Temperature setting for soldering? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Design & Build > Construction Tips

Construction Tips Construction techniques and tips

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th November 2009, 06:46 AM   #1
GregH2 is offline GregH2  Australia
diyAudio Member
 
GregH2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Default Temperature setting for soldering?

Hi all,

I have always used cheap uncontrolled soldering irons with great success but recently went all out and bought a temperature controlled unit. Can someone please provide some insight or a rule of thumb for what temperature should be used when soldering 60/40 tin/lead solder? A quick google tells me that the melting point for this solder is 374 deg F (190 deg C), but this temperature is clearly too low judging by the results it gave me. I got much better results using 400 deg C, but I fear this may ruin sensitive components (such as my LM3875 chips). What are your thoughts?

Thanks,

Greg.
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 08:21 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
The melting point of the solder is one thing, but the iron's job is to heat the joint hot enough to melt the solder.

Water freezes at 0 degrees, but if you want to freeze some you don't set the cooler to 0 degrees.

You are more likely to damage a circuit board or even parts with heat too low, honest. You want the iron hot enough to heat the joint quickly, so that solder melts into it freely, but also so heat doesn't have as long to move down the wires into the parts.

"I have always used cheap uncontrolled soldering irons with great success" is the most important thing you said. Your uncontrolled cheap iron has done a good job for you. That tells you your technique must be good enough, and that the iron temperature, whatever it was, was OK. It is not that critical.

I run a commercial repair shop, and I always use 700 degree tips in my irons. Sometimes I turn my desolder station up to 750 degrees, in particular when I have to suck out something on heavy wide traces, like a bridge rectifier snug against the board.

The key is to solder with confidence, Get on there, heat the thing up, flow solder into it and leave. When we start to worry about is it 8 seconds? or 10? or some such, I think we are more likely to underheat the joint leaving a poor joint. ANd when we solder confidently, we don't get into that pattern of solder, look at it, add some more solder, look at it, try and smooth it out with more heat, etc. ON it, and back off it.

Sorta like cooking rice, don;t lift the lid to look. Just do it and be done.

I have been soldering for about 55 years now, and I can;t say I have ever destroyed a component with heat. I make my share of mistakes, and I will admit to melting the contact out of the end of a fuse holder, but that isn't circuit board soldering. On a board I am more concerned over lifting a trace or pad than the parts themselves.

I think if you look at some IC data sheets there will be solder specs, so many degrees, so many seconds.
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 08:32 AM   #3
Bakmeel is offline Bakmeel  Netherlands
diyAudio Member
 
Bakmeel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Netherlands
Hand soldering always takes some practice yes. In our lab we usually set the irons a bit cooler than Enzo said: about 350C (660 F). That's usually enough to solder most components like resistors and semiconductors. Sometimes if we need to heat up large copper areas we turn up the iron to 400C (750 F).

Note that if you start using lead free solder (according to the new RoHS regulations for comercial electronics), you need higher temperatures..
__________________
More Power Igor! More Power!
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 09:06 AM   #4
GregH2 is offline GregH2  Australia
diyAudio Member
 
GregH2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Thanks for your replies.

It seems my guess at 400 deg C wasn't too bad. No wonder it worked so much better.

I've always soldered rather well (in my humble opinion) with my cheap irons. It's ironic that going to a better iron nearly ruined one of my projects due to a lack of experience!

Thanks,

Greg.
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 09:55 AM   #5
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Scottish Borders
don't use 60/40.
It is not eutectic. It goes pasty as it sets and disturbing the joint during this pasty phase will destroy the electrical characteristics.

Use 63/37. The eutectic is designed for electrical/electronic work.
__________________
regards Andrew T.
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 10:10 AM   #6
Did it Himself
diyAudio Member
 
richie00boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Gloucestershire, England, UK
60/40 is designed for electrical/electronic work. But having recently tried 63/37 I will be sticking with that from now on, it does give a nicer joint.
__________________
www.readresearch.co.uk my website for UK diy audio people - designs, PCBs, kits and more.
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 10:38 AM   #7
just another
diyAudio Moderator
 
wintermute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Blog Entries: 22
I use pretty much the same settings as Bakmeel, 350 for normal and 400 when there is something heavy to do. One sign that you have turned it up too far is when the tip blackens really quickly, if the temperature is ok it tends to stay shiny

My favourite solder actually had 2% copper, but I can't recall which of the lead or the tin was lower to make up for the copper. Not sure you can get it any more though.

Tony.
__________________
Any intelligence I may appear to have is purely artificial!
Some of my photos
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 11:00 AM   #8
Bakmeel is offline Bakmeel  Netherlands
diyAudio Member
 
Bakmeel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by swordfishy View Post
Thanks for your replies.

It seems my guess at 400 deg C wasn't too bad. No wonder it worked so much better.

I've always soldered rather well (in my humble opinion) with my cheap irons. It's ironic that going to a better iron nearly ruined one of my projects due to a lack of experience!

Thanks,

Greg.
You know, I actually think it's better to learn soldering using a crappy iron rather than using the top notch from day one. When you're forced to use a crappy iron, you automatically develop skills to get good results without relying on technology to do the job.

Then, when you finally get yourself a good solder station, you can appreciate it's better performance and you get the best out of it.
__________________
More Power Igor! More Power!
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 06:32 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Send a message via MSN to Adrculda Send a message via Yahoo to Adrculda
I use Kester 285 Medium and i never had any problems with my iron set at 600'F
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2009, 07:45 PM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: colorado
Certainly try to use a eutectic blend and also make sure you are selecting a tip
size that is proper for the job. A wide trace / large component with too small a tip
is very difficult to transfer heat. Also wet the tip so there will be some hot solder to
form a thermal bridge.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How does OKi MFR soldering station set tip temperature? speakerguy79 Parts 0 25th March 2008 08:02 PM
Correct soldering temperature. Nordic Equipment & Tools 4 4th November 2007 07:43 PM
Soldering temperature for PCB? jholtz Digital Source 4 6th June 2005 09:18 AM
Opamp soldering temperature? Thunau Parts 10 17th September 2003 08:13 PM
Hakko soldering station temperature setting cards Saurav Parts 4 3rd September 2003 04:37 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:51 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2