berniebeaudry

Soldering problems

39 posts in this topic

I have always used 60/40 Kester never had an issue, tried the lead free hated it. Just made this custom XLR padded cable with it using my old X-Tronic temp controled station that has served me well.

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Getting the good solder has made all the difference!  I also got one of those tip cleaners (looks like a brass dish scrubby) that doesn't decrease the tip temperature like the wet sponge.  I find that I can use a lower temp now and get faster/better results.  Nice work on the padded cable!

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Thanks man, good luck on your soldering. I still use the old sponge method my iron re-adjusts it's temp so fast I realy don't notice.

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I like the sponge, it cleans nicely and prompts the iron to get its temp back up for its next slaughter joint.

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But...are you sponge worthy?

 

 

 

 

 

What show is that from???     Anyone?

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But...are you sponge worthy?

 

 

 

 

 

What show is that from???     Anyone?

Seinfield

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I think if you made it to this part of the forum you are indeed sponge worthy :-)

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Question for the solder brains: For what we do, is it prudent to use the little tub of flux?

It's Zinc Chloride and recommended for copper, but they mention other applications, like sweating copper fittings. EG: Mitee Soldering Paste is one. The other is Dutch Boy Tinning Flux. Another is an old Radio Shack Rosin Solder Paste. That one's in a tube, and recommended for electronics. All three of them have made the solder flow so nicely, I never questioned it. The Tinning Flux mentions "for use with any Lead-Free Solder". But I use 63/37, eh...which has Lead.

The joints I make are never less than pretty, shiny and succinct, but I wonder...

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Rosin core solder has all the flux you need. Stay away from mixing rosin core solder with the lead free solder as they don't bond together and cracks will develop in the solder joint. Much like a cold solder joint.

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If your joints are good then they are good.  For the sorts of solders we mostly do making cables I've never used flux.   A temp controlled station is a great pleasure to use after a simple iron, which gets too hot generally in my experience (hence the discolored pins).

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On 4/16/2015 at 10:10 AM, Todd Weaver said:

I like the sponge, it cleans nicely and prompts the iron to get its temp back up for its next slaughter joint.

Sponge (wet) is not recommended by experts. because of the thermal shock caused. brass wool is the recommended method for cleaning tips. and - AVOID tip tinners... also when you finish, clean the tip and 'tin' it with solder before you turn the thing off. this way the tip is always covered and will not oxidise...
 

After years of using cheap solder station(s), i finally invested in the industry standard - METCAL. What a difference! It is simply incredible... Of course, expensive, but... 

I have the pre-heater, hot air station and the soldering station with two handpieces (soldering iron and tweezers) now... 

-vin

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3 hours ago, soundtrane said:

Sponge (wet) is not recommended by experts. because of the thermal shock caused. brass wool is the recommended method for cleaning tips.

I've heard both recommendations on wet sponges.

Weller (who is one of the respected brand names for solder stations over here) recommends using their sponges with distilled water. you could think they just want to make extra money, but since they are only 1.50 or so I don't think that's the main reason (they could also sell brass wool). 

I have their entry level station and agree it's a big difference over a no-name iron (was affordable too, got it on a sale for 80EUR)

some other good tips here:

https://www.astro.umd.edu/~harris/docs/WellerSoldering.pdf

 

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Man I love this site! A pot of coffee and a stroll through JW, perfect Saturday morning.

Bill

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Thanks for such salient input guys. And Vin, the METCAL is darn impressive. Great advice on tinning the tip before power down. I've been wiping it off on the sponge, leaving it open to the local elements.

My daily driver is the WES51, but I've had to repair it and tweak it a few times. I took it apart yesterday seeking a faulty connection.

And besides help with tinning (the solder actually runs uphill by capillary action on the stranded stock), the flux in the tub makes a wonderful little bath for the tip. I melt a little pool of it, then sponge the tip shiny clean. It then drinks the Kester, and it's raring to go.

I've the right solder, I just wondered if the flux I use is proper, or perhaps corrosive...or if it matters (EG: Ammonium Chloride or Zinc Chloride?). It seems to collect any slag and leave it in the tub, because over the years, I noted that it gets darker and darker..sometimes I look closely and notice slag particulate in it. That's exactly where I want it. Not in my joints.

And +1 Sound Intuition.

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