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Author Topic: Soldering advice  (Read 3223 times)

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Offline Barry Sutcliffe

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2019, 04:37:44 PM »
Hi Ricky,

Cleaning soldering iron tip on sponge is done AFTER every soldering task and BEFORE tinning iron bit. Tinning the iron bit should turn it shiny and silvery.


Good Luck,

Barry

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2019, 08:45:00 AM »
Cheers Barry. I've a fair bit of tip cleaning to do I feel. It'll be a week or more before I can ge back to do more.

Off at slight tangent I've a question and, rather than start a separate thread about this, I'm confident in the knowledge amongst you guys reading this:

I'm in the process of making cassettes for my smallish end to end Wheldon Bywater layout and plan to transfer the 'juice' from layout to cassettes using crocodile/alligator clips with wires from the main layout track which with tracks aligned, will fasten onto bent nails soldered to the side of the rails on each cassette. The question- in terms of electrical conductivity, can I use any nail (slender enough to solder to the side of my code 55 rail) or is your standard everyday nail not suitable?

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2019, 09:27:39 AM »
Hi Ricky, just happened to be on and noticed your post, so I hope Barry won't mind me jumping in.  As regards your tip, if it really will not clean up on the sponge you can tray finely abrading it with some very fine wet&dry paper (done when cold obviously), the problem with modern tips is there is not much in the way of a finish coat on the tip and it's easy to go through it if you are too rough, just a bit of spit and a rub with the wet&dry might work. Alternately, treat yourself to a new tip and don't do what you said earlier "When wrapping the cold tip in solder and switching it on to try to tin it, I've never successfully had a shiny coated tip." you will just waste solder. Let the tip come up to temp, wipe, tin it, solder, wipe, put it down.

As for the nails, probably the best thing to use would be those little copper panel pins, copper is a great conductor (of electrical current) and used in wiring across the globe. As for solder, I use this stuff at work and at home https://www.rapidonline.com/rapid-solder-wire-60-40-22swg-0-7mm-100g-reel-85-0592 cheap and cheerful but does the trick


Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #63 on: September 23, 2019, 11:13:36 PM »
Just a quickie regarding the copper panel pins. Sure,I take the point about the unbeatable conductivity of copper but won't a "normal" panel pin work? I've already acquired some crocodile clips (which aren't copper) which will take the power from the main layout to the cassette by gripping onto the bent panel pins soldered to the cassette rails. As I hope the crocodile clips will conduct the juice adequately (won't they?) do I need copper pins?

Offline Platy767

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2019, 06:46:17 AM »
Hi Ricky,

Have you yet tried to solder to a panel pin? I do suspect it may not be as easy as soldering a short length of tinned copper wire for the crocs to clip onto.

Mark

Offline austinbob

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #65 on: September 24, 2019, 08:36:12 AM »
Soldering to steel is not an easy proposition.  :no:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #66 on: September 24, 2019, 09:12:20 PM »
@Ricky B the copper panel pins will solder more easily than the mild steel one which will take a lot of heat to get anywhere near a decent solder joint. @Platy767  has a point which I would like to adapt slightly.
Solder a piece of regular wire to the side of the track then strip the insulation off the other end, make a loop and tin it then, if you have some old brass screws around, put the screw through the loop into the baseboard allowing sufficient sticking up to attach your croc clips to. You can probably apply some heat to the screw and reflow the solder to make sure you have a good joint.

The other option is to use 1/4" audio jacks and sockets wired to the rails or you could use pluggable terminal block similar to this https://cpc.farnell.com/hylec-apl/hyps-01712/terminal-block-plugsocket-12-way/dp/PL11406?mckv=sltDSS1yw_dc|pcrid|224645161149|kword||match||plid||slid||product|PL11406|pgrid|45968746254|ptaid|pla-562716049196|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SHOPPING&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_absBRD1ARIsAO4_D3vn9ZuIl34d92IDLqYgBRXZSfZxdCL3YW0HdTY2g5XzwS5GFRBUZQUaAof7EALw_wcB

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #67 on: September 25, 2019, 09:35:19 AM »
Soldering to steel is not an easy proposition.  :no:

To Austinbob and Platy767- no, I haven't tried soldering to steel and I can well believe your scepticism! Warning heeded..

For taking power from main board to cassettes I'd clearly be better using copper for my electrical, soldered joints. And as Lawrence has said above, an arrangement where the crocodile clip (taking power from the main track/bus) can be clipped onto a a copper pin soldered to the cassette rail or a brass screw linked via copper clad board to the cassette rails) will be what I'm aiming for.
Question: the crocodile clips are certainly not copper (bought at Halfords). They'll conduct the power adequately won't they?

Offline chrism

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #68 on: September 25, 2019, 09:37:26 AM »
Question: the crocodile clips are certainly not copper (bought at Halfords). They'll conduct the power adequately won't they?

They do when I clip them to the rails for testing sections of track before I do the proper wiring.

