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Kit Soldering
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Re: Kit Soldering

by mojo on Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:11 pm

Are you using the iron for anything which might degrade the tip? I'm thinking of dealing with very old equipment or chemicals. Generally if not and you use brass wool you should not ever need to sand a good quality tip. Hakko ones are usually pretty good. Perhaps you could post some close-up shots of the tip.

Solder joints are the sort of thing you just need to get a feel for so don't worry too much if you make some less than perfect ones at first. Even us pros do them sometimes :-)

What solder are you using? Some types are better than others for this kind of work. Lead free solder usually has a much higher melting point that leaded solder so is harder to work with, but lead is obviously quite nasty stuff so some kind of fume extraction when using it is a really good idea. I use a £15 desk-top extractor fan most of the time. If you get headaches, nausea, dry throat/nostrils or similar symptoms then you know you have a problem. You can now get lead free solder with a lower melting point but IMHO it still isn't as good as the leaded stuff.

Your joints don't look terrible but to me it does look like insufficient heat is causing the solder to form into roundish blobs rather than hugging the pads and wires/leads. You may find if you add some leaded solder to the existing joints they form better but if not just remove them with a solder sucker and re-do them with the new stuff.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.