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How to Solder, beginners guide


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Mikeshonda750F 
Member - Posts: 1
Member spacespace
Joined: November 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: November 18, 2004 at 8:28 PM / IP Logged  

In all honesty im flattered that this topic is not only still stickied.. but still active. Been away quite a while and hope you all are doing good!

To the last poster regarding these race vehicles: Im very curious to know general locations of where you had connections fail. In general, if the solder job is done correctly, you end up with a joint that is not only permenant, but consumes far less space than a crimp cap or butt connection. I know with my solder jobs (ovbiously depending on size of wire) the actuall unmoveable portion of the joint is probably half the contact area of a butt connector.

To Flynntech: The most unsafe part of the entire job is simply how hot the tip of the iron gets. In a strange way i get the feeling you are talking about hot solder dripping down onto you? If so, this is not the case if done correctly. If you do as i said before, heat the workpeice up 1st, then let the wire "suck" the solder into it, as long as the workpeice is hot enough, you can unravel an entire spool of solder into the wire and it will continue to "stick" to the wire. Where the hot messy and dangerous drippage comes in is where people heat the solder NOT the workpeice.

Drey: I believe you question was addressed by someone else but please let me elaborate, or try to. The tin component in solder is what makes it so conductive. When you heat the connection and apply the solder, the tin connects the peices and forms a permenant bond. If done correctly, the solder will form a perfect bridge between the peices and give you a lossless connection. Simply using crimp caps or butt connectors doesent form this "lossless" bridge, creating a weak point in the system.

TY: It really all depends on what type of connector you are using. Alot of battery terminal ends sold aftermarket are simply large copper ring terminals without the plastic coating. - How I usually do them is: hold the terminal end in a vice or a pair of pliers. I use my Matco soldering iron without the tip in it. This gives me a mini blowtorch. Heat the connector for a good long time, enough so you can melt solder inside it plus time to get the wire inside it. I usually melt about 8-12inches of standard solder into it, place the battery cable in the end of it and let it cool. You end up with a perfect connection every time.

I still see it all the time. Anywhere i go where someone is soldering improperly. Its rather amusing watching someone heat solder up and letting it "drip" onto their workpeice... then claim they are a pro and do it on every job.

In general, select an iron that is appropriate for your type work. I used a Snapon soldering gun that got hot enough to start glowing.. im talking "dont get close to it cuz the pistol grip will burn you!" In an automotive aplication, this is overkill.

Still cant express how touched I am by this.. Thank you all for your great comments and questions and look foward to seeing you on the boards more often!!

Hymer 
Silver - Posts: 695
Silver spacespace
Joined: November 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: November 28, 2004 at 12:46 AM / IP Logged  
What a great tutorial... I love whatching the "pro's" (the guy's with the blisters on their forheads) tell ya they know how to solder.
My best expertise has taught me ( at least in my field) is to solder any taps to the vehicle connection and make your own harnesses with connectors (pins crimped and soldered) for each component you are installing espesially in off road and public saftey vehicles. This tends to prevent any problems with poor connections and vibration. It also helps in warrenty situations, you can always tell when the public works guys have been messing with YOUR contract work, thus getting more bucks from the state from a job they thought would be free...If you have the time and oppertunity give it a shot... Ive done everthing from kingsley coaches to street rods this way and have never had a problem that wasn't created by own stupidity...
Xracerx 
Member - Posts: 39
Member spacespace
Joined: November 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: November 29, 2004 at 6:10 PM / IP Logged  
Normal Soldering

<>Probably the most popular manually applied solder for electronics is rosin core 60% tin / 40% lead (Sn60Pb40).  It has a melting point between 361°F and 374°F.  It is suitable for all surface logging electronics, and for downhole tools that will not be run much over 300°F (solder begins to weaken below its melting point, so it is best to stay well below the melting point for an actual maximum working temperature).  But I have never liked the Sn60Pb40 solder alloy; I prefer eutectic solders.

<>In metallurgy, there is a special kind of alloy referred to as "eutectic".  Eutectic alloys exhibit no plastic range upon melting, and the melting point is lower than that of any other alloy composed of the same constituents in different proportions.  63% tin / 37% lead (Sn63Pb37) is the eutectic alloy of tin and lead and has a specific melting point of 361°F (no melting point range as with Sn60Pb40).  Sn63Pb37 is used extensively in printed circuit board (PCB) assembly applications (wave soldering), and I think it is easier to use in hand soldering applications as well.  Try some 63/37 and I bet you never go back to 60/40.  .025 /.028 inch (about 22 AWG) or .032 inch (about 20 AWG) are good compromise solder wire diameters.

tombrooklyn 
Member - Posts: 18
Member spacespace
Joined: August 05, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: December 03, 2004 at 1:39 AM / IP Logged  

Hi Xracerx,

What is a "plastic range?"

