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Author Topic: Soldering advice  (Read 3329 times)

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Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2018, 02:15:30 PM »
Cheers for that Old Crow.. that sounds to make sense and contributing to the body of opinion that says even though my practice sessions using multi core tin/lead solder have been partially successful, it would do no harm to get some flux. Talking of which, I'm still not certain where to buy it (other than online sources).
I failed to get any after a visit to Tolworth Showtrain. Is liquid flux normally carried by the Wickeses and B&Qs of the world or is it an electronics shop I need?

 

Offline jthjth

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2018, 02:20:12 PM »
Flux from the DIY sheds is likely to be for plumbing purposes, and is likely to be corrosive. There are quite a lot of suppliers on Amazon for not much money. If it states rosin it should be fine.

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2018, 03:17:37 PM »
Thanks for that jthjth. Avoiding the corrosive variety seems key. Are fluxes  usually pastes or is there a genuinely liquid one- and any advantage either way?

Offline jthjth

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2018, 03:26:59 PM »
I doubt really matters, paste or liquid. Either way, you need very little of it - flux is just a surface treatment. Try not to inhale the fumes.

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2018, 04:15:07 PM »
Many thanks jth.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2018, 04:32:30 PM »
Generally I use Fry Powerflow paste which is actually for lead-free, though I avoid lead-free solder as it's not friendly to use.   I have a small 50g pot which has lasted for several years. It seems difficult to find the 50g pots at the moment, but the 100g pots are readily available.

I also have a flux pen which dispenses liquid flux and can by handy for pcb work.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Papyrus

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2018, 04:51:40 PM »
I've just read this from beginning to end and found it extremely useful - I've certainly learned a few things where I have been going wrong. Mods - may I suggest this is moved into Tutorials? It deserves to be easily available.

Cheers,

Chris
"As I always say, it's a funny old world. Do you always say that? Oh good." (Jill Tweedie)

Offline daveg

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2018, 06:12:13 PM »
I was recommended Bakers No 3 flux by @Malc of this parish and it has been a real godsend.

Not cheap but it will last forever - unless you knock the bottle over  :-[

Dave G

Offline jthjth

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2018, 06:36:55 PM »
Bakers no 3 flux is corrosive. It has to be cleaned off after the joint has been made. It has its specialised uses, but for electronics/electrical connections use a rosin based flux. There is plenty of choice on the likes of Amazon for little money.

Regards

Julian Thornhill

Offline JanW

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2018, 08:14:15 PM »
Flux for soldering droppers to track?
No need for that IMHO.
I have soldered lots of dropper wire to track and have never used flux for that.
There is one important thing that has not been mentioned here: don't heat the solder too long, especially when tinning. The rosin flux burns when it is heated and if it is gone the solder won't flow well.
Here is what I do:
- Clean the bottom of the rail with a small file or scrape it wit the tip of a sharp screwdriver
- Apply the iron and the solder at the same time and immediately remove the iron as soon as the solder flows. Try to leave a shining rather thick spot of solder.
- strip the wire, twist the end together and tin it exactly the same as the rail foot. Tin it relatively thick and shining.
- put the tinned parts together and touch it with the iron. Since there will be rosin flux left it will flow nicely. Immediately remove the iron. No melting of sleepers...

If you don't get a nice joint, start again and make sure you have 'fresh' solder with some rosin flux in it on both parts.
I find that if the joint is not good I usually didn't use enough solder.

During my years of professional pcb repairs (I don't want to know how many I repaired...) I have learnt that the optimal temperature for a long life bit is approx. 350 degrees.
Hot enough to apply enough heat but not too hot to burn the bit.
We had our Wellers on for eight hours a day.

And it is very well possible that your solder doesn't work well.
At work I recently threw away a new reel of solder because it was impossible to produce a neat joint with it.

Good luck and keep trying.
It is not difficult at all but you need some practice to get the hang of it.

Jan

Offline themadhippy

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2018, 09:27:03 PM »
Quote
Flux for soldering droppers to track?
No need for that IMHO.
I have soldered lots of dropper wire to track and have never used flux for that.
so you use a raw mix of tin and lead? how do you get over the oxidisation?

Offline JanW

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2018, 09:52:39 PM »
 :D

Offline daveg

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2018, 10:10:23 PM »
Bakers no 3 flux is corrosive. It has to be cleaned off after the joint has been made. It has its specialised uses, but for electronics/electrical connections use a rosin based flux. There is plenty of choice on the likes of Amazon for little money.

Regards

Julian Thornhill

Interesting Julian. What are these specialised uses?

I shall keep an eye on the dozen or so switches where I used the flux for problems.

Dave G

Offline jthjth

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2018, 10:50:38 PM »
I’m no expert on soldering outside of the electronics industry, so I can’t give any accurate advice on why corrosive fluxes are used. From observation it seems to be for things like plumbing or perhaps brass model construction where you have very large areas of corroded surface that needs to be soldered. In the electronics world rosin flux is king, though there are moves towards other exotic substances because inhaling large amounts of rosin fumes is “a bad thing”. We have to have fume extraction installed where large amounts of hand soldering is done. For occasional hobby use it’s not an issue. (Apparently you can become suddenly sensitised to it, and can then never go near flux fumes again.)

Anyway, for your average electronics joint, rosin cored tin lead solder is what you want. Rarely have I had the need to add extra flux. Perhaps for a heavily corroded joint, but there you are often better cleaning it up with a fine abrasive first.

If you notice a joint, over time, going grey, white or green then you generally have a corrosion problem.

Where I work we hand solder thousands of joints per year, on pcbs, on connectors, large and small (done under a microscope) and the whole outfit has one tiny bottle of flux that has been in use for the last 5 years or so and is still half full. So it’s not needed very often.

As another poster has pointed out, you need to feed the solder into the joint, not into the iron bit and then the joint. If you do that, the flux gets burnt off before it gets anywhere near the surface it needs to treat. Place the bit on the joint, and then feed the solder into the interface between the bit and the joint. The first little bit of solder that melts helps to make a good thermal contact and gets heat from the bit into the joint. So I generally feed a tiny bit of solder in, pause momentarily whilst the joint heats up properly and then feed in more solder to make the joint.

Regards

Julian Thornhill
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 08:58:32 PM by jthjth, Reason: Removal of typos »

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2019, 05:22:20 PM »
I'm just approaching the soldering subject again (having begun this thread a while back) and was about to buy some rosin flux - though those who don't believe in the need for flux make their case very well.

If I was to buy some, which to buy? A glance around eBay shows many (rosin based fluxes)  which are pastes. Any opinions (amongst those who think using rosin content flux when I'm already supposedly using rosin core solder) which? A recurring brand is 'Kalfonia resin based NO CLEAN' in a flat can like a shoe polish container.
The word TERMOPASTY is also there but that sounds like a warning on a Cornish savoury snack that it might burn your mouth...

What resonated with me was an earlier comment (sorry can't just say just here who it was) that the solder "can be in contact with the iron too early" and "the flux can then burn off before the joining is done". That feels like a mini Eureka moment and tomorrow we test solder again with this in mind!

 

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