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Soldering?

Old 03-06-2008, 10:19 PM
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Angler-Hi
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Default Soldering?

I recently bought a soldering iron so I could solder the Deans Ultra plugs to my batteries and so forth. The only problem is that the instructions don't tell me "HOW" to do it. I tried on some scrap metal with the solder wire it came with. I have only managed to melt the wire and now it sticks to the end of the iron point. What am I doing wrong?? If anyone has any advice or tips, that would be great. Thanks.

Mike
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:21 PM
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Gnascher
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Originally Posted by mikewratterman View Post
I recently bought a soldering iron so I could solder the Deans Ultra plugs to my batteries and so forth. The only problem is that the instructions don't tell me "HOW" to do it. I tried on some scrap metal with the solder wire it came with. I have only managed to melt the wire and now it sticks to the end of the iron point. What am I doing wrong?? If anyone has any advice or tips, that would be great. Thanks.

Mike
The first thing you need to know is that you heat the work, not the solder.

If you're soldering a Dean's connector, you heat the terminal, and then hold the solder to the terminal. It must be hot for the solder to "flow".
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:27 PM
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Sir Raleigh
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This might help: How to Solder.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:32 PM
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Hi Mike,
Solder goes to heat.
The iron must be tinned first.

When soldering Deans connectors.

Heat the wire to be soldered.
Apply solder to the iron's tip.

When the solder starts to flow(melt), move the solder to the other side of the wire.

The heat should be sufficient to melt the solder through the wire.

This is called tinning the wire.

Next the connector end has to be tinned.
Clamp the connector with something, a small vice is nice.
A wooden clothes pin ( the spring type) works well too.

Same thing as before ,apply heat to the connector and add solder to the tip of the iron.
You will see the solder ball up, wait a couple of seconds and the solder will flow.Now it's tinned.

Take the wire that is pre tinned and put the end over the solder on the connector.
Put the iron tip on top of the wire which is on top of the connector.

Do not try to add any more solder.

Wait for the solder to flow again.
When it does, remove the iron and let the joint cool.

If you move the wire before it is cooled, the joint will get dull looking.
This is called a cold solder joint.
It has to be redone.

If you're holding the wire with your fingers, I hope you have a high tolerance for pain.
The wire will get hot.
I use a wooden clothes pin to hold the wire, I don't get burnt and the wire doesn't move.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Last edited by pd1; 03-06-2008 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Everyone else types faster than I do.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:38 PM
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Thanks guys!! I really appreciate all your help. I guess the next thing I need to buy is a little common sense, huh? Thanks guys.

Mike
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:40 PM
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Hi Mike: Go to you tube and type in soldering deans plugs, great video.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:54 PM
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here you go mike, its how i learned

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkQE-zu0uWM[/media]

best advice i can give is to use the biggest soldering gun you can find, it makes it much easier. i've done plenty with a 40watt pencil style though.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for the video Yaniel. And thanks for that link too, Sir Raleigh.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:06 PM
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Mike,

Much like welding, soldering is a skill that can't be mastered quickly. There is an art (or science, if you will) to making good solder connections. However, don't despair because it is not an impossible art to learn.

The first thing about soldering is the size of iron required. You want the spot where you're going to solder to be hot enough for the solder to flow but not so hot that the metal starts to deform. If you're soldering two tiny wires together, you won't need much heat but if you're soldering two Chevy small block engines together, you're gonna need a bunch of heat. (Lots of solder too! :-) If you're trying to solder some pieces of scrap metal together, chances are that the large amount of metal is sinking the heat away faster than your iron can produce it. That's why you're just melting the solder and not bonding any metal. Solder melts between 650 and 700 degrees F and for the solder to bond the metal pieces, they too need to be 650-700 deg. (These figures are only for explanation purposes. You're not expected to run out and buy a thermometer.) So, if the iron is only heating the metal pieces to 400 degrees, only the solder's gonna melt. Therefore, you need a heftier iron for that job.

Wires, on the other hand, being small in metal mass, won't require a big iron. A 35W iron should be sufficient for soldering 14ga wires to a Deans plug.

Cleanliness is the next important part of soldering. The wires can't be corroded or oxided at all. This is what "flux" is for - it cleans wires. But it can only do so much. Heavily oxided wires (where the strands are a dull grey instead of being bright and shiny) should be sandpapered first. Then coated with flux. Then "tinned." Tinning is the coating of the wire with solder before attempting to solder it to whatever you intend to solder it to. Coat the end of the cleaned wire with fluz then apply heat with the soldering iron. The flux will burn away and you should apply solder when the wire is hot enough. Add just enough solder to coat the exposed wires but not enough so that excess solder starts wicking under the insulation making the wire stiff.

