Best way to solder ? what solder to use ? please help.

Thread Starter

jakethehusky

Joined Mar 24, 2016
22
I'm studying informatics at Uhasselt in Belgium but I want to learn electronics as well. I've already got an Arduino uno r3 beginners kit. I also got an old DC power supply (analog max 30V) and an old 12W solder pen from my grandfather. I've got a little bit of experience when it comes to making an electronic schematic and I made something basic. But I want to try and solder.

I have never soldered before and I need some help. I am already planning to buy the "helping hands", but I don't know what solder tin to buy and whether my 12W solder pen is any good for soldering electronics.

Please give me some links (amazon / ebay / ...) on what solder tin to buy (I don't need some high quality stuff, something basic should do). Is 12 Watts enough ? And can you guys maybe link me some tutorial videos, or basic projects to practice?

Thanks in advance
Jake
 

Dodgydave

Joined Jun 22, 2012
8,569
Use 60/40 solder with rosin flux, soldering irons come in different wattages, if you want to get into soldering get a solder station, plenty to choose from around 60W, or use a 30/40Watt iron to start with. Plenty videos on youtube.

solder station
 
Last edited:

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,303
Use 60/40 solder with rosin flux, soldering irons come in different wattages, if you want to get into soldering get a solder station, plenty to choose from around 60W, or use a 30/40Watt iron to start with. Plenty videos on youtube.
solder station
Use 60/40 solder in Belgium, home of the EU? Although I hate lead-free solder, but since you are in the EU, you may find it easier not to resist. I have not kept up on lead-free solder. I do know enough that you do not want pure tin. SAC solder (tin, 96.5%;silver, 3%; and copper 0.5%) is widely available in the US as a lead-free alternative. Note about the name: S = Sn=symbol for tin; A = Ag= symbole for silver, C= Cu=symbol for copper). If you are into using leaded solder, my favorite is 63% Tin and 37% lead. That is the eutectic mixture, so it freezes quickly and may result in less "cold solder" joints. But for someone in the EU debating leaded solders is like certain groups that don't eat pork arguing about the best brand of ham. ;)

John
 

Thread Starter

jakethehusky

Joined Mar 24, 2016
22
Use 60/40 solder in Belgium, home of the EU? Although I hate lead-free solder, but since you are in the EU, you may find it easier not to resist. I have not kept up on lead-free solder. I do know enough that you do not want pure tin. SAC solder (tin, 96.5%;silver, 3%; and copper 0.5%) is widely available in the US as a lead-free alternative. Note about the name: S = Sn=symbol for tin; A = Ag= symbole for silver, C= Cu=symbol for copper). If you are into using leaded solder, my favorite is 63% Tin and 37% lead. That is the eutectic mixture, so it freezes quickly and may result in less "cold solder" joints. But for someone in the EU debating leaded solders is like certain groups that don't eat pork arguing about the best brand of ham. ;)

John
Thank you all for the answers ! I saw some solder in a kinda local electronic shop. It has a diameter of 1mm and consists of 60% Sn, 40% Pb. Is this good ? I am also just going to buy a solder station as well.

The solder - https://www.gotron.be/en/solderen/tin/soldeertin-met-lood-60-40-tin-lood-1mm-100gr.html?___store=en&___from_store=nl
The station - https://www.gotron.be/en/solderen/speciaal/sets/soldeerstation-48w-150-450-c.html?___store=en&___from_store=nl

Would these two do the job ?

Jake
 

mcgyvr

Joined Oct 15, 2009
5,394
Use 60/40 solder in Belgium, home of the EU? Although I hate lead-free solder, but since you are in the EU, you may find it easier not to resist. I have not kept up on lead-free solder. I do know enough that you do not want pure tin. SAC solder (tin, 96.5%;silver, 3%; and copper 0.5%) is widely available in the US as a lead-free alternative. Note about the name: S = Sn=symbol for tin; A = Ag= symbole for silver, C= Cu=symbol for copper). If you are into using leaded solder, my favorite is 63% Tin and 37% lead. That is the eutectic mixture, so it freezes quickly and may result in less "cold solder" joints. But for someone in the EU debating leaded solders is like certain groups that don't eat pork arguing about the best brand of ham. ;)

John
K100LD is the lead free solder to use now.. much cheaper than SAC for lead free.. and solders almost like 63/37..
 
Once you've picked your solder, a few tips:


Be sure to view a couple of tutorials on soldering technique. Technique is everything.

Get some simple PCB-based kits to practice with. Velleman makes a lot of kits and I think they're "right in your back yard."

Keep your tip clean and tinned. Wet sponges are so 20th century. I use a "wire sponge" and they work great.

I also use tip-tinning paste to keep the tip nice and clean and maximize heat flow.
 

Dodgydave

Joined Jun 22, 2012
8,569
Thank you all for the answers ! I saw some solder in a kinda local electronic shop. It has a diameter of 1mm and consists of 60% Sn, 40% Pb. Is this good ? I am also just going to buy a solder station as well.


Would these two do the job ?

Jake
Good soldering station, get extra tips for different types of pcbs.
 

Thread Starter

jakethehusky

Joined Mar 24, 2016
22
I'm still confused. Is lead good or bad ?
Good soldering station, get extra tips for different types of pcbs.
Thanks for your clear answer ! What about the solder though, some people say it should be 0.8mm or less, would 1 mm be ok still (it will be used for pcb's and perfboards) and is the 60% Sn, 40% Pb good ? If I open the data sheet it says two things about the flux:

Flux type - ROM1 (IEC 61190-1-3) / 1.1.2.B (DIN EN 29454-1) / F-SW26
Flux content - standard 2.5 weight % +- 0.3 %

I got this from the data sheet from the website : https://www.gotron.be/en/solderen/tin/soldeertin-met-lood-60-40-tin-lood-1mm-100gr.html?___store=en&___from_store=nl

I have no idea whether that is any good? Could you tell me please ?

Thanks
Jake
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,829
In my opinion, it's safe, given a couple of guidelines
  • Don't eat it.
  • Don't solder in a closet.
  • Wash your hands after soldering and before eating or picking your nose!
Seriously, just use common sense.
 
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