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Old Mar 21, 2015, 10:16 AM
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KenS999's Avatar
United States, IL, Huntley
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Soldering Question?

Hello,

How many WATTs Soldering Iron and/or what Farenheit temperature is required to safely and quickly solder an XT60 (hobbyking) connector to 10 gauge wire? Im having a heck of a time getting 60/40 rosin core solder to flow in that connection while using two 45W Irons. Also, I don't like the fact that I have to leave the irons in contact with the surfaces for such a long period of time.

Also if you have an effective soldering technique you care to share, well that would be great .

Thanks,
Ken
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 10:48 AM
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The Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
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Hi Ken,
Usually the problem is not with the "watts" but with the tip. A decent 40W iron should be more than high enough in temperature, in fact too hot for most work.
You need a tip with greater mass to conduct the heat from the heating element to the tip when soldering larger connectors.
I use a 3/16" chisel tip on my adjustable 40W Weller iron for this work. I never run it anywhere near the full 40W power, but at about 25W, even when soldering connectors such as the XT60's.
Pete
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Thanks Pete.
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 11:56 AM
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Pete's 100% correct. When soldering larger joints, it's all about thermal mass. You can solder with a standard tip if you have a few hours to bring the 10ga wire to temp (completely melting the insulation) or a few seconds with a large chisel tip.
Secondly, 60/40 solder will flow much better than 63/37 eutectic solder. If at all possible, also use additional liquid flux. Avoid any lead free or silver solder as those type of joints will crack much easier.

For technique, add a bit of solder to the tip you're using then touch that to the area you're trying to solder. the liquidity of the solder helps increase the contact and the thermal transfer between the tip and the joint. once you see the solder starting to wick into the wire and the joint, you can push the solder in at that contact point. do not pull the iron away until you get a good flow and shine. As it cools, it will start to turn dull as it cools too quickly. Remember to have a good solid mechanical connection before you try to solder as that will help prevent the cracking over time.
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Last edited by Peacemakr40; Mar 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM. Reason: added technique
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 12:17 PM
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Thank you.
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Old Mar 22, 2015, 04:31 PM
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with the XT60 i can do 12 guage wire with a 40 watt iron and dinky little 2.2mm chisel tip. only takes a few seconds but i do have the temp turned up to 350C....the blob of solder to get good heat transfer and lots of flux is the key.
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Old Mar 22, 2015, 05:56 PM
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Yes, having your flux capacitor fully charged is essential
Doc. Emmet Brown
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 08:51 AM
Marion
USA, NC, Hillsborough
Joined Oct 2003
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And what flux do you use ?? All I can find locally is lead-free flux and that doesn't work very well for me -- I can't get a "shiny" solder joint.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 11:00 AM
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The Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
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You should be using rosin core solder for electrical work, and lead free solder should be avoided at all costs.
Most of the time the flux in the solder is more than adequate.
Is the lead free flux you have sold in the plumbing department by any chance, if so, don't use it for electrical work.
I have a tin of the rosin flux from Radio Shack, but rarely use it
Pete
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 01:58 PM
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Tel Aviv, Israel
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kester 186 rosin flux. been around before dirt and should be easy to find anywhere. the flux pen (with the same stuff) is nice to have but if you solder a lot it runs out pretty quick and if you only solder occasionally the the tip dries up and is a pain to get flowing again...so it's always nice to have a bottle with needle applicator. cheap stuff so don't be afraid to squirt it all over the place when needed. clean up is with regular IPA which is also cheap and easy to find. if you burn it to a orange colored crust it does become hard to clean off so proper tip size and temp control are a good idea.
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 07:52 AM
Marion
USA, NC, Hillsborough
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I have not been able to find rosin based flux. Anybody have a source for small quantities?
TIA
Marion
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 10:37 AM
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rammon3's Avatar
United States, NH, Andover
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How about here?

http://www.radioshack.com/2-oz-non-s...l#.VRGFQWdFCM8
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 02:00 PM
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Canada, ON, Mulmur
Joined Dec 2010
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RE-Tin the connection wire with fresh solder first .
Tin (solder) the Brass connection pin (fill it up a bit with solder)

Heat the Brass connection to melt the solder - Add the pre-tinned wire.
Keep heat on the connection until you see the whole thing "re-flow"
Sometimes adding some extra solder at point will help with the re-flow.

