Author Topic: How to improve your soldering  (Read 41880 times)

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Offline Thechemist

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How to improve your soldering
« on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 21:34:26 »
I am aware that there is the living soldering thread but I figured we could start a separate thread to share our thoughts and knowledge on how to improve our soldering skills.

I want to focus more on technique rather than what equipment to use so that it helps everyone across the board. I never had any training and hope to learn something from each and everyone of you.

If you have questions or pointers post them below, be it what solder to use or what temperature to solder thru-hole and smd, have a picture of your soldering post it here so that we can all get better.

Link to a Strawpoll if we should keep this thread or just post in the living soldering thread.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:06:37 by Thechemist »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 21:43:09 »
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 February 2015, 07:45:59 by Thechemist »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 21:43:18 »
2

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 21:43:29 »
3

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:04:23 »
This is a much better idea man. Sorry if this is a long post.

I guess I can start by sharing my experiences adapting from my normal soldering routine to working specifically on keyboards. When I built my first keyboard (A good 3-4 years at this point) it was with a wood burning tool that I had used for other projects, with an extremely blunt tip and horrendous heat dissipation, but hell it was all I had and I was going to make it work. When I finally decided it was time for an upgrade I purchased my Hakko 888. Let me tell you, it was a big difference. FOR THOSE GETTING INTO SOLDERING: Do not start out with s***y equipment, it wont make you any better (even if it is practice), in fact it may just re-enforce bad habits. To be clear I am not saying you should go crazy and purchase a $90 soldering station just to try it out, but you should invest in something solid. As for other equipment DO NOT just go out and buy generic solder, it will make everything more difficult. Buying a solid solder is critical to producing joints that you can be proud of  :thumb:

As to actually building keyboards I have learned a couple tips and tricks that I can share right away:

If you are having trouble de-soldering a LED, SIP Socket, bent pins on some mother boards, try the following (be prepared though because it might get a bit gritty :)) ):

  • prop the board up on one side (I usually use a piece of foam)
  • get something with a pointed, but blunt, tip like a hex screwdriver or something
  • place pressure on the center nub of the switch housing on the back of the PCB
  • with your iron in the other hand periodically switch your iron between the pins that are stuck
  • with any luck it should begin to come out, be patient though and dont put a ton of pressure on it!
  • If you damage the bottom of the housing with your poker simply replace it before re-soldering

If you have a component with a lot of tight space pins try a new way of de-soldering. This is something that I picked up when I built my first ergodox and accidentally soldered the IC backwards *facepalm*. Basicaly, instead of sucking the solder you blow. You can achieve this by taking a compressor with a simple spray nozzle on the other end and slinging the hose over your shoulder.

This should only be done on PCBs with either plenty of empty space around the component you are de soldering or should be otherwise bare.

  • Take your iron and heat up one joint
  • while it is still melted take the compressor and spray some air onto the joint perpendicular to the arrangement of the pins ( don't spray the solder onto other pins)
  • Once you have de-soldered all the pins remove the component
  • The PCB may have splattered solder on it but thats no problem, simply take your iron and quickly glide it over the splattered surface to draw the solder onto your iron



If I pull a pad am I toast?

Not necessarily, but be careful because you are now on thin ice. Dont do anything wreckless. Usually if I make a mistake I walk away from the project when I can think about it more clearly. Your first option is to rewire the switch to another spot on the PCB if it supports programming. If that's not an option you can try the following trick (again this is not an easy maneuver and is most definitely permanent) :

  • Identify if your PCB has pads on the front and back, if yes you are in luck
  • Aply a small amount of solder to the FRONT pads of the PCB facing the plate
  • carefully position the switch so that the pins line up with the holes on the front
  • flip the PCB around
  • take your iron, with a small pointy tip, and heat the solder on the front of the PCB on the back
  • carefully press the switch towards the holes while the solder is hot, if you have more than one pad on the same switch pulled you may need to alternate quickly in order to get it positioned properly
  • press the switch all the way in!

If you are wondering,"Should I try and desolder this without a good pump or wick(for thinner pcbs)"

The answer is always no. Dont risk it, you dont want to damage your board, you can get good pumps cheep on amazon and great pumps on edsy's website.

Does stickering suck to do?
most definitely  :p

What parts should I have on hand in case I mess up?

Its great to have some spare parts in case you mess up, excess switch bottoms, tops, springs, sliders are always useful.

