the pins at this stage.
    • Secure the board then line up and bend the wire then tape it down so the wire is parallel with the pin and as close to it/touching as much as possible. Now just lightly tin the iron tip with solder and, holding the iron barrel parallel with the pin/wire, run it along both the pin and wire in one direction. The tinning along with the extra solder will make your bond in short order.
    The key here is tinning the mating surfaces first and making sure your work pieces are secure when you're soldering.

    Another approach is to use a good solder vacuum to remove the solder from the pins on the board then remove the pins. Then you could simply run the wires through the holes on the board where the pins went. I mention this for reference only - this is not a step I would suggest for a beginner because it is extremely easy to damage the pads on the boards and make it useless.
     
  12. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    elec_mech brought up a good point. Not only do you need to learn how to solder, you also need to learn how to unsolder. Solder wick is cheap and normally works well on small joints. Solder suckers are a little more expensive and work well for larger mistakes.

    YouTube is full of how to videos

     
  13. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    2,812
    834
    When soldering to header pins, I'll take a single pin. It's easy to get one with the headers you can cut to length.

    Then, if it's stranded wire I'll cut the insulation and when removing the tip, twist it off so the wire is tightly twisted. Solid wire is easy. Then wrap the wire tightly around the single pin. Bend the wire 90• so it's co linear with the pin.

    This makes a socket for the actual header, and makes it easier to solder. You'll need just a tiny bit of solder if the joint is hot enough. Heat the joint at the junction of wire and pin. Trim if necessary.
     
  14. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    2,812
    834
    Another thing! How thick is the solder you are using? The solder in the kit is not thin. I tried to get the specs, but it's not listed. RS has solder down to 0.032 " in diameter. The thinner solder would lessen the chance of you using too much. (Note I said lessen; not eliminate.)
     
  15. RodneyB

    Active Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    633
    13
    Make sure you tin the wire and its clean, looks like it may have varnish on
     
  16. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    8,754
    760
    Soldering job can be perfected only with practice.
     
Loading...