(Topic ID: 186973)

Learning to Solder ... temperatures?


By BSavage

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Mancave
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders

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    chisel_vs_conical (resized).png
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    #1 2 years ago

    So I now have a fancy soldering iron where I can change the temp.... what temps for which work do you guys suggest?

    Wires
    Boards
    Coils

    other?

    #2 2 years ago

    This is one of those topics where you'll probably get a dozen different opinions. The first thing I want to say is that temp also must take into consideration other things, such as the type of tips and solder you intend to use. It does no good to suggest a blanket temp for "wires". A suggested low temp for soldering on a small 24 gauge wire is not going to work well on a larger 16g wire, for example.

    Several threads already discuss soldering temperatures, I suggest starting there.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terrybs-soldering-guide-part-1

    #3 2 years ago

    board work I go around 700. Coil lugs with a shitton of solder on and 3 wires connected, with a layer of dust and dirt covering all the solder. go 900.

    #4 2 years ago

    454d9641c7f3e79e687543e09872c921_put-that-blowtorch-down-it-aint-cool-to-burn-bridges-jeff-blowtorch-meme_625-375 (resized).jpeg

    #5 2 years ago

    I do 750 for board work and 850-899 (maximum) for coil lugs. Usually just 850 though I'd say and it does the job in a few seconds. Honestly, I think I've done 750 on coil lugs too just because I didn't mess with changing it (very easy, but still) and it was fine and went well but "your mileage may vary".

    #6 2 years ago

    There's been lots of discussion about this on KLOV and I've always heard 650 for PCBs (apparently that's what is recommended by Pace). That's what I've always used with no issue although I imagine you could go higher on switches and coils.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from Jam_Burglar:

    There's been lots of discussion about this on KLOV and I've always heard 650 for PCBs

    There are a lot of variables as far as that goes. What type of component is being soldered, type of tip and solder. You might start as low as 650F for small surface components, and bump that up to 750F to pump heat into a thru-hole joint quickly. Large heat sinks such as regulator tabs to a large plane might require 850F.
    One might think the lowest possible temp is best, but you also have to consider how long you have to leave the iron on the joint. If your temp is too low and you have to leave your iron on the joint too long, that's a good way to delaminate a trace or pad.

    #8 2 years ago

    I tend to work hot.... so i can work fast.

    I assemble new MPU boards at 750f so I can whizz down a line of solder joints spending less than 1 second with my iron on each point. At 650, it would take much longer.

    Bally rectifiers I am assembling with 2oz copper, majorly wide traces, bridge rectifiers with fat lugs and metal cases... 850f and a big chisel tip still takes some time to heat up those joints.

    Kester 331 is my new fav solder. Specially on new PCBs. Water solubile flux clean up!
    https://gokimco.com/331-water-soluble-solder-wire-031-66.html

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from BSavage:

    So I now have a fancy soldering iron where I can change the temp....

    Which one did you get, and from where?

    I have decided to get myself a decent iron with temp selection, and after days of reading online about each of the zillion different ones, I think I am more post than when I started?

    Anyone else have exomindations on a good iron that wonk cost me hundreds?

    #10 2 years ago

    I like 700 for board work. My experience is if the temperature is too low you end up having to hold the iron on longer and it gives more time for the heat to flow around to other components. I noticed when I run my iron a little bit hotter and touch components that are a little bit away from my solder joint they are actually cooler because I can get my joint completed quicker.

    If you run your iron at a very high temperature you'll notice that the solder instantly seems to oxidize on the iron tip, so I find myself having to clean the iron tip more often.

    An issue that's not being mentioned is the overall mass of your soldering iron. If you have a tiny little pencil tip that has no Mass it's going to cool down instantly. The iron I use for my board work has a tiny pencil tip. The one I use for soldering on Playfield components is very large. Lots of mass so it doesn't cool down when I put it on a big lug.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from E_N_3:

    Anyone else have exomindations on a good iron that wonk cost me hundreds?

    For a basic iron you can't go wrong with a Weller WES51, about $100

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    There are a lot of variables as far as that goes. What type of component is being soldered, type of tip and solder. You might start as low as 650F for small surface components, and bump that up to 750F to pump heat into a thru-hole joint quickly. Large heat sinks such as regulator tabs to a large plane might require 850F.
    One might think the lowest possible temp is best, but you also have to consider how long you have to leave the iron on the joint. If your temp is too low and you have to leave your iron on the joint too long, that's a good way to delaminate a trace or pad.

