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X-Altra HPA-1 Class A Headphone Amplifier
X-Altra HPA-1 Class A Headphone Amplifier
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Old 9th April 2021, 03:21 PM   #61
passive420 is offline passive420  United Kingdom
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Good quality solder makes a big difference. Kester solder is hard to beat, the best I have used is Cardas quad eutectic with Topnik RF800 liquid flux.

None of that lead free nonsense either

Metcal MX500 system is the finest kit available, keep an eye on the bay as they come up quite often.
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Old 9th April 2021, 04:17 PM   #62
sonidos is offline sonidos  United States
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Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 9th April 2021, 04:53 PM   #63
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Europe
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I don’t use lead free for DIY. Lead free has higher melting temps and kills ultra-fine pencil tip bits on my Weller.
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Old 9th April 2021, 05:28 PM   #64
sonidos is offline sonidos  United States
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Someone commented the same in an Amazon review I read last night. I'll avoid lead-free going forward. I found some thin diameter Kester w/lead on Amazon, so I'm almost set to build.
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Old 9th April 2021, 05:49 PM   #65
passive420 is offline passive420  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonidos View Post
Someone commented the same in an Amazon review I read last night. I'll avoid lead-free going forward. I found some thin diameter Kester w/lead on Amazon, so I'm almost set to build.
Kester is excellent, the 63/37 is all you need. Lovely stuff. Digikey and mouser sell it by the reel.

A good deal on a half reel of 63/37 -

Kester Solder Wire SN63PB37 24-6337-8800 729198854430 | eBay
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:23 PM   #66
sonidos is offline sonidos  United States
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passive420, thanks. In the past, I went the other direction (lead free) and had total frustration so glad to get the recommendations from both of you that will make the building a pleasure rather than a total chore with damaged parts and solder globs.
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Old 10th April 2021, 10:23 PM   #67
kn0ppers is offline kn0ppers  Germany
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The one passive420 linked is 0.8mm diameter (at least the picture looks like it says 0.8mm on the roll). For 0805 I personally find 0.5mm to be more suitable. You feed slightly more solder wire and thus have more control over how much solder flows into the joint (so you can more easily get a good joint geometry).
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Old 10th April 2021, 10:49 PM   #68
passive420 is offline passive420  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kn0ppers View Post
The one passive420 linked is 0.8mm diameter (at least the picture looks like it says 0.8mm on the roll). For 0805 I personally find 0.5mm to be more suitable. You feed slightly more solder wire and thus have more control over how much solder flows into the joint (so you can more easily get a good joint geometry).
You're right sorry, didn't check the diameter. 0.5 would be better for smaller work. For anything else you will burn through a reel in a year.

Not to be too pedantic: you do not really 'feed' any solder when hand soldering SMD parts? With the part held in place, you tap the solder with the iron bit and transfer to the fluxed joint. With the right geometry bit a tiny blob can be controlled nicely.

Just checked my Cardas solder and it's 0.86mm, been using it for 6 years. It's more than fine, good solder and kit is the key to success.

That Kester is beautiful stuff to use, with RF800 flux and Citrus based cleaner you'll be producing your best work.

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Old 10th April 2021, 11:08 PM   #69
passive420 is offline passive420  United Kingdom
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Sorry off topic: I won't lie - I'm very proud of my soldering skills, OCD has it's advantages. I'll take a long time to place a component perfectly. Line them up like soldiers or don't bother...

Some of my best work, Sjostrom diamond buffers and EUVL's SHPP board, two of the more challenging builds in DIY audio !

I bloody love SMD projects.

Edit: Good vision helps, being able to see the little f**k**s helps immensely, these proved worth the money -
Headband Magnifier Glasses with 2 LED Lights and 5 Detachable Lenses 1X,1.5X,2X,2.5X,3.5X-USB Charging Hands Free Magnifying Glass for Close Work,Jewelry Work,Watch Repair,Crafts: Amazon.co.uk: Office Products
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Last edited by passive420; 10th April 2021 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 10th April 2021, 11:46 PM   #70
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Europe
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Nice work!!! I love SMD as well
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