Should also say that I can fully recommend the Hakko 888 and Kester solder, just make sure it is thin because otherwise you will not be able to control the amount of solder for each joint!

final edit I promise  :)) these techniques are not designed as the "right way"to do things, but rather an alternative way to do things in especially tricky situation I know when I was starting out I was frightened by problems like this so use them at your digression. Most if not all of these strategies can be avoided by doing it right in the first place  :thumb:
Disclaimer: These are my opinions and experiences, results may vary :p
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 February 2015, 23:07:54 by DrHubblePhD »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:19:32 »
Awesome that is what I am looking for and most helpful comments will have direct links in the first page so that others can jump straight to them.

I have a question, I use Kester 245 63/37 .015" solder and sometimes I feel like it is more work than some of the larger diameter solder like the .020" or the .025". Don't get me wrong I like how the .015" gives me more control and it also works great on small led pads but if I would step up to a larger diameter maybe it would speed up my soldering?

Does anyone use two different diameters and switches between them while soldering a single keyboard or do you use the same diameter from start to finish?

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:19:41 »
I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!

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Offline sethk_

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:21:16 »
I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:22:19 »
Awesome that is what I am looking for and most helpful comments will have direct links in the first page so that others can jump straight to them.

I have a question, I use Kester 245 63/37 .015" solder and sometimes I feel like it is more work than some of the larger diameter solder like the .020" or the .025". Don't get me wrong I like how the .015" gives me more control and it also works great on small led pads but if I would step up to a larger diameter maybe it would speed up my soldering?

Does anyone use two different diameters and switches between them while soldering a single keyboard or do you use the same diameter from start to finish?

Well for switch pins and resistors, basically anything that requires more solder I use .02 its whats sitting on my desk right now actually  :)). For SMD work though .015 is really the control I need.

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:31:22 »
I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto the tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750F ) in 15 seconds.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:34:35 by Thechemist »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:32:28 »
Awesome that is what I am looking for and most helpful comments will have direct links in the first page so that others can jump straight to them.

I have a question, I use Kester 245 63/37 .015" solder and sometimes I feel like it is more work than some of the larger diameter solder like the .020" or the .025". Don't get me wrong I like how the .015" gives me more control and it also works great on small led pads but if I would step up to a larger diameter maybe it would speed up my soldering?

Does anyone use two different diameters and switches between them while soldering a single keyboard or do you use the same diameter from start to finish?

Well for switch pins and resistors, basically anything that requires more solder I use .02 its whats sitting on my desk right now actually  :)). For SMD work though .015 is really the control I need.

Thanks, I will order some .02 and see how I like it. 

Offline sethk_

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:32:47 »

I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto to tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750 ) in 15 seconds.
Yeah, I noticed that my hakko does infact heat up in seconds while my Weller fixed temp pen takes about 5 minutes. Does the hakko have the heating element in the tip?

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:33:07 »
I used to use .031, because that's what I had. When I bought a one pound spool of Kester 44, I went with .020, so I'll be using that until the end of time. :)
KMAC :: LZ-GH :: WASD CODE :: WASD v2 :: GH60 :: Alps64 :: JD45 :: IBM Model M :: IBM 4704 "Pingmaster"

http://jd40.info :: http://jd45.info


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Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:36:23 »

I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto to tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750 ) in 15 seconds.
Yeah, I noticed that my hakko does infact heat up in seconds while my Weller fixed temp pen takes about 5 minutes. Does the hakko have the heating element in the tip?

Depends the Hakko stations but the 888 has the heating element in the handle not in the tip so if you move to something like a FM202 you will see a big difference, just ask JD.  :p

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:39:55 »

I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto to tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750 ) in 15 seconds.
Yeah, I noticed that my hakko does infact heat up in seconds while my Weller fixed temp pen takes about 5 minutes. Does the hakko have the heating element in the tip?

Depends the Hakko stations but the 888 has the heating element in the handle not in the tip so if you move to something like a FM202 you will see a big difference, just ask JD.  :p

This is very true. However, since you are just getting into he soldering game, you should spend your money on other tools and accessories now. Give it a year with the 888, while you improve your technique. Then you can step up. Just pass that 888 on to someone else once you are ready to get something better, please. :)
KMAC :: LZ-GH :: WASD CODE :: WASD v2 :: GH60 :: Alps64 :: JD45 :: IBM Model M :: IBM 4704 "Pingmaster"

http://jd40.info :: http://jd45.info


in memoriam

"When I was a kid, I used to take things apart and never put them back together."

