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PICList Thread
'[OT]: Soldering pin headers'
2002\08\07@231408 by Dave Dribin

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Ok, so I am soldering these 10x2 headers (like Jameco [1] Part
#53479) to some perf board and I'm having some problems.  The plastic
doesn't really hold the pins in that well.  When I try and solder, the
plastic ends up melting a little, the pin comes loose and slides
around.  Some pins are loose even after cooling, and thus a good
contact is not made when the matching female connector is attached.
Is there some trick that stops the pins from sliding?  Is there a
better part to use?

Thanks,

-Dave

[1] http://www.jameco.com/

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2002\08\08@135727 by John Ferrell

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This kind of thing needs a heat sink to protect the plastic part.

A paper clamp (like you would use as a big paper clip) might do. A sure way
is to slip a rubber band over the handles of needle nose pliers and grip the
header with it while you solder.

Remember the the hotter the iron the faster you can work.
{Original Message removed}

2002\08\08@141439 by Brendan Moran

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- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Ferrell" <spam_OUTjohnferrellTakeThisOuTspamSPRINTMAIL.COM>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: [PICLIST] [OT]: Soldering pin headers


> This kind of thing needs a heat sink to protect the plastic part.
>
> A paper clamp (like you would use as a big paper clip) might do. A
> sure way is to slip a rubber band over the handles of needle nose
> pliers and grip the header with it while you solder.

Also, FAI (aka Future aka Active) sells a small heat-sink clamp.  It
is effectively a weak spring in a loop form with its ends crossed
such that you can squeeze it to open it, and it will gently hold
something.  The ends are triangular and have some thermally
conductive metal riveted to them.

>
> Remember the the hotter the iron the faster you can work.

The hotter the iron, the sooner the plastic melts too. ;)

- --Brendan

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2002\08\08@142921 by Sid Weaver

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In a message dated 08/08/2002 13:58:40 Eastern Daylight Time,
@spam@johnferrellKILLspamspamSPRINTMAIL.COM writes:

For Dave


>  Ok, so I am soldering these 10x2 headers (like Jameco [1] Part
> > #53479) to some perf board and I'm having some problems.  The plastic
> > doesn't really hold the pins in that well.  When I try and solder, the
> > plastic ends up melting a little, the pin comes loose and slides
>

I solder these things all the time and don't have a problem.  You may be
holding the iron on there too long.  Touch your solder to the pin, then touch
your iron to the pin/solder junction.  As soon as the solder melts take the
iron away.  Takes about 1/2 second to solder a pin with a good iron.

Sid

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2002\08\08@144137 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 02:27 PM 8/8/02 -0400, you wrote:

>I solder these things all the time and don't have a problem.  You may be
>holding the iron on there too long.  Touch your solder to the pin, then touch
>your iron to the pin/solder junction.  As soon as the solder melts take the
>iron away.  Takes about 1/2 second to solder a pin with a good iron.

Yes, low temperature-controlled irons are for service people or klutzes,
fast movement with a hot iron is best.

I wonder if his problem is that the iron is too cool, too light (the
perf board (Veroboard?) traces suck(s) the heat out) or perhaps the connectors
are not quite to spec. Hard to tell. I have two suggestions.

1)      Slap down some plastic and buy a nice Metcal RF based soldering
system.
        Should be well under $1K and your soldering will go much more nicely.

2)      If that isn't an option, take a scrap female connector, put it over
        the male during soldering, then pull it off when you are done. Don't
        use the female for real work, because it's possible it could be
        damaged by the heat or flux could work its way into it.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2002\08\08@173503 by Dave Dribin

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On Thu, Aug 08, 2002 at 02:27:51PM -0400, Sid Weaver wrote:
> > > Ok, so I am soldering these 10x2 headers (like Jameco [1] Part
> > > #53479) to some perf board and I'm having some problems.  The plastic
> > > doesn't really hold the pins in that well.  When I try and solder, the
> > > plastic ends up melting a little, the pin comes loose and slides
>
> I solder these things all the time and don't have a problem.  You may be
> holding the iron on there too long.  Touch your solder to the pin, then touch
> your iron to the pin/solder junction.  As soon as the solder melts take the
> iron away.  Takes about 1/2 second to solder a pin with a good iron.

