I love to solder things- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I love to solder things

    This is short essay on soldering. I have read of several ppl having problems with soldering. I just don't understand this at all. Several things have to come together at the same time for a good solder job. We gotta be clean, if the wire or the place when the wire will be soldered is not shiney clean, failure. The tip of the soldering iron needs to be clean. We wipe the tip on a damp sponge before each joint. Good rosin core solder. No ROHS solder, stuff sux. No solder that been in your family for 5 generations. You don't want your soldering iron rolling around on your work bench. The bare minimum is a holder for your temperture controlled soldering iron. The irons that are not tempertue controlled, overheat and do a s**tty job. I like a Weller WTCP soldering station. I have had mine for more than 40 years. You will have to hold the parts you are soldering, so they don't move around. A third hand of some sort will hold the parts. The Taskled board (most circuit boards are) are "double sided plated through". There is a copper pad (sometimes quite small) on both sides of the board, Then a "sleeve" of tinned copper connects the two pads. What this means, is a lot of heat is needed to properly solder these pcb's. The two pads, the wire, the sleeve, and the pcb itself all have to get to soldering temperture. Here is how you will make your connection. 1st the wire is almost inserted to the insulation 2nd soldering iron is placed so that it touches the wire and the pad at the same time. 3rd After a couple of seconds, you touch your solder to the gap between the iron and the wire. As the solder flows into joint, you might add more solder until a nice solder joint is formed. Good solder joints are bright and shiney. Here are a few pictures of the things I mentioned. I didn't look, but I imagine there are soldering video's on utoob. However, if enough demand shows up, I'll shoot a video. Practice, but not on your projects.ready to solder.JPG

    ready to work.JPG

    small gap on back.JPG

    soldering position CU1.JPG

    soldering position.JPG

    third hand.JPG

  2. #2
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    Your holding clamp looks alot like mine! lol

    Good writeup.

  3. #3
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    You have to keep things solid while you are soldering. Hendo showed a nice "third hand", I was just showing a work around. I have a magnifier that I wear; "cheaters" is what we call them. The "roach clips" are very handy for holding those small parts. The good soldering station, good solder, and lots of practice makes for functioning projects. Never practice on your projects, bend up pieces of wire, solder them together, make some art. lol Here's an artsy piece. This is a capacitor bank, it's charged to 7000 volts and then discharged into a coil. The resulting magnetic field crushes aluminum cans. Notice the shiney, smooth solder connections. good luck, James

  4. #4
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    One more try

    ok, here's the picturessoldering 001.jpg

    soldering 002.jpg

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    The resulting magnetic field crushes aluminum cans.
    I dont doubt for a second that it works but how on earth does a magnetic field affect an ali can??!

    Love the look of it though!

  6. #6
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    Looking at the schematic, you notice that the switch is open. At the time the switch is closed, current starts flowing in the coil (current is changing; rising). Through induction, current is induced (like a transformer) into the can. The magnetic field generated by the coil then crushes the can. It all happens in an instant. The switch is closed by pulling that piece of plastic out. Current in the coil is about 1000 amps, current in the can is about 4000 amps. With those caps charged to 7000 volts, you would not be shocked if you touched it. You would be dead! I'm very careful.
    can crusher 001.jpg

    can crusher 002.jpg

    can crusher 003.jpg

    can crusher.gif

  7. #7
    aka RossC
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    It never ceases to amaze me at the things that people have just sitting around in their back shed

    Does it have another application other than to disfigure cans? Not that it needs to, it exists for it's own sake. Just wondering if you have something else in your shed that just happens to require 4000 amps to run it

  8. #8
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    ........ lol, thats insane
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  9. #9
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    It's a manly thing; make a lot of noise and tear things up. The can crusher exists only to crush cans. Sorta like bike lights; good only for chasing the critters at night. lol

  10. #10
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    It's called "fun with electricity." I have a Tesla coil that is good for a few laughs. I know a guy with a turbo powered version of the can crusher. His will shrink a quarter! A can doesn't stand a chance with that machine.

  11. #11
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    LINK! I wanna see that!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the extra pictures. I have googled it to read more about it. Also want to find the quarter shrinker!!

  13. #13
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    Ok, here's a short vid of my tube Tesla coil.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ky4a9KPlVY
    And here's a short vid of my solid state Tesla coil.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkWBy-Y0EVs
    I just love this stuff. Then there are mountain bikes; heaven (assuming I believed in such BS). The absolute BaBy of the bunch are BIKE LIGHTS (DIY of course).

  14. #14

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    Wow!

    On the subject of soldering .. I don't presume to tell you anything, but as a newbie solderer I have had MUCH more success when I started using rosin and solder paste as well as normal solder.

    So for other newbies, I bought this rosin from DX (ignore the description, it is rosin, not solder paste) and this solder paste. Solder paste is just rosin and solder mix together, so why use it? Well as a newbie at soldering I found the paste to be very useful for tinning pads on drivers etc. Put a blob on and the pad, put the iron on it briefly and VOILA!

    I was so frustrated before I used rosin and solder, I could barely join two wires together without melting all the plastic insulation off them! Now I just dip the wire in the rosin, burn it off, heat it up and run some solder on (it is amazing how much better it wicks on to the wire having cleaned it up with rosin). Alternately I sometimes dip the cleaned up wire in the solder paste and burn off the rosin and am left with a beautifully tinned wire.

