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'[EE] Flux info -- circuit effects.'
2007\06\11@234506 by PicDude

flavicon
face
I remember some brief discussion here some time back re: flux removal and some
were saying that they don't remove flux since it has no real effect on the
circuit.  Well, I have now proven to myself that it *does* have an effect.  I
was tracing down some odd results at an analog PIC input and cleaning off the
flux near the PIC's analog pins solved the problem.  BTW, this was rosin
amine flux, and I cleaned it off a CW Rosin Flux Remover Pen.

Cheers,
-Neil.

2007\06\12@011241 by Peter P.

picon face
> I remember some brief discussion here some time back re: flux removal and some

Non-amine rosin flux need not be cleaned off. Rosin and wax solutions are one of
the oldest 'plastic' substances known and in continuous use as flux and as models
in art and technology since the bronze age probably. The only requirement is the
usual one: it has to be clean (no amines, and no other conductive inclusions).
As long as the flux says 'no-clean' flux you can trust it to be so.

Peter P.


2007\06\12@043744 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>As long as the flux says 'no-clean' flux you can trust it to be so.

I guess that depends on the reliability you want from the circuit.

Unfortunately all fluxes act as a sponge, so any water around will get
absorbed and act as a conductive path - which I suspect is exactly what Neil
was having problems with, seeing it was an ADC input.

2007\06\12@050726 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
It's a bit off-topic to this subject but is anybody knows what type of flux
I could use for SMT paste? I'm experiencing problems in wetting the
soldering pads using the paste and hot air technique to solder components to
a new PCB - rework is no problem when the pads were previously soldered.

Thanks,
Tamas


On 6/12/07, Alan B. Pearce <spam_OUTA.B.PearceTakeThisOuTspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> >As long as the flux says 'no-clean' flux you can trust it to be so.
>
> I guess that depends on the reliability you want from the circuit.
>
> Unfortunately all fluxes act as a sponge, so any water around will get
> absorbed and act as a conductive path - which I suspect is exactly what
> Neil
> was having problems with, seeing it was an ADC input.
>
> -

2007\06\12@055628 by Peter P.

picon face
Alan B. Pearce <A.B.Pearce <at> rl.ac.uk> writes:
> >As long as the flux says 'no-clean' flux you can trust it to be so.
> I guess that depends on the reliability you want from the circuit

I do not agree. Rosin flux is the one I trust most. Long term reliability is
above any suspicion (remember where they found the DNA to revive the dinosaurs in
Jurassic Park ? - that is going a little too far but on the other hand the little
information available about fossil insects comes from creatures trapped in amber
for a couple of tens of thousands of years - and the fact that some of that amber
spent a considerable part of those tens of thousands of years on the bottom of
the Baltic Sea, in salt water and being sloshed about in the ball mill that is
the sea bottom, only adds to the confidence I have in it).

Of course the rosin has to be pure for this. And the one I use is. I use the
best music wire rosin I can get for making prototypes ...

Also my experience with restoration of electronic equipment from the 1920s 1930s
and so on, when rosin flux started being used, is very good. There are
practically no failures due to leakage in rosin flux residues even in valved
circuits with resistances in the 10s of Megohms and hundreds of volts across
them, as long as there are no other polluting materials in it. And rosin is easy
to seal: just reheat it to 150-160 deg C with a blower and it becomes smooth and
crack-free, and will exclude any contaminants, acting as a conformal coating.

Of course it is not 'snake oil'. In high temperature circuits it can oxidize and
start its own set of problems.

Peter P.


2007\06\12@062732 by Peter P.

picon face
Alan B. Pearce <A.B.Pearce <at> rl.ac.uk> writes:

> Unfortunately all fluxes act as a sponge, so any water around will get

Well, if you have long term reliability concerns, use something that has been
pre-tested. I'd say the piece with the cricket has the necessary guarantees (24
million years old):

 http://www.ambericawest.com/better.html

I only make medium life expectancy prototypes (well under 200 years), so music
wire rosin is good enough for me ...

