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 31st December 2010, 07:17 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: UK
Send a message via MSN to audio_tony
Default Soldering iron tip problem, help!

Firstly, a bit of background.

I have worked (both professionally and as a hobbyist) with electronics for 30 years or so.

I'm having a problem with what I think is lead free solder, and tinning of the bit.

My temperature controlled iron is set to between 240 and 270 deg C.

But I cannot get the tip to 'tin' properly - no matter what I try.

I did have some mild success tinning it with some 'Resin Core Solder Wire' that I purchased some years back. I don't have any chemical info on this solder - all it says on the reel is "with resin flux core".

The solder I'm currently using is made by 'Shenmao' and is a 'lead free' solder composed of 99.3% 'Sn' and 0.7% 'Cu'.

I have tried an alternate solder but this has the same chemical composition.

I have attached a picture of the bit I'm currently using (large because I'm working on a PSU for my amp!).

I would be truly grateful if anybody has any suggestions!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg soldering_iron_tip.jpg (47.8 KB, 172 views)
__________________
Searchable DAC list (now in a database). * Easy searching of DAC chips / transport etc. *
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:33 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
firechief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Near Seattle Wa
Is there a reason you need that particular solder? Try as a test, going to the local suplier and pick up some clasic 50/50 tin lead stuff and just see if it helps. Its one or the other, temp, or solder composition.
What changed? What is different from the good results that you are used to?
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:37 PM   #3
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
diyAudio Member
 
tomchr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Greater Seattle Area
It looks like the tip is really dry (as in no solder on it). I would try some tip tinner. If that doesn't work, "paint" the tip with flux using a flux pen or liquid flux. Do this when the tip is cold. Then turn the iron on and hold a piece of solder to it as it warms up. If that doesn't do the trick, I'm afraid the tip is dead.

~Tom
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:39 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: UK
Send a message via MSN to audio_tony
The only things that have changed most recently are the tips.

Tinning the bit has always been problematic though, and I've often had to resort to a bit of gentle treatment with sandpaper.

The tips always seem to go gray / black.

I don't leave the iron on for prolonged periods so it's not that.

I have a moist sponge and keep the tip (once successfully tinned!) as clean as possible whilst working.

One thing I did wonder about, is that I have been working on a lot of older kit, probably assembled with the older lead solder. I did wonder if mixing the types is causing some kind of contamination?
__________________
Searchable DAC list (now in a database). * Easy searching of DAC chips / transport etc. *
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:43 PM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
firechief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Near Seattle Wa
Yea - sounds like you are doing everything right- Just because the readout on the iron says 270 degrees it might be that it is not heating enough. Does it sizzle when you touch the hot sponge? Would be nice to have a way to measure the temp of the tip. hmmmmmm

Last edited by firechief; 31st December 2010 at 07:47 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:48 PM   #6
Did it Himself
diyAudio Member
 
richie00boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Gloucestershire, England, UK
Your temperature is too low, set it to 270.

The solder you have purchased is unsuitable for electronics work, it appears to be silver solder for jewellery work and probably does not contain flux.

Purchase some electronics solder, Maplin sell lead free if you are stuck, but I use leaded solder.
__________________
www.readresearch.co.uk my website for UK diy audio people - designs, PCBs, kits and more.
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:55 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: UK
Send a message via MSN to audio_tony
This was purchased from Maplin!

Here is a link to the very product!

If the link doesn't work, search for code N31AR

Interesting to note in the Q&A that it appears to be suitable for electronics?
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen shot 2010-12-31 at 20.54.02.png (36.2 KB, 164 views)
__________________
Searchable DAC list (now in a database). * Easy searching of DAC chips / transport etc. *
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 07:56 PM   #8
diyAudio Member
 
firechief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Near Seattle Wa
So - the solder "99.3% 'Sn' and 0.7% 'Cu" would need to be used with a torch, is that correct?
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 08:03 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: UK
Send a message via MSN to audio_tony
I found a datasheet for this solder.

Hopefully it should be attached!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PF604-R-E.pdf (64.8 KB, 17 views)
__________________
Searchable DAC list (now in a database). * Easy searching of DAC chips / transport etc. *
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2010, 08:16 PM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
nigelwright7557's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carlisle, England
Having the iron too hot shortens the life of the tip.

I have had problems in the past with tips and it was iron was too hot or the iron was left on for prolonged periods while not being used, both shorten tip life.
__________________
http://www.murtonpikesystems.co.uk PCBCAD50 pcb design software.
  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
Weller soldering iron problem rtarbell Parts 2 23rd June 2007 04:48 AM
Correct Size Soldering tip for RCA plug billiam Analogue Source 3 11th March 2005 06:16 PM
Craftsman soldering iron tip thread size? Darren Nemeth Parts 0 10th February 2005 06:50 AM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:31 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