Yeah, I've pretty much determined I suck at soldering. :) I've bought
a nice Weller temperature controlled iron (well, it's nicer than my
$15 Radio Shack iron, at least).  How hot to you set you iron for on
something like this?  I tried 650F, but turned it down to 600F when I
noticed they started melting.  But I think I still held the iron on
the pins too long, maybe a second or two.  I would touch the iron to
the pin to warm it up first for a bit, then touch the solder to the
the hot pin and iron.  Like I said, I think I suck at soldering.  I've
never really watched anyone good, and I make tons of mistakes.

-Dave

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2002\08\08@180441 by Sid Weaver

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In a message dated 08/08/2002 17:36:37 Eastern Daylight Time,
RemoveMEdave-mlspamTakeThisOuTDRIBIN.ORG writes:


{Quote hidden}

Dave, I am using a plain old Radio Shack iron - I think it is 25 watts.  You
have to keep the tip very clean - bright and shiny all the time.  I keep an
old washrag, quite wet, next to the iron and wipe the tip every time just
before I solder.  Try not to stay on the pin for much more than half a
second.  That's enough even for plated thru holes.

Sid

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2002\08\08@181232 by Brendan Moran

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> Dave, I am using a plain old Radio Shack iron - I think it is 25 watts.
You
> have to keep the tip very clean - bright and shiny all the time.  I keep
an
> old washrag, quite wet, next to the iron and wipe the tip every time just
> before I solder.  Try not to stay on the pin for much more than half a
> second.  That's enough even for plated thru holes.
>

The dampness of what ever you use to clean the tip is really a personal
preference, I think.  What I use is a sponge that is designed for the task
(one of those yellow slotted ones) that is just damp.  Not sopping wet, just
damp enough that touching the iron doesn't dry it out.  That way, the tip
gets cooled less when it is wiped off.

Just my way of doing things... But I find it works.

--Brendan

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2002\08\08@183118 by Pic Dude

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I use the same part as well, and I usually have no problems,
but occassionally I find that the plastic does indeed melt a
bit, but then hardens again when it cools.  The pin should be
snug in the hole on the board, else I can see this being an
annoyance.

Cheers,
-Neil.




> {Original Message removed}

2002\08\09@135212 by Dwayne Reid

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At 04:34 PM 8/8/02 -0500, Dave Dribin wrote:

>Yeah, I've pretty much determined I suck at soldering. :)

Practice - lots of it.  In other words, keep doing it - even though you are
not getting perfect results.  You *will* get better at it.

>I've bought a nice Weller temperature controlled iron (well, it's nicer
>than my
>$15 Radio Shack iron, at least).  How hot to you set you iron for on
>something like this?  I tried 650F, but turned it down to 600F when I
>noticed they started melting.

Try 700F.  Flood the tip with solder, then shake off the excess.  What you
should now see is a nice, brightly tinned tip.  Touch the iron to the pin
and PCB, jab just a little bit of solder right where the tip touches the
pin, watch the solder start to move to the rest of the pin and trace.  Now
add just a tiny bit more solder.  Take the solder away - keep the iron
there for a split second longer, then remove the iron.

That first little bit of solder is what helps the iron heat up the pin - it
makes a good thermal connection between the tip and what you are
soldering.  Once the pin and trace are heated, add the solder it takes to
make a nice fillet.  Remember: too much solder is worse than not enough.

Watch the solder as it flows along the pad and pin.  If it is not flowing
within about 1 second or so, something is not right: tip too cold, tip not
making good contact with the pin, something.  Take the iron away and do
another pin - allow the first pin to cool down before trying again.

It takes somewhere around 1 - 2 seconds per solder joint with a good,
clean, HOT iron.  Count to yourself as you are soldering: ONE AND - you
should be done that joint.  Less than a second is probably not good unless
the pin and PCB trace are both really small.

All it takes is practice!

dwayne

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2002\08\09@162122 by Robert E. Griffith

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Why is too much solder worse than not enough?