Offline sethk_

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:43:16 »

I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto to tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750 ) in 15 seconds.
Yeah, I noticed that my hakko does infact heat up in seconds while my Weller fixed temp pen takes about 5 minutes. Does the hakko have the heating element in the tip?

Depends the Hakko stations but the 888 has the heating element in the handle not in the tip so if you move to something like a FM202 you will see a big difference, just ask JD.  :p

This is very true. However, since you are just getting into he soldering game, you should spend your money on other tools and accessories now. Give it a year with the 888, while you improve your technique. Then you can step up. Just pass that 888 on to someone else once you are ready to get something better, please. :)
Oh yeah, I will definitly pass it on once I upgrade, but I plan on buying a desoldering station and hot air station next, plus I need to buy some smaller tips.

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:43:31 »

I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto to tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750 ) in 15 seconds.
Yeah, I noticed that my hakko does infact heat up in seconds while my Weller fixed temp pen takes about 5 minutes. Does the hakko have the heating element in the tip?

Depends the Hakko stations but the 888 has the heating element in the handle not in the tip so if you move to something like a FM202 you will see a big difference, just ask JD.  :p

This is very true. However, since you are just getting into he soldering game, you should spend your money on other tools and accessories now. Give it a year with the 888, while you improve your technique. Then you can step up. Just pass that 888 on to someone else once you are ready to get something better, please. :)

Just to be clear though the 888 is a great station. To be honest as long as you are not soldering every day, something I admittedly do some weeks, you will be fine with a 888 for a long time. I dont think we should set unrealistic standards for people who plan to only use their soldering equipment occasionally  :p

Offline sethk_

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:44:17 »

I learn something new every day. I just learned something from one of GON's videos this evening that I will modify and use in my technique. Once I try it, I'll share with the thread.

I will say this about equipment. You can certainly learn and even be successful at soldering with a cheap, fixed wattage iron. I used one for years. Do I recommend it, especially if you can afford better equipment? HELL NO. You can even find some great deals on used equipment on eBay, if you know what to look for.

Anyway, I am eager to learn more from you guys, and maybe share some of what I know with you.

Great idea for a thread, Thechemist!
The triple 8 improved my soldering skill because I have temp control, and had to research about it since I could actually upgrade tips and pens.

I like the stations with the heating element in the tips since the tip will wear out before the heating element thus keeping consistent temps, it also delivers quicker temps, doesn't tend to overshoot to compensate for how the heat is transferred onto to tip when cooled rapidly with either big soldering pad or constant soldering. You can get a used Hakko FM 202 or FP 101 / 102 with an FM 2027 or FM 2028 iron and buy some T15 tips for around $120 on ebay and it will be a dream compare to the stations with heating elements in the handle instead of the tip. Yes those tips will cost around $10 but they last a while and you won't have to worry is my heating element wearing out?

The Hakko units listed above usually go from cold to temp ( ~750 ) in 15 seconds.
Yeah, I noticed that my hakko does infact heat up in seconds while my Weller fixed temp pen takes about 5 minutes. Does the hakko have the heating element in the tip?

Depends the Hakko stations but the 888 has the heating element in the handle not in the tip so if you move to something like a FM202 you will see a big difference, just ask JD.  :p

This is very true. However, since you are just getting into he soldering game, you should spend your money on other tools and accessories now. Give it a year with the 888, while you improve your technique. Then you can step up. Just pass that 888 on to someone else once you are ready to get something better, please. :)

Just to be clear though the 888 is a great station. To be honest as long as you are not soldering every day, something I admittedly do some weeks, you will be fine with a 888 for a long time. I dont think we should set unrealistic standards for people who plan to only use their soldering equipment occasionally  :p
Oh, I know it is very good, I don't plan on upgrading it for a long time.

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:44:54 »

-snip-

If you have a component with a lot of tight space pins try a new way of de-soldering. This is something that I picked up when I built my first ergodox and accidentally soldered the IC backwards *facepalm*. Basicaly, instead of sucking the solder you blow. You can achieve this by taking a compressor with a simple spray nozzle on the other end and slinging the hose over your shoulder.

