(Topic ID: 288648)

Solder joints are ugly

By adamw

8 months ago


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  • 14 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by adamw
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 8 months ago

Being new to Pin ownership, I don't know the answer to this... Were the solder joints horrible looking from the factory? Or does this mean a previous owner has done horrible soldering before I bought it? (1986 machine - PinBot)

UPDATED with pics.
The one with the green circle seems to be a nice joint.
The one with the red circle seems to be a messy joint and the yellow arrows showing where it looks like an amateur burnt the wire and one of the messy joints. But all joints on this switch are pretty messy.
The pic with no circle but a red arrow, this looks like a burn mark from the switch itself. I'm having trouble with this switch registering 100% of the time. So I'm wondering if the switch is bad or if the connections just suck.

PXL_20210224_191409037_3 (resized).jpgPXL_20210224_191409037_4 (resized).jpgPXL_20210224_191553239_2 (resized).jpg

#2 8 months ago

Could be both or neither. Post a well-focused close-up photo of the joint(s) in question

#3 8 months ago

Mmmmmmmaybe?

Actually, for System 11 games the factory solder joints were typically pretty clean looking. Like the other guy said, we'd have to see a picture to made a determination.

#4 8 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Could be both or neither. Post a well-focused close-up photo of the joint(s) in question

UPDATED original post above with pics.
The one with the green circle seems to be a nice joint.
The one with the red circle seems to be a messy joint and the yellow arrows showing where it looks like an amateur burnt the wire and one of the messy joints. But all joints on this switch are pretty messy.
The pic with no circle but a red arrow, this looks like a burn mark from the switch itself. I'm having trouble with this switch registering 100% of the time. So I'm wondering if the switch is bad or if the connections just suck.

#5 8 months ago

Green circle is what factory soldering usually looked like.

All the stuff marked in red looks like it was done later.

#6 8 months ago

Those are some ugly solder globs. That's usually from an underpowered solder iron that wont get hot enough. I have used enough $6.99 radio shack irons in my life to recognize that.

#7 8 months ago

The good news is that even an ugly solder joint can be effective as long as it isn't a cold joint. If you're worried that the joints are causing your switch to be flaky, it's easy enough to reflow the solder.

#8 8 months ago

the other issue is when someone attempts to use non-leaded solder and add it to a leaded solder connection. all solder joints should be completely removed and then new solder used. non-leaded and leaded solder do not mix well. additionally, old solder and new solder mixed (leaded or otherwise) can cause issues as well.

that and freeplay3 comment about using a cheap soldering iron that didn't get hot enough to properly flow the solder

a good solder connection should have a shiny sheen to it. dull solder connections are highly suspect of being a cold solder connection and/or bad solder

#9 8 months ago

Thanks guys. And what about the red arrow pic with the gray "soot" on the switch? Could this indicate a bad switch? (Like I said, it seems this switch does not register, at least not 100% of the time).

#10 8 months ago
Quoted from adamw:

Thanks guys. And what about the red arrow pic with the gray "soot" on the switch? Could this indicate a bad switch? (Like I said, it seems this switch does not register, at least not 100% of the time).

Looks like the switch arced internally, I'd replace it without hesitation.

#11 8 months ago
Quoted from HHaase:

Looks like the switch arced internally, I'd replace it without hesitation.

Yeah. That's what I was thinking. But now I have to find a replacement and then figure out how to do soldering while it is on the playfield without getting solder on anything else.

#12 8 months ago
Quoted from adamw:

Yeah. That's what I was thinking. But now I have to find a replacement and then figure out how to do soldering while it is on the playfield without getting solder on anything else.

What game is it, and where is the switch?

#13 8 months ago
Quoted from adamw:

Yeah. That's what I was thinking. But now I have to find a replacement and then figure out how to do soldering while it is on the playfield without getting solder on anything else.

When you replace the switch, clip off the wires to the old switch so that you're removing all of that crappy stuff. Lay a towel on the area underneath the switch and solder the wires to the new switch. shouldn't take more than 10 minutes with a proper soldering iron and solder.

Side note, that's a shitty soldering job.

#14 7 months ago

Just an update... thanks to everyone that gave me advice. I ordered a new switch (and actually new coin mechs, too) and yesterday I completed my first machine repair that required soldering (and some desoldering). I replaced the defective drop target switch and the coin mechs (one of which needed it's switch wired). All of them are working great now! It is much better gameplay since the one drop target wasn't working properly, made it very hard to complete the tasks.

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