Peter P.



2007\06\12@081018 by Peiserma

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face
piclist-bounces@mit.edu wrote:
> Alan B. Pearce <A.B.Pearce <at> rl.ac.uk> writes:
>>> As long as the flux says 'no-clean' flux you can trust it
> to be so.
>> I guess that depends on the reliability you want from the circuit
>
> I do not agree.

I do not agree either. We've run into trouble with no-clean
before. However, it must be said that, as in most things engineering,
it depends. Circuit reliability with no-clean flux depends not
only on your use-environment, but also on the mfg process. Part
of the engineer's job is to evaluate all these factors...


2007\06\12@084408 by John Ferrell

face picon face
"music wire rosin"  ??
Tell me more..
I have been using Kester rosin out of the same tin for about 50 years. The
tin was rusting away from the outside so I warmed the rosin up and poured it
into a small plastic box. It is unlikely I will be around in another 50 year
to report on the plastic case life.

Please satisfy my curiosity about "music wire rosin"

John Ferrell    W8CCW
"Life is easier if you learn to plow
      around the stumps"
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter P." <.....plpeter2006KILLspamspam@spam@yahoo.com>
To: <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:27 AM
Subject: Re: [EE] Flux info -- circuit effects.


> I only make medium life expectancy prototypes (well under 200 years), so
> music
> wire rosin is good enough for me ...
>
> Peter P.


2007\06\12@085923 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Please satisfy my curiosity about "music wire rosin"

I assumed he meant the resin like violinists, and other string instrument
players, use on their bows.

2007\06\12@125039 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Thanks for the reminder, Neil.

I do not remember the type of flux (it was a liquid type meant for
electronics) but I once had a circuit catch on fire (!) because of
flux I failed to clean off. The circuit was a 48V motor drive
prototype. Since it didn't contain any high-impedance circuitry and
was a quick one-off proto, I didn't think it necessary to clean off
the flux (I should note that I added flux beyond what was in the
solder to help solder to copper bus bars).

When I started it up, I saw what appeared to be arcing. It quickly
turned into a small jet of flame. I eventually figured out that the
flux was allowing a moderate resistance path from 48V to ground, and
the resulting current was heating, boiling, and igniting the flux.

Sean


On 6/12/07, PicDude <.....picdude2KILLspamspam.....avn-tech.com> wrote:
> I remember some brief discussion here some time back re: flux removal and some
> were saying that they don't remove flux since it has no real effect on the
> circuit.  Well, I have now proven to myself that it *does* have an effect.  I
> was tracing down some odd results at an analog PIC input and cleaning off the
> flux near the PIC's analog pins solved the problem.  BTW, this was rosin
> amine flux, and I cleaned it off a CW Rosin Flux Remover Pen.
>
> Cheers,
> -Neil.
> -

2007\06\12@133636 by Peter P.

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part 1 605 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 (unknown type 8bit not decoded)

Re: music wire rosin, please see attached image. This is a pot that is at least 12 years old. It was the best I could buy at the time and I used about half of it so far. The brown spots on the box are mostly rosin. There is no danger that it has exceeded its expiry date although there is no dead ant fiducial in it ;-) ;-) ;-) It says 'violin and viola' on the lid. I hope that the message makes it (12 k attachment)

Peter P.


     
---------------------------------
Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
Check out fitting  gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search.

part 2 11915 bytes content-type:image/jpeg; name="kolophonium.jpg" (decode)


part 3 35 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
(decoded 7bit)

2007\06\12@141626 by Timothy Weber

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Peter P. wrote:
> Re: music wire rosin, please see attached image.

It came through fine.  How do you apply it - rub it on?
--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2007\06\12@143527 by Marcel Duchamp

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Data Point One:

I have a Sony stereo receiver purchased in Japan in 1970.  When I opened
it for some repair work, I saw that the main circuit board was
completely covered with flux.  Not a little here or there; entirely
coated.  Every other audio/video/TV product from that era I ever opened
up was also covered in flux.

