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How to solder correctly (a not so brief lesson)

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How to solder correctly (a not so brief lesson)

Old 01-03-2014, 10:03 AM
  #391  
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Alright, thanks a lot for your answer ! I'll see what I can do. My track pack is already super heavy as it is...
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:06 AM
  #392  
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Ha, they can do that pretty quick. You always seem to find need for one more thing to put in them.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:29 PM
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Pro-tip: Don't use leaded solder

There's a reason we don't use lead for plumbing anymore. There's a reason we don't use leaded fuel anymore. There's a reason for the recent RoHS push.

If you don't want to grow a third arm out of your forehead in twenty years, get with current times and learn to solder with non-leaded solder. Yes, lead flows great. Arguably better than any non-leaded solder. But that's arguable. I use a mix that's pretty dang close. It's 96.35% Sn (Tin), 3.0% Ag (Silver), 0.5% Cu (Copper), 0.15% Sb (Antimony). The best part about it besides being lead-free is that the flux is water soluble. It isn't corrosive like rosin flux so you don't HAVE to clean your joints afterwards. (though I like to anyways, clean is good, especially if you go to desolder something in the future)

Why should you trust me? Well, I'm no doctor, but I do know that lead is bad stuff. My old stained glass teacher from high school died of brain cancer. We used leaded solder. Enough said. (it's true, I can give you proof if you'd like lol) Also, even though I'm a DBA for work, I actually went to school for EE and do a lot of electronics stuff as a hobby. My EE friends who actually work in the field are forced to use non leaded solder and they all use the same mix that I use, and they all came to love the stuff. Especially when they learned it's not corrosive. (or cancer causing) I've successfully soldered SMD using that mix. (when it's big enough SMD to not have to do reflow on like SOIC package lol)

Also, x100000 on the get a good soldering iron thing. I have a commercial grade JBC solder station that has a ridiculous dead-cold to solder melting in literally a few seconds. It has a crazy fast recovery time, and you know what, on heavy solder jobs like battery connectors, it still takes a bit of time to get things flowing. What does that mean? That means if you get a $5 soldering iron (the stick kind without a base station) from the automotive wiring section at walmart, you're doing to melt the plastic on your connector before your solder starts to flow. Speed is key, and weak irons don't cut the mustard. You don't have to get a crazy unit like I did for this task however. There are tons of great hakko rebadged stations for fairly cheap. (<$50) Don't go cheap or you'll regret it lol.

Also, though deans and traxxas are decent plugs, you should also consider a third option: XT plugs. XT60 and XT90. Yes, they're from hobbyking. Yes, I know people see that name and automatically place judgement. Trust me though, they're great plugs. They're easy to solder. They fit VERY snug. Almost too snug, but they've never come apart on me before. Deans have come apart a TON. Enough to where I used my 3D printer to print a plug nanny to snap around the deans connectors to make sure they don't come apart during a race. They fit snug normally, but once they heat up from some hard running, they get looser. Bad news bears during a race. Also, the male connector doesn't have exposed metal, so they don't short on things like the male deans and traxxas plugs. You should always put the female plug on the battery anyways, but there are still opportunities (like when you use a parallel adapter) when one battery is hooked up, and then that second male plug becomes "live". You don't have that worry with the XT plugs. I grew to like them during my many hours of multi-rotor time. Can't afford for a deans plug to come apart when your flying blender with an AUW of 12 lbs is in the air. To each their own, but of the three, I've run them all (traxxas on surface, deans on air, and now XT for ALL after I lost a quad to a deans plug that came apart) and like XT the best. But you know what they say about opinions! lol

Good pointers though! I think soldering is the most intimidating obstacle for people getting into RC. Most people can pick up a screwdriver or allen key and know what to do with them. Most people can work their way through an instructions manual to build something. But soldering... few people know how, and it can be intimidating, but with the plethora of how-to videos on youtube and great suggestions sticky like this one, it's not too bad.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:47 PM
  #394  
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Great thread! I found out today the I'll effects of not using a rosin core today. Took forever to solder up 2 connectors.

All the info in this thread will definitely help me with my next solder job... That and a new solder station
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:08 AM
  #395  
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Pro tip from a pro... Use leaded solder.

There are some better lead free mixes out there now, but I have yet to find any that work as well as leaded.

There is a reason why lead free isn't used in aviation and by NASA.


Lead is only a problem if you ingest it. It's is not good for you, but its not hard to avoid getting it in your body.

Make sure you wash your hands well after using lead solder, and use a fan to avoid fumes. Don't get your hands near your face when soldering, and solder away from areas where you prepare food. So not at the kitchen table if you can avoid it. Just use some sense. Hobbyists in RC are not likely to do enough soldering to be a problem. People that work around it all day are more at risk.