    I used to overheat things alot because the components I wanted to join weren't properly tinned. Now I just hold the two tinned pieces together, apply the iron and it works beautifully.

    Some more advanced tips are available from a guy who clearly knows how to solder.

  15. #15
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    Wow OldMTBfreak that is crazy, I bet you go out sunbathing in the middle of lightning storms

    Thanks for posting the vids.

  16. #16
    aka Chris
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    Great thread and ace toys!

    Mr Old, in pic #3 do you put the wire through the hole on the bFlex and then strip it?
    In pic #4, do you cut down the excess wire once soldered?

    I've read something on soldering recently somewhere recently which suggested putting the solder on to the other side of the PCB hole from the iron, saying the solder would then run through the hole. Is that a good idea?
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  17. #17
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    Good question there Chris. I strip the insulation first, about 1/4". Then a gentle twist to gather all the strands, this is pushed through the hole. VERY IMPORTANT - Then you check for "French pennants" (strands that didn't go through the hole). If all strands made it, solder the wire, then cut off excess. Always strip off a lot more insulation than you really need. This makes twisting the strands soooo much easier. Thanks for the kind responces on the vids. I love electronics, it is/was my job/hobby/passion. I'm retired now and and electronics are hobby once again. If any of you would like to see more "stuff", look up Florida Teslathon. My workshop and toys are on Dave's site. James

  18. #18
    aka Chris
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    Thanks James.

    On the "underside" of the board, do you have insulation right up to the board? Or a tiny section of exposed wire?
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  19. #19
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    A tiny section of exposed wire (no more than 1/32" gap). This is so you can see if you got a good solder joint. Also good wire is a must. PVC insulation melts and is harder to solder. Silvered wire is easier to solder and doesn't corrode as fast. Our lights don't draw much current and large wire size is not required. I use #22 silvered Kapton wire for all the hook ups. Buy good rosin cored solder, 60/40 lead/tin is what we want. DON'T buy that crappy ROHS s**t! My fav is Ersin Multi-core. Might be hard to find, but is worth it. I need to say this again. The Taskled PCB's are "double sided with plated thru holes". This the proper way to manufacture a PCB. However a lot of heat is required to properly solder the connections. Don't practice on your projects. Practice on scrap until you have the technique perfect. good luck

  20. #20
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    Kapton / silvered wire is new to me. I've been having a Google and found a little bit about. Does Kapton just refer to the insulation material? Kapton seems to come up a lot for audio cables.

    I've found some places selling Ersin multi-core solder. There seems to be some different codes (eg M2, M3, M7) but that might just relate to the packaging. Is the thinner 0.7mm a better choice than 1.2mm? I might just buy a lifetime supply
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  21. #21
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    Correct, Kapton is the insulation. It doen't melt very easy. I bought a spool of #22 many years ago from a surplus sale. The silvered wire is sooooooooo much easier to solder. It doesn't corrode near as fast as the bare copper wire, The PVC insulated wire is just harder to solder and not melt the insulation. Here is where all that practice comes in. Soldering swiftly (but correctly) is the key. It's too bad we have to buy such a large quantity of solder (1 pound). But, you won't run out for a long time. lol The ROHS crap is displacing the good stuff. Remember, don't practice on your projects, practice making art, and have perfect projects. Get the .7mm diameter solder it melts easier. Now the absolute shitz for solder is the 61% lead/37% tin/2% silver. This stuff is hard to find, but makes VERY pretty solder joints. Lastly, throw all the solder that is old, corroded, hand me down, unidentifiable into the trash. It'll f**k you up!

  22. #22
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    Just watch out for abrasion with the Kapton wire. Kapton was used in airplanes many years ago to save weight. It's low abrasion resistance resulted in crashing planes. Now the risk is sure a lot lower on a bike, but there is some good surplus modern airplane wire available. The new stuff uses a polyetheylene teflon blend and is great stuff. It is a bit hard to strip though.

  23. #23
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    One source for lead/tin/siver solder is Jameco. It's part number 73605 and contains 62% lead / 36% silver / 2% silver. It's a small coil of solder for about $4. If you're lucky enough to live in the SF bay area, you can pick up for free in Belmont, CA.

    vroom9 - where can you buy surplus airplane wire? I've been using ethernet cable wire and the melting insulation is a pain. Sometime I'll strip off the insulation and use heat-shrink tubing as insulation instead. Silicone-insulated wire is another option, but the hobby stores charge an arm and a leg for just a foot or two of the stuff.

  24. #24
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    Mr Old, for the last few years I have used multistrand copper wire to hook up the intenals of my lights as it solders well.

    Is this not such a good thing?

  25. #25

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    if you get cat5e "Plenum Grade" than its teflon insulated and you shouldnt have problems with melted insulation. or you can go with Cat6 which is all teflon coated but alot of it is stranded.

  26. #26
    aka Chris
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    I've just bought a 500g reel of 0.7mm Multicore Ersin 60/40 solder
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  27. #27
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    Good solder is a step in solving the problem. Now as to stranded wire, wire is wire. However stranded wire is more flexable and will be able to tolerate flexing without breaking. The old Heathkits were wired with solid wire; the parts never moved. Man were they easy to solder. I don't think cat5 is stranded. Cat5 wire is good to make art, many colors.

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