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Something easier to solder ???

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  • Something easier to solder ???

    Hi,

    This may seem blatantly obvious, but I wish Sparkfun provided something dirt simple, as an Artemis option, to use a standard iron and solder to a custom PCB.

    Wouldn't need to be PTH necessarily, but perhaps surface mount, yet easy to use? Electronic Kits for Adults

    I would be happy to pay a couple of dollars more if I was sure I could fabricate successfully.
    Last edited by ncowan; 07-16-2021, 08:47 AM. Reason: spell missing

  • #2
    Maybe try something here: https://diyaudiostore.com/
    DIY Audio. High end stereo stuff you build yourself. They have a whole community that comes up with an idea, designs the circuit boards etc.
    Take a look on their "Boards" page, particularly in the power supplies. Notice the links under the description, each board has its own discussion on the forums there, they contain all the parts lists etc. and a place to ask questions, modify them, etc.
    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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    • #3
      Soldering should be easy. A change to your technique will make all the difference in the world, so will a quality, temperature controlled iron. Keep the soldering iron tip clean and bright(tinned). The sponge kept wet with water is used to keep the tip clean. Use rosin cored leaded solder. Put a tiny bit of solder on the tip of the iron so it will transfer heat 10x better than being dry. Just for a moment, heat up both the PCB and component leads BEFORE applying solder.

      The guy who invented surround sound and audio tape cassettes is the one who taught me this when I worked for him.

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      • #4
        Do you have a proper low wattage iron? No more than 25W? Correct rosin core solder?

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        • #5
          No, no, no! It is not the Wattage. It is the temperature. A low Wattage iron can lead to difficulty in soldering if there is a large mass of copper (like a ground plane). It takes time to heat the copper traces to the melting temperature and that time can lead to the traces lifting from the PCB.

          What is needed is an iron with a moderate Wattage rating (50 to 100 Watts) and TEMPERATURE CONTROL. The higher Wattage allows you to heat the copper trace to the melting temperature quickly and that is a lot better for keeping the traces adhered to the PCB. Proper temperature with higher Wattage to keep it at the set point is the ticket.

          And if you have an easy way of setting the temperature, please avoid the temptation to just crank it all the way up. I have seen that on too many soldering irons on common work benches. Whenever I did the purchasing I went to the Weller WTCP models where there was no temperature control. The temperature on those models is controlled by the selection of the tip so it could not be just cranked up to dangerous temperatures.

          I have had a Weller temperature controlled iron for decades. It still works flawlessly. I recently purchased a second temperature controlled iron. It is a Tenma with digital temperature control and has interchangeable tips. It only cost about $40 and it works as well as my $80 Weller (1970s price, now about $150 or more). Today there is no reason for not buying a temperature controlled iron.

          A tip on selecting a soldering iron is to look for a plated tip. The bare copper tips will dissolve into the heated solder over time and need frequent replacement. I have plated tips that are around 50 years old and have seen heavy use. They are still like new.

          And yes, definitely ROSIN core solder. Never acid core for electronic work.



          Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
          Do you have a proper low wattage iron? No more than 25W? Correct rosin core solder?
          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 07-16-2021, 03:21 PM.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
          You will find that it has discrete steps.

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          • #6
            What the heck is your question ? ? ?
            Copper is a material that is easy to solder.
            What is the problem statement ? ? ?
            What does PTH stand for ? ? ?
            What is am Artemis option ???
            Your audience can not read your mind.

            -Doozer
            Last edited by Doozer; 07-16-2021, 03:19 PM.
            DZER

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            • #7
              I am not sure what you are asking for or what an "Artemis option" may be. Better solder? A better soldering iron? Oven? Or what?

              I do know of some things that make working with PCBs easier. First look at my post above about soldering irons.

              For removing through-hole components there are solder suckers and solder wick. I have and use both of these: the solder sucker is the first one I reach for.

              For installing through-hole components I use a good, temperature controlled iron, rosin core solder (#22 gauge), and sometimes a bit of extra flux.

              For surface mount components there are many tricks. Here are some that I use:

              Many surface mount components can be soldered with an iron with a fine tip and a delicate hand feeding the solder.

              Solder paste and a template for the component you are installing them. Or just pre-tin the pads with a bit of solder. Then into an oven (ex toaster oven with only one coil still working). Do read about the time cycles for oven soldering.

              Another trick for surface mount components is to buy the small adopter boards. It can be easier to solder to these adopter boards than to an actual PCB.