Lead solder in pipes is a problem due to the fact the lead leaches directly into the water you will drink and cook with.


The reason why they are moving to it in consumer electronics with the RoHS is due to the scale involved in manufacturing.

Large numbers of items being made, and large facilities mean disposal of scrap and cleaning water/chemicals containing lead is an issue. Also large numbers of employees, making sure they follow procedures to avoid internal lead exposure is difficult... The systems needed to keep internal lead exposure down in a large manufacturing plant is also difficult to keep up and working 100%. When used on that scale its easier for the lead to migrate out of the work areas and get to other areas where people are less likely to be cautious. Working around lead all day long also simply leads to more chances at internal exposure.

It really is all down to scale in manufacturing. Small facilities like those that work on aviation and spaceflight equipment do not have that trouble.

There is a reason why the Voyager probes are still out there working...



As far as the connectors, I am not familiar with the ones you mention. If they are good, then use them, and maybe others should give them a try as well.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:31 AM
  #396  
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RoHs is the reason so many electronics, subjected to heat and cold expansion, end up creating problems. ie on board soldered processors etc. The solder generally has a lower melting point and sometimes the heat generated, is pretty close to that, causing the solder joints to soften. This is proven. Reflowing computer components is big business, thanks to this. Unless a person is spending hours upon hours breathing lead solder vapors, day after day, such as making stained glass in a closed room, using tons of solder to flow the joints, I'm good.

I'm almost positive that silver solder is used on critical components such as Voyager. They use it in high energy weapons, such as lasers etc, where failure could be disastrous.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:59 PM
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Not to beat a dead horse, but this thread = win. Thank you marine6680! Amazing info.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:24 AM
  #398  
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Originally Posted by spookie
I'm almost positive that silver solder is used on critical components such as Voyager. They use it in high energy weapons, such as lasers etc, where failure could be disastrous.

Some lead solders can have silver added for strength. It is possible they used it... but they sure ain't switching to lead free.

I suspect that the problem other country's space probes have issues may be caused by lead free solder. That is purely a guess on my part though.

Originally Posted by tirkish
Not to beat a dead horse, but this thread = win. Thank you marine6680! Amazing info.
It might not accomplish much to do so, but it sure can feel satisfying.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:05 PM
  #399  
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Originally Posted by spookie
RoHs is the reason so many electronics, subjected to heat and cold expansion, end up creating problems. ie on board soldered processors etc. The solder generally has a lower melting point and sometimes the heat generated, is pretty close to that, causing the solder joints to soften. This is proven. Reflowing computer components is big business, thanks to this. Unless a person is spending hours upon hours breathing lead solder vapors, day after day, such as making stained glass in a closed room, using tons of solder to flow the joints, I'm good.

I'm almost positive that silver solder is used on critical components such as Voyager. They use it in high energy weapons, such as lasers etc, where failure could be disastrous.
This makes no sense!

No offense, but I'm not sure if this is a typo or whether you truly understand what you're talking about. Lead solder actually has a lower melting point than the lead-free solder. Perhaps the lead-free solder is more brittle than leaded solder, but if your circuits are actually melting the lead-free solder, you have bigger problems than the solder. Even OP might have mentioned somewhere that the lead-free solder was more difficult to work with because it required more heat.

For further reading:
www . paceworldwide . com/pacenter/soldering/lead-free-vs.-leaded-solder

www . hakko . com/english/lead_free/pages/
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rcdawg
Perhaps the lead-free solder is more brittle than leaded solder, but if your circuits are actually melting the lead-free solder, you have bigger problems than the solder.
Yeah, it generally has a higher melting point.


The real problem is as you think... Lead free is not as resilient. It also can grow formations of a crystal like growth on its surface over time, from some of the components of the solder leaching out or reacting.

Brittleness that gets worse over time, and increasing electrical resistance with age as well.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:01 AM
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You're right RcDawg, I did get them flipped lol.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:48 PM
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Great stuff Marine6680... kudos..
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:29 AM
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Looks good...............
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:45 PM
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As a newbie to RC but not soldering I thought it wouldn't be an issue. HA!!!! Normal 60 watt irons and tips sold in hobby stores have proven absolutely useless for battery lead soldering. Not enough heat in these cheapies regardless of the tip! I ended up using my portable butane powered rig and making good connections quickly and easily. Next purchase will be a better unit (a friend in the electronics field recommended a 70W weller unit for this type of usage). Again don't waste your money on the $10 units. It wont give you the results your looking for in this type of work
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:31 PM
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Doing my part to spread the word on quality soldering irons.
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