Learn to solder


 

If you are new to soldering this is a great little resource for you, or if you have done soldering before these can refresh your memory. All the videos below will teach you how to solder, desolder and correct solder joints!
THE ABC OF SOLDERING!

 

SAFETY FIRST!
All you need to know about safety before you get in to soldering!

 

 

SOLDER PREPARATION!
Irene will show you all the basics you are going to need to prepare yourself before soldering!

 

 

TYPES OF SOLDERING IRONS!
There are many types of soldering irons in the world for all different uses, we have 3 here that you will commonly find.
1. Manual temperature controlled station. It allows you to fluctuate the temperature that the iron works at giving you greater control over your work. These are good beginner irons that will still produce good results and are reasonably priced.
2. Digital Temperature controlled Station. This is the step up from the manual iron as it is all digitally controlled allowing for greater accuracy. Once you have got to grips with soldering these are good intermediate irons that will serve you well a for long time.
3. Professional. Once you have watched all of our videos and made all of our kits and much much more you may want to up your game. These are what all the professionals use and regulate their own temperature based off some awesome tech within that knows what youre trying to solder and gives you the perfect heat, ours is well loved as you can see, but they can be very expensive!

 

 

SOLDERING ANGLE
On every solder tip there is one part that is the hottest. Most people would presume its the very tip but its actually the side as this has a larger surface area. There will still always be one side or point that is its hottest. You can normally find this by seeing the shiniest or most tinned point on your tip.
talk about how to most effectively hold the iron
When soldering if you’re finding it hard for the solder to take just try twisting the iron round slightly until you find the “spot”. Once you know where it is you will naturally hold the iron to accommodate the angle needed for this.

 

 

TYPES OF SOLDER JOINTS

PYRAMID:
the perfect solder joint is often referred to as a pyramid or little hill. This shows that the heat has been distributed evenly and you have a great connection between board and component.

APPLE:
If you get big balls of solder or what we call apples this is what indicated a cold joint. This means the component and the pad were not heated equally and you don’t have a very good connection. Normally there will still be some gold pad showing or the solder will be sitting completely off the pad.

BRIDGE:
Each component on the board has its own job to do and is linked very specifically to another. When the solder bridges a component that isnt meant to be joined it often causes a short circuit meaning your circuit as a whole won’t work.

 

 

SOLDERING PATTERN
Soldering is as easy as counting and if you can count you can solder. To get a great joint, its important to heat the leg of the component and gold pad equally so hold the iron against the leg and the pad for 3 seconds, feed solder in for 3 seconds, take solder away count for 2 and then swipe up the leg to remove any excess.

 

 

TINNING!

Imagine your tip is like a pencil only every time you write with it it becomes blunt and you have to sharpen it. Thats what its like when you solder. Your tip need to continuously be kept “sharp” this is called tinning.
HOW TO TIN?
To tin your tip, melt solder onto the tip and leave to warm up for a few seconds. Then, using your wire wool or sponge, wipe off the excess to be left with a beautiful shiny tip. To get a nice clean tip it’s important to wipe your tip like you would butter off a knife.
HOW OFTEN TO TIN?
We recommend you tin after every 2 joints. Once its part of your soldering routine it will all be natural. Also, tin the tip before you put the iron away. this will prevent the tip oxidising. If it oxidises the heat will not conduct as readily. Still no luck use tip cleaner.

 

 

GOLD PAD STILL SHOWING! (Fixing a bad solder)
If you gold pad still showing all you need to do is add some more solder! You can see Irene doing it here like a pro!

 

 

DESOLDER: BLOCKED HOLE!
It may sound odd but add some more solder onto the hole – makes it easier for the solder sucker to grab hold of something – heat and suck.

 

 

DESOLDER: CORRECTING BRIDGES & APPLES
Bad solder joint? Did you make a Bridge of solder across two components? or a joint that looks like and apple?
Don’t worry here you’ll see how to fix it and continue soldering!