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Soldering PCBs
DIY

soldering DIY

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18 replies to this topic

#1 fletcher

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 06:47 AM

I want to start soldering - there are a couple of simple MODs I want to do on some second hand (fairly expendable) pedals I own.

 

I already do plenty of welding with my job so I am pretty sure I will pick it up ok.

 

Anyone got any advice on what kind of iron to buy, what types of solder to use, other hints or tips.  Would be useful to have all of this in one place if anyone has anything to add.

 

Was looking at temperature controlled stations, such as the Weller WHS40

https://www.ebay.co....18AAOSwla1ahY-F

 

But not sure if this is completely overkill for the sake of what I am intending to do.  This venture may lead on to more complex things so perhaps its worth investing a few extra quid now?



#2 ganus

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 07:37 AM

You'll want to have lead-free rosin core solder. Thinner solder wire melts faster, which is generally not a bad thing.

I have never tried a station-style iron like the one you listed. I bought one of these types of kits recently, and I dont use most of the stuff, but the iron is great, and the extra tips are really helpful: https://m.ebay.com/i...KgAAOSwHYpaQmBS

#3 RSP

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 07:38 AM

I have one of those Wellers (not that exact model but comparable), they're apparently considered "obsolete" now because of a relatively recent technology I'm forgetting the name of that heats up much faster and therefore maintains more consistent temperature (because it doesn't take nearly as long to compensate for the heat lost into the solder, or when cleaning the tip) but whatever.  They were a production quality tool for a long time and they still workgreat, getting oen was one of the single best purchases I've ever made in my life and has payed for itself many, many times over with all of the relatively simple repairs that would have either meant paying someone or replacing gear before I learned how to solder and do run of the mill repairs and maintenence on synths (I have no EE background or anything so I'm not doing anything ancy).

 

Well worth it IMHO.

 

 

This is an old but really nice set of soldering tutorials that I wish I had seen when I was getting started in the mid 2000s and even now I picked up some tips about how to work on certain types of connectors.  Videos 1, 6, 7 and 8 are the relevant ones but they're all good.

 

PACE Basic Soldering training films

 

Most music hardware is built around pretty simple, old technology so this is all still very relevant stuff even though it's from the 1970s.


Edited by RSP, 29 June 2018 - 08:59 AM.


#4 fletcher

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for the tutorial links, will watch some of those for sure.

 

Found this today, much cheaper than the Weller and still has variable temperature control, plus gets some good reviews.

 

https://www.ebay.co....dAAAOSw--xbFRGj



#5 hautlle

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 03:27 PM

Don't use lead-free solder, it's trash -- it doesn't wet as well and doesn't flow into the joint via capillary action as good as leaded solder.  Get some Kester 63/37 rosin core. 

 

Use a variable temp iron.  Chisel tips can be very helpful.

 

Solder braid and flux are your friend.



#6 ganus

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 03:52 PM

To each their own. I understand lead is technically superior, but for casual use, I prefer to reduce my exposure to heavy metals as much as possible...

#7 RSP

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 04:01 PM

Don't use lead-free solder, it's trash -- it doesn't wet as well and doesn't flow into the joint via capillary action as good as leaded solder.  Get some Kester 63/37 rosin core. 

 

Use a variable temp iron.  Chisel tips can be very helpful.

 

Solder braid and flux are your friend.

 

 

I've been thinking about switching to 63/37 but I've got like 2 pounds of pretty good 60/40 sitting around.

 

 

Solder braind is great, and those plunger desoldering tools are really useful too.

 

I've got flux but to this day I've never actually needed it, the rosin in the solder has always done the job for me.

 

Fully agree about lead solder.  It's unfortunate, but lead free solder is really bad.  I had to use some for a while because I misplaced my good solder during a move and it was all I could find, and it was miserable.



#8 user

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:36 AM

If you're into watching yt videos I found eevblog's tutorials incredibly informative, the first one explains what to get and why.
 



#9 fletcher

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 11:33 AM

Don't use lead-free solder, it's trash -- it doesn't wet as well and doesn't flow into the joint via capillary action as good as leaded solder. Get some Kester 63/37 rosin core.

Use a variable temp iron. Chisel tips can be very helpful.

Solder braid and flux are your friend.


this is exaccerry the sort of informed opinion I was looking for cheers

#10 Sam Schofield

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 12:34 PM

I want to start soldering - there are a couple of simple MODs I want to do on some second hand (fairly expendable) pedals I own.

 

I already do plenty of welding with my job so I am pretty sure I will pick it up ok.

