TECH NOTE - HOW TO SOLDER

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TECH NOTE - HOW TO SOLDER

What I have noticed in the past five years of teaching is that it takes a number of sessions for folks to become truly competent at soldering.

The trick when you are learning is to take your time, but do not keep the heat on one part of the circuit board or an electronic part for longer than four seconds.

Every time you pick up the solder iron wipe the tip clean on a wet sponge as a matter of habit.

Tin the tip with a little solder, then wipe again.

Apply the point to the track on the board where the lead from the electronic part sticks through, and push feed solder into the joint and count out the time as you apply the solder:

“One-thousand-and-one
One-thousand-and-two
One-thousand-and-three
One-thousand-and-four”


This is the best way, which I still use after all these years. If you just count the seconds you are definitely counting too fast...

Always remove the iron from the board track and part after four seconds – if you keep burning at the same spot you will destroy the track and it will come off the printed circuit board (PCB).

Work on a different part of the board to give the components time to cool down so they are not harmed.

If you keep going you can burn a hole right through the board...

Now look at your joint with a magnifying glass – if the solder looks like a ball it's not fused to the track on the PCB.

If a join looks doubtful lift the board up and using gravity and the tip of the iron pull the solder off the joint. If the solder simply pulls away leaving the track and part lead exposed then it never fused. If the solder says behind and looks shiny you have a good join.

Although I have been doing this for over 30 years I'm sure there are better ways, so please be so kind as to let me know if there is a better way...

best regards

Michael e
www.robotscience.co.za



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