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Author Topic: soldering what temperature???  (Read 313 times)
NORTHCOUNTRY
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Posts: 358




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« on: December 11, 2006, 07:31:43 AM »

For an adjustable temperature soldering iron please tell me what are the recommended soldering temperatures for different soldering tasks?
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2006, 07:46:16 AM »

It depends.

http://www.kester.com/en-US/technical/alloy.aspx
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K9YLI
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Posts: 846




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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 08:10:49 AM »

practice will tell you. thats why you need to collect an old  TV at a garage sale.  practice  "de-soldering " stuff.
and  re-slodering same stuff.
big wires on big terminal strips need much more heat..
say a 100 watt gun or bigger..

a small resistor on a printed circuit pad needs  a 35 watt pencil iron.   surface mount perhaps down to 15 watts.
 start low and see how much it takes to actually melt the solder.
Rule!!!!!! make sure the iron is  at heat before  touching what ever you are soldering. I have seen people pull the trigger on a sloder gun and hold it on the component untill the solder melted, way over heating the component. make sure iron will melt the solder, touch it quick and melt the solder and reomove the heat.

Other tricks,,,,,  get some chop stick or other wooden sticks to hold components tight while soldering.
 Solder doesnt stick to wood.
And the best 10 bucks or so you can spend is get a  "solda-pulet"   .. (spelling) big blue tube with nylon tip common called a solder sucker.
push the plunger , heat up the joint,  push the trip and solder is  GONE.
Worth its weight in potato chips any time you desolder
anying thing..

 
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NI0C
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2006, 08:17:27 AM »

See the link "Builder Resources" on the Elecraft Web page:  http://www.elecraft.com/

There are lots of links to good information there.

Generally, for PCB work, you will want a temperature controlled soldering station with a temperature around 700 deg. F, using small diameter rosin-core solder with a 63/37 alloy (That's 63% lead, 37% tin, for minimum melting temperature).

73,
Chuck  NI0C


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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2245




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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 08:26:28 AM »

There are two main considerations when soldering:
Wattage, and tip temperature.

You should use the lowest wattage device necessary for the device you are soldering.  Installing a Surface Mounted Device (SMD) may require a 15W or less pen, and still need the lightest touch to avoid burning it.   While putting a PL-259 connector on big RG-213 coax may require a honking big soldering gun or an honest to gosh soldering iron with a big heat mass at the working end.

At my last job we did government work and followed (former?) Mil-Spec requirements that dictated a 700F tip temperature.  Of course we used temperature controlled soldering stations.   I do like the suggestion to check the Koester specs for the type of solder you are using, particularly as lead alloys are phasing out, which generally means using a higher temperature for correct flow and bonding.  One more thing, using activated solders or liquid fluxes can make the difference between endless frustration and good clean joints, particularly with less than pristine components or circuit boards.  Be sure to clean off the resulting dross and excess flux with alcohol after you are done.

Good luck!  73, bill
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 09:15:29 AM »

Temp controlled soldering stations are mostly to protect devices from overheating, since components all have specific maximum soldering heat ratings.  The most heat sensitive devices are usually small components, many surface mount.

For "other" soldering (connectors, wire terminals and such), the temp-controlled stations often cannot even perform the task because no matter what you crank the temperature up to, the tip cannot hold that temperature for the time required to perform the soldering task -- simply because it hasn't sufficient thermal mass.

I use a temp-controlled station with interchangeable (all small) tips for PC board work, but it won't even come close to soldering, say, a PL-259 coax connector!  Wrong tool for the job.  That takes a real *iron,* and a heavy one.  Tip temp never needs to exceed 600F, but the mass is important.

WB2WIK/6
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2754




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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 01:12:36 PM »

NI0C -

I think you have the tin/lead composition backwards.  By convention, the tin content always comes first.  60/40 solder is 60% TIN, 40% lead.  Sometimes the spool just specifies "Sn60", Sn being the chemical symbol for tin.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N4CR
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Posts: 1650




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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 01:19:47 PM »

K9YLI says: "And the best 10 bucks or so you can spend is get a "solda-pulet" .. (spelling) big blue tube with nylon tip common called a solder sucker.
push the plunger , heat up the joint, push the trip and solder is GONE.
Worth its weight in potato chips any time you desolder
anying thing.. "

Be careful with these when you are working on a printed circuit board. If you are desoldering from metal terminals they are fine, but once you have heated the solder pad on a pcb enough to melt solder you are near compromising the glue that holds the trace to the board. All solder suckers that are spring powered have a recoil. That recoil can whack the iron tip and lift the trace. Generally, the tips are made of nylon and won't lift a trace. It's the whack on the tip of the iron that does the damage.

If you must use one on a pcb, do this:

Heat the area enough that you can add a little solder and melt it. It helps to have a little fresh solder where you are about to desolder. Put the solder sucker over the area you want to desolder and in a nearly single move, pull the iron out and hit the button. In other words, the button press is delayed just enough that the soldering tip has cleared the immediate area.

This will minimize the chance that the solder sucker impact will lift the trace. It also helps to have the solder sucker firmly pressed against the area that is being desoldered. That increases the time span over which the kinetic energy from the spring is dissapated.

With that warning in mind, these are fantastic time savers and a tool you should add to your stable. Just be careful.

If you are unsure of this process, Solder Wick is nearly as good at desoldering, but it's a completely different process and you'll need either a higher wattage or a temperature controlled iron. Solder Wick is a no impact process. Please note, that doesn't mean you can't ruin a pcb with Solder Wick. You can, it's just more difficult.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
NI0C
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Posts: 2382




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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 02:46:18 PM »

K7KBN:
You are correct.  Thanks for pointing out my error.
73,
Chuck  NI0C
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