 

Anyone got any advice on what kind of iron to buy, what types of solder to use, other hints or tips.  Would be useful to have all of this in one place if anyone has anything to add.

 

Was looking at temperature controlled stations, such as the Weller WHS40

https://www.ebay.co....18AAOSwla1ahY-F

 

But not sure if this is completely overkill for the sake of what I am intending to do.  This venture may lead on to more complex things so perhaps its worth investing a few extra quid now?

Is that a midi interface on the Weller WHS40?



#11 RSP

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 01:00 PM

I was going to recommend EEVBlog, too, and that video in particular.

 

 

Big Clive is also great, it's less formal but he has the right attitude about not being afraid to just go in and see how stuff works, and you learn a lot more from his videos than you think you're learning.


Edited by RSP, 30 June 2018 - 01:00 PM.


#12 hautlle

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 02:34 PM

 

Don't use lead-free solder, it's trash -- it doesn't wet as well and doesn't flow into the joint via capillary action as good as leaded solder.  Get some Kester 63/37 rosin core. 

 

Use a variable temp iron.  Chisel tips can be very helpful.

 

Solder braid and flux are your friend.

 

 

 

 

I've got flux but to this day I've never actually needed it, the rosin in the solder has always done the job for me.

 

 

 

 

 

I really only use flux for my SMD builds, especially on ICs.  If you get a small bridge b/w the legs of a STM32 chip or something similarly small/close proximity you just douse it in flux and hit it with the iron -- it will help the solder flow to the pads and get rid of the bridge


Edited by hautlle, 30 June 2018 - 02:34 PM.


#13 RSP

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:15 PM

 

 

Don't use lead-free solder, it's trash -- it doesn't wet as well and doesn't flow into the joint via capillary action as good as leaded solder.  Get some Kester 63/37 rosin core. 

 

Use a variable temp iron.  Chisel tips can be very helpful.

 

Solder braid and flux are your friend.

 

 

 

 

I've got flux but to this day I've never actually needed it, the rosin in the solder has always done the job for me.

 

 

 

 

 

I really only use flux for my SMD builds, especially on ICs.  If you get a small bridge b/w the legs of a STM32 chip or something similarly small/close proximity you just douse it in flux and hit it with the iron -- it will help the solder flow to the pads and get rid of the bridge

 

 

 

I still amazes me that the USB IC in my x0xb0x works, because that was my first attempt at SMD and one of my first complex builds in general and I did a really amateurish job with no flux t all and it's still working fine almost a decade later.  Not that the USB is good for anything really, anyhow, he n0nx0x OS hasn't had an update in years.



#14 Crossword Enthusiast

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 11:37 AM

The DIYre kits are great to start on and are very useful too, the reamp and di boxes in particular. https://www.diyrecordingequipment.com

 

I have a Hakko FX888d and would highly recommend it. That said I managed pretty well for years soldering xlr cables with just a €20 non adjustable iron. 



#15 Entorwellian

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 12:12 PM

Do you guys have any tips on SMD soldiering? I did it for the first time on my Volca devices and was having a bloody heck of a time due to the tiny size of the parts. Even with a third hand clamp tool and a wristguard I was still struggling with keeping my hand controlled. It's like you need one of those robot arms at a fabrication plant to work on them.



#16 Crossword Enthusiast

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 12:40 PM

You can order practice smd boards on ebay for almost nothing. I ordered a few out of curiosity, some of the components are almost microscopic. I'm shit at it anyway.



#17 hautlle

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:25 AM

I refuse to do anything smaller than 0603 parts. I have a third hand with a built in magnifying glass, a 10x loupe, and even a headband magnifying goggle set for really difficult to see stuff. A hot air station makes smd super easy and is how I do all my smd builds now.

I built Mutable Instruments Kinks which is 0402, and never again.....

jQZyrz7.jpg

Edited by hautlle, 24 July 2018 - 08:58 AM.


#18 Entorwellian

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 02:48 PM

I refuse to do anything smaller than 0603 parts. I have a third hand with a built in magnifying glass, a 10x loupe, and even a headband magnifying goggle set for really difficult to see stuff. A hot air station makes smd super easy and is how I do all my smd builds now.

I built Mutable Instruments Kinks which is 0402, and never again.....

jQZyrz7.jpg

 

What the FUCK  :wtf:



#19 thawkins

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:09 PM

This is the CIA mind control chips right? Is that why everyone's suddenly "into modular"? You can't hide the truth forever!







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