  • Take your iron and heat up one joint
  • while it is still melted take the compressor and spray some air onto the joint perpendicular to the arrangement of the pins ( don't spray the solder onto other pins)
  • Once you have de-soldered all the pins remove the component
  • The PCB may have splattered solder on it but thats no problem, simply take your iron and quickly glide it over the splattered surface to draw the solder onto your iron

Note that this may also get some solder onto the other side of the PCB. This is obviously not necessary for simple two pin through hole switches but can be extremely usefull when you need every pin to be perfectly clean. Works like a charm I promise

-snip-

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and experiences, results may vary :p

I would not recommend doing this since you will splash solder onto other components and perhaps shorting something out that you didn't notice. You always want to suck the solder so that you can control it, if you are having problems desoldering add some FLUX, it is your best friend when desoldering or you can even melt some fresh solder and then try to suck the solder out again.

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:46:51 »

-snip-

If you have a component with a lot of tight space pins try a new way of de-soldering. This is something that I picked up when I built my first ergodox and accidentally soldered the IC backwards *facepalm*. Basicaly, instead of sucking the solder you blow. You can achieve this by taking a compressor with a simple spray nozzle on the other end and slinging the hose over your shoulder.

  • Take your iron and heat up one joint
  • while it is still melted take the compressor and spray some air onto the joint perpendicular to the arrangement of the pins ( don't spray the solder onto other pins)
  • Once you have de-soldered all the pins remove the component
  • The PCB may have splattered solder on it but thats no problem, simply take your iron and quickly glide it over the splattered surface to draw the solder onto your iron

Note that this may also get some solder onto the other side of the PCB. This is obviously not necessary for simple two pin through hole switches but can be extremely usefull when you need every pin to be perfectly clean. Works like a charm I promise

-snip-

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and experiences, results may vary :p

I would not recommend doing this since you will splash solder onto other components and perhaps shorting something out that you didn't notice. You always want to suck the solder so that you can control it, if you are having problems desoldering add some FLUX, it is your best friend when desoldering or you can even melt some fresh solder and then try to suck the solder out again.

yeah I should add the disclaimer that the pcb should otherwise be bare :))

I only added this because I know some people get very nervous with de soldering components. With patience and care this can go quite smoothly. Even if you are skeptical I urge you to try it out on something old and report back  :thumb:

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:47:45 »
I am not knocking on the 888 but if you are going to purchase a brand new one for around $90 then you might spend few dollars more and get a station that will last you throughout your learning experience. Now if you can pick up a used 888 for around $50 than do that instead and upgrade to something better later.

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:50:49 »
I am not knocking on the 888 but if you are going to purchase a brand new one for around $90 then you might spend few dollars more and get a station that will last you throughout your learning experience. Now if you can pick up a used 888 for around $50 than do that instead and upgrade to something better later.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hakko-FM-202-Soldering-Station-Includes-FM-2027-Solder-Iron-and-Key/351211963119?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20141212152715%26meid%3D15b25dd38dd244868e1fbd4fb9951062%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D28%26sd%3D111503883283

?

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:53:01 »
I am not knocking on the 888 but if you are going to purchase a brand new one for around $90 then you might spend few dollars more and get a station that will last you throughout your learning experience. Now if you can pick up a used 888 for around $50 than do that instead and upgrade to something better later.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hakko-FM-202-Soldering-Station-Includes-FM-2027-Solder-Iron-and-Key/351211963119?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20141212152715%26meid%3D15b25dd38dd244868e1fbd4fb9951062%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D28%26sd%3D111503883283

?

That's my primary station right now. The FP-101 is my backup.

I gave both my 888s away. :)
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Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 22:54:39 »
I am not knocking on the 888 but if you are going to purchase a brand new one for around $90 then you might spend few dollars more and get a station that will last you throughout your learning experience. Now if you can pick up a used 888 for around $50 than do that instead and upgrade to something better later.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hakko-FM-202-Soldering-Station-Includes-FM-2027-Solder-Iron-and-Key/351211963119?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20141212152715%26meid%3D15b25dd38dd244868e1fbd4fb9951062%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D28%26sd%3D111503883283

?

That's my primary station right now. The FP-101 is my backup.

I gave both my 888s away. :)

I may look into buying one of these in the future, ill keep you guys updated on my impressions  :thumb:

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 23:03:57 »
I am not knocking on the 888 but if you are going to purchase a brand new one for around $90 then you might spend few dollars more and get a station that will last you throughout your learning experience. Now if you can pick up a used 888 for around $50 than do that instead and upgrade to something better later.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hakko-FM-202-Soldering-Station-Includes-FM-2027-Solder-Iron-and-Key/351211963119?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20141212152715%26meid%3D15b25dd38dd244868e1fbd4fb9951062%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D28%26sd%3D111503883283

?