    That sounds about in line with what I've read. I actually found the post on KLOV I was referring to and here's the quote (talking about arcade PCBs mind you, not larger components)

    "I also run my irons at 650F for both soldering and desoldering. This is what was drilled into my head when I was at a multi-day Pace soldering/rework training class back in the mid-90s.

    If you run over 700F the tips will turn colors and their life will be drastically shortened. Also, using a wet sponge will thermally shock the tip and cause small fractures in the plating. This leads to tip failure where you eventually get pits and chunks missing out of it. It also leads to the oxidation where the tip won't wet with solder, but rather have it ball up on the surface. This prevents the heat transfer from the tip required to do proper soldering of a joint.

    Get a good, temperature controlled soldering station. Run it at no more than 650F and use the brass ball to clean the gunk from the tip. Put a bit of solder on it before putting it away for the longest life from the tip."

    #13 2 years ago

    Burglar and wayout have good points. Need to take into account the recovery time of the iron as well; I believe this is why frequently people crank them way up (poor recovery from the iron, causing quick temp drop).

    I believe 650 is fine for lead solder but soft/silver/lead free (whatever you want to call it) requires a little more plus more flux.

    Yes, the tip makes crazy difference. Imagine the difference various tire sizes and treads would make on a cars performance! Not the same thing by any means, just trying to say tip condition, type for job being done, and temp all make a difference.

    So many times I have seen coworkers use same iron, heat, and tip and seen so many different results. One "tech" got new tips every week!! He wouldn't tin them right, tried using them dirty, etc.

    I'm sure there are other IPC certified techs (at least even J-STD-001) on here that can chime in as well.

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from Jam_Burglar:

    Also, using a wet sponge will thermally shock the tip and cause small fractures in the plating.

    I agree with you there, were using combinations of hakko wire cleaner and plato tip cleaner/tinner cans in lieu of sponges. As far as setting at 650 "permanently", forget about it. In some cases we'd be here all day, and we have lots and lots of soldering to do. I just did 1200 thru hole extractions one day this week, resoldering the 1200 with replacement components the next morning.

    #15 2 years ago

    I like it hot and don't mind changing the cheap tips!

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from E_N_3:

    Which one did you get, and from where?

    I had the same issue of what to get and after chatting with fellow pinsiders I settled on this.
    amazon.com link »
    A hakko-fx888d. I Love it.

    Everything has changed. The proper tool for the job makes a huge difference.
    -Mike

    #17 2 years ago

    My iron is typically set at 720 for board work, because that was a rad arcade game.

    #18 2 years ago

    I tend to be on the hotter side. Get in get it done and get out.

    Technique is probably just as important though. I like to heat the joint for a second first and then melt the solder between the joint and the tip, then i might hold for another second if it doesn't flow right away. Once the joint sucks in the solder I'm outta there.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from merccat:

    I tend to be on the hotter side. Get in get it done and get out.
    Technique is probably just as important though. I like to heat the joint for a second first and then melt the solder between the joint and the tip, then i might hold for another second if it doesn't flow right away. Once the joint sucks in the solder I'm outta there.

    True, technique is probably huge.

    Like wayout said he been doing thousands.

    Few years back I worked with a tech that would crank heat crazy high and swore by his "quick in quick out". Wiring/lugs etc fine, but I always worried about heat stress on components during board work like that. Do have to admit, he always did really nice looking work, and it worked when he was done.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rock914:

    I like it hot and don't mind changing the cheap tips!

    I don't know what you consider cheap, our Pace tips are around $10 to $15 each.

    #22 2 years ago

    Pulled my hakko out of the box, turned it on, default was 750, haven't touched it in two years, never had an issue with a board, coil, switch or anything else I've come across. As noted, technique is important so don't hold the iron on the board for too long, as is the selection of tip, chisel works fine for non board work, pin point tip for board work.

    #23 2 years ago

    left my Hakko on the 750 default setting as well

    #24 1 year ago

    Bought a Weller WD1002T

    #25 1 year ago

    650-ish for me as well as far as I remember. I'd rather be slightly cautious than pull a through hole. I mean..let's be honest here you're effed either way you choose. If you go hot and quick and your technique isn't PERFECT, you can easily pull a trace or through hole. If you go low and slow you're probably damaging the adherence of the through holes and traces to the boards ANYWAYS over time and particularly if something needs to be reworked more than once. For the vast majority of us, boards aren't infinitely repairable. Rob and Barakandl are the exception, not the rule.

