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Old Sep 23, 2013, 12:42 PM
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I can't solder and i don't kno y !?

Have been trying to solder a simple little battery connector for 2 days and i jst cnat do it,,, Grrr! (dont want to ask my brother cuz he will jst laugh.) I never solder B4 and its frustrating. i got a 60 watt pencil style solder iron but solder wont stick to the tip at all??? and it dont stick to the wire either. it melts, but then rolls off? ((( burnt my desk ))) i read the STICKY on soldering tips but its mostly about how to remove solder. And the only other thing i can think to add is the solder is SILVER. is ther a thread on here 4 somebody who wants to solder but never saw a solder iron B4? cuz tht would B meeee. Thanks.

Amanda in Minnesota
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Old Sep 23, 2013, 02:04 PM
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There's plenty of people that'll tell you that it's not clean enough. That may be a tiny pronlem, but what you really need is what's called "flux" . It's a little paste like substance that you put on both surfaces that you're trying to solder before you touch the soldering iron to them. Anywhere that sells solder will have it. You'll be amazed at how simple it is when you have it.

Mike
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Old Sep 23, 2013, 02:18 PM
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Try reading this:
https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials...hole-soldering
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Old Sep 23, 2013, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
And the only other thing i can think to add is the solder is SILVER.
Do you mean that you're using silver solder or just that the color of the solder is silver? If you're really using silver solder then that 60W iron won't melt it. Use lead for electronics - silver requires too much heat for electronics work.

If the solder is silver in color but is not made of silver then it is probably lead-free tin solder. If at all possible, try to get lead solder. 40/60 is best (40% tin, 60% lead) but 60/40 used to be quite common as well. The more lead there is in the solder the better it will "wet". Good led solder is grayish in color.

Leaded solder is still fairly common here in Asia but it's getting harder to buy them in Europe or the US due to ROHS regulations. If you can't find leaded solder then get yourself some flux (in fact, get yourself some flux regardless what type of solder you're using - it helps a lot). In a pinch you can even use lard as flux (it's what flux was originally made of before rosin).

Also, be patient and wait for the iron to heat up. A warm or cold iron will not melt the solder properly.
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Old Sep 24, 2013, 06:25 AM
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Here's an article I wrote for my R/C Club's website about soldering, take a few minutes and read it carefully. Pay special attention to Tip #4, use the iron to heat the joint, not the solder. You are trying to use the iron to melt the solder and drip it onto the joint, and that's not how it works. Use the iron to heat up the joint, be patient and let it get hot for several seconds, then touch the solder to the joint and it will flow arount the wires and coat them.

http://fwrcfc.org/2012/06/25/soldering-tips/

Be patient, and keep trying. It takes some practice to get good at it, but you can do it.
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Old Sep 24, 2013, 07:20 AM
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The flux really helps to distribute the solder on some joints. If you have mesh wire, then flux gets the solder inbetween them. Otherwise it'll just sort of sit on top. There should be plenty of videos on soldering and how it's done.
The leaded solder is better in flux, but if you solder a lot and inhale the gases then lead causes memory problems over time (if I remember correctly, that is! .
Some metals won't work with solder, like aluminium. If it rolls off, then it could be the other surface is too hot and it doesn't cool down quick enough to stick.
Part of the secret is establishing 'third-hand' helps, which have the to be joined pieces put together without stress. Once it's just laying around without any work required to put the pieces together, just drop some solder on it, wait a bit. It should turn matte from a glossy finish, which indicates it has turned solid. Then your joint is ready for inspection.
Use a wet sponge to clean the tip frequently, which prevents foreign materials to get into the joint.
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Old Sep 24, 2013, 03:47 PM
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Amanda;
We need to know what kind of solder you are using. If you bought it at an electronics store, then it will almost certainly be flux core solder for use on electronics. If you bought it at Lowe's or Home Depot, and it was intended for soldering copper pipe, it will not have a flux core. You have to use flux when soldering. You add the flux separately if soldering copper pipe, the solder already has flux if soldering electronics.

Dan
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 12:47 AM
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Yeah the tip of the iron should be clean and shinny transfers heat more efficiently .
Tinning first >>>> Heat and apply solder to each item first , then hold in contact heat and apply solder to both.

Practice with scraps of wire ... You dont want to over heat the parts ., just enough to do the job

A tool to hold the parts together while working, helps a lot This one is $3 at Habor freight.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 01:24 AM
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Also worth mentioning that soldering is a skill. And just like any skill it's worth finding a teachor/mentor to help because there are subtle details and nuances that can't be effectively described in text (in video maybe but even video doesn't convey things like heat or smell).

If your brother is good at soldering then ask him to show you. Don't just ask him to do it. Most people will be glad/proud to teach others things they know and are good at. He may laugh at you, so be it, that's his fault for being a bad teacher and not yours. Be a good learner.

I myself am an electronics engineer with a degree and everything but it wasn't until I started working and started supervising technicians that I really learned how to solder - from my technicians! Not even my lecturers at college were anywhere as good as the technicians I had working under me and I learned a lot from them. I'm now good enough at soldering to be able to solder surface mount stuff with regular $20 hardware store soldering iron.

Don't be too proud to learn. Be proud that you're learning things instead of just buying stuff that you have no idea how they work from the store.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 01:26 AM
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Here's a good beginners tutorial on how to solder: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/354
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 01:31 AM
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Hmm.. they also have a good series of short articles on soldering:

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials...hole-soldering
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 08:31 AM
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Thanks 4 the tips everybody! i think iam finally getting the hang of it. the tutorial Links and advice u give me help a lot! i went to Radio Shack for flux (and stuff) and found out the solder iron i was using was actually part of my problem. Apparently the tip was small and pointy and designed for circuit boards. So i got a iron wit a bigger chisel tip for these bigger connectors on my airplane and diff' solder too. thanks again
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