techpaul
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:53 pm

jamesh wrote:Does nobody use solder suckers any more? That's how I get solder out of holes, admittedly not holes this small though.
Many people do not have them.

These holes are about 1mm for a connector.

With a solder sucker I would clamp board vertically and use iron one side and sucker from other side.
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alexeames
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:01 pm

techpaul wrote:
jamesh wrote:Does nobody use solder suckers any more? That's how I get solder out of holes, admittedly not holes this small though.
Many people do not have them.

These holes are about 1mm for a connector.

With a solder sucker I would clamp board vertically and use iron one side and sucker from other side.
I don't have one :lol: Going to try the pencil trick a bit later. :D
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:35 pm

alexeames wrote:
techpaul wrote:
jamesh wrote:Does nobody use solder suckers any more? That's how I get solder out of holes, admittedly not holes this small though.
Many people do not have them.

These holes are about 1mm for a connector.

With a solder sucker I would clamp board vertically and use iron one side and sucker from other side.
I don't have one :lol: Going to try the pencil trick a bit later. :D
By pencil tip I mean the style of tip on a soldering iron not an actual pencil !!!
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:46 pm

jamesh wrote:Does nobody use solder suckers any more? That's how I get solder out of holes, admittedly not holes this small though.
You can still buy spring loaded solder suckers, but the better ones are the electrical vacuum ones with the hollow heated tip.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:36 pm

techpaul wrote:By pencil tip I mean the style of tip on a soldering iron not an actual pencil !!!
I've got one of those too. Got to find the thing. :D
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:18 am

One piece of soldering equipment I always regret not having is a third arm. Sucker in left hand - iron in right hand - who holds the board?

Maybe I should get one of those clampy things with a magnifier attached.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:19 am

pygmy_giant wrote:One piece of soldering equipment I always regret not having is a third arm. Sucker in left hand - iron in right hand - who holds the board?

Maybe I should get one of those clampy things with a magnifier attached.
almost anything could hold it used two reels of solder in the past.

A bench vice once for a large board.

Always worth having something to hold PCBs when working on them :-)
even if home made
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:30 am

Yes - gravity and feet do not suffice.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:41 am

techpaul wrote:I normally find using a pencil tip (conical tip)

Hold board about 1cm from work surface

Heat hole from top side with pencil tip in centre of hole

When solder melted

Quick light tap against work surface does the trick
Thats what I mean by "I gently knock the melted solder out", and IMHO it the technique that often succeeds where other efforts failed.

Another trick I sometimes use is to melt the solder in the hole, then push a toothpick through it, and let the solder solidify with the toothpick in place.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:18 am

mahjongg wrote:
techpaul wrote:I normally find using a pencil tip (conical tip)

Hold board about 1cm from work surface

Heat hole from top side with pencil tip in centre of hole

When solder melted

Quick light tap against work surface does the trick
Thats what I mean by "I gently knock the melted solder out", and IMHO it the technique that often succeeds where other efforts failed.
I know it was just being more detailed as many these days have next to no soldering experience.
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:00 am

jamesh wrote:
cnt wrote:Sadly that is what I expect from china. But I also expected to get a board made in the UK :(
RS make all their boards in China, Farnell make MOST of their boards in the UK, but because of the demand, they are having to use some Chinese factories as well.
Mine came from Newark (that's Farnell right?)

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:07 am

alexeames wrote:OK. I've just spent an hour in the workshop and I've got some good news and some bad news...

The good news is that the Pi still works.
The bad news is that I've revised my position on this and am now starting to side with cnt in the "trying to remove solder from through-hole holes is a bloomin nuisance" camp.

I got one of the three done by pushing a wire through it while heating. Another one is partially done. I did very gently use a teeny weeny drill bit on hole 1 just enlarge the wire hole I'd made. And then time ran out.

But at least the Pi still works. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I probably need a more powerful iron. I tried heating a wire with a blowtorch and poking it through, but the wire didn't have enough mass. Also tried heat and shake and heat and blow. Solder solidified too quickly in both cases. :cry:
indeed. I have a temperature controlled Weller and I still find it a pain to remove solder from through holes. For anyone who is going to try it remember NOT to stick the tip directly into the hole. That's an easy way to pull off the pad and ruin it. FWIW I have historically had good success with solder suckers. and can generally clear holes pretty quick with them. It's just when you get to one connected to a power plane that sucks heat away too fast is when it gets really frustrating. In any case normally I wouldn't care about sloppy soldering as long as it worked reliably, but i kinda need those ports :(

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:10 am

mahjongg wrote: Another trick I sometimes use is to melt the solder in the hole, then push a toothpick through it, and let the solder solidify with the toothpick in place.
oh! Thats a good one I've not tried that yet.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Got my new 512 mb pi from Newark today. I was hoping for a "Made in the U.K."board, but
it's a chinese board. Oh,well maybe next time.
4 holes of the P5 header are blocked by solder. That's gonna be fun to clear out.

