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I'm serious!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by bddpaux, Sep 25, 2013.

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  1. bddpaux


    Nov 19, 2011

    I suck at soldering! I do! :mad::mad::mad:

    I see guys tinning their soldering irons and working really fast with solder and all kinds of stuff....I always seem to be in a fist fight with solder. Solder seems to run from my iron!

    I'm so frustrated! My iron is black (which could be a big part of the problem).......hmmmmmmmm, maybe I should clean it.

    I also bought the absolutely cheapest soldering iron one could get at Radio Shack, which could be a HUGE FACTOR!!

    Any general comments or suggestions????
  2. jackorocko


    Apr 4, 2010
    Those things barely get hot enough to even melt solder, let alone the kind that melts at a higher temperature. Throw it away and spend a few bucks on a 30W iron or something similar.
  3. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Read-up on tinning the solder iron tip.
    Sooner or later it has to be done on every iron, and it solves a lot of your problems.
    You clean the offending solder tip, use some sal amoniac, or whatever they recommend
    nowadays, and re-tin the solder tip with solder.
  4. alfa88


    Dec 1, 2010
    Ask Santa for a temperature controlled model this year.
  5. bddpaux


    Nov 19, 2011
    Never heard of Sal Amoniac until now......interesting!
  6. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Who knows? It's what we used in the 1970's (sal amoniac), came in a small white block in a cardboard box. Might be hazardous material nowadays.
    You clean the solder iron tip, when it's at temperature, you roll the hot tip in the block
    of sal amoniac and tin the tip with solder. Tins the tip and you're all set to go.
    Your problem is because the tip isn't staying clean because it's not tinned, and it
    won't transfer the heat properly when you're soldering.
  7. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    Aug 27, 2013
    If you plan to do much soldering, order a temperature controlled soldering/desoldering station.

    Make sure you heat the copper trace and the pin, touch the solder to the other side of the pin, NOT the soldering iron.

    Keep your tip clean & well tinned!

    Use a thin coat of flux on your pads/traces prior to part placement. Use lead/tin based solder for anything that does not require RoHs compliance. (Unless you are in California where it you can be jailed/fined for possession/use of a naturally occurring element.)

    It is unusual that solder is "running away" from your soldering iron, in general solder flows toward the heat source.

  8. bddpaux


    Nov 19, 2011
    Great advice here!
  9. ultrafire3


    Sep 27, 2013
    Conical tips are junk. use a chisel or a flat edge.
  10. Rob_K


    Sep 20, 2013
    Flux or solder paste as it is sometimes called has completely transformed my soldering, I used to solder at a high temperature because of exactly the reason you mention, about seeing people solder really quickly, since this little tub of flux turned up, I am down to 300 degrees instead of 400 degrees.

    Also, try and get the very fine lead/tin solder, the lead free stuff just sucks basically.
  11. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I recommend you call it flux.

    If you call it soldering paste (and yes it is sometimes called that) you may end up with... solder paste, something very different indeed.

    Solder paste is a mix of very fine particles of solder with a flux. It is used to solder surface mount components. You put some on the board where connections are to be made, place the component on top, and heat the entire board. It melts and the joints are formed (typically all at once).
  12. Rob_K


    Sep 20, 2013
    Thanks for clearing that up Steve, I bought it actually hoping to get the soldering paste you were describing, but flux was what came in the post, and flux is what has transformed my soldering.
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