--BobG

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list [RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On
Behalf Of Dwayne Reid
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 1:50 PM
To: EraseMEPICLISTspamspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT]: Soldering pin headers

At 04:34 PM 8/8/02 -0500, Dave Dribin wrote:

>Yeah, I've pretty much determined I suck at soldering. :)

Practice - lots of it.  In other words, keep doing it - even though you are
not getting perfect results.  You *will* get better at it.

>I've bought a nice Weller temperature controlled iron (well, it's nicer
>than my
>$15 Radio Shack iron, at least).  How hot to you set you iron for on
>something like this?  I tried 650F, but turned it down to 600F when I
>noticed they started melting.

Try 700F.  Flood the tip with solder, then shake off the excess.  What you
should now see is a nice, brightly tinned tip.  Touch the iron to the pin
and PCB, jab just a little bit of solder right where the tip touches the
pin, watch the solder start to move to the rest of the pin and trace.  Now
add just a tiny bit more solder.  Take the solder away - keep the iron
there for a split second longer, then remove the iron.

That first little bit of solder is what helps the iron heat up the pin - it
makes a good thermal connection between the tip and what you are
soldering.  Once the pin and trace are heated, add the solder it takes to
make a nice fillet.  Remember: too much solder is worse than not enough.

Watch the solder as it flows along the pad and pin.  If it is not flowing
within about 1 second or so, something is not right: tip too cold, tip not
making good contact with the pin, something.  Take the iron away and do
another pin - allow the first pin to cool down before trying again.

It takes somewhere around 1 - 2 seconds per solder joint with a good,
clean, HOT iron.  Count to yourself as you are soldering: ONE AND - you
should be done that joint.  Less than a second is probably not good unless
the pin and PCB trace are both really small.

All it takes is practice!

dwayne

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(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax

Celebrating 18 years of Engineering Innovation (1984 - 2002)
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2002\08\10@035325 by Peter L. Peres

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Try touching the pad and the pin at the *same* time and adding solder at
the same time ?

Peter

On Thu, 8 Aug 2002, Dave Dribin wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\08\10@035342 by Peter L. Peres

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imho stick in a dud female connector and solder. This will keep the pin(s)
properly aligned when you remove it. Proper soldering involves sticking to
manufacturer's specs for dwell time etc. Not an available option for
manual soldering.

Peter

On Thu, 8 Aug 2002, Pic Dude wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>> {Original Message removed}

2002\08\10@043735 by Peter L. Peres

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On Fri, 9 Aug 2002, Robert E. Griffith wrote:

>Why is too much solder worse than not enough?

Because with plated through holes it ends up on the other side, oozing
under things and trying to lift them I think.

Peter

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2002\08\10@083316 by Roman Black

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Brendan Moran wrote:

> > old washrag, quite wet, next to the iron and wipe the tip every time just
> > before I solder.  Try not to stay on the pin for much more than half a
> > second.  That's enough even for plated thru holes.
> >
>
> The dampness of what ever you use to clean the tip is really a personal
> preference, I think.  What I use is a sponge that is designed for the task
> (one of those yellow slotted ones) that is just damp.


I never use water or sponges, they mess up the
tip. Rapid cooling from the water causes frosting
(roughing?) of the tip, bad for thermal conductivity
and corrosion etc. The sponge is a contaminant that
also gives a grungy tip.

The way I have been doing it for 15+ years now is
to have a large blob of solder next to the iron,
excess solder and flux is wiped onto the blob, the
tip can be rubbed hard against the blob and actually
becomes polished and very shiny. It never gets rapid
cooling like a damp sponge. The iron stays wetted
and very clean and tip life is increased by a large
amount. The solder blob also contains impregnated
flux, and wiping the tip on it cleans and polishes
it very well, without the rapid cooling from water
and without the dirty eroded sponge dust.