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #69 on: September 25, 2019, 09:51:28 AM »
@Ricky B the copper panel pins will solder more easily than the mild steel one which will take a lot of heat to get anywhere near a decent solder joint. @Platy767  has a point which I would like to adapt slightly.
Solder a piece of regular wire to the side of the track then strip the insulation off the other end, make a loop and tin it then, if you have some old brass screws around, put the screw through the loop into the baseboard allowing sufficient sticking up to attach your croc clips to. You can probably apply some heat to the screw and reflow the solder to make sure you have a good joint.

The other option is to use 1/4" audio jacks and sockets wired to the rails or you could use pluggable terminal block similar to this https://cpc.farnell.com/hylec-apl/hyps-01712/terminal-block-plugsocket-12-way/dp/PL11406?mckv=sltDSS1yw_dc|pcrid|224645161149|kword||match||plid||slid||product|PL11406|pgrid|45968746254|ptaid|pla-562716049196|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SHOPPING&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_absBRD1ARIsAO4_D3vn9ZuIl34d92IDLqYgBRXZSfZxdCL3YW0HdTY2g5XzwS5GFRBUZQUaAof7EALw_wcB

Thanks again Lawrence- an excellent and clear summary of options.
I'd not really entertained the pluggable terminal blocks route. Had trouble finding them in the past but thanks for the link.
To explore the copper wire brass screw method,when you describe it as such it does seem nice and simple - and could be neat too. So, asking the electricity to travel from main board to cassette via, steel crocodile clip, brass screw then copper wire would work and not be let down by a weak part in the chain?

I bought some copper clad strip at T.I.N.G.S t'other day intending to solder each cassette rail onto it and sinking a brass screw through the copper clad on the outside of either side (naturally separating the copper in the middle between rail). Thinking my toothy crocodile clip from the main line could latch onto the screw. Any different to your suggestion of using wire soldered to the cassette rails?

Online dannyboy

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2019, 09:52:13 AM »

Question: the crocodile clips are certainly not copper (bought at Halfords). They'll conduct the power adequately won't they?

No problem. Look at a lot of testing equipment, like a multi-meter, not many have copper terminals. And another thought, place a screwdriver blade across two live rails - it creates a short.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline chrism

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2019, 10:22:56 AM »
And another thought, place a screwdriver blade across two live rails - it creates a short.

Like one of our club members did, accidentally.
He found out when he discovered that he had a short and couldn't find where it was - until he decided to narrow it down by isolating sections at the choc blocks and went looking for his screwdriver  :D

Offline Bealman

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #72 on: September 25, 2019, 10:39:44 AM »
Don't you love the sparks?  ;D
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline The Q

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #73 on: September 25, 2019, 12:22:33 PM »
Question: the crocodile clips are certainly not copper (bought at Halfords). They'll conduct the power adequately won't they?

They do when I clip them to the rails for testing sections of track before I do the proper wiring.
Mine here are copper... They are also gold plated ( not joking), but then you are not measuring say 1 volt to    1.000 000 1 V accuracy.

Offline Ricky B

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Re: Soldering advice
« Reply #74 on: September 28, 2019, 03:55:21 PM »
I was trained to solder in the RAF. The standard had to be high enough to solder components in military aircraft. (It was a long while ago, but I still use same techniques). I use a 28volt Weller iron with various interchangeable bits). I have a soldering iron stand with a wire spring iron holder and a sponge tray. Keep the sponge wet, not moist, but not sopping.


 1: Keep the tip of the iron clean. Tin it using flux cored solder and wipe with a wet sponge. Repeat until it is silvery shiny.

 2: At start of solder, tin the clean iron tip and introduce stripped and twisted wire to tip - touch solder to wire and allow a flow of solder. You should be able to see strands of wire in solder - not a solder blob. ( this is called tinning).

3: Clean and tin the tip of the iron and touch tip of iron to wire/component/fitting you want to solder to. Apply solder to aforesaid - just enough - don't make a blob of solder.

4: Bring two surfaces together, apply  cleaned and tinned soldering iron to the joint and touch solder on the joint. Again, don't overdo the solder.

5: tin and clean tip of iron.

You will see I clean and tin the tip of the iron before every part of the procedure.

Any questions, just ask me and I will be only too please to help.

Well Barry and others who've stopped by to try and help me 'across the soldering line' until I'm pedalling free and without stabilisers..you unfortunately find me encountering more frustration. ..😖.. I understand and take on board the plentiful and kind advice but:

1, Despite trying to clean the cold iron tip with fine glass paper which I did until it went from carbonised black to a metallic grey, and despite....
2. ...wiping the tip at pre and post tinning and at every juncture on a small damp sponge, in no time, the iron tip was mucky black again. Almost as if the presence of solder and the heat was enough to carbonise it.

As has been typical at my recent 'sessions' (blimey, some session, my iron will not even now be tinned), every attempt to introduce  solder sees it drop onto the bench below in a leaden ball.

By the way, the one joint I attempted (multi strand wire to side of a rail) was useless. The rail is in place on my cassette and soldering onto the rail side in situ is more challenging than onto a practice rail, hand held as it were.

Any further advice after my moan very much appreciated!

 

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