Yet over 35 years later, they still work as well as new.


Data Point Two:

Taking so-called "NASA qualified" soldering classes in college, removal
of all flux was absolutely mandatory.  And flux is well known to
complicate life if the board was dirty or contaminated before the flux
was applied.  It never hurts to have it removed.  Yet, I always wonder
about Data Point One.

2007\06\12@144650 by Carl Denk

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face
Interesting  thoughts, just this morning I had a garage door opener
remote quit working. All it took was a little solvent to clean it up,
and it worked again, better than ever range.

Marcel Duchamp wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\06\12@145756 by Peter P.

picon face
Timothy Weber <tw <at> timothyweber.org> writes:
> It came through fine.  How do you apply it - rub it on?

You can either break off a pea sized bit and melt it directly on the board with
the iron, or powder it and apply it like that, or, best, put some small chunks in
a tiny glass bottle with an equal amount of solvent (acetone works, there are
less smelly alternatives). The result is a syrupy yellow liquid not much
different from liquid rosin flux you can buy in a bottle. I used to cast the
rosin into a silicone mold to make small 'sticks' which were handy to push into
a stubborn solder point like one would add solder wire. I don't do that anymore
(the sticks are fragile and break off and get everywhere).

I trust this substance because people use it on very expensive music instruments.
I believe that it is purified to a high degree and chemically inert. It certainly
works great for electrostatic experiments, the insulation resistance must be sky
high (a simple capacitor made of amber and aluminum foil held about 20 volts for
a week - checked with a MOSFET influence electrometer - measured capacitance was
well under 10 pF).

Peter P.


2007\06\12@150145 by Peter P.

picon face
Having a circuit catch on fire after defluxing is a well known problem.
Insufficiently dried solvent (in the flux or on the board) can cause this. Both
organics free (water based) and organics based (polar solvent) fluxes and
cleaners conduct electricity while wet. Drying the board with a blower or in an
oven is mandatory before powering up.

Peter P.





2007\06\12@151007 by Peter P.

picon face
Carl Denk <cdenk <at> alltel.net> writes:

> Interesting  thoughts, just this morning I had a garage door opener
> remote quit working. All it took was a little solvent to clean it up,
> and it worked again, better than ever range.

The picture of the 'old' 70's etc consumer equipment covered in flux is true.
The rosin serves as conformal coating. The 'clean all flux' mantra is true, for
rework and inspection. However, when that is finished, the conformal coating
must be put back on ;-)

I sent another more detailed message with rosin use instructions but the list
ate it I think. I will re-send it if it does not appear in a few hours.

Peter P.


2007\06\12@152214 by Peter P.

picon face
> It came through fine.  How do you apply it - rub it on?

Okay, 1st instructions did not come through, try 2:

1. Break off a pea sized chunk and melt it directly on the board with the iron
2. Powder and sprinkle on board, then as above (this is messy)
3. Cast into handy stick/crayon shape and use as you would use solder wire
4. Dissolve 1:1 chunks in acetone and apply the syrupy liquid with a brush

Other less smelly solvents work (like methyl alcohol I think).

Peter P.



2007\06\12@152726 by Timothy Weber

face picon face
Fascinating!

Given my recent struggle with lead-free vs. leaded solder (conclusion:
very little difference for hand soldering, it's the type of flux in the
core that makes ALL the difference in wetting), this is a useful tool to
have in the mental toolbox.  And perhaps the physical one, next time I'm
at the music store.

Makes me want to play string bass again, too...

Peter P. wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2007\06\12@175002 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jun 12, 2007, at 10:36 AM, Peter P. wrote:

> Re: music wire rosin

I always wondered whether I could use generic "rosin" as
soldering flux, or whether the "activated" you usually
associated with the flux version was necessary.  You
say it works, eh?  Maybe I can make some simple rosin-based
varnish for protecting (un-tinned) bare circuit boards.

BillW

2007\06\13@045459 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Taking so-called "NASA qualified" soldering classes in college,
>removal of all flux was absolutely mandatory.