TomBk

Xracerx 
Member - Posts: 39
Member spacespace
Joined: November 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: December 03, 2004 at 8:11 AM / IP Logged  
tombrooklyn wrote:

Hi Xracerx,

What is a "plastic range?"

TomBk

A eutectic alloy melts to become a free running liquid at a single temperature which is lower than the melting point of any of its component elements. The lowest melting point eutectic cadmium alloy fuses at 46.81' C and also contains bismuth, lead, indium and tin. The rapid fusing characteristics of these and the near-eutectic alloys are useful in many temperature sensitive applications. The non-eutectic alloys melt over a range of temperatures and have a 'pasty' range in which they can be easily worked and shaped as solders, fillers and brazes.

azidrane 
Member - Posts: 25
Member spacespace
Joined: August 05, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: December 03, 2004 at 7:12 PM / IP Logged  

I'm about to buy a cordless iron and i'm trying to figure out what one to get.

Has anyone seen the ColdHeat cordless elecrtic soldering iron? Used it? Opinions?

And what about the afore mentioned Butane ones. What do you like best for a cordless iron?

I have a wired one overpowerd to almost 240watts or something. I burn through a tip in 10 seconds if i keep it on, but it sinks the solder right into the wire. But ive been doing more and more work tucked into tight spaces in cars soldering above my head and its just not the best place to lug a big iron with a cord.

Awesome guide by the way

Xracerx 
Member - Posts: 39
Member spacespace
Joined: November 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: December 03, 2004 at 7:38 PM / IP Logged  

I use the Butane Snap-On version "I think they are all made by the same company" I love it for Solder, Heat Shink, and lighting weed when I get pissed offHow to Solder, beginners guide - Page 5 -- posted image.

I never used the cold heat version. I want to see one work before I buy one.

realitycheck 
Silver - Posts: 751
Silver spacespace
Joined: September 09, 2004
Posted: December 16, 2004 at 3:07 PM / IP Logged  
Yeah i'm pretty skeptical about that thing.  I'd like to know an actual customer review of that thing. Anyway, I bought a butane tech torch from wal-mart that was a mistake.  That thing was horrible I had to let it set there for like 10 minutes burning before the thing would heat up enough to solder with. So anyway I took that one back and got the one they had that is electrical the gun w/ the trigger. I forgot how many watts it is but it heats up to like 800 and something degrees in like 5 seconds it works awesome. So far the best gun ive ever used.
Learning the trade one fiberglass creation at a time!
damn-im-good 
Member - Posts: 4
Member spacespace
Joined: January 16, 2005
Location: Canada
Posted: January 23, 2005 at 4:15 PM / IP Logged  

Has anyone tried the soldering Iron that is sold on tv? It's that one that comes with strippers and is SUPPOSED to work great. Probably another cheap t.v. thing, but I was just wondering.

Austin

Alpine CDA-9831, two 12" JLw3's running off of Phoenix gold 500.1 monoblock and 90.2 for speakers!
alik 
Member - Posts: 10
Member spacespace
Joined: February 01, 2005
Posted: February 01, 2005 at 5:57 PM / IP Logged  
Yeah, I bought one of those ColdHeat B.S. last Weekend and i'm returning it....It SUCKS !!! Don't ever Buy It.
It has a tip made of some kind of material similar to leads like in a pencil( might even be it) that come out to 2 ends, so it's actually 2 tips at the end(kinda like this /| |\ ). The only way for it to work,is when there is metal (solder wire/wire) in between them. It does the melting by the heat of the spark that fly in between the tips before contact with metal is made but once connected to wires or anything metal it stops working....I tried to solder some wires in the car but came only as close as to melting some solder balls but not even close to soldering wires.
It completely not worth it in my opinion.
Also it was worth to note that i was amazed by how quickly it cools off (the only thing that seems to be working for it)there's also a led that shows when it's hot and when not... Another thing is that the tip rubs-off and disintegrates in the process of soldering and to replace it would cost you $9.99 + about $6 S&H which makes it completely USELESS.
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