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Soldering Iron not fluxing the tip or working right ?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by CubeRider, Apr 6, 2013.

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  1. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    Hey guys.

    Right, I have just spend a wad and bought a brand new soldering station to try and get into the wonderful world of electronics.

    However, I am having some trouble, the soldering station I have bought does not seem to work right.

    My problems started straight away with me not being able to melt the solder efficiently enough, despite my solder melting point rating being 227oC I have to have it on 350oC or recently I have moved it up to 400oC and I feel this is too much.

    It's just not heating up the board / legs of the led's or resistors so my solder joints are not right, even applying the solder directly to the tip it takes a while to melt even at 350oC.

    I came to you for advice and read up and I was told I needed to flux the tip, I got the flux this morning and gave it a go but its not working, I started with 400oC temp, dipped the end of the iron into the flux, applied the solder and it just fell off.

    I am not sure if I have a faulty soldering iron or if my combination of lead-free solder and iron is the problem, but I do know this current set-up is not working right.

    To further help describe my problem I have just taken a video tonight to show you whats going on and below are a few links which will show you what I am working with.

    Soldering Station
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-functio...630&pid=100015&prg=1006&rk=1&sd=140928980814&

    Solder
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000L9CVRU/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Flux
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001JGW7GE/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I don't know what could be the cause of even @ 350oC - 400oC temp the iron is still not making the board or wires hot enough for the solder to melt and create a joint.

    Oh heres a link to the short video I did.



    Starting to think I will never be able to solder now :(

    Any help would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. sheldonstv

    sheldonstv

    68
    0
    Jul 17, 2007
    what solder are you using-get some 60-40 fluxed solder-already has the flux built in-and try again-also get yourself a 25w -30w soldering iron[Antex do a good range of irons]-have a look on ebay for the solder and the iron
     
  3. sheldonstv

    sheldonstv

    68
    0
    Jul 17, 2007
    iv looked at your video and its obvious your soldering iron isnt working as it should-your solder is unleaded with only 2 percent flux-get some leaded 60-40 s0lder and a 25w antex soldering iron off ebay and you will be sorted
     
  4. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    OK new solder I can get but I just spent £150 on this soldering station, will another iron fit in this unit ?

    The iron is brand new and connects via a 6 pin connector on the front of the control panel, are these connectors universal and will other irons fit do you know ?

    Thanks :)
     
  5. sheldonstv

    sheldonstv

    68
    0
    Jul 17, 2007
    no if your soldering iron element itself is faulty you need to get the exact replacement-if it was working that soldering iron would be ok,my 25w iron i got off ebay i paid under £10 for it and the solder was a little more,about £20 for a reel and that was quite a while ago
     
  6. duke37

    duke37

    5,364
    772
    Jan 9, 2011
    Soldering irons are often fitted with iron plated copper bits. It is necessary that the bit is clean to get solder to wet it. Clean the tip with wire wool or fine emery with the minimum amount of rubbing, you do not want to wear the iron plating through.

    As soon as the iron is hot, then flux it and add solder. Tin/lead solder melts at a lower temperature than lead free solder. When using the iron, you can clean the tip on a wet sponge, this gets rid of oxide. Do not leave the iron running with no solder on the tip as this will oxidise the iron plating and you will have to start again.
     
  7. sheldonstv

    sheldonstv

    68
    0
    Jul 17, 2007
  8. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    Hey guys.

    Quick update on this.

    I spoke to the seller said that I wanted to send the unit back, at first he agreed then he said sorry, no refund !

    I was livid, I said you damn well will or I will come to your house, I think he was just trying it on, and then he said I am scared I will give you your refund.

    So I said I dont want you to be scared but this problem isnt going to go away, you cant sell someone faulty goods and then say sorry no refund.

    And the best bit, he said his own unit he has also doesnt work, wtf, why sell them on ebay then, unbelieveable.

    So I went through PayPal and got my money back, what a farce.. so shopping for a soldering iron now at a reputable place rather than fleabay lol.

    Thanks for all your help, advice and links :)
     
  9. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,497
    2,838
    Jan 21, 2010
    A couple of questions and observations:

    1) what was the sellers feedback like?

    2) It sounds like you haven't done your dough, so that's good.

    3) At least you can try again with hopefully some good advice this time.

    4) is he still selling these, and if so can you point us at the auction?
     
  10. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    Hi Steve.

    Sure thing...

    1) His feedback is 99% positive but with 2 Negatives and 1 Neutral but his negatives accuse him of lying and faulty goods, so I guess even 99% doesn't tell the whole story.

    2) Yep PayPal saw to it that I got my refund back but it was stressful and I have been without an iron for a bit now.

    3) Defo wish to try again, looking to buy a soldering iron today in fact, I love the idea of the solder station though and the heat shrink gun because I would like my work to be tidy, I'd really love to have a go at this: http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Resin-Cubes/

    4) He sure is, tut tut, this is the link :
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140928980814&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123


    The guy Michael Matas emails in broken English at times, he hasn't been very fair with me and I lost £12+ on return postage by dealing with him which I cant get back.
     
  11. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    Your temp is too low, I use a Weller system (both at work and home) and usually have it set to somewhere around 650-750F (350-400C) having the iron set just above the melting point of the solder will take a long time to melt the solder, and a long time to heat up the pad area.

    For the next unit you get try using it at a higher temperature, or try to find one that uses a large tip as it will hold temperature better and therefor heat pad/melt solder faster.

    Yes having the temp up higher can potentially cause damage if left on too long, you just have to be mindful, I personally dont like using flux separately, makes a mess and I dont find any improvement over a fluxed solder at all.
     
  12. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    The max temp it would go up to was 480, the video online from the manufacturer shows it working fine at 300, I tried that didnt work, tried 350 only average results tried 400 and even then it was tempremental.
     
  13. eKretz

    eKretz

    251
    27
    Apr 8, 2013
    Forgive me for saying so, I mean no offense, but it seems like you are quite inexperienced. It really looks to me like you had heavily oxidized the tip after watching your video. Once it gets black like that it won't work at all for soldering and will have a difficult time transferring enough heat to melt the solder well. You need to get it tinned immediately the very first time it gets hot or it will be hopeless to try to solder with it. It probably would have worked fine if you had let it cool then given it a good mechanical cleaning (with steel wool, sandpaper, or the like) down to bare metal and then immediately tinned it once heated up again. It does appear as though it was getting plenty hot enough as it instantly vaporized the flux on contact when you dipped it.
     
  14. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    No offence eKretz and your quite right I am totally inexperienced, this is my first time devling into the world of electronics.

    I have just posted a new post with a few questions to better steer me in the right direction.

    Thanks for the message mate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  15. eKretz

    eKretz

    251
    27
    Apr 8, 2013
    Yechh. Not a fan of the no-lead solder. I've got about 3 reels of 60/40 .02" stashed, hehe. Hopefully I'll be good for a long time. Good luck with your new iron!
     
  16. davelectronic

    davelectronic

    1,087
    12
    Dec 13, 2010
    I am a fan of the new lead free solder, but only the high silver content stuff is any good, 40 / 60 tin lead has dried up locally, i pay £ 15 for 500 g reel, its very good, i'd say cut the temp your probably burning the flux up before its had a chance to work keeping the joint from the air, i use an Antex 18 and 25 watt irons, lower the temp if its a station, have a play on some scrap pcb's until you get a good temp. :)

    PS. Larger joints can act as a heat sink pulling the tip temp down rapidly, your need higher temps for such joints.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
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