    I've never blown a board up that I couldn't fix, but it's inevitable sooner or later.

    #26 1 year ago

    I've run 680 for board work...

    Honestly, have never changed it for lugs (but, I see the logic in cranking it up... will do so in the future)

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from Lermods:

    pin point tip for board work.

    The problem with conical tips is the heating element is farther away from the end of the tip (see image) and therefore you need to use the side of the tip rather than the end. With a chisel tip you can hold it perpendicular to the board whereas a conical tip should be used almost parallel to the board. For most people the former is much more natural. In addition chisel tips provide more contact area and do not tend to draw the solder away from the joint like a conical tip.

    chisel_vs_conical (resized).png

    #28 1 year ago

    The wet sponge for cleaning always seemed odd to me. I have always wiped with a dry paper towel and thrown it away at the end of each session of soldering. Works well and the mechanical action of wiping the towel seems to do a find job removing crap from the tip.

    As a bonus, I don't have some random item (tip cleaning sponge or equivalent) that I could keep around forever wiping my tip on that would be contaminated with lead and random other solder alloys and fluxes from old jobs that I might be reworking where someone used who knows what.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    I had the same issue of what to get and after chatting with fellow pinsiders I settled on this.
    amazon.com link »
    A hakko-fx888d. I Love it.
    Everything has changed. The proper tool for the job makes a huge difference.
    -Mike

    Thanks a bunch! I ordered the hakko-fx888d from Amazon...I'm looking forward to it getting here!

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from terryb:

    The problem with conical tips is the heating element is farther away from the end of the tip (see image) and therefore you need to use the side of the tip rather than the end. With a chisel tip you can hold it perpendicular to the board whereas a conical tip should be used almost parallel to the board. For most people the former is much more natural. In addition chisel tips provide more contact area and do not tend to draw the solder away from the joint like a conical tip.

    For me, in tight spots, I can't maneuver a chisel tip as easy as I can a conical. My hands are too shaky sometimes and the conical gives me a little more room to work.

    #31 1 year ago

    For soldering fine pitch SMTs, we actually use the largest chisel tip we can to get the best results. It's called the "drag" or "sweep" technique

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    For soldering fine pitch SMTs, we actually use the largest chisel tip we can to get the best results. It's called the "drag" or "sweep" technique
    » YouTube video

    Its all about how much solder you use with this technique. Solder only wants to stick the pads and resists solder mask or the PCB material. If you bridge two pins, just clean off your (chisel!) tip and use it to wick off the excess solder bridging two pads.

    #33 1 year ago

    I prefer a drag tip with the hollow area at the end of the tip which helps prevent bridging. Either approach works though.

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    Its all about how much solder you use with this technique. Solder only wants to stick the pads and resists solder mask or the PCB material. If you bridge two pins, just clean off your (chisel!) tip and use it to wick off the excess solder bridging two pads.

    Usually works well for me when I dont have a hot air reflow station available. Worst case, clean off excess solder (if its a lot) with some wick, reapply flux, try again....a syringe of good paste flux is your friend on quad smt!

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from pacmanretro:

    Usually works well for me when I dont have a hot air reflow station available. Worst case, clean off excess solder (if its a lot) with some wick, reapply flux, try again....a syringe of good paste flux is your friend on quad smt!

    Flux is the key! I actually prefer this method over air. I'm faster at it. I'll remove the device with a hot air vac and then hand solder the replacement part.

    2 months later
    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from boscokid:

    left my Hakko on the 750 default setting as well

    I moved mine down to 650 recently and am happier with the results

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from boscokid:

    I moved mine down to 650 recently and am happier with the results

    All depends what you are soldering. I have a modification to do on one of our boards replacing two ceramic caps with two tantalum caps. It takes a heat gun and tweezers set at 750F simultaneously running about a full minute just to remove the ceramics. I've done about 200 of these over the past couple of months.

    2 weeks later
    #38 1 year ago

    Posting so others can learn from my mistakes. I'm pretty bummed and embarrassed about it, but hopefully it'll save someone trouble later.

