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Author Topic: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?  (Read 2589 times)

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Offline offyTopic starter

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Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« on: March 28, 2009, 07:26:16 AM »
So I bought the BlueSMiRF Silver and I tried to solder it, I didn't do that good, so I removed the pins but now I don't know if it will still work. I will attach a picture soon.

What is the best way to solder 6 pins. I suck at soldering, I have an old circuit board I can practice on.

---EDIT---

I can't get a good picture so I will describe it. There is no solder on it any more where I soldered the pins (good)

The white around the pins are fading a little

There is no copper around it, idk if there was any to start out though.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 08:20:53 AM by offy »

Offline sonictj

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 10:56:35 AM »
whenever I solder header pins I use a lot of flux.  You can buy it readily at radioshack.  My procedure is to put a small glob of flux on one of the edge pins, then I insert the header.  Next I load up the soldering iron with solder and bring it to the fluxed up pin while holding the other pins with my thumb.  This only works if you apply the flux manually because the flux core in your solder will burn off on your iron before you solder your joint. Once you solder this one pin look down the header to make sure it is straight.  If it is not all you have to do is bring the iron back to that one pin and reflow it while positioning it with your thumb. Once you have corrected the alignment simply solder the rest of the pins. 

Now solder prep.  If you don't have these get them.  Tip cleaner (radioshack),  It can be difficult to get that silvery shine back to the tip of your iron, but it is necessary for good soldering.  Yous should also use a wet sponge to clean the tip of the iron.  I usually run the iron over the sponger after evey joint unless I just has a lot to do in a row (headers).  Your iron corrodes very quicly which is why you must be OCD about keeping it clean.  The tip clener is for when the sponge doesn't quite cut it.  Tip cleaner is an acidic solution that will eat the corrosion off your iron.  Tip cleaner is a hard paste, you need a hot iron to apply it.  Just roll the tip of the iron on the paste then sponge it to aquire a nice shiny tip.

I would also recommend when soldering that you have something to hold your board.  Panavises are awesome but if your on a budget get one of the aligator clip stands which I forget the name of.
 

Offline offyTopic starter

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 01:41:32 PM »
I would also recommend when soldering that you have something to hold your board.  Panavises are awesome but if your on a budget get one of the aligator clip stands which I forget the name of.


The Aligator clip stand is here if anyone wants one. I am going to buy one soon
http://www.robotshop.us/elenco-third-hand-magnifying-glass.html

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2009, 03:11:05 PM »
i just bought a pair of helping hands pretty much the same as those and they help a fair bit when soldering components that like falling out heaps. i highly recommend getting a pair!
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Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009, 04:06:15 PM »
Do you use tape to hold the pins to the PCB while soldering?

Offline GearMotion

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009, 04:08:02 PM »
It is tough to teach good soldering with just descriptive text. Even tutorials and videos can be tough to learn from. Best is to practice.

My best bit of advice: Make sure everything is well cleaned and invest in a flux pen. Apply liquid flux (from the pen) liberally. Use as thin of a solder as you can. I like .0015.

Avoid what a whole lot of people use for cleaning the iron tip: a wet sponge. Wipe you tip instead on a copper scrubber that you can find at a hardware store, or the brass on like this:
http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/tip-cleaner.jpg

Offline sonictj

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2009, 08:12:48 PM »
How readily available are those brass/copper scrubbers.  I have only seen the ones intended for soldering, and they are marked up a bit.  The only scrubbers I see around are cloth or steel wool.  I would like to get my hands on some of the good ones.  Know of any suppliers?

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2009, 08:31:22 PM »
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6380

I have one of those and it works great.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2009, 09:04:43 PM »
Do you use tape to hold the pins to the PCB while soldering?
isnt tape bad when soldering pins? whenever i try with electrical tape the tape melts quickly and makes a mess, now i just get a dab of blu-tac on each side of the base of the header pin.
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6380

I have one of those and it works great.
yes ive read about these before and am hoping to go down to my local electronics store soon and get one. does $6.50ish seem reasonable for the base and the copper shavings?
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Offline GearMotion

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Re: Did I break my BlueSMiRF Silver by soldering it bad?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 09:52:09 AM »
I wish I could say that I invented the things. The metal scrubber is SO much better than a sloppy wet sponge.

In the early 80s before I ever saw these things commercially available, I made them with a block of wood and a scrubby pad attached with staples. The metal base isn't necessary except to provide weight to keep the pad in place.

You _could_ use a course steel wool pad in a pinch. My iron is magnetic, and so that can be a problem with little broken metal bits. (Should be your last option)

The commercial brass ones are great. But it is often easy to find copper scrubbie pads. Last time I saw some, it was 2 pads for a dollar in a grocery store. Some hardware stores have them. Look near the cleaning supplies.

One rare option is a stainless steel scrubbie that can be found in commercial restaurant supply stores. I got one for $2.50.


 


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