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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 01-01-2010, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gas-man
I got the radio shack 64-053 for christmas but, I can't find any tips. Anyone know where to get them or will a different model have tips for this? In store by me do not carry them.
Looks like its a Madell AT201D, still haveing a hard time finding tips though.
You can try their website.

If you can post pics of the tip out of the iron, I might can help. I need to see the bottom half and the base (very bottom) of the tip, also a pic of the iron without the tip and the inside of where the tip sits in the iron.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:07 PM
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Ok, I’m in the process of selecting the best products to buy for soldering the Tekin RX8 ESC&motor connectors and Traxxas plugs, so I finished my research on this PDF catalog of the products of Kester: http://www.bleifreiloeten.de/euro-to...ester_2005.pdf

The doubts are:

1) Sn63Pb37 or Sn62PB36Ag02?
A.f.a.i.k Sn63Pb37 has the advantage to have a fix melting point of 361F while the Sn62PB36Ag02 has the disadvantage of having a not-fix melting point of 354-372 and the advantage of being more electrically conductive (correct me if I’m wrong).
What alloy is the best?

2) Kester 186 series Rosin Mildly-Activated (RMA) flux is available in 18, 25 or 36 percent solids formulations. What RMA formulation is the best?

3) the cored wire solder with RMA is described as “mildly activated rosin cored wire for sensitive electronic and military applications” while that with RA is described as “activated rosin core with excellent wetting action. Industry standard for most electrical and electronic hand soldering.”
About the “residue removal method” for both they write “Not required for most applications. May be removed by solvent or Kester’s #5768 Bio-Kleen saponifer”.
Does this description suggest the RA cored wire for my application? (because I don’t think that we can talk about “sensitive electronic” here)

4) the “metal solderability chart” states that if I’m trying to solder to “platinum, gold, copper, tin, solder, palladium, silver” I can use the RA or RMA cored wires (both are ok), while if I’m trying to solder to “nickel, cadmium, brass, lead, bronze, rhodium, beryllium copper” only RA cored wire is ok (RMA cored wire is not ok).
You wrote that Traxxas uses brass on their plugs. Does that implies that I should prefer RA cored wire? What’s the material that coats the RX8/T8 leads?

5) The cored wire is available with flux in three different percentages: 50 (1.1% weight), 58 (2.2% weight), 66 (3.3% weight).
What should I prefer? And what combination of cored wire + additional flux should I choose?

6) The cored wire is available in 0.25, 0.40, 0.50, 0.64, 0.75, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 2.5, 3.0 mm (or 0.010, 0.015, 0.020, 0.025, 0.031, 0.040, 0.050, 0.062, 0.093, 0.125 inches).
What do I choose?


Update: here's the latest/current PDF from Kester: http://www.kester.com/en-US/marketin...%208-02-07.pdf

Last edited by Imbuter2000; 01-02-2010 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
Ok, I’m in the process of selecting the best products to buy for soldering the Tekin RX8 ESC&motor connectors and Traxxas plugs, so I finished my research on this PDF catalog of the products of Kester: http://www.bleifreiloeten.de/euro-to...ester_2005.pdf

The doubts are:

1) Sn63Pb37 or Sn62PB36Ag02?
A.f.a.i.k Sn63Pb37 has the advantage to have a fix melting point of 361F while the Sn62PB36Ag02 has the disadvantage of having a not-fix melting point of 354-372 and the advantage of being more electrically conductive (correct me if I’m wrong).
What alloy is the best?

2) Kester 186 series Rosin Mildly-Activated (RMA) flux is available in 18, 25 or 36 percent solids formulations. What RMA formulation is the best?

3) the cored wire solder with RMA is described as “mildly activated rosin cored wire for sensitive electronic and military applications” while that with RA is described as “activated rosin core with excellent wetting action. Industry standard for most electrical and electronic hand soldering.”
About the “residue removal method” for both they write “Not required for most applications. May be removed by solvent or Kester’s #5768 Bio-Kleen saponifer”.
Does this description suggest the RA cored wire for my application? (because I don’t think that we can talk about “sensitive electronic” here)

4) the “metal solderability chart” states that if I’m trying to solder to “platinum, gold, copper, tin, solder, palladium, silver” I can use the RA or RMA cored wires (both are ok), while if I’m trying to solder to “nickel, cadmium, brass, lead, bronze, rhodium, beryllium copper” only RA cored wire is ok (RMA cored wire is not ok).
You wrote that Traxxas uses brass on their plugs. Does that implies that I should prefer RA cored wire? What’s the material that coats the RX8/T8 leads?

