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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 01-28-2010, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
Ok, after reading the theory and watching all the videos (noticing some differences) I try to make a summary of the real-life steps needed for efficient soldering as I understood them:

4) apply the flux to the post and the wire
10) clean the soldering zones from flux residue with isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol with a little brush and/or blotting paper


PS: RCGaryK what produces the heat at 7:30? your hands?
I personally don't like to use flux other than the flux that is in the solder itself. I found that it just creates a bigger mess than it's worth.

YouTube limits us to 10-minutes, some of the repetitive details have to fall on the cutting room floor to make room.

Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
The "Owner's Manual" of the Tekin RX8 combo says to "Pre-Heat both the wire and the post" before putting them in contact each other and soldering them.

You never mentioned pre-heating. Is it better to do or to avoid it?
I'm wondering if they're calling tinning pre-heating perhaps?
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:07 PM
  #122  
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Marine, what are your thoughts on the butane powered soldering irons?? I used to have a nice one made by Master, don't know where it went but was thinking of buying another. My local Snap-On guy has a nice one just trying to figure out what the tips are made of!!
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RCGaryK
I personally don't like to use flux other than the flux that is in the solder itself. I found that it just creates a bigger mess than it's worth.
Interesting...


Originally Posted by RCGaryK
I'm wondering if they're calling tinning pre-heating perhaps?
Here is the full text (I added two blue arrows to show where the pre-heat instruction is)

What do you think about this pre-heat thing?
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:18 AM
  #124  
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Just not written well is all. Should be tin, not heat.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:14 PM
  #125  
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Thanks. Three more questions:

RCGaryK, I notice that use the "Novak Lead-Free Silver Solder NOV5832". What's its composition? did you try the (not lead-free) Sn63Pb37?

The guide http://www.teamnovak.com/tech_info/h...der/index.html says to remove the flux before soldering (text: "The rosin is a flux and flux removes oxide by suspending it in solution and floating it to the top. Flux is not a cleaning agent! The work must be cleaned before soldering. Flux is not part of a soldered connection, it merely aids the soldering process.")
Does it say a wrong thing? doesn't the rosin flux need heat to be activated?

The same guide states "Apply solder to the wire (not to the soldering iron tip!). When the wire end reaches a sufficient temperature, the solder will melt and the capillary action of the wire will draw the molten solder up into the strands".
Do they exclude with exclamation point what Marine did in the video?
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:27 PM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
Thanks. Three more questions:

RCGaryK, I notice that use the "Novak Lead-Free Silver Solder NOV5832". What's its composition? did you try the (not lead-free) Sn63Pb37?
I couldn't tell you, I don't know. I just know that I tried it and it works and works well. I don't get all caught up in the 60/40-63/37 mix issues that some have. IMHO if you have a good enough iron that 3% difference will have a minimal impact on soldering.

Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
The guide http://www.teamnovak.com/tech_info/h...der/index.html says to remove the flux before soldering (text: "The rosin is a flux and flux removes oxide by suspending it in solution and floating it to the top. Flux is not a cleaning agent! The work must be cleaned before soldering. Flux is not part of a soldered connection, it merely aids the soldering process.")
Does it say a wrong thing? doesn't the rosin flux need heat to be activated?
They're not saying it doesn't need to be heated. What I get from that is them saying that simply smathering a boatload of flux onto a surface before soldering doesn't eliminate the need to clean and prep a surface before soldering.

Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
The same guide states "Apply solder to the wire (not to the soldering iron tip!). When the wire end reaches a sufficient temperature, the solder will melt and the capillary action of the wire will draw the molten solder up into the strands".
Do they exclude with exclamation point what Marine did in the video?
I haven't watched Marine's video, sorry. I'll defer to him on that one. However what they describe is what I show in my video. You apply the heat to the wire and the wire does draw the solder up.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RCGaryK
I couldn't tell you, I don't know. I just know that I tried it and it works and works well. I don't get all caught up in the 60/40-63/37 mix issues that some have. IMHO if you have a good enough iron that 3% difference will have a minimal impact on soldering.
The physical difference between 60/40 and 63/37 is that the second is eutectic at the lowest temperature. While the first has a mix melting point at 183-190C, the second is eutectic (has an unique melting point) at 183C.
Anyway you're using a solder that is at least 37% different because it completely misses the Pb (lead) part and this is what interests me most.
I read many times that solders with lead are better.

Originally Posted by RCGaryK
They're not saying it doesn't need to be heated. What I get from that is them saying that simply smathering a boatload of flux onto a surface before soldering doesn't eliminate the need to clean and prep a surface before soldering.
Ah, thanks, I got confused on this. I thought that the "work" were referred to the flux.

Originally Posted by RCGaryK
I haven't watched Marine's video, sorry. I'll defer to him on that one. However what they describe is what I show in my video. You apply the heat to the wire and the wire does draw the solder up.
I'll wait the opinion of Marine on this...
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:00 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by RCGaryK
Just not written well is all. Should be tin, not heat.
Page 4 of this Kester PDF http://kester.com/en-us/marketingdoc...alog_92206.pdf also talks of "Preheat/pre-heat". Still sure that Tekin confused "pre-heat" with "tin"? (the two blue arrows are added by me)

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Old 01-31-2010, 01:13 PM
  #129  
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Ok guys sorry, been busy and have not checked back in a while. Also, I have not been getting my email notifications.

Shoveling: Using that technique to do final soldering is bad form, but sometimes you may have to do it. You need to start with a small amount of solder on the tip to help heat flow anyway. When tinning solid contacts, this small amount is more than enough to cover it with a thin layer. When tinning wire this small amount will help heat flow but you will most likely need to add more solder. When making final connections, sometimes that small amount will actually be about enough to make the connection, but touching it up with a bit more solder helps create an even flow.