A quick note about flux - You want "rosin" flux. "Acid" flux is for soldering copper plumbing together in your house and has no place in electronic work. Not even in an emergency. Acid flux cleans copper pipes for soldering but it destroys electrical components, including wiring.

Now that your wire is tinned, do the same to the Deans connector but be careful here as too much heat will melt the plastic pretty fast. It may take you several tries to get the hang of it so be prepared to destroy a connector or two while learning.

Now, with both pieces (the wire and the connector) tinned, it's a simple matter of putting the two pieces together, applying heat to the joint along with a little more solder and when the solder flows freely between both pieces, remove the heat. Be very careful not to disturb (shake) the joint for about ten seconds or it will cool into a fractured ("cold") solder joint. This is when the solder takes on a greyish color instead of a nice shiny appearance. Cold solder joints don't conduct electricity very well and eventually fail mechanically (break apart.)

Back to flux - Most solder is hollow with a small amount of flux in the middle. This is called "rosin core" solder. The purpose of the flux is to keep the joint from oxidizing during the soldering operation. However, the amount is so small, it is not enough to clean a part before soldering. That is what the sandpaper and paste (or liquid) flux mentioned previously is for. But DO buy rosin core solder along with your flux. The extra flux won't hurt. (By the way, you can remove any extra flux from your nice and shiny joint with rubbing alcohol after it cools down.)

And Gnascher was right. When you're soldering, you want to apply the heat to the metal. Heating the solder only melts the solder. However, with that said, you DO want to melt a small amount of solder between the tip of the iron and whatever it is that you're heating up. This little bit of molten solder forms a heat bridge and aids immensely in conducting heat from the iron to the part you're heating up. Once the part is hot enough, you want to apply the solder to it, not the iron.

And finally - buy an Aloe Vera plant and put it near your workbench for when you burn yourself with that darned hot iron (and you will - we ALL do! :-)

Welcome to the wide world of soldering. We wish you luck.

MSgt Harvey Hartman
USAF Radar Maintenance since 1971

Last edited by h5487; 03-06-2008 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Correct spelling errors
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:23 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by h5487 View Post
Mike,

Much like welding, soldering is a skill that can't be mastered quickly. There is an art (or science, if you will) to making good solder connections. However, don't despair because it is not an impossible art to learn.

The first thing about soldering is the size of iron required. You want the spot where you're going to solder to be hot enough for the solder to flow but not so hot that the metal starts to deform. If you're soldering two tiny wires together, you won't need much heat but if you're soldering two Chevy small block engines together, you're gonna need a bunch of heat. (Lots of solder too! :-) If you're trying to solder some pieces of scrap metal together, chances are that the large amount of metal is sinking the heat away faster than your iron can produce it. That's why you're just melting the solder and not bonding any metal. Solder melts between 650 and 700 degrees F and for the solder to bond the metal pieces, they too need to be 650-700 deg. (These figures are only for explanation purposes. You're not expected to run out and buy a thermometer.) So, if the iron is only heating the metal pieces to 400 degrees, only the solder's gonna melt. Therefore, you need a heftier iron for that job.

Wires, on the other hand, being small in metal mass, won't require a big iron. A 35W iron should be sufficient for soldering 14ga wires to a Deans plug.

Cleanliness is the next important part of soldering. The wires can't be corroded or oxided at all. This is what "flux" is for - it cleans wires. But it can only do so much. Heavily oxided wires (where the strands are a dull grey instead of being bright and shiny) should be sandpapered first. Then coated with flux. Then "tinned." Tinning is the coating of the wire with solder before attempting to solder it to whatever you intend to solder it to. Coat the end of the cleaned wire with fluz then apply heat with the soldering iron. The flux will burn away and you should apply solder when the wire is hot enough. Add just enough solder to coat the exposed wires but not enough so that excess solder starts wicking under the insulation making the wire stiff.

A quick note about flux - You want "rosin" flux. "Acid" flux is for soldering copper plumbing together in your house and has no place in electronic work. Not even in an emergency. Acid flux cleans copper pipes for soldering but it destroys electrical components, including wiring.

Now that your wire is tinned, do the same to the Deans connector but be careful here as too much heat will melt the plastic pretty fast. It may take you several tries to get the hang of it so be prepared to destroy a connector or two while learning.

Now, with both pieces (the wire and the connector) tinned, it's a simple matter of putting the two pieces together, applying heat to the joint along with a little more solder and when the solder flows freely between both pieces, remove the heat. Be very careful not to disturb (shake) the joint for about ten seconds or it will cool into a fractured ("cold") solder joint. This is when the solder takes on a greyish color instead of a nice shiny appearance. Cold solder joints don't conduct electricity very well and eventually fail mechanically (break apart.)

