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Problem Melting Solder

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by csmith, Jul 13, 2013.

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  1. csmith


    Jul 13, 2013
    Hi All,

    I'm having difficulty repairing a PCB. I'm trying to solder in new power leads. I've attached a picture of where I char'd the board and melted the insulation, yet the solder sits there only barely melted.

    I'm using MG Chem .032" dia, 21 guage, no clean, lead free solder, which I purchased from I tried melting it with both the iron, and the hot air gun on a 852++ rework station with the heat turned all the way up. I know it's getting hot... the wire's insulation melted just fine.

    So I'm guessing it's the lead free solder. Is this stuff just not usable? Do I need flux? Do I just need to get leaded solder? I wouldn't think that they would make lead free solder if it didn't melt...?!?!?

    What is your advice?

    Attached Files:

  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    1) tin the wires first

    2) use a hotter iron (or one with higher thermal capacity)

    3) use flux (or solder with a flux core)


    Sep 23, 2012
    Lead Free solder

    I'm partial to Kester 63/37, and 60/40. I clean desoldered holes and leads with acetone.On stubborn cases I use a little paste flux.

    I've tried lead free solder; I don't like it. It acts different (obviously). Maybe it just takes getting use to.

    It's probably not a good idea to mix solders.

    What do you other guys think?

    I know I'm old school, I still use a Simpson 260 meter too.
  4. eKretz


    Apr 8, 2013
    I'm with you. Whenever I work on a lead-free board I always switch the solder to 63/37 or 60/40 when repairing or replacing components. I usually remove the lead-free with a sucker or wick and slather on a little leaded and remove it again to make sure most of the lead-free is gone.
  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I have some lead free solder, but I rarely use it.

    It's not so much that it's difficult as that it just seems to look wrong.
  6. Woodman


    Dec 3, 2012
    That lead free crap is for plumbers! For repairs/mods low temp is almost always better and 60/40 is the best. Tin and clean your iron too. It is amazing how little solder you need with these proper techniques.

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
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