jdb
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:37 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:50 pm

rpdom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:29 pm
LTolledo wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:56 pm
sharpen it after every use.
This I'd strongly disagree with. Most soldering iron bits have a protective coating. Sharpening them will remove this coating and expose the unprotected core which will rapidly degrade through use.
Correct, soldering irons typically have iron-plated tips with a copper or cupronickel alloy core. Copper alloys with molten lead (which is why tin/lead is used as solder) but iron doesn't. Sandpapering away the coating will basically destroy the wettability of the tip. It's best to just wipe any dross or flux residue away on a wet sponge. Any embedded gunk can be gotten rid of by tip cleaning compound - a mix of flux/solder in a hard matrix that allows you to immerse the tip in a molten cleaning solution.

Lead-free solder will degrade iron-plated tips far faster than tin-lead solder.
Rockets are loud.
https://astro-pi.org

User avatar
piglet
Posts: 895
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:52 pm

I did that with my first cheapie soldering iron to try and clean it - and it got eaten away next time I used it.

Replaced with a Weller at a good price on Ebay and very happy.

Does anyone know of a good cheap source of solder? My last roll was expensive and came from Maplin... shows how much I use!

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 14424
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:47 pm

piglet wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:52 pm
I did that with my first cheapie soldering iron to try and clean it - and it got eaten away next time I used it.
The first soldering iron I used belonged to my dad. He insisted on filing the tip down. It always formed a hollow point after a few uses and wore away in no time. I don't use my current iron much (15 years old temperature controlled from Maplin), but I still use the original bits I bought with it.
Does anyone know of a good cheap source of solder? My last roll was expensive and came from Maplin... shows how much I use!
eBay, I think. Like you I bought my last solder from Maplin (a couple of rolls of it), but I've still got loads left.

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5884
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK Tralfamadore
Contact: Website

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:15 pm

My first iron was a Weller gun - and they're still selling it 50-odd years later! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weller-9200UD- ... B0001P174M
Its big advantage was it heated up and cooled down rapidly, essential for a ten-minute visit to fix a rental TV. Especially if the lady of the house hadn't offered me a coffee.

User avatar
TimG
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:15 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:21 pm

The essential soldering accessory is a brass-wool tip cleaner. Forget sponges and that weird gunge that comes in a little tin.
https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/sold ... ip-cleaner

Heater
Posts: 12629
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:26 pm

Nah, what? I get on with sponges very well.

Sometimes the shop assistants look at me oddly when I'm evaluating them in the makeup department of the department store...

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 11840
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:28 pm

rpdom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:47 pm
The first soldering iron I used belonged to my dad. He insisted on filing the tip down.
Filing the tip is an absolute NO_NO for modern soldering irons. I can imagine that in the past you did that with the very cheapest old irons which just had a solid copper point, but modern soldering points are plated with a metal that keeps the underlying copper being eaten away by the molten solder. DO NOT FILE YOUR POINT!

Brass wool, and wet sponges score about the same IMHO, but the grey ammonia based paste is only needed to clean your tip if it has dramatically been covered with gunk, like you have melted plastic with it, another real NO_NO.

I dislike Weller irons, they are of average quality at best. The best irons I know are from the Spanish brand JBC, hot in a fraction of a second, tips replaceable in a few seconds, and available in many types, and obviously digitally temperature controlled with an LCD screen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjEYI5WsLBI

I never use lead free solder, for personal use always use leaded solder (that is legal for personal use and repairs). Its also not the lead in the solder that is unhealthy, its the smoke from the burning flux, which is simply a resin. Lead is only poisonous to the environment if equipment with lead in it is dumped.

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 14424
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:32 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:28 pm
rpdom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:47 pm
The first soldering iron I used belonged to my dad. He insisted on filing the tip down.
Filing the tip is an absolute NO_NO for modern soldering irons. I can imagine that in the past you did that with the very cheapest old irons which just had a solid copper point, but modern soldering points are plated with a metal that keeps the underlying copper being eaten away by the molten solder. DO NOT FILE YOUR POINT!
I think I made that point earlier ;-)

Yes, my dad's old iron was probably a plain copper tipped one. It was older than me at the time.

Heater
Posts: 12629
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:37 pm

Oh, forgot to mention, modern Weller equipment is suspect: "Magic smoke" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8itTKH5tj3s&t=3s

Suspect or not there is much better available today at similar prices.

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5884
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK Tralfamadore
Contact: Website

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:44 am

From the first half minute or so of that video, I get the impression that the manufacturer wasn't at fault, it was the bloke himself.
I mean, how can Weller be responsible for his accent? If he had an American accent, there'd have been no problem, would there?
Or at least if he moved to America, where they have 120V instead of the Empire's 240V.