That is what I get in current ESA equivalent inspection courses. Flux is
required to be removed within 24 hours of soldering.

2007\06\13@123630 by Brooke Clarke

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face
Hi:

I built the M3 Semiconductor Analyzer from a kit.  But it failed to pass the
short circuit calibration.  [PIC]  Uses 16F876 and three 4052 analog switches
in a very cleaver circuit that recognizes many 3 terminal devices and measures
key parameters.  http://www.prc68.com/I/MTE.shtml#Xistor

Radio Shack no longer carries flux remover.  But why would flux bother a short
circuit calibration.  But after getting some alcohol and cleaning the board it
passed the calibration.  The other problem is that the copper is extra thick
and my SMT sized soldering iron was not able to heat the joints.  I saw the
dull color and thought it must be a RoHs lead free PCB.

The M3 SA can connect any device pin to either +5 V or to ground and insert a
resistor of 100, 1k, 10k or 100k in series with each device pin.  The device
always has at least a resistor to ground and another resistor to +5.  So
measuring the voltage at all the device pins allows the computation of both the
voltages across the device and the current through each pin.  The voltages for
the currents are small and a flux path to +5 or ground is very disruptive.

Working with solder wick on SMT parts I learned THE major reason for using
flux.  It's not to  clean the joint, but rather to provide a good thermal path
to heat the joint.  Prior to using a flux pen to wet the solder wick my results
were spotty.  But when using flux to wet the wick it works great each and every
time.

In a similar manner applying a very small amount of flux bridging the parts to
be soldered gets the heat to them, which is not easy to do with a dry iron on
dry parts.  Flux pens come in different flavors so you can get one with the
type of flux you like.  Highly recommended.  Get 2 or 3 since shipping them is
a hassle.

--
Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.precisionclock.com

2007\06\13@124212 by Peter P.

picon face
Alan B. Pearce <A.B.Pearce <at> rl.ac.uk> writes:
> That is what I get in current ESA equivalent inspection courses. Flux is
> required to be removed within 24 hours of soldering.

I am not sure what the 'space' grade work is supposed to look like. I know that
many (most) boards for special environments need some kind of conformals coating.

Ime, ancient, cheap valve radios from the 1940s and 1950s which use solder
mask-less printed (cardboard phenolic) circuit boards often use just a layer of
rosin based flux as the only thing between them and oxidation. And it works.
After 50-60 years, the only few places where corrosion got at them is where the
layer flaked off or lifted off (usually board edges etc).

Wikipedia knows about rosin:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosin

and its main ingredient (so MSDSspeak for 'pine odor' is 'irritant' ? What's the
MSDSspeak for dihydrogen monoxide again ?, the one with the drowning risk in case
of inhalation ?). One does not need a license yet for owning a piece of pine
tree. But I think that they are working on its regulation already.

Peter P.


2007\06\13@140355 by Andre Abelian

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face


-----Original Message-----
From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu]On Behalf
Of Brooke Clarke
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:37 AM
To: @spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu
Subject: [EE] Flux info -- circuit effects.


Hi:

I built the M3 Semiconductor Analyzer from a kit.  But it failed to pass the
short circuit calibration.  [PIC]  Uses 16F876 and three 4052 analog switches
in a very cleaver circuit that recognizes many 3 terminal devices and measures
key parameters.  http://www.prc68.com/I/MTE.shtml#Xistor

Radio Shack no longer carries flux remover.  But why would flux bother a short
circuit calibration.  But after getting some alcohol and cleaning the board it
passed the calibration.  The other problem is that the copper is extra thick
and my SMT sized soldering iron was not able to heat the joints.  I saw the
dull color and thought it must be a RoHs lead free PCB.
>>
if you see dull color flux that's water soluble solder it requires to wash
it in the de-ionized water and after that put it oven to dry up.
It has resistance some people do not know about it.
I use regular old flux based solder with 99% alcohol works best.
<<

Andre Abelian

--
Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.precisionclock.com

2007\06\13@173138 by PicDude

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On Wednesday 13 June 2007 11:36, Brooke Clarke wrote:
> ...
> Working with solder wick on SMT parts I learned THE major reason for using
> flux.  It's not to  clean the joint, but rather to provide a good thermal
> path to heat the joint.  Prior to using a flux pen to wet the solder wick
> my results were spotty.  But when using flux to wet the wick it works great
> each and every time.