Back to flux - Most solder is hollow with a small amount of flux in the middle. This is called "rosin core" solder. The purpose of the flux is to keep the joint from oxidizing during the soldering operation. However, the amount is so small, it is not enough to clean a part before soldering. That is what the sandpaper and paste (or liquid) flux mentioned previously is for. But DO buy rosin core solder along with your flux. The extra flux won't hurt. (By the way, you can remove any extra flux from your nice and shiny joint with rubbing alcohol after it cools down.)

And Gnascher was right. When you're soldering, you want to apply the heat to the metal. Heating the solder only melts the solder. However, with that said, you DO want to melt a small amount of solder between the tip of the iron and whatever it is that you're heating up. This little bit of molten solder forms a heat bridge and aids immensely in conducting heat from the iron to the part you're heating up. Once the part is hot enough, you want to apply the solder to it, not the iron.

And finally - buy an Aloe Vera plant and put it near your workbench for when you burn yourself with that darned hot iron (and you will - we ALL do! :-)

Welcome to the wide world of soldering. We wish you luck.

MSgt Harvey Hartman
USAF Radar Maintenance since 1971
I really appreciate those tips MSgt. Thanks so much. It really sheds a lot of light on what to do. Rock Steady MSgt.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:26 PM
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OH hey mike do you have some flux and rosin core wire? those 2 combos work the best, flux makes it stick to the soddering tip so that it doesnt drip off and then it comes off when you attach the soder to another piece of metal/solder tip.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:30 PM
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Mike,

Are you Army?

Harvey
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:40 PM
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Mike, there is one good thing about learning to solder correctly. It's like riding a bicycle, once you learn how, you'll never forget. It will be an excellent skill you can take with you for the rest of your life.

Take your time and learn how to solder correctly and you'll never regret it.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by h5487 View Post
Mike,

Are you Army?

Harvey
Yes. I'm currently stationed here at Ft. Hood, Tx.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir Raleigh View Post
Mike, there is one good thing about learning to solder correctly. It's like riding a bicycle, once you learn how, you'll never forget. It will be an excellent skill you can take with you for the rest of your life.

Take your time and learn how to solder correctly and you'll never regret it.
I like that metaphor...I'm definitely going to need to learn this. I don't think I'll fall out of this hobby very soon, if EVER! Thanks so much!
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:02 AM
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I've been soldering all my life. My hardest school was the "soldering school" at Redstone Arsenal. I got my "Missile Soldering" Certificate. You work all day long soldering and if you are lucky the instructor will OK 3 or 4.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:35 AM
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Mike

STOP!!!!

Before you go any further.

Just a word of caution. When soldering the Deans to your battery, NEVER remove the insulators from both wires at the same time. Solder one side on, shrink the heat tubing, THEN work on the other wire.

Ok, you can go back to what you were doing.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
Mike

STOP!!!!

Before you go any further.

Just a word of caution. When soldering the Deans to your battery, NEVER remove the insulators from both wires at the same time. Solder one side on, shrink the heat tubing, THEN work on the other wire.

Ok, you can go back to what you were doing.
Darn good advice my monkeyBub, your bub, steve
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:01 AM
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I hate that cart!

I will be in your area in a week or so, I will kick that thing over, and beat it with a mallet until it no longer will function as a transportation device!
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Yaniel View Post
here you go mike, its how i learned

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkQE-zu0uWM[/media]
best advice i can give is to use the biggest soldering gun you can find, it makes it much easier. i've done plenty with a 40watt pencil style though.
Best how to video on the Net. Andy lives close to me and is a personal friend. That video is probably the most circulated How To in the RC realm.

That actually would make a good forum...How to videos..hmmm..
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Parsons View Post
Best how to video on the Net. Andy lives close to me and is a personal friend. That video is probably the most circulated How To in the RC realm.

That actually would make a good forum...How to videos..hmmm..
I get the how to crash section, don't you dare give it to anyone else!
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
I hate that cart!

I will be in your area in a week or so, I will kick that thing over, and beat it with a mallet until it no longer will function as a transportation device!
Monkey ::bring a bigger Hammer ( like mike use'in a 40-watt Iron on a deans!!)===(I 'll prob'ly get Banned for that crack) I've had a bub back over it and it still just Fine, I'll Pm you my phone # ( not that it's not in 4-5 phonebooks) I can't wait to see you guy's,Back On Topic I've got 15-25-40 and a 60 watt irons but the old trusty 15 year old 15watt's my fave, your bub, steve
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:23 AM
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Mike Parsons
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
I get the how to crash section, don't you dare give it to anyone else!
The honor is yours
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Parsons View Post
The honor is yours
LOL bubsteve
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by h5487
Mike,

Are you Army?

Harvey
Yes. I'm currently stationed here at Ft. Hood, Tx.

Mike,

We set up our mobile radar for war games at Copperas Cove for many summers back in the '70s. Lots of rattlesnakes on that hilltop!

PM me if you want to talk more.

Harvey
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