I know people will argue with me here, as this
sounds unconventional... But I am proud of the
quality of soldering we do here with this technique.
:o)
-Roman

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2002\08\10@112859 by Shawn Mulligan

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I'm going to try your solder-blob method. I avoid the sponge for the same
reason. Instead I prefer to use the Scrubby-like, wound copper wool tip
cleaner. What I don't like about this device is that it is slightly abrasive
to the tip, shortening its life -- and since I use a Metcal, replacement
tips are expensive.
-Shawn

Roman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\08\11@062731 by Roman Black

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Hi Shawn, cool! The trick is to get a "fluffy"
solder blob, ie less dense and made from small
splatters. When you first make them (as a small
puddle of molten solder) they are very dense and
don't melt on the tip as good as older blobs.
You can "fluff up" the blob by adding splatters
(or wipes) of fresh solder.

Then instead of shaking excess solder away when
you are working, just wipe each new splat on the
main blob and you can polish the tip on the blob
under a film of molten solder and flux residue etc.
:o)
-Roman


Shawn Mulligan wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\08\11@070129 by Diego Sierra

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Hi!

> > Roman wrote:
> > >
> > >The way I have been doing it for 15+ years now is
> > >to have a large blob of solder next to the iron,

Could you post a link to a small photo of the system you use?. I hardly
understand what you mean due to the words you use, even a dictionary here is
useless for me :-(

Thanks,
Diego.

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2002\08\11@113510 by Roman Black

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part 1 499 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii (decoded 7bit)

Diego Sierra wrote:

> > > >The way I have been doing it for 15+ years now is
> > > >to have a large blob of solder next to the iron,
>
> Could you post a link to a small photo of the system you use?. I hardly
> understand what you mean due to the words you use, even a dictionary here is
> useless for me :-(


Ok, here is a picture of the "fluffy solder" blob.
Can't figure why that doesn't translate...
;o)
-Roman


part 2 5942 bytes content-type:image/jpeg; name="blob.jpg" (decode)


part 3 144 bytes
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2002\08\11@125051 by Diego Sierra

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Thanks!

> Ok, here is a picture of the "fluffy solder" blob.

I do not figure it out until I saw it. It is really fluffy :-)

I will test it instead of the sponge.

Cheers,
Diego.

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2002\08\12@011603 by Dave Dribin

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On Fri, Aug 09, 2002 at 11:50:13AM -0600, Dwayne Reid wrote:
> At 04:34 PM 8/8/02 -0500, Dave Dribin wrote:
>
> >Yeah, I've pretty much determined I suck at soldering. :)
>
> Practice - lots of it.  In other words, keep doing it - even though you are
> not getting perfect results.  You *will* get better at it.

That's sorta the problem.  I only solder once every 6 months or so, so
I never get a chance to really practice.  Oh well, maybe one day, this
will become part of my day job. :)

> Try 700F.  Flood the tip with solder, then shake off the excess.  What you
> should now see is a nice, brightly tinned tip.  Touch the iron to the pin
> and PCB, jab just a little bit of solder right where the tip touches the
> pin, watch the solder start to move to the rest of the pin and trace.  Now
> add just a tiny bit more solder.  Take the solder away - keep the iron
> there for a split second longer, then remove the iron.

Thanks, I will try your advice next time.

-Dave

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2002\08\12@014355 by Scott Pierce

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I find that after the pin has cooled, if it has a somewhat large glob of
solder on it, if you clean your soldering iron tip on a damp sponge, then
place the tip of the iron back onto the globbed pin, it will suck some of
the excess solder off the pin.  This leaves a nice looking solder
job.  Hope this helps!

Sincerely,
Scott Pierce



At 12:14 AM 8/12/2002 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\08\12@102752 by Pic Dude

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Quick note on soldering... I've always been an 'decent'
solderer, having used my own PCB's and pre-etched PCB's
(from Radio Shack) with the breadboard-like patterns.

However, since I started using PCB's made by a PCB house
(which are solder-coated copper on FR4), I've become a
soldering guru overnight.

Two days ago, I found an old Radio Shack PCB and transferred
the pet feeder to it.  I did clean up the board, but my
soldering has gone to what can only be classified as
poor.  Not sure why, but the moral of the story is that
the board type, and cleanliness of the parts will make
a major difference!

I'd recommend getting some "good" PCB's to learn on,
before tackling the junk stuff.  Now I'll leave it to
the experts to figure out which board type is good vs
junk.

Cheers,
-Neil.



> {Original Message removed}

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