I've found exactly the same thing, and it's really the only reason I add
additional flux.  But I didn't think it was for getting heat to the joint,
but that flux helped created a sort of wicking action to get solder to flow
properly.

2007\06\14@043728 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>but that flux helped created a sort of wicking action
>to get solder to flow properly.

I get taught that the flux is there to help the solder wet the two parts of
the joint. In the case of solder wick it helps the solder wet the copper in
the wick, which makes the solder flow, and then the wicking action happens
because the solder can now stick to the copper in the wick.

2007\06\14@044724 by Rikard Bosnjakovic

picon face
On 6/14/07, Alan B. Pearce <KILLspamA.B.PearceKILLspamspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:

> I get taught that the flux is there to help the solder wet the two parts of
> the joint. In the case of solder wick it helps the solder wet the copper in
> the wick, which makes the solder flow, and then the wicking action happens
> because the solder can now stick to the copper in the wick.

Which reminds me that I've had a roll of solder wick for, like, 10
years or so, but never ever managed to get it to work so I've always
resorted to using the solder suction instead.

I'm sure I've applied the wick wrong. The times I tried it I put the
wick atop of the solder-pad (or whatever) to be removed, then the
solder iron atop of the wick, heating the wick and the solder up. The
solder melt, but the wick never "ate" the solder.


--
- Rikard - http://bos.hack.org/cv/

2007\06\14@062223 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> I'm sure I've applied the wick wrong. The times I tried it I
> put the wick atop of the solder-pad (or whatever) to be
> removed, then the solder iron atop of the wick, heating the
> wick and the solder up. The solder melt, but the wick never
> "ate" the solder.

There is a hughe difference in quality between wicks. The type sold in
hardware stores is IMHO often useless. What I use (and sell) is the
"chem-wick", I think it is known under a different name in other
countries. I like the smallest version the best because it heats up more
quickly. Sometimes it helps to add a drop of solder (the problem is
often the heat transfer from wick to the solder joint).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu




2007\06\14@071158 by Peter Todd

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On Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 12:22:19PM +0200, wouter van ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I've never had much luck with solder suckers and always use good quality
"chem-wick"

But a third option that works for bigger blobs of solder that need to be
removed, like plugged holes, is to heat up the solder and then give the
board a wack against the table. Inertia does a good job of getting the
hole clean, and saves you a lot of solder wick.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\06\14@071251 by Peter P.

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Rikard Bosnjakovic <rikard.bosnjakovic <at> gmail.com> writes:

> I'm sure I've applied the wick wrong. The times I tried it I put the

Flux the wick with rosin flux and try again. The copper must not be oxidized
(must be nice copper color, not dull-blackish)

Peter P.


2007\06\14@092258 by PicDude

flavicon
face
I have a few types of wick here.  Some older stuff is useless, not because of
it's age I'm sure, but because of it's flux content.  I actually never
understood how anyone could actually use this until I got some proper wick.  
Now I use, and love, Tech Spray Pro Wick.  I use size #2, part # 1809-10F
from Mouser.  As a usage example, to clear out a hole in a PCB from which I
just removed some component lead, I add a bit of fresh solder to the hole,
place the wick flat over the hole, then place the iron on that and wait about
2 seconds.  I can see the solder get soaked up on the wick and the open up
the hole again.  Neato burrito!



On Thursday 14 June 2007 03:47, Rikard Bosnjakovic wrote:
> Which reminds me that I've had a roll of solder wick for, like, 10
> years or so, but never ever managed to get it to work so I've always
> resorted to using the solder suction instead.
>
> I'm sure I've applied the wick wrong. The times I tried it I put the
> wick atop of the solder-pad (or whatever) to be removed, then the
> solder iron atop of the wick, heating the wick and the solder up. The
> solder melt, but the wick never "ate" the solder.

