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Soldering wire to metal

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by druckis300, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. druckis300

    druckis300

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    Dec 11, 2016
    I have never soldered before, so how do I solder wires to these metals?
    [​IMG]
    I tried to solder some tin on one of those metals, but it won't stick. Maybe I need to use some flux?
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Show us the other side. Are they soldered onto that board?
     
  3. druckis300

    druckis300

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    Dec 11, 2016
    Yes they are, and I tried to solder wires on the other side, but again no luck. I melt the tin, but when I put wire to that melt tin it just wont stick.
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Have you ever soldered anything before? (I guess the answer is no from your original post)

    Are the wires you're trying to solder tinned?

    Could it be enameled wire that you've not taken the insulation off?

    Can you show us a picture of the wire?
     
  5. Minder

    Minder

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    If they are tinned as they look it, you will have to have enough heat in the metal to melt the solder, otherwise it is known as a dry joint, you need a fairly high wattage iron or a high temp tip.
    If zinc coated then you will not be successful with solder.
    M.
     
  6. druckis300

    druckis300

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    Dec 11, 2016
    Wire is not enameled, and I think it's not a copper wire, because when I strip off the insulation it looks like silver, and not like copper. Anyway I soldered wire using soldering gun that has 100 watt power. Soldering joint looks very poor, but at least it works.
     
  7. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    that just means it probably 99% chance it's tinned copper .... very common

    show us a pic
     
  8. Minder

    Minder

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    Is this a Weller gun?
    If so they usually have two pulls to the trigger, with the first pull the highest wattage.
    Most forget this.!
    M.
     
  9. druckis300

    druckis300

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    Dec 11, 2016
    The one I use is not manufactured by Weller, you can find it on Google, just type this: SG 109-100.

    Yes. It's probably tinned copper. But what's the difference between bare copper and tinned copper? It's not that easy to take a picture of that small wire, but here you go: https://s30.postimg.org/bgjenpy7l/IMG_20161211_205240.jpg
     
  10. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Have a look at a few YouTube videos about soldering. I think you are probably not correctly heating the joint, possibly compounded by failing to tin the wire first.

    Your first task is to strip a small section at the end of the wire. Then twist the stands together. Then heat the end of the wire with the soldering iron and apply solder so that it flows into the twisted stands. At this point you may want to trim the tinned end of the wire a little if it is too long.

    The next step is to heat the existing solder joint and the tinned wire, applying a little more solder, and holding everything still until the solder solidifies again. This step is the one which requires the most skill and experience as the order you do the various steps depends on the condition of the existing joint, it's size relative to the wire, and the amount of solder already on the joint.

    It is important that the soldering iron be large enough and hot enough to perform the task. It is also important that you use an appropriate solder.

    With you having zero experience it's almost impossible for us to tell you exactly what to do as there are so many variables. If you can watch some videos of soldering you should learn what it should look like to do it correctly and then be able to observe and report to us how your efforts differ from what you've learned to expect. Then we may be able to suggest how to modify what you are doing for more success.

    Another issue is that poor technique can easily damage things. Maybe you should practice on something disposable before you start working on something that you don't want to destroy.
     
    druckis300 likes this.
  11. druckis300

    druckis300

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    Dec 11, 2016
    Thank you for explaining how to solder. Now I see one of my mistakes, I've never applied solder on stripped end of the wire, before soldering it on something else.

    But how about flux? It's not necessary for freshly stripped wire?
     
  12. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Hopefully you are using solder with a flux core. If not, yes you will need flux.
     
  13. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    I wanted to see your solder joint ... you said it looked poor

    but yes, that is tinned copper wire in the pic you linked to ...
    it's just easier to solder to tinned copper, as you don't have to tin it first and tinned copper wire doesn't tarnish as bare copper does
     
  14. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Flux is always necessary when soldering, but it must be the right kind. Never use plumbers flux or 50/50 tin/lead solder. You should use a tin/lead alloy solder with a built-in non-corrosive rosin flux core, 60% tin and 40% lead. You can also use a eutectic alloy of 63% tin and 37% lead, again with a rosin flux core.

    Eutectic tin/lead alloys have a very narrow "plastic" state between liquid state and solid state as a function of temperature. They are somewhat easier for beginners to master the proper soldering technique.

    Tin the stripped wire first after twisting the strands enough to keep them from separating. Then heat the metal to which you are trying to attach the wire and apply a thin coating of solder. Make sure you heat the metal enough for the solder to flow, not "blob" up into a ball. Then apply the tinned wire to the metal while still heating the metal with your solder gun. Add a little more solder to what is already there so as to cover the bottom and sides of the tinned wire. A third hand is useful for this: one hand to hold the solder gun, a second hand to hold the wire, and the third hand to apply the solder. Now here is the tricky part: remove the solder gun from this joint and hold everything perfectly still while the solder cools and solidifies.

    If you are successful, the cooled solid joint will be smooth and shiny. If the pieces moved while the solder cooled the joint will look gray and pebble-like: this is a "cold" solder joint. You will have to re-heat and try again. It sometimes helps to strip a scrap piece of wire and separate out just one of the strands to use as a "tie down" to hold the tinned wire against the metal. If you try that, you will be heating both the wire and the metal it will be attached to at the same time, so it may take longer to get hot enough to melt the solder because the tinned copper wire will absorb some of the heat. Upside is now you only need two hands.
     
  15. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    The solder moves towards the heat so heat the work and apply the solder to it.
    Do not expect a blob of solder on the iron to transfer to the work by capillarity. A very small amount of solder on the iron will help heat transfer.

    Cleanliness is crucial.
     
    hevans1944 likes this.
  16. druckis300

    druckis300

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    Dec 11, 2016
    Sorry, (*steve*) was actually asking for wire picture. I can't take a picture of my solder joint right now, but it looks like, like hevans1944 explained cold solder joint.

    Thank you guys for all this information.
     
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