Is it just me or is soldering that difficult?

Thread Starter

zaman999

Joined Jan 29, 2011
26
I've read enough tutorials on how to solder well and that it comes by practice.
But when I go ahead and try, almost every time I feel I could not do it properly.
I've seen people doing joints in one/two hits of the soldering rod, but I take lot of time to solder a single joint. Is it so difficult??
Even the simplest of job, takes me time and I get irritated. I tried soldering headers and you can see what I did in the attachments.
I understand it needs practice but somehow its not happening for me. I want to be able to do this properly and without wasting time & solder. Kindly help me with any advice/suggestions/links/videos so that I learn it better.

Regards,
Zaman
 

Attachments

Thread Starter

zaman999

Joined Jan 29, 2011
26
In the attachments, you see the pins soldered to each other and not to the board.
I tried to make contact b/w soldering rod and board and then applied solder but somehow the solder would not be in one place and I didn't know what to do.
 

kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,774
The photos are really small, but it seems to me the tin doesn´t touch the pads at all.
Do you use enough flux? What soldering iron do you have?
 

BillB3857

Joined Feb 28, 2009
2,562
If the pads on the board are oxidized, it would not accept solder well. Try cleaning with pencil eraser, then rub with paper towel.
 

Thread Starter

zaman999

Joined Jan 29, 2011
26
The photos are really small, but it seems to me the tin doesn´t touch the pads at all.
Do you use enough flux?
I'm attaching the pics again, see if this helps.

The flux I use comes in small containers like this one http://tinyurl.com/ao27sln

I apply this flux using the soldering rod itself, while it is hot, and then touch the solder around the joint, am I doing it right?

In most of the videos, I see them using liquid flux which they apply first and then after tinning the soldering tip, they just bring the tip in contact with the joint and within no time solder flows into the right place.
 

Attachments

takao21203

Joined Apr 28, 2012
3,702
You need a desoldering pump. Everyone who is doing soldering should have one.

At first you heat the component wire, and then you touch it with tin wire. Normally you don't need flux. It is only needed for small ICs.
 

PackratKing

Joined Jul 13, 2008
847
Soldering is very straightforward. 3 parameters must be met
1. all wire or other material to be joined, must be gleaming.
2. Adequate heat from your soldering tool. You also must take into consideration, that what you are soldering, will sink heat away from your joint. A slight overkill in tool wattage never hurts, as this will keep your dwell time to a minimum.
3. Flux ! flux serves not only to chemically clean the metal, it helps exclude oxygen from the joint, and encourages solder to flow.

My experience comes from sweat-soldering copper pipe for water systems. Nothing will humble you quicker than working all day to install plumbing, and when you charge the system with water, having leaks all over creation.
Then you have to drain the system, and boil the water out of your culprit joints, and start over from square one.
 

t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,934
You say you are using soldering rods. As you may not know the metallurgy used in different types of solder. Are not by any means the same. And the same goes for the flux chemistry. For work on electronics. You need to use both solder and flux made for electronics. If your solder/flux rods are made for say plumbing. You may experience problems like you see now
 

kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,774
Also that soldering paste is not really meant for electronics because it contains zinc-chloride which is pretty aggresive, i would use it only maybe for some heavily corroded surfaces. You should get rosin flux in standard solid form or liquid flux and rosin-core solder.
 

Thread Starter

zaman999

Joined Jan 29, 2011
26
Does your board have metal pads on it?
Sparky
Oh! Thanks for pointing that out! My board does have metal pads. It was actually silly of me to do that mistake. I was randomly soldering on the board and didn't realize when I soldered those headers on the wrong side.
 

Thread Starter

zaman999

Joined Jan 29, 2011
26
You say you are using soldering rods. As you may not know the metallurgy used in different types of solder. Are not by any means the same. And the same goes for the flux chemistry. For work on electronics. You need to use both solder and flux made for electronics. If your solder/flux rods are made for say plumbing. You may experience problems like you see now
Also that soldering paste is not really meant for electronics because it contains zinc-chloride which is pretty aggresive, i would use it only maybe for some heavily corroded surfaces. You should get rosin flux in standard solid form or liquid flux and rosin-core solder.
Thanks for the information, we get these for cheap in electronics market over here. Its so common that I didn't really bother much about the type of solder/flux being used.Guess i'll be careful next time i buy them. I'll practice again and let you know how it goes.
 

Thread Starter

zaman999

Joined Jan 29, 2011
26
What type of solder are you using? Are you using resin core solder?
The one I use is sold locally and is just called solder wire by the people here. All I know is its 60/40 solder. I came to know about these different types when other members highlighted it in this post.

What solder/flux do you use for soldering common electronics?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,504
We do not use solder flux.

The flux is inside the core of the solder wire. That is why it is called rosin core solder.
Cut a slice off the end of the solder wire with a sharp razor blade and you will see that the solder wire is hollow with the flux in the middle. If you don't see this, go buy proper rosin core solder for electronics.
 
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