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Soldering wires together

Old 10-12-2010, 09:50 PM
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FlyWheel
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Angry Soldering wires together

I have just ruined a brand new NiMH pack trying to solder the wires of a pre-wired Deans' connector to the wires off the pack. The solder will not to melt into the wire (it melts fine when in contact with the iron).

I have read the various posts on the subject and am doing what they say to do, have seen all the videos and marveled at how the little melted blob of their solder is actually sucked right off the iron's tip onto the strands of wire within milliseconds of touching it! However much to my trevail I have found that this simply does not happen in the Real World.

I have even tried twisting the ends of the wires together and holding the iron on the underside of them while touching the solder to the top, hoping the heat will melt the solder and draw it onto the wires. NOT! The solder will just sit there doing absolutly nothing while the shrink tubing I have waiting an inch and a half away on the wire starts shrinking. IOW, the wire is getting hot enough, but the solder refuses to melt!
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:57 PM
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Some don't like it, but I always use a good flux on mine. Makes it much easier and the wires all tin very easily. I've had the same problems with solder not wanting to go into the wires.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:57 PM
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You did put flux on the wire didn't you? Only thing I can think of that would cause the solder not to migrate to the wire.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:58 PM
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Sorry to read about your troubles, FW.
Are you using flux?
If you've got your wires clean and are applying enough heat to the right surface, that's the only advise I can offer.


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Old 10-12-2010, 09:58 PM
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Looks like flux is the answer.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:56 PM
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Well flux... I wanted to give the answer!
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:00 PM
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another question in relation to soldering wires together...like for an esc power line extension...would you do a butt-joint or lap joint?
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:59 AM
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Tex,

For that type of joint, I normally fan both ends, butt to one another and twist, followed by soldering.. Or split each end into 3 thick strands, then wrap them to one another, followed by soldering..
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:07 AM
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As many have said, flux is the answer. The easiest type to use is the one that comes in little tins and looks like vaseline. I just dip the wire ends in it, or use a toothpick to apply some to the part.

Most hobby-grade solder have some flux already in it (flux-core or rosin-core (a type of flux) solder.) I use additional flux as well, because I just love the way tin magically flows when using it. Also, the word is funny. Flux flux flux!

Get thee to a hobby shop of some kind and demand rosin-core solder and an extra tin of flux on the side!

I just reread your post and you talked about solder being sucked right off the tip of the soldering iron. Flux-core solder really only works for a second or two after it melts, so solder that is already on the tip of the iron would have the flux boiled off already. This is why you put some solder on the iron to get good heat conduction and heat the metal part, and add some fresh solder straight to the metal. If the metal part has been pre-fluxed, it will indeed suck the solder right off the tip.

Oh great, now the word solder has lost all meaning to me since I've used it so many times. Solder solder scholder? sjolder? No no no.
Sorry, it is late here
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
I have just ruined a brand new NiMH pack trying to solder the wires of a pre-wired Deans' connector to the wires off the pack. The solder will not to melt into the wire (it melts fine when in contact with the iron).

I have read the various posts on the subject and am doing what they say to do, have seen all the videos and marveled at how the little melted blob of their solder is actually sucked right off the iron's tip onto the strands of wire within milliseconds of touching it! However much to my trevail I have found that this simply does not happen in the Real World.

I have even tried twisting the ends of the wires together and holding the iron on the underside of them while touching the solder to the top, hoping the heat will melt the solder and draw it onto the wires. NOT! The solder will just sit there doing absolutly nothing while the shrink tubing I have waiting an inch and a half away on the wire starts shrinking. IOW, the wire is getting hot enough, but the solder refuses to melt!
Solder comes in lots of different mixtures, FlyWheel. Some is "soft" and melts easily and some is "hard", meant to be used with a torch on copper pipes.

It sounds like either you have the wrong solder or your iron is not hot enough.

So... what does it say on the end of your roll of solder (something like 60/40 or 50/50) and how many watts is your iron (ought to be 100 to 140)?

...The Bum
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:45 AM
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Thanks, Ill go back to the store and ask for the things you mentioned and try again tomorrow. (man, "sleeping on it" is painful, that iron stays hot for quite some time!)
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:48 AM
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For what it is worth I buy my flux and solder from radio shack. It is made and used for electronic applications and the flux has no acid in it to harm electronics.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:39 AM
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I got the solder at Lowes, it is wire solder, it specifically states on the package that it is NOT intended for soldering pipes, and it is rosin core. It doesn't say if it's "60-40" (I Ass-U-Me that's the ratio of metals in the alloy?). It does state that it is lead free, does that matter? Other than toxicity, that is!