5) The cored wire is available with flux in three different percentages: 50 (1.1% weight), 58 (2.2% weight), 66 (3.3% weight).
What should I prefer? And what combination of cored wire + additional flux should I choose?

6) The cored wire is available in 0.25, 0.40, 0.50, 0.64, 0.75, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 2.5, 3.0 mm (or 0.010, 0.015, 0.020, 0.025, 0.031, 0.040, 0.050, 0.062, 0.093, 0.125 inches).
What do I choose?


Update: here's the latest/current PDF from Kester: http://www.kester.com/en-US/marketin...%208-02-07.pdf
1) 63/37 is much easier to use than any other solder due to the single melting point, and the wettability of lead solders. the other has silver and is stronger, not better electrically. The extra strength is not needed, the only time the solder should be under that much stress is in a severe crash, and you have other problems if the crash is bad enough to break solder joints.

2) Solids content really will not matter to the average user. High percentage is for circuit boards that have high density of components. More sticky, a bit stronger, and less can be used during production assembly. It does leave more residue to clean with the higher percentage

3) RA is stronger and not really needed on new parts often. Use RMA it is better for your iron as well. I also suggest cleaning always.

4) RMA will work. The military uses RMA only, because it give the best balance of flux's different properties. Stick with RMA for general use work.

As far as what is on the tekin posts, I could not tell you, their customer service should be able to.

5) New components and non-corroded parts don't need much flux. I would get a medium amount of flux core for general use. Even the smaller amount is good for new parts. and just a light coat is good for extra flux, try the flux pen/re-work pen.

6) If you plan on soldering anything smaller than a battery connector, .5mm is a good size. For ESC and connectors the 1mm will work well. The smaller stuff can always be doubled up for larger parts. The .75 might be easier to use on connectors and ESC's, preventing using too much.

7) Don't over think it. It isn't a fighter jet.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:25 PM
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I read somewhere, there are heat resistance solder. You need a higher wattage solder gun to melt. What do u call that.

This I believe is industrial grade. Which prevents melting at high temp high current draw.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Toh WL
I read somewhere, there are heat resistance solder. You need a higher wattage solder gun to melt. What do u call that.

This I believe is industrial grade. Which prevents melting at high temp high current draw.
There are solders that require very high heat, most (if not all) are not for electrical purposes.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:27 AM
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Thanks Marine, you're of great help


Now the choice came down to one of these wires:

a) 24-6337-0027 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm flux core size 66 RA
b) 24-6337-9710 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm flux core size 66 RMA
c) 24-6337-9713 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm flux core size 58 RMA
(no other core sizes exist in the last catalog of the RA and RMA types)
d) 14-6337-0031 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm NO flux core

and to one of these flux-pens:

a) 83-1018-0186 186-18 RMA No-Clean
b) 83-1000-0186 186 RMA No-Clean

What do you think it’s the best combination?
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
Thanks Marine, you're of great help


Now the choice came down to one of these wires:

a) 24-6337-0027 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm flux core size 66 RA
b) 24-6337-9710 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm flux core size 66 RMA
c) 24-6337-9713 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm flux core size 58 RMA
(no other core sizes exist in the last catalog of the RA and RMA types)
d) 14-6337-0031 Sn63Pb37 0.75mm NO flux core

and to one of these flux-pens:

a) 83-1018-0186 186-18 RMA No-Clean
b) 83-1000-0186 186 RMA No-Clean

What do you think its the best combination?
C for solder
B for flux pen (ignore the no clean bit )
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by marine6680
C for solder
B for flux pen (ignore the no clean bit )
Very good, thanks

Other dilemmas:

In the Kester data sheet of the RA cored wire http://www.kester.com/Data%20Sheets%...14Jun07%29.pdf they wrote this about the "no-clean" issue:
"Kester 44 possesses excellent fluxing ability, the flux residue is non-corrosive and non-conductive under normal conditions of use. When exposed to an elevated temperature and humidity environment (38C, 94% RH) for 72 hours, there is no evidence of corrosion caused by the flux residue. Throughout its many years of wide usage, 44 Rosin Flux has produced many billions of soldered connections. In all these billions of solder joints, involving the most delicate and critical of electrical and electronic components, there has never been an authentic instance of corrosion by the flux residue under normal conditions of use. This mild property of the residue permits leaving the flux on the assembly for many applications."
Note that they wrote this for the RA cored wire. What do you think about it?