              One good style of adopter board for surface mount parts is made by Schmartboard. It has long traces leading to the part's pins and you use a fine tip soldering iron to swipe a bit of solder on those traces toward the IC's pin where it wicks between the IC and the trace. They even come with pins that allow the adopter board to be easily soldered to a standard, 0.1" grid PCB.

              https://schmartboard.com/surface-mount-boards/



              Originally posted by ncowan View Post
              Hi,

              This may seem blatantly obvious, but I wish Sparkfun provided something dirt simple, as an Artemis option, to use a standard iron and solder to a custom PCB.

              Wouldn't need to be PTH necessarily, but perhaps surface mount, yet easy to use? Electronic Kits for Adults

              I would be happy to pay a couple of dollars more if I was sure I could fabricate successfully.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

              Comment


              • #8
                First post.....wrong forum.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Artemis was a Greek goddess, and also the name of a NASA space program.

                  You can get various training kits for soldering:

                  https://www.amazon.com/soldering-tra...g+training+kit

                  I bought this combo temperature controlled soldering iron with multiple tips, and a nice hot air gun that can be used for shrink wrap as well as desoldering multi-pin SMT devices. Less than $50 with free shipping. It might also work for soldering fine pitch SMT devices if you can avoid the hot air dislodging the parts. I have no problem soldering SOIC packages (50 mil lead spacing), and resistors and capacitors in 0805 and 0603 packages. Get a magnifying lens with a bright lamp, and some magnifier head gear. A cheap USB microscope (about $20) is also useful. I like to use 0.62 mm (25 mil) or 0.3 mm (11.5 mil) 63/37 (eutectic) solder. And liquid rosin flux is also helpful.

                  Proper cleaning before and after soldering is also essential, and fairly easy. Most component leads and plated PCBs have a well tinned coating, but sometimes older leaded components develop corrosion which can be removed with sandpaper or Scotchbrite. After soldering, remove flux with concentrated alcohol and a stiff brush, followed by brushing with detergent and hot water to remove conductive ionic contaminants, and then a good rinse with hot water. Use a hot air gun or an oven to dry the board thoroughly. You can finish the job with a thin spray of acrylic clear coat, or fingernail polish or equivalent, if the circuit may be exposed to high humidity or a dusty environment.

                  Good luck!

                  https://www.ebay.com/itm/132641241787

                  Click image for larger version

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                  If anyone complains that this is OT, I say that soldering is indeed metalworking, and most home shop machinists fairly often do soldering, as well as brazing and welding.
                  http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                  Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                  USA Maryland 21030

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                  • #10
                    Yes, soldering is very useful in metalworking. In point of fact I just used it to make some split bronze bushings last week.

                    For electronics use, Paul A. is correct, temperature control is very important. Both to prevent burning the flux and fouling the tip of the iron and to prevent damage to the boards being worked on. As he also says, wattage is mostly irrelevant for small work but gets important very quickly if your work has a large amount of thermal mass.

                    I generally use a temp controlled heat gun with nozzles I made myself for surface mount rework. Many smt components can pretty readily be placed and removed with a soldering iron.
                    Last edited by eKretz; 07-17-2021, 02:34 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ncowan View Post
                      Hi,

                      This may seem blatantly obvious, but I wish Sparkfun provided something dirt simple, as an Artemis option, to use a standard iron and solder to a custom PCB.

                      Wouldn't need to be PTH necessarily, but perhaps surface mount, yet easy to use? Electronic Kits for Adults

                      I would be happy to pay a couple of dollars more if I was sure I could fabricate successfully.


                      Weller for a hot stick, the static one that hold a temp,

                      For heavy wire I like a hand held buzz box like the old sears units. Big tip and hold it like a pistole grip. Weller again..

                      For fine work under the scope I like a very fine penciled tip on an old system I have. Variable heat with vacuum if needed. JR

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                      • #12
                        I think the OP is wondering about the availability of something like this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=...AAAAAdAAAAABAg

                        that would enable the use of modules or IC's with very high contact densities by someone without the ability to solder them directly.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe an adapter kit with boards that accept SOIC and other SMT devices and provide 0.1" headers for easy prototyping. Of course you first need to solder the SMDs to the adapter boards, but it's really not that hard, and there are often local services that will do so reasonably.

                          https://www.amazon.com/KeeYees-Adapt...85L8SK7Z&psc=1

                          Click image for larger version

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                          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                          USA Maryland 21030

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                          • #14
                            Somewhat relevant, there’s an electronic company I used to do the odd thing for, the soldering stations were all invariably staffed with ladies, they were much more delicate with the job, big man sausages need not apply,
                            mark

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                            • #15
                              15-20 years ago my shop was in a multi tenant building, one space was leased to a research lab that was contracted by the Indium Corporation to create a near room temperature solder for screen printing PCB's with existing equipment. I would mill thin plastic screens for testing purposes when needed.

                              I do not know if it was a success or a failure because one week it was there and the next week the entire lab was gone.

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