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Old 07-19-2007, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default Can someone do a quickie soldering lesson?

yes, i'm in need of a quickie soldering lesson. i have good general experience with soldering all sorts of things, but the motor and battery packs i just got are unusually difficult to solder for some reason. i have a little bit of experience with soldering wire charge leads onto the L-shaped battery tabs on 6 cell packs, and also little experience soldering leads onto brushed motors.

here is the process i follow, feel free to tell me it's completely wrong or inefficient.

1. cut the battery charge wires to appropriate length
2. strip the insulation from the both ends of the wire approximately 1/4 to 1/2 an inch
3. "tin" both ends of said wires by first fluxing them, applying heat and then adding enough solder to sufficiently coat the wire (the wire is basically the same size, just coated in solder)
4. add deans connectors to one end of battery wires
5. (here is where it gets hairy for me) with the battery tab pre-tinned from the factory, lay the pre-tinned end of the battery charge wire on the battery tab, lay the soldering iron tip on top of said wire, and wait till both the wire and battery tab solder have melted together
6. remove soldering iron and repeat

well, my problem is that when i apply the soldering iron to the battery charge wire in step 5, the solder on the battery tab never melts. i have hypothesized that all the heat is going into the end of the wire, not onto the battery tab. i have a simple 40 watt soldering iron with a basic rounded-spear tip. should i get an assortment of tips like those wide flat tips? or am i making another mistake?

thanks so much
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:08 PM   #2
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Just heat the battery tab up first before you touch the wire.
thicker metals take longer to heat.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:10 PM   #3
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http://www.rctvlive.com/, watch episode 706
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:20 PM   #4
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I have never had pre-tinned battery tabs. But I would think, just put a little flux on the tabs and they should melt just fine, also use it on the motor tabs. Personally I like to use flux, makes the job much easier and less time touching the iron to what you are soldering.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macnkitty2002 View Post
5. (here is where it gets hairy for me) with the battery tab pre-tinned from the factory, lay the pre-tinned end of the battery charge wire on the battery tab, lay the soldering iron tip on top of said wire, and wait till both the wire and battery tab solder have melted together

thanks so much
What I do is to apply the iron to the wire and tab at the same time. not on top of the wire or to the tab. Then apply solder to the where the wire and tab meet.

Always clean the soldering tip/battery bars/ Deans tab to eliminate oxidation then pre-tin. I don't use flux, the flux inside the solder wire is usually enough.

Deans are always tricky. Use the third-hand tools if you have them. 80-100watt iron only
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:44 PM   #6
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Haven't raced electric in a while, but one thing I would say is: flux is your friend. Don't be afraid to use it in every step. You will get much broader, cleaner, stronger connections. Of course, wipe off any excess when you're done.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:08 PM   #7
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thanks for all the quick replies fellas. i actually just finished soldering all of my battery wires and motor tabs a few minutes ago, and they magically went together great! don't ask what happened, but i've got it.

i bought the battery packs pre-assembled, so thats why they are pre-tinned. i think i need to step up from the 40 watt Radio Shack ironto an RC grade model now that i am racing EP TC more now.

next time i will try not tinning the wire and motor tabs, but just doing what rough512 initially said (using flux of course).

by the way, has anybody used that gel flux? i hear it's really nice to work with, but it sounds as if it could get messy.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:13 PM   #8
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next time i will try not tinning the wire and motor tabs, but just doing what rough512 initially said (using flux of course).
you still need to pre-tin both the wire and battery bar. Then when you touch the iron to both wire and bar, you have already have a foundation for the solder (that you are about to apply) to adhere to. In effect, you are adding just enough solder to melt and mix with the solder already present on the bar and on the wire.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:39 AM   #9
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you still need to pre-tin both the wire and battery bar. Then when you touch the iron to both wire and bar, you have already have a foundation for the solder (that you are about to apply) to adhere to. In effect, you are adding just enough solder to melt and mix with the solder already present on the bar and on the wire.
That works well too, but I just tin the wire and put flux on the battery bar and add the iron and solder. For me anyways it seems to be faster, and I can have the iron on the battery for less than 2 seconds.

Whatever you do though, never put flux on the deans connectors. Always put the flux on the already tinned wire to be put on the connector. For some reason the connectors suck the flux right into em and get really sticky if you put it on the tabs. Also when soldering deans connectors, make sure you have a pair of them hooked together. The plastic will deform if your iron is left on the tabs for too long creating an extremely tight fit. If you have the opposite connector plugged into it, it will help keep the tabs in their original position.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:50 AM   #10
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Are you pushing down on the wire with the tip of the soldering iron, not gunna get much heat transfer if you are only using the point.

You may also want to apply more solder to the wire as you are soldering. Keep in mind that if the solder doesnt flow onto the tab (sits as a blob) then the tab is not hot enough.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:34 AM   #11
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i use a 60 wat iron and have no probs getting the bar to melt and all that togather


a hot iron makes a HUGE difference
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:26 AM   #12
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Get a broad wide tip. Don't use a round conical tip. It won't transfer the heat well. If your iron has an optional tip for stain glass work get it. It should a wide flat tip.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:26 AM   #13
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excellent question- go to rctvlive.com #706 and Mike boylan shows and tells you what you need to do.Watch the r/c tanks at the end.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:44 AM   #14
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thanks for all the help guys. i definately need to get new tips and probably a new iron. i found some great help in another forum, and i have been leaving out a bunch of steps (cleaning the surfaces mainly). i had been leaving the iron on the tabs for way too long, hopefully i didn't hurt my cells (they were not hot to the touch, but warm. i have felt much hotter cells than this).
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:05 PM   #15
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Thanks BULLFROG. Our newest show has a pit tip all about soldering. Please let us know if that helps!!

http://www.rctvlive.com/
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