Author Topic: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?  (Read 1738 times)

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2018, 03:01:47 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.
Etymotic Research, Function f(x)

blearyeyes

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1642
  • Like so many others, my name is Dan.
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2018, 03:05:00 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.

What do you use to clean boards?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I sometimes build pedals as "Dan"
I built peddles for Bat Thumbís car.

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2018, 03:37:49 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.

What do you use to clean boards?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I often do a first pass with isopropanol, but that leaves the board sticky, so I will often do a final pass with flux remover (there are many variants out there).  The flux remover is nasty stuff, so make sure to use it in a ventilated area.  I usually spray a little on and scrub it with a dedicated toothbrush (never been used for actually brushing teeth).

Also, clean the board before you put on sockets, pots, trimpots, or basically any part the flux could wash into as it can ruin those parts.
Etymotic Research, Function f(x)

somnif

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2018, 03:42:10 PM »
I do repeated cycles of 99% isopropyl and distilled water. Scrub the alcohol on a bit with a short bristled paint brush or toothbrush,  rinse with DI, another rinse with iso, another with DI, etc. 3 or 4 rounds leaves me non-sticky, typically. But yeah don't wash once things with moving parts are on board.

blearyeyes

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1642
  • Like so many others, my name is Dan.
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2018, 03:44:16 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.

What do you use to clean boards?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I often do a first pass with isopropanol, but that leaves the board sticky, so I will often do a final pass with flux remover (there are many variants out there).  The flux remover is nasty stuff, so make sure to use it in a ventilated area.  I usually spray a little on and scrub it with a dedicated toothbrush (never been used for actually brushing teeth).

Also, clean the board before you put on sockets, pots, trimpots, or basically any part the flux could wash into as it can ruin those parts.
I notice the isopropyl leaving sticky residue and that is why I asked.   What is the difference between Isopropyl and Isopropanol? I have old roson core from the 90s pretty messy stuff.  When I can I'll modernize my solder.
I sometimes build pedals as "Dan"
I built peddles for Bat Thumbís car.

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2018, 06:07:40 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.

What do you use to clean boards?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I often do a first pass with isopropanol, but that leaves the board sticky, so I will often do a final pass with flux remover (there are many variants out there).  The flux remover is nasty stuff, so make sure to use it in a ventilated area.  I usually spray a little on and scrub it with a dedicated toothbrush (never been used for actually brushing teeth).

Also, clean the board before you put on sockets, pots, trimpots, or basically any part the flux could wash into as it can ruin those parts.
I notice the isopropyl leaving sticky residue and that is why I asked.   What is the difference between Isopropyl and Isopropanol? I have old roson core from the 90s pretty messy stuff.  When I can I'll modernize my solder.

Isopropanol is Isopropul alcohol.  Just make sure you use the high purity stuff.

Flux remover works a lot better and requires fewer passes.  It's much easier to get the residue off.  That said, it's nastier to work with and more expensive.  A can should last a while if you use it sparingly.

You can even get it with an integrated brush if you like:

Etymotic Research, Function f(x)

EBK

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 587
  • Eric K.
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2018, 06:21:49 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.

What do you use to clean boards?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I often do a first pass with isopropanol, but that leaves the board sticky, so I will often do a final pass with flux remover (there are many variants out there).  The flux remover is nasty stuff, so make sure to use it in a ventilated area.  I usually spray a little on and scrub it with a dedicated toothbrush (never been used for actually brushing teeth).

Also, clean the board before you put on sockets, pots, trimpots, or basically any part the flux could wash into as it can ruin those parts.
I notice the isopropyl leaving sticky residue and that is why I asked.   What is the difference between Isopropyl and Isopropanol? I have old roson core from the 90s pretty messy stuff.  When I can I'll modernize my solder.

Isopropanol is Isopropul alcohol.  Just make sure you use the high purity stuff.

Flux remover works a lot better and requires fewer passes.  It's much easier to get the residue off.  That said, it's nastier to work with and more expensive.  A can should last a while if you use it sparingly.

You can even get it with an integrated brush if you like:


We've reached such a level of quote nesting that the posts are starting to look like the scrolling text at the beginning of Star Wars.  ;D
No affiliations. If I glowingly mention specific merchants or products, it is because I like them without having to be paid to like them.

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2018, 07:10:35 PM »
While we are on the topic of life changing soldering:
Are you using 63/37 solder?   8)

The best bet in leaded solder, IMHO.  Less chance of a bad joint.

Much difference with 60/40? 3% difference?

The difference is that 63/37 is a blend that has no crystalline state.  It goes from liquid to solid with no transition.  60/40 does.  If anything moves during the transition, you can end up with a bad joint.  60/40 is fine, 63/37 is just a little bit better.

