Torch vs heat gun

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by McSeem, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. McSeem

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 20, 2010
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    What is better and safer for soldering SOIC and TSSOP, butane micro torch or the heat gun?
    Another question is what solder paste is best for fine soldering? I assume some low-temp one, right? It doesn't have to be lead-free, as I assume.
     
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    1) Heat gun, if you insist. Although, I just use a temperature-regulated soldering iron. With a torch, you need to be concerned about which part of the flame you are using -- ever try to solder a pipe using one where you heat the solder rather than the joint? With the devices you mention, you will have a difficult time just heating the joint, not the solder.
    2) The paste I have seen is generally no different than the solder I use. You do not need a special low-temp paste.

    John
     
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  3. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    I agree. A heat gun will give you a more uniform heat, and there is also no chemical reaction going on that could contaminate crucial components. (I do use a butane torch for outdoor work, but on much less delicate parts(.

    Eric
     
  4. McSeem

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 20, 2010
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    Thank you. As for paste, there's a great variety of them. Silver, lead free, etc. I think I'll take some regular lead-tin, preferably with no-wash flux. Any particular recommendations?
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    You can look for the ratio 63% lead & 37% tin as having the lowest melting point. Extra points for the addition of 2% silver (makes the joints very smooth and shiny, very slightly improves the electrical properties).

    If I could recall the article, I would point you at the one that was from a man who had managed to create a stencil out of thin plastic. He positioned it over the lead traces and used a squeegee to wipe solder paste across. The method produced very accurate results.

    This is not that article - http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/tutorial_info.php?tutorials_id=58 - but has an idea. You can always Google "solder paste stencil" for more.
     
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  6. McSeem

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 20, 2010
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    Thanks! I have ordered what I need from proto-advantage.com, including paste, boards, and a stencil kit.
     
  7. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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  8. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Quite possibly.
     
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