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Highcurrent 28th January 2013 02:32 AM

Soldering tips!?!? ..wetting problems
So I bought about 60 elna silmic II and cerafine caps to do a 5-channels recap project. Little did I know that the soldering technique would be the hard part. I'm using a Stahl variable soldering tool with a semi pointed tip set at about 450 degrees. I bought Johnson lead-free solder from parts connexion, supposedly really good sounding stuff. I'm not sure, I'm sorry to say, if this solder has its own flux, so, I'm using a flux pen to de-oxidize the pcb. Anyway, the solder does not seem to wet very well. I'll solder the leads on the bottom of the pcb's but the solder won't penetrate and fill the pcb holes worth a darn?! Is lead-free solder difficult to work with? Would leaded solder flow and fill the pcb holes easier? frustrating...

jcx 28th January 2013 03:17 AM

lead free sucks and soldering to power traces/planes can be hard since they conduct heat well too

Highcurrent 28th January 2013 03:25 AM

Thanks man...
Any recommendations on easy to use good sounding solder for a beginner with a serious project?

SY 28th January 2013 03:30 AM

Stick with 63/37. Don't sweat brand names, if you make a quality joint, it will not degrade the sound.

DigitalJunkie 28th January 2013 03:50 AM

450 might be a bit low,depending on the solder. IME,The lead-free stuff needs a bit higher temp than regular solder,in order to melt completely and form a good joint.

Ditto what was said above,
I'd stick with a good brand of regular 60/40 (or 63/37),lead free sucks.
Maybe grab some from RadioShack,their solder is actually decent,even if a bit overpriced.

Highcurrent 28th January 2013 04:43 AM

Thanks again!!
I feel like I have a fighting chance now! I was getting ready to put out feelers to see if anyone in the SF bay area wanted a soldering job!!?

balerit 28th January 2013 04:55 AM

I keep a tin of flux next to me and dip the solder wire into it, this helps on difficult joints. Also this new led free solder definitely needs a higher temp. Sometimes if your components are old the coating on the leads oxidises and is hard to solder so keep your components in airtight zip-lock bags or containers. If the leads are oxidized, a quick wipe with steel wool will clean them.

sofaspud 28th January 2013 06:16 AM


I'll solder the leads on the bottom of the pcb's but the solder won't penetrate and fill the pcb holes worth a darn?!
All good advice above. I can only add that if you have room on the top side of the board (suggested by the quote), using a heatsink clip on the component lead will allow you to apply the hot iron tip for a little bit longer to heat the areas to be soldered. Just work carefully; don't overdo it and lift pads.
And if the pcb holes aren't plated-through or with pads both sides, it probably isn't that essential to have solder flow along the component lead to the top side.

stratus46 28th January 2013 06:42 AM

When he said 450 I thought he meant Celsius as 450 F - especially for lead free - would be difficult. I don't even like a 600 F Metcal tip. I typically use a Metcal STTC-126 700 F tip. I don't get worried about RoHS and don't use that stuff that medical and the military don't have to use. 60/40 Multicore here.


glt 28th January 2013 06:46 AM


Lead-free is a big pain. (Especially if you want to rework later)

Use regular leaded with high flux content (I use 3.3% flux)

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