2007\06\14@144154 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Thu, 2007-06-14 at 10:47 +0200, Rikard Bosnjakovic wrote:
> On 6/14/07, Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.PearceTakeThisOuTspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> > I get taught that the flux is there to help the solder wet the two parts of
> > the joint. In the case of solder wick it helps the solder wet the copper in
> > the wick, which makes the solder flow, and then the wicking action happens
> > because the solder can now stick to the copper in the wick.
>
> Which reminds me that I've had a roll of solder wick for, like, 10
> years or so, but never ever managed to get it to work so I've always
> resorted to using the solder suction instead.
>
> I'm sure I've applied the wick wrong. The times I tried it I put the
> wick atop of the solder-pad (or whatever) to be removed, then the
> solder iron atop of the wick, heating the wick and the solder up. The
> solder melt, but the wick never "ate" the solder.

Chances are it's bad solder wick. I've found the cheaper brands just
don't work very well. There are cases were a "solder sucker" is a better
idea (i.e. cleaning out holes on a 20 layer PCB), but in general I find
solder wick much more useful.

TTYL

2007\06\14@144314 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Thu, 2007-06-14 at 12:22 +0200, wouter van ooijen wrote:
> > I'm sure I've applied the wick wrong. The times I tried it I
> > put the wick atop of the solder-pad (or whatever) to be
> > removed, then the solder iron atop of the wick, heating the
> > wick and the solder up. The solder melt, but the wick never
> > "ate" the solder.
>
> There is a hughe difference in quality between wicks. The type sold in
> hardware stores is IMHO often useless. What I use (and sell) is the
> "chem-wick", I think it is known under a different name in other
> countries. I like the smallest version the best because it heats up more
> quickly. Sometimes it helps to add a drop of solder (the problem is
> often the heat transfer from wick to the solder joint).

Agreed. In fact, as odd as it sounds (considering one is trying to rid a
joint of solder) I usually ADD solder to the joint, THEN wick it away!
It actually works better this way in my experience. TTYL

2007\06\15@044442 by Alan B. Pearce
face picon face
>Agreed. In fact, as odd as it sounds (considering one is trying to
>rid a joint of solder) I usually ADD solder to the joint, THEN wick
>it away! It actually works better this way in my experience. TTYL

I agree too. My theory is that sometimes the tin leaches out of the solder,
affecting its melting temperature - especially if the original joint was
done in a solder bath, and it hasn't been kept properly topped up. It
operates at a temperature that still does a good joint, but when you come to
rework it then you notice it doesn't flow well because your iron has lower
thermal mass than the solder bath.

Adding new solder adjusts the tin/lead balance and adds some flux as well to
help it flow.

2007\06\15@145222 by PicDude

flavicon
face
On Thursday 14 June 2007 13:43, Herbert Graf wrote:
> Agreed. In fact, as odd as it sounds (considering one is trying to rid a
> joint of solder) I usually ADD solder to the joint, THEN wick it away!
> It actually works better this way in my experience. TTYL

Yes!  When I remove a component, I usually CANNOT wick out the solder from the
hole, but adding solder then wicking always works.

2007\06\16@110829 by Moses McKnight

flavicon
face
Peter Todd wrote:
> I've never had much luck with solder suckers and always use good quality
> "chem-wick"
>
> But a third option that works for bigger blobs of solder that need to be
> removed, like plugged holes, is to heat up the solder and then give the
> board a wack against the table. Inertia does a good job of getting the
> hole clean, and saves you a lot of solder wick.
>

What we use most of the time is a nozzle on an air hose with around 75
lbs pressure.  Melt the solder and blast it out of there!  It works
great for desoldering just about anything large or small.  I'll use
solder wick on a prototype board without solder mask or other sensitive
areas.

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