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Author Topic: Soldering ... advice  (Read 725 times)

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Offline dannyboy1121Topic starter

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Soldering ... advice
« on: May 21, 2010, 05:15:02 PM »
Just a quick question. I'm soldering the parts to my PCB for my $50 bot. To start off with - no problems whatsoever - but after a while I get problems. It's like the tip of the iron won't melt the solder?! Although if I run the solder half a cm up the shaft it melts.

Can tips just go off like that? Or does this sound like user error? I know it's a silly question but I'm trying to work out if it's 'bad workman' or 'bad tools'  ???

It was a cheap iron, but still, I would have expected a bit more from it :o

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Soldering ... advice
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2010, 05:39:47 PM »
Hm, do you clean your iron? Is it at all corroded?
I'm gonna say that if you've left it to heat up and the tip isn't heating well, then its the tip that's the problem... Maybe try buying a new tip for it?
Howdy

Offline Soeren

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Re: Soldering ... advice
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 08:38:34 PM »
Hi,

You need a damp (not wet) soldering sponge to wipe your tip clean on.
If you haven't got one and cannot find a store to buy one, ask a person of the female persuasion for a make up removal sponge (it's the same yellowish material and works just as well... That is, if she doesn't use other means like cotton wool pads). They are round, but can be cut to size with scissors, if you have a holder - or you could use a metal lid from a can of proper dimensions.

Apart from that, you could use some tip cleaning paste. It's a flux + solder paste in a small can that you dip your tip in a few times. It smokes a bit while cleaning and after a short time, clean it off on the aforementioned damp sponge - repeat until your tip is like silver and easily wetable.

Never try to scrape or file residue off a tip, it will destroy it in no time, as the tip is copper with a thin plating of iron - if you file through this very thin layer, the copper will be eaten hollow in a single soldering session and you will have to file it again to use it... You can't do that all that many times.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline dannyboy1121Topic starter

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Re: Soldering ... advice
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 12:53:01 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I couldn't find the cleaning sponge that came with the kit so used some other household cleaning sponge - I think it was the wrong material and actually killed the tip. I found the proper cleaning sponge whilst looking for some other equipment - but by that time it was too late because I had attempted to scrape the thing clean with a pen knife (arghhhh).

Well! Now I know - and I won't make the same basic mistakes again. I'll pick up some cleaning paste and new tips - along with a solder wick to clean up them mess I've made :)

Thanks for all the advice.

 


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