User avatar
davidcoton
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:37 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:54 am

Burngate wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:44 am
From the first half minute or so of that video, I get the impression that the manufacturer wasn't at fault, it was the bloke himself.
I mean, how can Weller be responsible for his accent? If he had an American accent, there'd have been no problem, would there?
Or at least if he moved to America, where they have 120V instead of the Empire's 240V.
Indeed. Very little 120V mains equipment will survive connection to 240V. Most modern PSUs are switching units that are designed to be dual standard, but without switching voltage converter technology it is surprisingly difficult to make equipment that will safely detect the applied voltage and set itself for 120V or 240V automatically. Been there, done that, seen the magic smoke escape....
Signature retired

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Posts: 2389
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:10 am

piglet wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:52 pm
Does anyone know of a good cheap source of solder? My last roll was expensive and came from Maplin... shows how much I use!
My local supplier (an auto parts store) sells rolls of 200 grams for $19.99AUD or I can buy 500 grams for $20.00AUD (neither on discount)

Any auto parts stores near you?
Google is ubiquitous - Try it today, it's free!
https://opensource.com/life/16/10/how-ask-technical-questions

drgeoff
Posts: 9349
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:59 am

I am still using the Weller TCP-1/PU-1D that was issued to me in 1971 and was powered up for 8 hours most working days for the first 9 years. Can change the temperature by using a different tip. (Curie point.) About 5 years ago I had to replace the outer barrel which suffered metal fatigue and cracked. Barrel cost about £3 IIRC. Other than that, tips and sponges the rest of it is completely original.

droidus
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:09 am

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:34 pm

na
Last edited by droidus on Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Heater
Posts: 12629
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:47 pm

I don't see anything there. Only SPAM for ufile or whatever stupid app/service.

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 11840
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:50 pm

Burngate wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:44 am
From the first half minute or so of that video, I get the impression that the manufacturer wasn't at fault, it was the bloke himself.
I mean, how can Weller be responsible for his accent? If he had an American accent, there'd have been no problem, would there?
Or at least if he moved to America, where they have 120V instead of the Empire's 240V.
That wasn't the point. The point is that the Weller didn't have a primary fuse, without such a fuse your house could burn down if the weller was powered on in the absence of a user to intervene. This blogger is a well known, and experienced electronics blogger, for him to report this means there is (literally) fire behind the smoke. :twisted:

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 11840
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:56 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:47 pm
I don't see anything there. Only SPAM for ufile or whatever stupid app/service.
Agreed, So I treated it as spam, and deleted the offending URL's, and warned the poster, but left the video-link intact..
the soldering video showed only that the person who made it didn't realise that doing this is impossible, as you can never heat the motherboard connector high enough that the solder melts, the connector is too thermally connected to the rest of the motherboard for the solder to melt, without adding heat from say a blowtorch, but that will also damage the motherboard. The only way you can pull this off is by cutting away as much metal from the connector as possible.

fanoush
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:30 pm

Not sure if anyone already mentioned it but heat resistant silicone mat is good. I got one few months ago and I am very happy with it. You can solder on it and it won't burn or get damaged even when you melt solder with the tip directly on it - I quickly get used to take advantage of it. I got grey one like this

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5884
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK Tralfamadore
Contact: Website

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:39 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:50 pm
The point is that the Weller didn't have a primary fuse, without such a fuse your house could burn down if the weller was powered on in the absence of a user to intervene. This blogger is a well known, and experienced electronics blogger, for him to report this means there is (literally) fire behind the smoke. :twisted:
Just had alook at the back of my Weller WSD 50: it's got a fuse built in to the IEC mains input socket.

He may be well known; so is the Duke of Edinburgh. He may well be an experienced blogger; the Duke is an experienced driver.
Accidents happen.

Heater
Posts: 12629
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:24 pm

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. That is perhaps the saddest youtube video I have ever seen.

Also it has no relevance to the posters original question which was about soldering a header.

Removing a connector like that is going to need a heat gun/desoldering station https://www.ebay.com/t/Soldering-Desold ... n_55162584

Or... If you are an animal like me. Put the board onto a cooker ring in the kitchen. Use a thermometer to make sure it's not crazy hot. Be sure the wife won't be back till the smoke clears.

Heater
Posts: 12629
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:39 pm

Burngate,
Just had a look at the back of my Weller WSD 50: it's got a fuse built in to the IEC mains input socket.
Yes, but if had actually watched the video you are criticizing you would see that the one he received did not.

This or that Duke is beside the point.

I'm still happy with my twenty year old Weller soldering iron but I wonder how they stay in business given that equal quality or better equipment can be had cheaper all over the place now a days.

LTolledo
Posts: 1525
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am

Re: new to soldering - safety questions, etc.

Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:05 pm

droidus wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:34 pm
I took a video of me attempting to take one of the pins out: https://youtu.be/Xm1oWf-p8vY.
Soldering iron heating power not enough ( 20W only?) Better use one with push-of-a-button burst heat mode, like 90W/40Wsoldering iron
....and it seems the tip has not been wetted. Not wetting the tip makes inefficient heat transfer and would not melt a lead-free-solder properly.

Melt - solder-pump - melt - solder-pump (repeat as needed) until most solder is taken, then use solder wick to suck cleanly.

Its not impossible, just very tedious and time consuming (not to mention the power consumption and cost of consumables used).

Are you attempting to remove the VGA connector (from an old Intel P3 class motherboard)?
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

Return to “General discussion”