(Topic ID: 253084)

Soldering question

By Rdoyle1978

2 years ago


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  • 28 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ryan1234
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    #1 2 years ago

    I’m trying to put together this kit which has a big PCB and a whole lot of through-hole components. It has several surface mount components, but I’ve already taken care of those.

    So now I go back in to solder the through-hole pieces, and I am having this ridiculous time getting the solder to stick

    It keeps balling up, getting this weird crust on it, it will not flow into the holes. I’m afraid of damaging the PCB so I’ve stopped for now but I’ve not had this happen before. What gives? I’ve been using the same roll of solder for everything thus far

    I have a Hakko 880 workstation, set to 720 degrees, I’m tinning the tip, cleaning it in between components and I have started to brush on flux before I try each component. But it’s still happening!

    #2 2 years ago

    You using lead free solder?

    #3 2 years ago

    Can you post a pic of the solder you are using?

    #4 2 years ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    You using lead free solder?

    No, leaded

    #5 2 years ago
    Quoted from RussMyers:

    Can you post a pic of the solder you are using?

    You mean of the spool itself or the result I’m getting? I’ve used this solder for 100 other jobs over the past 2 years or so. I guess it could be oxidized? But I used it TWO days ago on another project and it was fine.

    #6 2 years ago

    Try cleaning the pads first with alcohol or flux remover if you have it. Solder usually only balls up when something's dirty, although high heat could possibly cause this as well. How are you applying it, are you heating the component lead and the pad at the same time then applying solder to the lead/pad or to the iron tip directly?

    If you didn't have any issue getting a drag solder on the surface mount pads I'm surprised the plated holes are having such an issue.

    I know flux inside the solder can get old over time, but I've got spools from 20 years ago that are still fine.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    You mean of the spool itself or the result I’m getting? I’ve used this solder for 100 other jobs over the past 2 years or so. I guess it could be oxidized? But I used it TWO days ago on another project and it was fine.

    Mightbe your soldering iron heating element is faulty and does not bring enough heat, could you post a video of your complete soldering process??

    - Ingo

    #8 2 years ago

    Maybe show a picture of the board you are working on. Could be a bad board on the one side.

    #9 2 years ago

    OK, if the solder is known good, contaminants on the PCB - oils, silicone, etc can cause solder not to stick, even with flux.

    RM

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from RussMyers:

    OK, if the solder is known good, contaminants on the PCB - oils, silicone, etc can cause solder not to stick, even with flux.
    RM

    Absolutly correct, he should try that.
    But Rdoyle has good soldering skills, I think, the reason is elsewhere ....

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    I have a Hakko 880 workstation, set to 720 degrees, I’m tinning the tip, cleaning it in between components and I have started to brush on flux before I try each component. But it’s still happening!

    For new pcb assembly I normally set my iron to 600 and have no issues soldering. My guess is your solder. PM me and I will mail you some good Kiestler solder. It makes all the deference.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from Turtle:

    For new pcb assembly I normally set my iron to 600 and have no issues soldering. My guess is your solder. PM me and I will mail you some good Kiestler solder. It makes all the deference.

    This is what I’m thinking too. Maybe it really did just go bad that fast.

    I did clean the PCB with alcohol after the initial failure - I am reasonably sure it’s pretty clean.

    Maybe I’ll dial Down the temperature. I did read that if it’s too hot, the solder burns, but I don’t think I’m doing anything different than I’ve always done. Just never had this happen after going through all the usual things.

    Yes I cleaned the PCB, yes I have good heat on the top - it melts the solder on contact. Tip is tinned, I am pretty good about cleaning with the brass brush thing. I’m using flux...

    This weird crusting action is really confusing me. I’ll melt the solder and it kind of blobs up weird, and then gets this “film” over it almost, like it’s partially hardening even when heat is applied.

    I’ll have to take a photo

    #13 2 years ago

    One other thought, what is the size of the thru hole component lead? Because if it's larger leaded component like the Rectifiers/Diodes on the WPC89/WPC95 boards then you will definitely need more heat. It helps if have a hot plate and can pre-heat the parts.

    #14 2 years ago

    Try soldering something else. If the same thing happens, at least you ruled out your equipment....

    #15 2 years ago

    There are a lot of things that can cause this, unfortunately that means a lot of questions right now.