What brand of 63/37 do you like/use?

I like the Kester 63/37 with the RMA flux, but I'm not averse to cleaning boards.  I used to hate no clean solder, but the recent ones have improved workability so that can be a decent route to go as well.

What do you use to clean boards?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I often do a first pass with isopropanol, but that leaves the board sticky, so I will often do a final pass with flux remover (there are many variants out there).  The flux remover is nasty stuff, so make sure to use it in a ventilated area.  I usually spray a little on and scrub it with a dedicated toothbrush (never been used for actually brushing teeth).

Also, clean the board before you put on sockets, pots, trimpots, or basically any part the flux could wash into as it can ruin those parts.
I notice the isopropyl leaving sticky residue and that is why I asked.   What is the difference between Isopropyl and Isopropanol? I have old roson core from the 90s pretty messy stuff.  When I can I'll modernize my solder.

Isopropanol is Isopropul alcohol.  Just make sure you use the high purity stuff.

Flux remover works a lot better and requires fewer passes.  It's much easier to get the residue off.  That said, it's nastier to work with and more expensive.  A can should last a while if you use it sparingly.

You can even get it with an integrated brush if you like:


We've reached such a level of quote nesting that the posts are starting to look like the scrolling text at the beginning of Star Wars.  ;D

QFT
Etymotic Research, Function f(x)

Zigcat

  • Stompbox Star
  • ***
  • Posts: 207
  • Andrew S.
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2018, 08:14:47 PM »
Quote from: EBK
We've reached such a level of quote nesting that the posts are starting to look like the scrolling text at the beginning of Star Wars.  ;D

Seriously.

blearyeyes

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1642
  • Like so many others, my name is Dan.
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2018, 12:43:28 AM »
Itís making me hallucinate when I look at it too long.........
I sometimes build pedals as "Dan"
I built peddles for Bat Thumbís car.

alanp

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 4746
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2018, 01:39:05 AM »
What do you use to clean boards?

In my case, utter laziness. (IE, I don't bother :) )
"Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper."
- Cohen the Barbarian, on what is greatest in life
My OSHpark shared projects
My website

somnif

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2018, 02:24:14 AM »
In my case, utter laziness. (IE, I don't bother :) )

Yeah I often don't. The exceptions are: when I do SMD stuff (I suck at this and use gallons of flux to make up for it.), and when I screw up and need to de-solder something (again, the wick has a ton of flux and it annoys me).

My usual no-clean solder residue doesn't bug me so unless its something I'm planning to photograph, I don't bother.

bsoncini

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 426
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2018, 04:52:55 PM »
Any benefit in cleaning boards.? I've been soldering for at least 15 years and have never cleaned a solder joint. I even had formal soldering training in an electrician apprenticeship and they never talked about it. I'll admit it looks ugly on white pcbs but I'm not Instagramming my soldering.  Just curious if there is any benefits or just strictly for looks?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 05:07:44 PM by bsoncini »

somnif

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2018, 12:47:53 AM »
Any benefit in cleaning boards.? I've been soldering for at least 15 years and have never cleaned a solder joint. I even had formal soldering training in an electrician apprenticeship and they never talked about it. I'll admit it looks ugly on white pcbs but I'm not Instagramming my soldering.  Just curious if there is any benefits or just strictly for looks?

I've heard that some fluxes are mildly hygroscopic and can become somewhat conductive over time (or sticky enough to get dusty and somewhat conductive), but I've not seen it be an issue in person. I do it with my SMD stuff because its a pain to see the joints when they're covered in shiny brown goo, but thats the only real "issue" i've run into.

But, let the veterans chime in, I'm still a bit of a neophyte in many respects.

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
    • View Profile
Re: Soldering Stations - what's hot and what's not?
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2018, 05:58:57 AM »
Any benefit in cleaning boards.? I've been soldering for at least 15 years and have never cleaned a solder joint. I even had formal soldering training in an electrician apprenticeship and they never talked about it. I'll admit it looks ugly on white pcbs but I'm not Instagramming my soldering.  Just curious if there is any benefits or just strictly for looks?

It depends on the flux used in the solder.  For example, water based flux MUST be removed or it will eat away at the board.  For no-clean flux it's not necessary at all (obviously).  For RMA type fluxes, it usually isn't necessary either; as you guessed, it's more about looks.  Occasionally, there are circuits where it can matter, but for low frequency audio circuits, generally not.

I don't wash all boards I do; I do it more with SMT than anything else as I lay down more flux when soldering and it looks terrible.  Lately, I've been cleaning the tops of the boards more as well, again because it looks better.

So, if you are using standard rosin core RMA or no-clean solder, you can skip cleaning if you want.
Etymotic Research, Function f(x)