Male header pins punching through pcb.

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
17,122
After 20 posts, we still don't have a picture of what the OP is talking about.

I still make most of my own boards and I usually enlarge the pads. I use Eagle and it uses the wimpiest pads I've ever seen on resistors. I usually lay a wire over them to make them easier to solder and reword.
1575609229239.png

I rarely use thermals on the ground pads. When I do, I usually overlay a wire over a couple of them to make them thicker.

I never pay much attention to the default hole sizes. I use toner transfer on transparent medium and I apply heat and pressure until the holes start closing. They make better pilot holes for the drill bits that way.
 
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MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,212
To answer the OP question about temp; for leaded solder I set my iron to 340C and that seems to be plenty. Use a thermo couple on your multimeter to see what your tip temp really is, it's not uncommon for soldering stations to be inaccurate unless calibrated. Flux is your friend, the flux inside solder is usually enough for things like through holes, but when in doubt add some more. If you're soldering to a pad that is connected to a significant ground plane, then it's not uncommon to need more heat. Sometimes a higher temp works better, sometimes you just have to keep the heat on longer. Often a higher temp will allow you to get that one spot hot enough quickly, before the whole board heats up.

Look at the joint when you are done. If it's round a bubble shaped then it's not a good joint. The solder should be smooth. Here's a nice article that might be helpful:

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guide-excellent-soldering/common-problems
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,404
I use 0.035" holes for 0.025" header pins on single sided boards with no issues.
Installing header pins with an interference fit so that they have a mechanical support is what makes sense. And hand soldering them with the proper temperature and a decent brand of flux core solder goes super fast, at most 2 seconds per pin. An iron not hot enough will take much longer, an iron too hot will quickly oxidize and not work right. And a whole lot of years of practice helps also.
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
2,123
So most likely its my poor soldering skills. Fair enough, that's something I can work on.

What temperature should I be using for soldering?
don't forget to use flux. flux is what cleans your joint before you solder and if you don't use it, you can have a crappy joint. Just put a dab of flux on the spot where you wish to solder, then solder.
 

Thread Starter

Kaisha

Joined Nov 23, 2016
15
I appreciate all the info/tips. At this point I'm certain it wasn't poor headers or pcb or hole size, rather my poor soldering skills. It is something I will have to work on.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,087
Specifying an "interference" fit could create problems. The plating in holes is very thing. Scrape it away and solder will not wick into the area. A slip, not wobbly, fit is probably better. With PTH holes, the weakest link is not the solder, it is the plating. It has only happened to me a few times when removing pinheaders, but too much push and too little heat will tear the PTH out well before it breaks the solder-copper plating bond.

Now, when I solder vias in homemade boards, which I make much more rarely today than I did a few years ago, I do like a tighter fit for somewhat the same reason. The solder will not wick well in the hole, and it also does not fill gaps well. I use round 24 awg for those vias. Thus, a closer fit facilitates flow onto the copper pour.

EDIT: Here's a picture of a DIY board with vias. No thermals around them. The connection wire is snug enough to allow soldering one side without any sort of clamping. If it is a little loose, I use a needle holder or similar to flatten one tip, then pull that up to until it holds. All soldering was done with the same temperature-regulated soldering iron and conical tip I use for everything else, including small SMD's.

1575659594200.png
 
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,404
I appreciate all the info/tips. At this point I'm certain it wasn't poor headers or pcb or hole size, rather my poor soldering skills. It is something I will have to work on.
It should be clear that a slight interference fit, a total of 0.002 to 0/003, will not be tearing away the thru plating. And having had many production runs completed using that class of fit, without any pin related problems on any of the boards, I have several thousand examples of it working very well. Of course the pins were all good quality and the flux and the solder were also good quality. Pins with a corroded surface could be an issue, we never tried with damaged pins. And the rilled holes do seem to have just a bit of yield, plated through or not.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,549
I ordered 5 of the first time buyers cheap boards from JLCPCB for my solar project to take a look at their product. The JLCPCB rev contains some fixes and upgrades from the original purple but both are from an Eagle Cad zip gerber and both are the base board with no additional finish options from the manufacturer.

Not great, not terrible in comparison with a higher quality board.


 
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nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,549
Started installing parts on the board.
Pin headers and PCB holes


Soldered a few pins to check clearance and alignment.


With that much clearance it's very important to use enough solder to fill the hole top to bottom with a temperature controlled iron.

SMD device with hot air gun.

Solder finish is not smooth but seems adequate.



My grade would be OK with proper soldering but good luck with rework on this quality of board.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,087
I also like OshPark, except the part where you can choose any color so long as it is purple. I really like red, but green is OK. On prototypes (the only type I have ever made), I find the purple too hiding of the traces I may need to change.

You also seem to be comparing HASL with ENIG. I would expect any immersion or electroplating to be smoother and better controlled. I do like the gold plating too.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,549
I also like OshPark, except the part where you can choose any color so long as it is purple. I really like red, but green is OK. On prototypes (the only type I have ever made), I find the purple too hiding of the traces I may need to change.

You also seem to be comparing HASL with ENIG. I would expect any immersion or electroplating to be smoother and better controlled. I do like the gold plating too.
Sure, I'm comparing HASL with ENIG (and board quaility in general) because that's the default option on their board without finish upgrades for each manufacturer. There's a very good reason why OshPark and others like them are more expensive. Once you upgrade the options on the low cost boards to match their finish and quality the price is much the same on normally priced orders.
 
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