Yes but you can pick up this and a fm 2028 from china for around $72 minus the tip and the card. It doesn't matter ( in this situation since the heating element is in the tip not the handle )if the handle is real hakko since only the station and the tips matter. Add a $10 tip and $5 card and you have a complete station for $90.
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 February 2015, 23:22:00 by Thechemist »

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 23:23:17 »
I have a question for you guys, how do you go about lubing and stickering efficiently?

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 11 February 2015, 23:27:14 »
I have a question for you guys, how do you go about lubing and stickering efficiently?

There is a good thread about that here and I am sure it would be very welcomed there, plus you would get more answers from others that may have had that same question.

There are also other threads about stickers and you can check my sig for one of them ( needs to be updated ).

Offline sethk_

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 00:00:17 »
I have a question for you guys, how do you go about lubing and stickering efficiently?

There is a good thread about that here and I am sure it would be very welcomed there, plus you would get more answers from others that may have had that same question.

There are also other threads about stickers and you can check my sig for one of them ( needs to be updated ).
I used that guide, and it felt nicely when I did it properly, except I accidentally used thick lube on linears, but I don't care, I like it.

Offline Joey Quinn

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 02:05:50 »
I sucked at soldering but then I assembled SMT stuff at work for about two weeks so now I'm pretty confident. My best tip is practice, but that's probably already been said.
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Offline Parak

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 10:05:07 »
  • Take your iron and heat up one joint
  • while it is still melted take the compressor and spray some air onto the joint perpendicular to the arrangement of the pins ( don't spray the solder onto other pins)
  • Once you have de-soldered all the pins remove the component
  • The PCB may have splattered solder on it but thats no problem, simply take your iron and quickly glide it over the splattered surface to draw the solder onto your iron

Personally, I'd only use this method for salvaging components. Especially if a board has SMD components aplenty, this is definitely asking for trouble :D

Another quirk that needs to be kept in mind is that this method ruins solder tips, just like hand solder pumps (but even more so). Basically, any time that a tip experiences rapid cooling, such as when a quantity of air moves next to/across it, the tip oxidizes much faster than it would if it was cooling/heating in a normal manner. So if it's possible to get tips really cheap at under a few bucks or so, then that's okay, but when one works with higher end soldering equipment with tips that cost $10+, then one would want to take better care of them :)

Offline DrHubblePhD

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 10:12:14 »
Yeah as I commented in my post these methods were designed as methods for last resort. All of these can be ignored by doing a job properly the first time with proper equipment.

Offline Melvang

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 10:13:06 »
I just use a weller iron with an Edsyn soldapult.  Granted I haven't done any SMT stuffs yet, but the only thing that has given me issues attempting to desolder was the ribbon connector on my F AT. 
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Offline jdcarpe

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 10:17:46 »
I just use a weller iron with an Edsyn soldapult.  Granted I haven't done any SMT stuffs yet, but the only thing that has given me issues attempting to desolder was the ribbon connector on my F AT. 

The Edsyn Soldapullt is a great solder sucker, probably the best. The only thing I have better than that is my Hakko 808, but those are a little spendy.
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Offline Melvang

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 12 February 2015, 10:21:13 »
I just use a weller iron with an Edsyn soldapult.  Granted I haven't done any SMT stuffs yet, but the only thing that has given me issues attempting to desolder was the ribbon connector on my F AT. 

The Edsyn Soldapullt is a great solder sucker, probably the best. The only thing I have better than that is my Hakko 808, but those are a little spendy.

The trick I use for removing a teensy (provided there is enough room, is heat the pin between the teensy and the PCB until the pad melts and then I hit with the edsyn.  I have actually sucked up a couple pins doing this.  If that still doesn't work, then I will resort to heating in the middle and pulling the pin out with hemostats.
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Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:06:44 »
How Do You Solder?

Can you please vote on the poll today and we can discuss this tomorrow in the thread. I want to see how you are soldering and later we can go into detail about each technique.
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 February 2015, 07:46:20 by Thechemist »

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:09:56 »
voted again!
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:21:39 by SpAmRaY »

Offline trizkut

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:12:03 »
voted!
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:22:28 by trizkut »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:12:12 »
Thank you.
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:23:36 by Thechemist »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:15:07 »
The poll is up on the first page so that more people can see it.
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 February 2015, 11:23:05 by Thechemist »

Offline Thechemist

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Re: How to improve your soldering
« Reply #39 on: Sat, 14 February 2015, 15:26:56 »
If you haven't checked out the poll yet, please do so.