trouble soldering

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jarwulf, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. jarwulf

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    Have a weller standard that claims to go to about 750. When I try to tin the tip THe solder just beads up and falls off when I try to melt solder over a contact it flows up the tip but usually doesn't coat it. Also the solder has a hard time melting unless directly contacted by the iron. No heating up points and touching the solder to it seems possible. A new tip only seems to improve the melting but the problems are still there. I'm chewing through the tips too. It seems 2 uses or so and the things already eaten through. I'm using leadfree with flux in it.
     
  2. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Usually if the solder balls up on the iron instead of coating it it is because you have the temperature too high. Generally ~500 degrees Fahrenheit is good enough for most soldering jobs (though lead-free solder may require slightly higher temperatures). Second, you have to try to tin the tip as the iron is heating up, not after. If you apply the solder while the iron is still heating up, you should get a clean coating on it.

    Having trouble applying solder to component leads and pads can be directly caused by a poorly-tinned tip. If you can get the hang of tinning it properly, I expect your other problems will be resolved.

    In general if you don't absolutely need your board to be lead-free, I highly recommend using 60-40 solder, not lead-free. The lead-free requires a higher temperature to melt and can often develop cracks over time that cause intermittent connections. It's an inferior type of solder that I generally try to avoid unless it is absolutely necessary.

    Good luck,
    Matt
     
  3. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
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    you should wet the tip regularily with solder wire, and wipe off, as it contains flux.

    Also use flux for soldering, the cheap yellow type from china.

    Dont use high temp unless you have to solder connectors or large things- just a little over melting point, so 220 to 230C are good.

    I always crank up temp for connectors or if I desolder a TQFP IC but then turn down again. It the tip is hot you have to supply solder wire continously just for the flux.

    Best, use a soldering station, 50W, rectangular tip. Point tips oxydize quickly even the longlife one's, and make poor contact.
     
  4. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    Tin solder is OK with some practice, but you have to invest in a good quality. With lead solder, the cheapest is just right (tough, it is hard to use actually).
     
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,247
    6,744
    Picking out the best points: You tin the tip as it is warming up, the first time you warm it up. You should be tinning it at the moment the tip barely gets hot enough to melt the solder. If the flux goes, "poof" you are way too hot. The usual result of soldering is that there is so much flux left over that you have to clean the board with a solvent.
     
  6. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    Soldering station with LED scale is well worth the investment. Just turn it up so it does not go red, and then turn back a little. It heats up fast if you need to solder pin header etc., but small IC or wire never needs high temp.
     
  7. jarwulf

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 7, 2013
    60
    0

    The soldering iron is nonadjustable. I tried to tin the iron when lower temp but the iron seems to go from completely unable to melt to sizzling it off immediately. I've had more luck with the wedge shaped tips but even here it just usually balls off or blackens.
     
  8. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
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    Bag the lead-free solder and go with your old friend: Rosin core 60/40 Tin-Lead.

    The change to lead-free has caused billions of dollars worth of headache for the electronics industry, don't make it your problem too.
     
  9. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    3,220
    Do you use a damp sponge to clean the tip? Do that, coat the tip with rosin flux and then tin it immediately.

    If you iron is not adjustable and rapidly blackens, then it may be too hot. You can use a lamp dimmer to lower the temperature.
     
  10. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Can you show a photo of the tip? That will help a lot.

    And you can also buy a temperature controlled hand-held iron for about 25 dollars.
     
  11. alim

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    113
    1
    I take it that the voltage of the supply matches the voltage rating of the soldering iron or gun. 750 watts is a lot of power.
     
  12. Veracohr

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    549
    75
    I think that was meant to be 750°, not watts.
     
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  13. jarwulf

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    I'm currently away from my camera but I might upload a pic later. I found more success tinning brand new tips by throwing a ton of solder at them. That way they seem to last longer. Doesn't seem to work one ones that have been broken in though.
     
  14. kt0218

    New Member

    Mar 17, 2014
    2
    0
    I would make sure your your soldering iron isn't getting to hot. Having it to hot will make you go through tips like that. Also it sounds like you need to tin the tip properly. This is a good article I have found on tip tinning and care. This way you won't be eating through tips as fast. Using some flux will help you out too.
     
  15. Zerotolerance

    Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    56
    10
    If you are going to be doing solder work, don't skimp out on the tools that allow you to do the job right. Buy an adjustable soldering iron station. I love my WESD51 and am about to buy another one so that I don't have to change out the tips frequently. Those plug-in non adjustable soldering irons are for amateurs who rarely ever have a use for a soldering iron.
     
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