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I'm back to annoy you all! (I'm going to build an amp--for real this time) - Page 4

post #46 of 69
Thread Starter 
alright, this **** is pissing me off. you're all ****ing liars.

that BS about the heating up a connection and then having it suck in the solder is crap. If I heat the area up to the point where it sucks in teh solder (which hasn't happened yet) I burn the plastic of the pc board. if I try and get the solder in there before it's hot enough it just sticks to the damn soldering gun and I burn the plastic anyway. what the **** am I supposed to do? you're all liars!
post #47 of 69
Problem #1: soldering gun? GUN? Or iron? If really gun, get a $5 pencil iron from RS next time you go back... you REALLY need to control exactly where you're putting the thing if you want any possibility of a soldered joint, and a non-melted case.

Wattage is only partially important, you don't need ones.... 35w will make a good connection in a fraction of a second, 15w in under 2 seconds... What diameter solder are you using? What formulation? 60/40 rosin core of .050" or smaller? If not, get some when you buy the iron... the stuff that's as big around as a coat hanger with no flux isn't for electronics... it's for plumbing.

AND PRACTICE... you shouldn't be soldering real parts until you know it's gonna work. Use scrap wire... you have to be able to make a solid connection (as in tug and pull, try to pull the joint apart).. should be able to do it without melting any insulation.
post #48 of 69
It's like getting to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice.
I bought a little from gizmo from Radio Shack for $10 (cat#64-2063) which is a magnifying glass and some alligator clips mounted on a fairly solid base. This allows you to hold the part and look at it more easily.

ps I don't think Mary Whitehouse would approve of your taking her name in vain
post #49 of 69
someone posted a link on an animation of how to solder somewhere. check it out. very good. you may want to wet the tip of the iron with solder before you apply the iron to the joint. it'll help.
post #50 of 69

Animated soldering tutorial thread

Make us proud.
post #51 of 69
Thread Starter 
edit: whoops, I meant iron. sorry.

and as far as wattage/solder goes, I got exactly what you guys told me to get. I think the iron is 15W, and the solder is 60/40 clear flux.

and I've been practicing...
post #52 of 69
Thread Starter 
I think I maybe made a few connections, but they all look like crap. the pcb is slowly turning a nice shade of brown as well. On the plus side, I'm really enjoying melting a ton of solder and then dripping it on the floor (it's concrete, I'm working in my garage). You can make some cool patterns if you work at it...
post #53 of 69
Neruda: you may like rotary Controls and rat shack has a 4 pole 2 pos. & 2pole 12 posistion Rotary switches of the Same type thay offered 20 years ago that i have still in some of my old DIY stuff and thay still work flawessly. Just a Thought"
post #54 of 69

Stop goofin off and wasting solder. Just do it.
It'll get better, we promise. (every ex-smoker's tellin me that, sorry)

After awhile, you won't be able to make a messed up joint without intentionally trying - and even then you have to concentrate on screwing up... it does become that second nature.

Don't worry about too much/too little solder just yet. Just make good electrical connections. Good wetting, good flow. Flux is your friend: no flux, no flow; no flow, no joy.
post #55 of 69
Neruda, If it will help and you are so inclined, give me a call and we can get together to get you going on the soldering. Sometimes seeing it done is a big help.
post #56 of 69
Thread Starter 
I've made one half-decent connection. solder sucked into the hole and everything. no idea how i did it, can't seem to do it again. oh well, I'll keep trying.

budgie, give me a bit more time but I might consider that. thanks.
post #57 of 69
Neruda, the tip is tinned, isn't it?

My tip has some area of blackness where it isn't tinned (anyone know how to fix this problem?) and I can't tin it... it is cooler compared to the rest of the tip... do not try and solder on any 'dark spots', you will burn things and not the solder. Always use the silver spot... maybe 15W isn't enough? And before you solder, clean the tip over a damp sponge, make sure the tip is really shiny (so it is hot).

And tin everything, the contacts... make sure they are clean (I use a file)... Now when they say, heat the parts, not the solder... this never works for me, I usually put the iron on the parts contacted and feed the solder in... it touches the iron and the parts... but it seems to work...

I dont think you tin the PCB (I think they are?).

I'd first find some old electronic thing (like a junk telephone) and play (or destroy, mutilate, rip, devour) with its PCB before you go to a PCB you paid for...

Hm, oh and, when you are soldering components to a pcb, make sure you bend the pins slightly so it has a mechanical adhesion to the PCB... remember, solder isn't glue, it is just an electrical transfer medium (which happens to double up as glue).
post #58 of 69
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by chych
Now when they say, heat the parts, not the solder... this never works for me, I usually put the iron on the parts contacted and feed the solder in...
yes, that's what I try to do. But the solder just sticks to the iron and I burn the pcb.
post #59 of 69
chych, it's oxidation... either tin the crap outta that area with a high flux solder (you might consider switching your main solder to something with more/more reactive flux) or get a tub of tip tinner for a couple bucks and stab the tip into it. It'll burn right off and you'll have a fully usuable tip again. Just NEVER use that file you rough up component leads with on your iron tip!!


Ner - the iron tip is dry, or the iron isn't hot enough... not because of low power (this can happen, but not in a cmoy!) but because of being held against something too long that's heatsinkin' all it's power away...

Let's go back to rick's crawl-walk-run method...

Practice tinning wire. Strip off 1/4". Tin it. Every bit of exposed copper should be bright shiny tin-plated, without melting the insulation any more past the 1/4" you scraped off. For 18-20 gauge wire, your contact time should be REALLY fast... under 2 seconds... more than that, the wire just starts heatsinkin' the usuable heat away and you'll end up with the same problem - the solder sticks. (and the insulation will melt)

After you can tin wire everytime, repeatable and clean, at least TEN TIMES in a row without melting or scorching the insulation, then start trying joins. Take those tinned pieces and stick em together. A little drop of solder to make the iron wet is all ya need, touch the join and the solder will do it's magic.

When you can do 10 good joins, THEN try to solder to a pcb.

The most important thing about soldering - keep an eye on things you don't want to melt! Like the soldering iron power cord and the headphone cord to the cans you're wearing while soldering.
post #60 of 69
Humm ...

"Kodama is here. This forest must be rich. ..." (Mononoke)

I like KODAMA better than similies. I think it's cuter.


P.S. Tomo winks at Braver
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