    Easier to think is to shoot a picture of what you’re dealing with for the problem. Also the brand / label of the solder.

    Usually what you describe is caused by bad flux, wrong solder, contamination, or oxidation.

    #16 2 years ago

    Here’s a couple pics
    really don’t look great. The SMCs are fine though

    image (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpg
    #17 2 years ago

    720 is hot... try more like 660-670

    If you haven't already... sand the pads in question till they are nice and uniformly shiny.

    Use alchohol and clean off the surfaces. Assemble the bits and use some brush on flux.

    Make sure your tip is adequately reaching both surfaces to solder.

    The only times I've had failures beyond that are
    1) Dirty joints causing poor heat transfer
    2) Some god awful hideous solder I got from marco one time. Stuff wouldn't stick to anything

    True flux usually makes quick work of a troublesome point.

    #18 2 years ago

    And my solder:

    image (resized).jpg
    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    720 is hot... try more like 660-670
    If you haven't already... sand the pads in question till they are nice and uniformly shiny.
    Use alchohol and clean off the surfaces. Assemble the bits and use some brush on flux.
    Make sure your tip is adequately reaching both surfaces to solder.
    The only times I've had failures beyond that are
    1) Dirty joints causing poor heat transfer
    2) Some god awful hideous solder I got from marco one time. Stuff wouldn't stick to anything
    True flux usually makes quick work of a troublesome point.

    Done, done , done. I have not sanded the pads though, maybe I will try that. Thanks. I’ve not had this happen before either!

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Here’s a couple pics
    really don’t look great. The SMCs are fine though[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    That looks alot like the shit solder I got from Marco. Solder would sit in a ball and not wet and shape to the leads. Either shit solder, or you are not getting heat transfer to the leads. Clean it out, clean up the joints, check your tip, use some flux.. try again.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    That looks alot like the shit solder I got from Marco. Solder would sit in a ball and not wet and shape to the leads. Either shit solder, or you are not getting heat transfer to the leads. Clean it out, clean up the joints, check your tip, use some flux.. try again.

    I just ordered some more, so will try again when that arrives..

    #22 2 years ago

    Are you by any chance using a super-tiny pointy tip? Those just don't get enough heat transfer for thru-hole parts. Also make sure you're taking proper care of the tip as well. It's counter-intuitive, but never just clean your tip and turn the iron off. Always make sure to tin it with clean solder before powering down.

    These may look like cheezy 1960's corporate training videos, because they are cheezy 1960's corporate training videos, but the information is top-notch.
    Check out this series on youtube, it's from Pace soldering, and are an excellent primer into soldering technique. Boring as hell but if you are able to stay away the information is very good.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL926EC0F1F93C1837

    #23 2 years ago

    It looks like the pins didn't get warm at all.

    I usually don't touch the solder to the iron. I put the iron against the part, and the solder against the other side of the part/pad. When the part is hot enough, the solder melts and flows around the part and through the board to the other side. Once it's flowing, i move the iron onto the pad to make sure it has flowed everywhere it needs to be.

    #24 2 years ago

    Those are solders are straight junk. Stick to name brand like Kester and turn your heat down just a little. Use flux if you can. I've never had a joint i couldn't solder with enough flux on it.

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    It looks like the pins didn't get warm at all.
    I usually don't touch the solder to the iron. I put the iron against the part, and the solder against the other side of the part/pad. When the part is hot enough, the solder melts and flows around the part and through the board to the other side. Once it's flowing, i move the iron onto the pad to make sure it has flowed everywhere it needs to be.

    Yep

    #26 2 years ago

    Ok-
    I had this problem once also- there is a way to screw up the temperature setting offset on the Hakko, it is easy to screw up and then it is running cool. It can be reset. Here is the reset instructions-

    http://kb.hakkousa.com/KnowledgebaseArticle10599.aspx

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from ryan1234:

    Ok-
    I had this problem once also- there is a way to screw up the temperature setting offset on the Hakko, it is easy to screw up and then it is running cool. It can be reset. Here is the reset instructions-
    http://kb.hakkousa.com/KnowledgebaseArticle10599.aspx

    Interesting! Thx

    #28 2 years ago

    I just reset mine and it worked again.
    I didn’t go through the temperature adjustment part of the reset.

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