Once it has re-flowed , you remove the heat and you must keep the parts still until the
solder sets ... if you want a nice shiny joint.
You have applied a lot of heat so this may take a good 5 to 10 seconds to set.

After your done try and remove the wire from the connection by pulling it away from the solder joint ...A weak solder job will crack and pull apart .. there should be NO WAY you can
pull the wire off by hand...

-Brent
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 08:26 AM
Marion
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Joined Oct 2003
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Thanks Rammon 3. That's what I have been looking for :-) :-)
Marion
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 10:19 PM
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Joined Jan 2007
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10 Gauge Wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenS999 View Post
Hello,

How many WATTs Soldering Iron and/or what Farenheit temperature is required to safely and quickly solder an XT60 (hobbyking) connector to 10 gauge wire? Im having a heck of a time getting 60/40 rosin core solder to flow in that connection while using two 45W Irons. Also, I don't like the fact that I have to leave the irons in contact with the surfaces for such a long period of time.

Also if you have an effective soldering technique you care to share, well that would be great .

Thanks,
Ken
Soldering heavy duty wiring #10 or several #12 wires together is not a job for a 40 Watt soldering iron. Or even a pair of them. I've got a Weller 100 Watt Temperature regulated soldering iron that uses a 3/8 inch diameter iron plated tip. Being temperature regulated, the tip won't burn up like those unregulated irons.

I've had my unit for four years, with a lot of use. And, after using this iron for four years, am still using the original 3/8 inch diameter tip. I've accidentally left mine on overnight more than a few times, with zero effect on the tip. Just wiped it with a dry paper towel, hit it with a bit of rosin core solder, and it was ready to go.

In fact, I just had it turned on today for 5 hours, soldering up 25 DPDT toggle type locking switches for receiver power for both my giant scale models, along with a bunch of club members giant scale units. The job consisted of soldering #14 solid wire to the solder terminals of the switch, then soldering servo wire to those #14 copper wires. The 3/16 inch tip was used, allowing soldering all four poles on each switch in a few seconds.

TEMPERATURE REGULATED 100 WATT SOLDERING IRON
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59884

This thing will solder just about anything involved with electric models, and then some. Be sure to also buy one each of the various tip sizes for this iron for the "Smaller Jobs". With that 3/8 inch tip, it will solder your #10 wire in a few seconds.

BTW, forget about using one of those 100 Watt soldering guns. IMHO, they aren't worth the box they come in for soldering this type of stuff. (I've got three of those guns, and a whole assortment of other non-regulated soldering irons ranging from 15 Watts to three or four 40 Watt unregulated irons. 99.9% of my soldering is with that 100 Watt temperature regulated iron, or my 40 Watt Weller temperature regulated soldering station.

Also got an 80 Watt unregulated soldering iron picked up at Ace Hardware. This thing gets hot when not used. I've measured over 1000 degrees on the tip with a thermocouple thermometer after several hours turned on. That will "burn" your copper wire. Good luck in trying to solder it now.

Avoid those soldering irons with a simple rotary dial for temperature adjustment. Some of them are not temperature regulated, and are not much better than the el-cheapos.

Check out reports #16 and #18 in this thread for the other size tips.

As for "Effective Soldering Technique", once you have this Weller soldering iron, or a similar 100 Watt temperature regulated soldering iron, soldering becomes much much easier. As the old saying goes, buy quality, buy once.
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Last edited by vollrathd; Mar 25, 2015 at 10:43 PM.
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