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Old 01-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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Hate it ,I just hate it.Then again I could be doing something wrong that makes me hate it. Ok I am using rosin/resin core solder ,the correct one for doing wiring. I am pretinning the wire and the connector. I have the unit with the wires clamped so it can't move I even have the deans connector clamped so it stays in place.I hold the wire to the part to be soldered with 12" tweezers otherwise I'd burn my fingers. I am using a Weller gun type soldering gun with a regular size tip. Is the gun the problem to big for this application.Should I be using a different type of iron
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: Soldering

Myself I use a pencil iron that has selectable wattage. I use the wattage appropriate for the solder (usually around 40watts). I am using as well as a clamp-on heat sink or two to help keep the heat from spreading and melting. Iron was around 20 bucks from the Source and the h-sinks are about 3 or 4 bucks. The iron has a pencil tip which allows me better control. Another pencil iron i have that comes in handy in the field is a Weller butane one. Gets hot quick!

Just my opinion. Hope this helps!

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Old 01-27-2009, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: Soldering

Here are some posts I made in another thread asking about this very thing:

It's easy to solder up the Deans connectors. First I roughen the spade end that I want to solder to with some 400 grit paper. Then I clean it with flux. Slide your heat shrink tube over the wire (that you will use to cover the solder connection) I clean the wire end with flux as well. Then I heat the wire with the soldering iron (use a pointed tip, I find they work better than the flat tip) and let the solder flow completely into the wire. (I generally heat it from the bottom and wait until I see the solder come through the top of the wire, it will wick all the way through) Then I heat the deans connector and let solder flow onto the spade. Then I hold the wire against the connector, and heat the top of the wire until all the solder flows together. This keeps the deans connector cooler, and when you see it all flow together and melt into one, you know you have a solid connection. You don't want a cold solder joint. Slide your heat shrink tubing over the joint and shrink it and done.
There was a post made asking why sand and clean the spade with flux, my response was as follows:

The reason for sanding the dean's connectors, is I have found on more than one occasion (not necessarily with deans connectors) that there is a coating on the tab to be soldered to prevent corrosion. The sandpaper cleans off any coating or any oxidization before soldering. Using the flux on the wire at the very least, and then heating it so it flows into the wire cleans out any contaminants in the wire itself where flux core solder may not get in there before coating the wire with the solder. I don't think anyone is talking about using plumbing solder anywhere. I always clean my connections with flux first, use flux core wire, can't hurt to make sure everything is clean. I also find I get a much better flow of the solder if I use flux to clean with first. I have never once had a solder connection fail or give me any less than fantastic conductivity using this technique.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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Re: Soldering

Yeah, great stories to read. Its a heat transfer issue as Jeremy states. The Weller gun is
ok to use since it heats fast. Make sure the tip has some wet solder on it before applying heat to the Deans so the transfer can take place.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:12 PM   #5
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Re: Soldering

You didn't say what your actual problem is. Are the parts not joining properly?

One of the most important things in haveing a good solder joint is to make absolutely sure both parts to be soldered together are CLEAN. Use fine sandpaper and clean the tongs of the dean's connector. Also your putting together two parts of much different size. Its important also to make sure the larger part, the deans, is hot enough when joining two together. Depending on the size/power of the Weller, I will assume a 100w, you may not be getting quite enough heat on the larger part, quickly enough and its oxidizing before its hot enough to accept the solder.

I really hate those big comberson tips on the Weller guns. I make my own tips using copper wire from 14-3 house wireing. Bend it in the same shape as the weller tip and install it on your gun. Its thinner and gets hotter than the weller tip and gets hotter faster. Dip the end of the tip into solder paste and then Tin the tip to about an inch back from the tip with solder before using it for the first time.

You will find they don't last as long as the Weller tip but who cares, they're cheep and they work better, for me anyway. Give it a try, you may find it works much better for you.

Personally, I like to use just a bit of solder paste on the parts to be joined, which helps greatly to keep the parts from oxidizing before the solder is applied. Hold the gun on the deans until the paste really starts to bubble, then you know you just about have the correct heat. Push the solder against the tip of the gun and let it flow over the two parts and you should get a good solid join!

A proper join should be slightly shinny when complete. IF its a dullish grey, then you didn't have enough heat!

All else failing, you may need to get yourself a Weller or similar solder gun with a higher wattage, perhaps a 140w or even a 200w gun!

Hope some of this info is able to help you. All the best my friend!

PS: Some of this info is a repeat of the previous posts. The next three posts after your were NOT there when I started typing my post. Thats what I get for being so darn long winded.
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Last edited by Gary Maker; 01-27-2009 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: Soldering

Originally Posted by hifly2104 View Post
I am using a Weller gun type soldering gun with a regular size tip. Is the gun the problem to big for this application.Should I be using a different type of iron
The gun is the problem. The tips don't have enough thermal mass - the heat bleeds away too quickly to do a decent job. The only use I've found for mine is to prebend some solid #14 awg wire into the shape you need for making servo pockets in foam.

I use a regular cheapo Weller 35W iron from CTC and it does alright by me. It takes a bit of practice to get the technique down though. I've had a *lot* of practice, but I do remember my frustrations at first as well. A variable heat iron would be nice, but I'm cheap.

Definitely go with Johns' advice on sanding. I've gone thru that frustration as well.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: Soldering

As a plumber and an electronics hobbyist I have to say Gary's advice is spot on. The biggest factor in a good solder joint is cleanliness. The second biggest factor is enough heat.

The only suggestion I would make is removing your clamp or hemostat or whatever you're using to hold the parts together (if I'm reading you right), as it's a major heat sink. You should be able to get a proper connection in about 3 seconds or less with a 40W iron - not enough time to melt your plastic parts. By using a clamp, you end up applying too much heat over too much time causing all sorts of issues.

I'll solder IC chips and semiconductors all the time without heat protection just by making the connection quickly and with enough heat.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: Soldering

Originally Posted by igor_throw_the_switch View Post
A variable heat iron would be nice, but I'm cheap.
A temperature controlled iron is the cat's a$$, but I've had one for years, and soldered eletronics for about three decades now. Otherwise 30 Watts or so, good solder (I prefer 63/37 flux core and definately not lead free)(eutechtic).

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:18 PM   #9
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Re: Soldering

I picked up a massive old soldering iron from Alex Paffiolis's estate sale. It has a one-inch diamter tip (four-sided pyramid down to a fine point). IT takes about ten minutes to get to operating temperature but is super hot and heat transfers are instantenous.

Parts are fluxed and tinned and then positioned almost in place.

When the iron's heated up and given a bit of solder, BANG! into the parts to push them together and a bit more solder added so I get a good bright-coloured flow.

Then back off the iron and hold the parts together while gently blowing on them.

Lack of practice with the iron is the major problem which results in cold solder joints in one-fourth of the attempts. Re-applying the iron and going back again solves that.

As has been said: clean, flux, tin and then apply the iron.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: Soldering

One item I did not see in the previous threads (maybe I read too fast) is solder on the iron itself. On Deans connectors, the small iron is best as mentioned. Before the soldering iron touches anything to which solder will be applied, make sure you apply a bit of solder to the iron itself, sorta like making it "wet". This small application of a bit of solder to the iron first helps distribute the heat much quicker. "Every time your going to solder, apply a bit of solder to the iron first".

P.S. when I said wet, I did not imply or suggest you test it with your fact, I recommend you don't!! Hope this helps a little
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