My iron is a Radio Shack 25 watt, do I need a more powerful model (other recommendations)? Granted it takes a while to heat, but the solder melts on contact with the tip. Also the heat from the iron is enough to transfer along the wire and shrink the tubing waiting about an inch and a half away from the intended joint. It's the solder being held just 1/16th of an inch away, across the wire from the iron's tip that will NOT melt. Forget flowing into the wire, the solder will not even melt.

Will the flux make the heat transfer better across the wires to melt the solder?

Preferably before it shrinks the tubing waiting to cover the intended joint.

I feel rather stupid asking these questions, I used to solder circuit boards real well, but somehow wire to wire the heat just won't go where I want it to.

Last edited by FlyWheel; 10-13-2010 at 12:06 PM. Reason: speelink
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:21 PM
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My .02

With a 25 watt iron you will struggle in getting enough heat to the wires. Having the wires at the correct temp is what "sucks the solder", also make sure you are tinning each wire individually prior to soldering them together.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:32 PM
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That's your problem. 25 watts is a hobby grade iron suitable for thinner wires like 22 gauge, not the kind of soldering we have to do on battery wires and connectors.

You need a Weller soldering iron which you can find a Lowes or Home Depot.

Get the Weller and never ruin a battery again!

...The Bum

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Old 10-13-2010, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
It does state that it is lead free, does that matter?
There's your problem. If you can find some real 60/40 tin/lead multicore solder instead of that fairly useless "Lead-free" stuff you'll find it works a lot better.

Steve
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:13 PM
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I'm already planning on getting a stronger iron, 35-45 watts as many here hae recommended) and finer solder. But I don't even think you can buy the leaded solder any more can you? Hasn't it gone the way of leaded gas and leaded paint?

Also, when soldering two wires together I have heard you are supposed to twist the wires together first, or at least push them together so the strands intermingle (sounds kinky ). How do you do this after you have tinned them? They're not like the solid wires that are used on components like resistors and capacitors.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
I'm already planning on getting a stronger iron, 35-45 watts as many here hae recommended) and finer solder. But I don't even think you can buy the leaded solder any more can you? Hasn't it gone the way of leaded gas and leaded paint?

Also, when soldering two wires together I have heard you are supposed to twist the wires together first, or at least push them together so the strands intermingle (sounds kinky ). How do you do this after you have tinned them? They're not like the solid wires that are used on components like resistors and capacitors.

Yep, due to the new "No Lead" standards in electronics, lead solder is becoming a thing of the past. You don't have to twist or migrate the wires into each other. Just tin both wires, make a lap joint, hold them still while soldering and join them together. Just remember to put your heat shrink over the wire before you solder them together. That's how I got good at soldering...having to unsolder add heat shrink and re solder.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
I'm already planning on getting a stronger iron, 35-45 watts as many here hae recommended) and finer solder. But I don't even think you can buy the leaded solder any more can you? Hasn't it gone the way of leaded gas and leaded paint?

Also, when soldering two wires together I have heard you are supposed to twist the wires together first, or at least push them together so the strands intermingle (sounds kinky ). How do you do this after you have tinned them? They're not like the solid wires that are used on components like resistors and capacitors.


You do twist'em before you solder them. You don't need to tin when soldering two similar metals.

45 watts? Are you sure? Will you ever have to solder 10-14 gauge wire to a Deans?

With the Weller you will always have enough power for any job that may come along. With something half that power, you may come upon another situation like the one you currently have.

Your choice of course. Personally, I like to buy my tools once.

Just my 2 cents.


...The Bum
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:37 PM
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I believe lead solder is the way to go if electronic circuits are involved,all electronic medical equipment is required to use lead solder for its reliability , consistency for obvious reasons as is the case in military and aviation use,so I have read.

Am I in the correct place to ask, If you look at a Deans connector in the "T" configuration which terminal is the positive ? Thanks Jez
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jez View Post
I believe lead solder is the way to go if electronic circuits are involved,all electronic medical equipment is required to use lead solder for its reliability , consistency for obvious reasons as is the case in military and aviation use,so I have read.

Am I in the correct place to ask, If you look at a Deans connector in the "T" configuration which terminal is the positive ? Thanks Jez
If you look closely at the plastic on the connector, there should be a little + by the positive terminal.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:56 PM
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Just looked on mine and can not see a +, so is it vertical or horizontal of the "T",have soldered positive of my watt meter to the horizontal on the Deans,thanks for reply Grasshopper. Jez
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:09 PM
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The horizontal of the T is the positive.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:15 PM
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Thank you Grasshopper,Jez
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:16 PM
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Any time Jez.
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