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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by catrunes, Apr 13, 2006.
whats a good type of solder? i've been using rosin core and it sucks ass.
Get some electronic solder from radioshack.
60/40 rosin core is pretty standard. I have a feeling your techinque is what sucks. Make sure to prep properly, and use the right iron, tip, and amount of heat.
Make sure your iron heats up all the way.
Sounds like a soldering iron issue. When I was in solder school I felt like a clutz. During the second day of class my iron completely died. They gave me a different iron and all of a sudden I could solder.
it's most likely a combination of your technique, tools, and solder diameter
I use a Weller soldering station with variable heat adjustment control. It's perfect for getting the right heat setting for soldering leads and for soldering copper shielding foil seams.
For soldering wire, I've had great results with alphametals rosin core alloy 60SN40PB in a .032" diameter. Once the iron is properly heated, it flows nicely and leaves a good shiny connection time after time.
all the best,
Make sure that your tip is tinned when you solder.
The basic smallish rosin core from Rat Shack is fine.
Find yourself an older amatuer radio operator to teach you how to solder, it isn't very hard once you learn the tricks, and those guys know 'em!
Make sure you've got a decent iron that will heat up quickly. I've got a few, and some of them are just frustrating to use. Also make sure you heat the connection you're trying to make and just let the solder flow into it. If you heat the solder itself then try to put it where it should be you won't have much luck.
First, what are you trying to solder?
What size iron are you using?
You need to keep a wet sponge around to wipe the tip clean (very important). You need to heat both surfaces that are being soldered together before soldering then feed the solder between the iron and the surface you are soldering. Let the joint cool naturally so you do not get a cold solder joint. Where posible, it helps to make a good mechanical connection, i.e. wrap wire around lug before soldering.
If you are soldering the backside of a Pot then you need 60-100 watt iron with wide chisel tip. If you are soldering small components you only need 25-30 watts. If you are soldering wire to a lug (20awg or larger) I recommend a 45 watt iron.
If the back of the pot is not shiney silver then you need to use a small jewellers file, or sandpaper on the area to be soldered first.
60-100W for soldering to the back of pots? That's way too much power. I have a wide chisel tip for my 45W iron and it's too hot for soldering anything on a guitar unless you're very quick. While an extra hot iron can be beneficial in experienced hands, beginners should stick with something properly sized to the task. 25-30W with a ~1/16" chisel tip will do everything on a guitar safely and with ease.
The quality of a soldering iron is usually determined by the "recovery" time and temperature control. If you use a higher quality iron and the right size/shaped tip you can use fewer watts. Some of the more expensive irons (for example Metcal - cost 100s of $) run 25 watts max. I normally do not need near this much power.
Rosin flux is fine for most applications. The advantage of Rosin flux is it is fairly inert when not heated up so you do not need to do extensive post soldering clean up (normally).
Stronger fluxes, for example, some of the water soluble fluxes (for example, Kester 1429) are very aggressive - however if you do not clean it up when you are done - it can destroy parts across time (or overnight on a PCB).
Using extra liquid flux put on with a brush can make a huge difference. The solder cores on better solders contains some flux but after that amount of flux reacts with the surface metal oxides to clean the surface then game over if more is needed.
You can commonly get solders with rosen, no-clean, and water soluble cores often in 2 or 3 grades of activity (agressiveness)