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De-soldering wick, pump, or gun type?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by NuLED, Jun 26, 2013.

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  1. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    Folks, I was watching this video about how to use a de-soldering pump thing.



    Questions:

    1) What do you prefer? This pump thing, or de-soldering wick?

    2) Why doesn't the pump get clogged up with solder? Is it a disposable type and you have to keep buying new pumps?

    3) Would you say a de-soldering gun (e.g., Hakko 808) is worth it, or just use wicks/pumps?

    I am trying to salvage components from disused PCBs and old electronics. And generally learn while I am taking things apart. There are some interesting things that I have not yet identified. I didn't even know there was de-soldering tools. I was just melting the solder and trying to pull things off. I probably burned a few electrolytic capacitors while doing that (cuz they were DOA when tested with the DMM).

    Your advice appreciated.
     
  2. eKretz

    eKretz

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    Apr 8, 2013
    I want to get a desoldering iron eventually. Watching eBay for a good deal. I use Soder-Wick right now but it would run out fast if you tried to use it to depopulate much on PCBs. I usually just melt the solder with an iron and yank the component if it's through hole stuff. I haven't really had any problems keeping the components alive. If it's a lead-free board sometimes it helps to add some leaded solder to the mix first to make it easier to melt. For through-hole components with more than 4 leads I use the wick or leave it on the board until I need it. SMT stuff I get with hot air. I try to save the wick for repair stuff only, so I have it when I need it. I made a homemade de soldering hand piece but it didn't work real good. Well, it worked great until it clogged. It's imperative to have a heating element that heats the vacuum tube, or it'll just clog up fast. I was trying the "melt with iron, vacuum with cold tube" approach and it just clogs up real fast.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  3. BobK

    BobK

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    1,688
    Jan 5, 2010
    Both have their uses, and I use both. The pump is required to get solder out of holes in through-hole boards. The wick is great for cleaning up after drag soldering. In the pump I have, you end up with little tubes of hardened solder which are easily removed.

    Bob
     
  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    1,950
    Sep 5, 2009
    As said both have their uses, for most stuff I use wick but occasionally the pump gets used

    It does get clogged up constantly... BUT each time you press the piston down it forces a shaft down the end tube to clear it, The Teflon end tubes finally wear and need to be replaced. make sure you buy one with replaceable (screw-on) ends

    a powered desoldering pump had great uses, specially when you have much to desolder.
    if just a few components then the wick or hand operated pump is cool

    cheers
    Dave
     
  5. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    I watched this great video about de-soldering. Learned a bunch of stuff.



    Don't have any of his tool tips though or that hot air gun. He does have a powered solder extractor.
     
  6. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    Folks - how come the PCB and the mask do not melt (usually under soldering / reflow temperatures? Seems mighty hot at 300 C / 600 F +++
     
  7. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    look up the nelting point of copper :)

    Dave
     
  8. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    I mean the PLASTIC that the PCB is made from. Not the copper traces.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  9. alfa88

    alfa88

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Boards are made from either fiberglass or phenolic. Both materials hold up to high temps pretty well but will burn if you hold the iron in the same spot too long. Before that happens the glue holding the trace to the board will fail. The idea is to be quick and gentle when soldering and desoldering.
     
  10. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    Ok thanks.

    So another related question: If electrolytic capacitors are so sensitive to drying out, isn't SMD reflow inside a reflow oven, or desoldering to salvage them from old PCBs, somewhat destructive to their integrity?
     
  11. dantheman1972

    dantheman1972

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    May 29, 2013
    i don't think you can test capacitors with a dmm unless it is specifically designed to do so. i may be wrong but i have seen dedicated meters to check caps..and i have used a heat gun to melt solder off of the pcb's and have let the components virtually fall off heat might be a problem with transistors but probably not with ecaps
     
  12. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Capacitance measurement is fairly common on DMMs these days, but not ESR.

    Heat can damage capacitors, but it's generally the long term exposure to high ambient temperatures (or temperature rise due to ripple current) that does the damage. The capacitors were soldered in the first place (possibly in an oven at 260C or thereabouts) so they can clearly withstand limited exposure to high temperatures.
     
  13. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    depending on the quality/price, many of the modern DMM's have capacitance measurement built into them along with inductance and frequency measurements

    Dave
     
  14. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    How do we measure or calculate ESR or is it just something we need to get from the manufacturer specs? I assume ESR only happens when the device is active in the circuit and cannot be measured passively using resistance measurement on DMMs?
     
  15. wannabegeek

    wannabegeek

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    Aug 17, 2011
    I like Dry-Wick and the big pumps...not the little skimpy ones...

    I was taught, that if you need to clean up a trace, then add a little solder back. This prevents the trace from lifting...

    I'm realizing that my 40W iron is too hot...damn...it has always worked for me using the 2 seconds rule, but I destroyed a cool laser diode with it recently...

    I need an adjustable temp iron :(

    I find soldering to PCB fairly difficult even though I've had some really good training from friends with a lot of experience. I found it also helps to use the really thin gauge solder for PCB ( I forget the number ).

    I've got a project that needs to go from the proto board to PCB and I'm totally afraid to ruin it...

    Cheers,
    wbg
     
  16. Number

    Number

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    Jun 9, 2013
    I personally use a desoldering pump/vacuum that I got from Amazon for about $5; note that this exact same part at RadioShack only in red instead of blue, is $19.99.

    Here is the link...

    Link.

    I love this thing as a desoldering accessory. It gets clogged every now and again, which really is about a 15 second fix. Just unscrew/twist and tap a couple times. All the solder falls out. It's one of the products that I've purchased that far exceeds in value for what I pad for it. Highly recommended.

    I also use desoldering wicks/braids, but I prefer the pump. If you would like a video demonstrating it I would be more then willing to oblige. :)
     
  17. Number

    Number

    65
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    Jun 9, 2013
    Agreed.

    Although I find it more common to measure capacitance and frequency on a DMM then measuring Inductance. Of course the more $$$ the DMM the more features/perks you get. That being said, my $45 DMM measures capacitance to 3700uF and has a max frequency of 100 KHz. So for small applications its perfect. For more advanced things, I would just get an LC meter which is dedicated to measuring those values with much wider range and accuracy.:D
     
  18. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,496
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    Jan 21, 2010
    I got something very much like this (mostly because my meter had a very poor capability with inductances).

    I stick it in a box and it's conveniently powered from the USB port of the PC which sits on my bench.
     
  19. NuLED

    NuLED

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    Jan 7, 2012
    Thanks; I got a huge cheap blue one but I will get the one you recommend next time if mine turns out to, ah, suck! (haha).

    I do find that Radio Shack seems to sell the same kind of stuff generally for much more money!
     
  20. NuLED

    NuLED

    294
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    I have been reading about the dangers of liquid solder splattering.

    Anyone wear or recommend wearing some kind of work apron?

    I wear glasses but also got a pair of safety goggles. I've done some soldering work before but not extensive. Going forward, obviously I will do more.
     
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