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Author Topic: Soldering noob.  (Read 2567 times)

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Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Soldering noob.
« on: January 03, 2008, 09:09:32 PM »
Hi, I'm just getting into electronics as a hobby, and I find all of this extremely interesting. I purchased this LED flashing heart kit as a present for my girlfriend and am in the process of soldering everything. I think I may have run into a problem, however. While soldering on one of the transistors the solder from the transistor's pad streamed together with the solder from an adjacent pad. I know this can cause a short circuit, however the pads are so close together I think maybe the pads are meant to be soldered together to complete the circuit. I know next to nothing about PCB and was hoping maybe someone on this forum could shed some light on my predicament. This is more or less a novelty gift for my girl, so it's gotta be perfect  ;). I also consider it my warm up for the soldering I'll do when I get into robotics later on.

Finally, if the run together is a problem, what's the best solution? I have a basic desoldering pump, but I can't seem to get these pads to separate now.

Offline airman00

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 09:42:19 PM »
I dont see what the big deal is to just suck up the solder while its being heated by the soldering iron.

Just suck up the solder and problem solved!

And PCBs are meant to have close together pads, thats the whole point of the PCB - to compress the circuit!
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Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 09:46:26 PM »
these pads are separated by maybe a millimeter of silicon, its hardly visible.

my desoldering pump is the strike kind that just kind of clicks and sucks up the solder. the problem is being caused by this atom-thick smear of solder. it just seems way too tiny to suck up with the pump.

Offline sdk32285

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008, 09:54:53 PM »
Hi
Did it come with a schematic? If so you can try to figure out if the pads are supposed to be connected. Are other solder pads that close to each other?

Also make sure the solder is hot when you use the pump, If your new you might want to have a friend use the pump while you hold the soldering iron to pads (just don't overheat the components).
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Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 10:00:39 PM »
It does have a schematic but I'm almost completely illiterate as to what the schematic can tell me.

Offline sdk32285

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 10:04:01 PM »
Look for the two things that plug into those soldering holes (ex. resistor, capacitor, etc...). when you find those things in the schematic are they connected by a line?
If yes - than they probably should be connected on the board.
if not - than they probably should NOT be connected on the board.
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Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 10:19:33 PM »
the two components in contact are resistor 5 and transistor 2.

resistor 5 has a line running into resistor 4, which then runs into transistor 2.

Offline sdk32285

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 10:39:47 PM »
Is it going in one end and out from the other end of R4? or is it one line that they all connect to?
Is the schematic online?
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Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008, 10:47:08 PM »
a line goes left from resistor 5 to resistor 4, then a line goes south to transistor 2. I can't find the schematic online, but if you want it i can scan it and post a link

Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2008, 10:52:49 PM »
Actually its a little more ambiguous than that. There is a line running south from resistor 5 onto a square, from the square the line goes left to another square, below that square is transistor 2 and above that square is resistor 4.

Offline ed1380

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 11:28:58 PM »
can you get us a picture of the schematic and what you have soldered up?
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Offline bulkhead

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2008, 01:46:48 AM »
Better than a solder vacuum for removing solder: desolder braid! http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062744&cp=&sr=1&origkw=solder+braid&kw=solder+braid&parentPage=search

Use the vacuum to suck up big chunks, then use the braid to pick up the rest to start over (otherwise you would waste the braid).  When you use it cut off small pieces and use pliers, otherwise the braid will dissipate your iron's heat.

Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2008, 02:36:53 AM »
That de-soldering braid looks like a dream come true.

In case anyone was curious, I was able to get it together and working, however some of the LEDs weren't activating. I scrutinized the schematic for a few minutes and realized that my 10 resistors weren't all created equal. feeling rather foolish (but thrilled to have successfully troubleshot the problem) I de-soldered and removed all of my resistors. I figured I'd give my soldering Iron a break, as I've been using it for hours.


That's another question I had, how long is too long to run a soldering Iron?

Offline ed1380

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2008, 02:45:41 AM »
GL. hope she likes it   :P


most should have a thermostat in there that should keep it at a set temp
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Offline krich

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2008, 01:45:09 AM »
That's another question I had, how long is too long to run a soldering Iron?

I found that when I go from 1st degree to 2nd degree burns, its a good time to hang it up for the night.   :D

Offline wiley89Topic starter

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Re: Soldering noob.
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2008, 02:16:25 AM »
That's another question I had, how long is too long to run a soldering Iron?

I found that when I go from 1st degree to 2nd degree burns, its a good time to hang it up for the night.   :D


So in other words I shouldn't be able to burn mine out if I have it on for a few hours? I'm only wondering this because I recently received another iron as part of a kit (all the others tools were great, iron was crap) and the iron literally shorted out on me after being on for 30 minutes. I just wanted to make sure it was because of the crappy iron and not me.

 


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