What perturbed me most was the package label on the mailer. I told exactly what was in
the package!! :roll:

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:23 pm

Maybe a sudden European rush on the new fangled 512mb Pis required China to take up manufacturing slack - think I'll wait a bit before I order mine.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:36 pm

Lead free solder is a proper ballache to remove. I use a solder sucker and my experience is that iron too cool / tip too small increases the risk of damage to a board because heat has to be applied for longer. As big a tip as practical + plenty heat + not hanging about gets rid of the bulk of the leadfree, then I retin with leaded solder (which alloys with the leadfree, but melts and flows more easily) and then use the sucker to remove this. Don't dawdle - each melt / remove stage should only take a few seconds. If you're struggling to melt what's there then it's likely the iron's too cool or the tip's too long / skinny. I've never really got on with wick, but then I've never really persevered with it.

Cleaning out plated - through holes is pretty much the end of the world. :lol: Clamping the board vertically so that you can apply the soldering iron bit to the hole on one side and the solder sucker to t'other side is about the best I can offer. If it doesn't all come out first hit then don't persevere with the heat - it can prove impossible to remelt tiny amounts of (possibly oxidised) solder due to (I guess) a lack of heat conduction into the offending residue. So retin the hole with a smidge of leaded solder and try to get the whole mess out in one hit...

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:39 pm

I take my hat off to you solder monkeys - this sort of carry on is like heart surgery to me

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:52 pm

pygmy_giant wrote:I take my hat off to you solder monkeys - this sort of carry on is like heart surgery to me
The worst part is getting earholed by your Significant Other for getting solder splodges on the carpet.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:55 pm

Carpet tiles

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:57 pm

cnt wrote:I have a temperature controlled Weller and I still find it a pain to remove solder from through holes.
If your soldering station is 60W or higher then you should be able to do it. I just can't seem to stress enough the importance of proper tip for the job. You need something with nice, flat surface that can easily transfer the heat to the PCB. At least Pi-sized one - trying to desolder something on 8+ layer PCBs the size of typical PC motherboard usually requires a preheater, but that too can be done without one.

So, once again: 60W iron or station, proper tip, some flux (paste is better than fluid for this job), copper braid (aka solder wick) and some patience. For a temperature controlled station make sure you're not running too low, some of the lead-free alloys need 230 deg C to melt, and you need much more than that for the tip. Holes like these are actually considered "big". Metalized 0.25mm on multilayer PCBs are the problematic ones :)

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:16 am

Good advice. I'd also suggest digging out a scrap pcb to practice on before attacking a board that matters. An array of clamping / holding thingers is useful. At a push, small boards can be stuck to something immobile with a big splodge of blu-tak (remember you'll maybe want access to both sides of the board in the area that needs rework). Having a board skate around on the bench is likely to lead to frustration / disaster. Good lighting is essential and arrange everything so that you're comfortable, can reach all your tools and can rest your elbows / forearms on something to aid accuracy when poking at that board with a hot iron.

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:46 am

I use a pair of Foster Grant "LightSpecs"for my soldering. They magnify +150 and have leds at the
temples. :D

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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:16 am

I had the same problem. I used a 15W iron. Heated the hole and used a solder sucker. It is just a rubber bulb with a heat resistant tip. Costs about $6 at Radio shack. Stood the board on edge, placed the iron tip into a hole then used the bulb on the other side. Had to clean up two boards this way. 19 holes each. A couple of them I had to add some solder, as the solder did not go all the way through. Adding solder allows you to get a little pool that the sucker can pull out.
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:19 am

pygmy_giant wrote:Maybe a sudden European rush on the new fangled 512mb Pis required China to take up manufacturing slack - think I'll wait a bit before I order mine.
RS make all in China, Farnell mostly in UK, but some capacity in China to help offload the large demand.
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Re: Made in China & poor soldering

Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:46 am

Further to this, I tried again last night with pencil tip soldering iron bit. It melted the solder, but I couldn't get it out. I think I'll buy a solder sucker and try again with that at some point in the future with the board upright, heating one side and sucking the other side.

Since I don't need those GPIO ports at the moment, it seems foolish to risk the Pi's health any further at this point.

P2 and P3 are completely filled on this Pi as well, but I'm not sure what they're even for.
At least P6 is still free of solder so I can put a 2 pin header on for a reset circuit if I want. :D

The other thing I noticed when trying to "trial fit" a 6 pin header is that if you put one on the topside, it will make it very hard to use a ribbon cable on the main GPIO header. I know it's designed so that P5 would go on the underside, but that's no good for my case. Maybe it's time to get creative and just bung some wires in there? (But that will look awful LOL) Or maybe a header with bent or offset pins?
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