Critique my soldering?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Kevin Shaughnessy, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Kevin Shaughnessy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    Hi Everyone,

    I just started an Electrical Engineering Technologies program 4 weeks ago and today was assigned a fairly simple soldering job. It's maybe my 5th time soldering through-hole and I was wondering if you could offer whatever critiques, suggestion, or comments you have. I think I've gotten over that hump of using too much solder but I'm still having trouble making a nice, clean solder bridge that's smooth (leads seem to be jutting out too close to the solder to trim).

    The layout for this is that the three resistors are bridged together in the center, a wire connects one of the other leads of a resistor to + and another wire connects the lead of the lone perpendicular resistor to -. The anode of the LED is bridged to a resistor and a jumper wire connects the cathode of the LED to the resistor that leads to ground. I hope that's clear enough, if you'd like I can scan a schematic.

    Here are the pictures:


    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  2. bobweb1234

    New Member

    Mar 18, 2013

    You are right the soldering could improve.

    It looks like you need to clean the wires, even scraping with a knife.

    Soldering is done by eye, apply heat until you see the solder begin to adhere to the metal like water. I assume that you have flix core solder, or apply your own rosin core solder.

    So Clean, the heat just long enough to have the solder "wet" the joint, then get off.
    All of this is done by eye.

  3. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    Soldering is like painting, it's 90% prep work. If your preparation is right, the solder will literally jump into place.

    Then you clean the flux off.
  4. Setanta

    New Member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Griz, Georacer and williamj like this.
  5. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012

    Great videos.....if you cannot solder after watching those, you probably shouldn't be soldering in the first place.;)

    I started out soldering copper pipe and fittings at an early age, not the way to do electronic soldering.
    panic mode likes this.
  6. williamj

    Active Member

    Sep 3, 2009
    Thanks for the link Setanta, my soldering skills have always been haphazard at best. These vids should help immensely.
  7. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    The one thing no one mentions when giving or asking for help with board soldering is prepping the board itself. A 'scotch brite' type scouring pad to polish and take the oxides off of the board pads, goes a long way toward making a good solder joint. It should also be used to clean the component wires. It starts the job that the flux does in soldering. You can buy them at any store that sells cleaning products.
    #12 likes this.
  8. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    I quite agree with cleaning the board, bare copper oxidizes fast. I normally use fine steel wool but I have a large supply.

    I do not agree with cleaning the wires. If your wires need cleaning buy some new wire.
  9. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    Ernie, I meant wires on through hole stuff like caps and resistors. Some of the tinned leads can be pretty grungy looking right from the dealer.