    I had my Hakko 808 desoldering gun at about 700° and I was having a really hard time getting the U2 IC out of a Bally SDU-100. I couldn't get all of the solder off of the component side. I added solder back and tried again to no avail. Ended up turning up the heat and trying to leave the gun on the pads a little longer to try and help more heat transfer to that other side to get the solder to get sucked through.

    Ultimately, I lost a couple pads on the solder side and pulled a trace on the component side and I'm not sure where to go from here. Kills me because I was on the verge of fixing my first board from it being completely shot and I pulled this crap.

    Moral of the story: don't rush, and stop if something isn't working instead of trying to force it to happen.

    #39 1 year ago

    Keep at it. A pulled trace isn't the end of the world. Follow the trace to a solid point and solder on a super thin insulated wire, then the other where the trace was going (I'm assuming a leg of the socket you were installing for the IC). Use a dab of hot glue to keep the wire from getting moved or accidentally snagged.

    Is it as bueatiful as a perfect board? No, but just as functional.

    #40 1 year ago

    Rushing is usually a bad idea on anything. For a very stubborn IC, I often remove as much solder and then use hot air to hear all the pins simultaneously, immediately and GENTLY working the DIP out with DIP tweezers.
    As a last resort, you can also clip all the leads off the package body and pull the pins out individually and suck out the remaining solder afterwards.

    #41 1 year ago

    If you're replacing a bad chip, I clip the body off of the legs - makes it easier to remove stubborn legs. I know it's "sexy" to remove a chip in one piece, but what's the point? You're just going to throw it away. Do what makes it easier and quicker.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from Billc479:

    If you're replacing a bad chip, I clip the body off of the legs - makes it easier to remove stubborn legs. I know it's "sexy" to remove a chip in one piece, but what's the point? You're just going to throw it away. Do what makes it easier and quicker.

    Once you get proficient at desoldering, it is much faster/easier to remove a chip in one shot than to cut all the legs and do it that way.

    At least I found that to be true for my own work.

    #43 1 year ago

    Well, this gets better.

    So I bought Stars, Seawitch, and Lectronamo as projects. They'd been sitting untouched for god knows how long. Anyhow, I started looking at the Lectronamo board to see what it looked like... ironically all of the U1, U2, and U3 chips were missing... and the trace and pads from the component side of U2 pin 12 to pin 18 is completely gone! What in the hell am I supposed to do with that? I looked at the stitch method, but there's no trace for the wire to hold onto! This board is a total mess- flux everywhere, shoddy solder work. I'm sure this was being used for parts.

    #44 1 year ago

    For Soldering I keep it at 625 Degrees. Too Hot and you run the risk of pulling up a trace and that's not something I want to experience. For desoldering I use a Hakko 300 and I keep it set to the lowest setting which I think is around 700 Degrees.

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from ShootForSlrValue:

    Well, this gets better.
    So I bought Stars, Seawitch, and Lectronamo as projects. They'd been sitting untouched for god knows how long. Anyhow, I started looking at the Lectronamo board to see what it looked like... ironically all of the U1, U2, and U3 chips were missing... and the trace and pads from the component side of U2 pin 12 to pin 18 is completely gone! What in the hell am I supposed to do with that? I looked at the stitch method, but there's no trace for the wire to hol

    If the board was unobtainable, it is possible to repair with solid wire jumpers, but you have to be meticulous about following all the connections using the schematics. I've saved a large number of boards, but this is a case where replacing the board is your best option.

    #46 1 year ago

    The saving grace on so many pin boards of years past, for hobbyists especially, is that the boards for the most part are not multi layer pcbs......otherwise......

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    If the board was unobtainable, it is possible to repair with solid wire jumpers, but you have to be meticulous about following all the connections using the schematics. I've saved a large number of boards, but this is a case where replacing the board is your best option.

    I was looking over the schematic, and it looks like Pin 12 and Pin 18 both go to ground. So just for education's sake, would it not make sense to jumper those two pins together?

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from ShootForSlrValue:

    I was looking over the schematic, and it looks like Pin 12 and Pin 18 both go to ground. So just for education's sake, would it not make sense to jumper those two pins together?

    If you are talking about U2 ROM on the MPU board, pin 18 does not go to ground. U1 - U6 Pin 18 on each are all tied to U18 pin 4 output.

    #49 1 year ago

    I looked at the temps and thought to myself....FARRRKKKKKK and then after a brief mind pause converted to Celsius....... all good

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