In the data sheet of the RMA cored wire at http://www.kester.com/Data%20Sheets%...15Jun07%29.pdf they wrote this:
"Process Considerations:
Solder iron tip temperatures are most commonly between 315-371C (600-700F) for Sn63Pb37 and Sn62Pb36Ag02 alloys and 371-427C (700-800F) for lead-free alloys. Heat both the land area and component lead to be soldered with the iron prior to adding Kester 285 cored wire. Apply the solder wire to the land area or component lead. Do not apply the wire directly to the soldering iron tip. If needed, Kester 186 and 186-18 Mildly Activated Rosin Flux may be used as a compatible liquid flux to aid in reworking soldered joints. Kester 186 and 186-18 Mildly Activated Rosin Flux are also available in Flux-Pens for optimum board cleanliness."
Do they have a good reason for suggesting the use of external flux only for reworking soldered joints?

I see that their rosin flux cleaner, the "Saponifier 5768 Bio-Kleen", is sold in a mimimum quantity of 1 galloon for about $100, that's too much for our use even considering that it only lasts a few years...
So... what alternative commercial rosin flux cleaner would you suggest to take?
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
Very good, thanks

Other dilemmas:

In the Kester data sheet of the RA cored wire http://www.kester.com/Data%20Sheets%...14Jun07%29.pdf they wrote this about the "no-clean" issue:
"Kester 44 possesses excellent fluxing ability, the flux residue is non-corrosive and non-conductive under normal conditions of use. When exposed to an elevated temperature and humidity environment (38C, 94% RH) for 72 hours, there is no evidence of corrosion caused by the flux residue. Throughout its many years of wide usage, 44 Rosin Flux has produced many billions of soldered connections. In all these billions of solder joints, involving the most delicate and critical of electrical and electronic components, there has never been an authentic instance of corrosion by the flux residue under normal conditions of use. This mild property of the residue permits leaving the flux on the assembly for many applications."
Note that they wrote this for the RA cored wire. What do you think about it?

In the data sheet of the RMA cored wire at http://www.kester.com/Data%20Sheets%...15Jun07%29.pdf they wrote this:
"Process Considerations:
Solder iron tip temperatures are most commonly between 315-371C (600-700F) for Sn63Pb37 and Sn62Pb36Ag02 alloys and 371-427C (700-800F) for lead-free alloys. Heat both the land area and component lead to be soldered with the iron prior to adding Kester 285 cored wire. Apply the solder wire to the land area or component lead. Do not apply the wire directly to the soldering iron tip. If needed, Kester 186 and 186-18 Mildly Activated Rosin Flux may be used as a compatible liquid flux to aid in reworking soldered joints. Kester 186 and 186-18 Mildly Activated Rosin Flux are also available in Flux-Pens for optimum board cleanliness."
Do they have a good reason for suggesting the use of external flux only for reworking soldered joints?

I see that their rosin flux cleaner, the "Saponifier 5768 Bio-Kleen", is sold in a mimimum quantity of 1 galloon for about $100, that's too much for our use even considering that it only lasts a few years...
So... what alternative commercial rosin flux cleaner would you suggest to take?
I recommend cleaning always, just to be safe. The flux must be heated to be rendered inactive, flux can run and drip, and that drip will not get hot and be made inert.

Flux is recommend always, they are referring to rework/repair, which is where most manufacturing plants will be using liquid fluxes. They use paste fluxes during automated soldering by machines.

Use isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol, and a small stiff natural hair brush to clean with. Acid or chemical brushes are available.

BTW- Video will come soon, work has been hectic.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:29 PM
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good info. sometimes we all rush and have those 'dull' looking joints. not the pretty shiny ones. it happens.

R
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:54 PM
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Well I tried to make a video today, but the video quality was bad. So I will be trying again tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by marine6680
Well I tried to make a video today, but the video quality was bad. So I will be trying again tomorrow.
If you want excellent HD (1280x720) VIDEO quality (and 10Mpx pictures) indoor, i.e. in low light conditions, I highly suggest the Sony WX1
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:43 AM
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Hey all, I've seen this thread in the past and wanted to try to help. I have just posted a really basic soldering tutorial on our site and YouTube page for folks to check out. It might help answer some questions regarding technique, what not to do, the right solder to use, etc.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Articles...ArticleID=2094

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


I hope you find it useful!
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RCGaryK
Hey all, I've seen this thread in the past and wanted to try to help. I have just posted a really basic soldering tutorial on our site and YouTube page for folks to check out. It might help answer some questions regarding technique, what not to do, the right solder to use, etc.

I hope you find it useful!
Nice video, better quality than mine lol. I suggest 63/37 solder, but 60/40 is good as well.

And thank you for stressing tip care!

Last edited by marine6680; 01-13-2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:53 PM
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Ok, been having problems getting the video to upload to youtube, but its working now. Got part one loaded, part 2 is in process and will give links soon.
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