All solders will work, if they didn't they wouldn't make them, but I find that the 63/37 solder to be the easiest to use and has less chance for problems. This is perfect for beginners and experienced solderers alike.

These rules are guidelines to help beginners make good solder connections. There are times when the rules seem to go out the window when soldering some components, (I recently had to use shoveling to solder components together, do to only being able to reach it with one hand) once you get some experience, you will know how to stretch the rules when need be, but that should not happen often in R/C.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:16 PM
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That chart is referring to machine soldering, they actually heat up the entire board and the components, as it is sitting enclosed in the machine, to a "preheat" temp to aid in soldering. You see the times listed as several minutes, this is because the machines can be soldering hundreds of components to the board and that can take a while. Also solder paste is meant to be heated by hot air and components reaching the proper temp, once the components are in place the whole board assembly is heated up to soldering temps.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
"Apply solder to the wire (not to the soldering iron tip!). When the wire end reaches a sufficient temperature, the solder will melt and the capillary action of the wire will draw the molten solder up into the strands".
Ok, what they are referring to, is how you apply the solder after you heat up the wire.

Basically what they are saying is, after you touch the tip to the wire and let the wire get hot, (lets say the right side of the wire) you then apply solder to the wire to tin it. You would apply the solder directly to the wire on the opposite side from the tip (in this case the left side) and not directly to the tip or to the area where the tip touches the wire.

Adding a little solder to the tip before you start helps heat flow as I mentioned before. You apply solder to the side of the part opposite of the tip. Shoveling is bad form, because it can cause uneven heat, and therefor uneven solder flow. Like I said above, I have been forced to use shoveling to solder parts, but it requires using extra care to ensure good flow and proper connections. So I don't recommend beginners to use it, and it is unlikely that you ever will in this hobby.

Gary was able to answer several questions, and I hope I covered the rest. If not just ask again.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by marine6680
I have been forced to use shoveling to solder parts, but it requires using extra care to ensure good flow and proper connections.
Thanks Marine but I'm still confused. I watched again the first seconds of the second part of your video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcsEvJ9nmK4 where you use shoveling and I don't understand what forced you to use it in that situation. If you're forced there, I can't imagine a situation where you are not forced. Can you please clarify this point?

Again on the pre-heating issue, I see that Kester (I believe the world's biggest producer of solder wires) uses the same words in explaining how to solder in the datasheet of the solder wire:

Are they always just describing the method used by Gary in his video?


Another question: is the disadvantage of using RA cored wire instead of RMA cored wire only that of faster consuming the tips of the iron? if so, could you try to esteem the cost of this disadvantage? I mean, if I can do 100 solder works instead of 200 with a $10 tip, it would cost $0,01 more for use. Does the advantage of RA over RMA worth the cost? I would think so...
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Imbuter2000
Thanks Marine but I'm still confused. I watched again the first seconds of the second part of your video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcsEvJ9nmK4 where you use shoveling and I don't understand what forced you to use it in that situation. If you're forced there, I can't imagine a situation where you are not forced. Can you please clarify this point?

Again on the pre-heating issue, I see that Kester (I believe the world's biggest producer of solder wires) uses the same words in explaining how to solder in the datasheet of the solder wire: Are they always just describing the method used by Gary in his video?


Another question: is the disadvantage of using RA cored wire instead of RMA cored wire only that of faster consuming the tips of the iron? if so, could you try to esteem the cost of this disadvantage? I mean, if I can do 100 solder works instead of 200 with a $10 tip, it would cost $0,01 more for use. Does the advantage of RA over RMA worth the cost? I would think so...
I was adding a bit of solder to the tip to help the heat transfer to the wire faster, you do not need to do it, but it does help a good bit. True shoveling is where you put a lot of solder on the tip and apply only that solder to the part. You never touch the part with extra solder from the roll/spool. In the video I used the strand of solder to apply more solder after the part heated up. The time I mentioned being forced to use shoveling, I could only use one hand, there was no way for me to hold the iron and the solder at the same time. In the video, you saw how when I did the actual soldering, I applied solder directly to the part. I touched the iron tip to the bottom of the wire, then when it got hot, I applied solder to the top of the wire, and not the part of the wire where the tip touched or just to the tip itself. That is what it means when it says apply solder to the part and not the tip.

RA flux is more chemically active, meaning it is more corrosive and conductive than RMA, increasing the risk of problems from improper cleaning. If you use it, just clean really well.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:22 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by marine6680
I was adding a bit of solder to the tip to help the heat transfer to the wire faster, you do not need to do it, but it does help a good bit. True shoveling is where you put a lot of solder on the tip and apply only that solder to the part. You never touch the part with extra solder from the roll/spool. In the video I used the strand of solder to apply more solder after the part heated up. The time I mentioned being forced to use shoveling, I could only use one hand, there was no way for me to hold the iron and the solder at the same time. In the video, you saw how when I did the actual soldering, I applied solder directly to the part. I touched the iron tip to the bottom of the wire, then when it got hot, I applied solder to the top of the wire, and not the part of the wire where the tip touched or just to the tip itself. That is what it means when it says apply solder to the part and not the tip.

RA flux is more chemically active, meaning it is more corrosive and conductive than RMA, increasing the risk of problems from improper cleaning. If you use it, just clean really well.
Ok, got it. Thanks Marine and Gary for all the clarifications!
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:34 PM
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No problem.
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