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gold

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,514 Member Since:27/01/2011

#41 [url]

Apr 5 12 7:39 PM

The Oki/Metcal model I checked out was the SP200. I wasn't impressed. The death blow was a non locking flimsy connector for the soldering wand. It just felt cheap. The MX500 system looks great. The Weller WD1002 is priced like the SP200.

Paul Gold Salt Mastering

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gold

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,514 Member Since:27/01/2011

#42 [url]

Apr 5 12 8:45 PM

The OKI model I checked out was the MFR1110 not the Metcal SP200 which it replaces in the product line. That was no good. I don't know the Metcal SP200

Paul Gold Salt Mastering

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iris

Gold Finger

Posts: 798 Member Since:17/01/2012

#43 [url]

Apr 6 12 3:01 AM


The forced recapping of our (hideous) Neve V3 (TWICE) was 96,000 soldering operations.
TWICE.

-compasspnt


That is beyond brutal! My hair starts smoking at the very thought!
I'm going to have bad dreams now tonight.
Thanks a lot, Terry.

Phoenix Eyeris Nijisan Recording Phase One... in which Doris gets her oats! www.phoenixeyeris.com "Pictcha the finga's going 'chucka chucka'..."

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crookwood

New Forum Friend

Posts: 6 Member Since:20/07/2011

#44 [url]

Apr 6 12 4:04 AM

We have to use non lead solder by law over here, and due to the size of our shop, everything is done by hand.

There is a science of soldering, but some of the indicators we use for lead solder don't work for non lead solder.

Firstly, you'll never get a shiny joint: non lead gives a dull grainy look, but if you understand the science, the joints are as good.

So here's the facts:
1) Non lead melts at a higher temperature. This means that youve got to put more power into the joint, as you have to raise the PCB trace, the solder and the component temperature up by about 20 degrees.  We use 80W solder stations set to 320 to 380 degrees C for this. The actual temperature at the tip while heating everything on the board goes to about 250 degrees C

2) The activity level of the flux is vital to soldering, especially to re-work of old, more corroded boards.  Because lead solder flows better, the flux (which de-oxides the parts and allows the sodler to "stick") tends to be less agressive.  We use a L0 category flux ( the US equivalent is RMA?) which is a medium activity flux.  You need a more agressive flux to de-oxidise, and keep the parts clean while exposing them to higher temperatures.  You can use higher agression fluxes, but they require very good cleaning after soldering, or they keep etching away ( fluxes are acids).

3) The amount of flux in the solder wire is important.  We use a 2% by volume flux.  Normal solders have a 1% flux.  The extra flux wets and de-oxideses the joints better for a given volume of solder on the joint.

4) 2-3 seconds of heat per joint.  You need to make sure that once the solder has started to melt that it flows properly around the joint and PCB trace.  Now if soldering an IC, the time needs to be short, as ultimately you'll melt (or partially melt) the solder inside the IC.  This is a factor of actual temperature on the solder tip ( not what the temperature guage on the soldering iron says) and the time applied.  As a tip, apply the solder first, and heat the solder, not the joint.  The latent heat needed to melt the solder reduces the actual temperature of the tip. You'll usually hear the opposite in older manuals - heat the joint and apply the solder.  With modern ICs this is a factor in reducing their working life. Solder the other way around.

5) Gravity. With through hole soldering, solder the pins from the end side (component down), and let gravity suck the solder down the through hole towards the component ( also aids #4 above).

6) Amount of solder. As it melts, apply it until the joint starts to go concave as the solder flows up the leg of the component.  Do not apply too much, or too little ( too little is better than too much though)

7) Inspection. Do this imediately after each joint, as it's impossible to focus on an entire board.  All you can check is that the solder joint looks concave.  This is the best indication that you have applied the right amount of solder, at the right heat.  It doesn't actually guarantee that the joint is good - no visual inspection can do this, but it erradicates the common errors

8) Component leg cropping. Ideally, the legs should be cropped to the right height before insertion and soldering.  This is because a bigger leg acts as a heat sink, so the solder doesn't flow as well, and because cutting the lead afterwards stresses the solder joint.  When cropping, cut each leg, one at a time with sharp cutters, just above the solder joint.

9) Cleaning the board. Don't do it!  Use rosin and halide free "no clean" flux( rosin & halide free = fumes don't mess with your lungs).  It leaves a white waxy residue on the board which is ugly but harmless. Cleaning a board (unless done rigourously)actually just spreads impurities and possibly still active flux across the entire board.  Customers often demand clean boards however - re-education required?

10) Avoid re-work. Get it right first time. Every time you re-work, you potentially damage parts.

Sounds easy?  No you're right it's not.  Leaded solder is very much more forgiving. It's taken us 3 years to get this right - if you can legally get away with leaded soldler, do so.

Cheers

Crispin HT
Crookwood
www.crookwood.com


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ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#45 [url]

Apr 6 12 6:39 AM

Crispin, Thanks for that excellently-assembled post.

Nothing speaks like experience... I'm 'lucky' enough to not be 'forced' to deal with lead-free solder, so I have the option of simply working with tin-lead and doing what I've always done, so I appreciate the insight from 'the front lines'.

Keith

-Keith Andrews -If I can't fix it, I can fix it so [i]NOBODY[/i] can fix it!

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studiochap

Gold Finger

Posts: 254 Member Since:05/02/2011

#46 [url]

Apr 6 12 7:42 AM

I have one of the previous versions of the WD1002... forget the number, but it's at home.It too is dead.When your tools let you down it's infuriating. I went from being ALL Weller to being Weller-free. I'll be buying another Metcal soon; they're light years better than Hakko and Weller, but they're inexpensive, they're easy to toss into a case, bits are available... everywhere... and they're just drama-free.I have sworn off Weller, and unless they address their reliability issues, it's forever.WTCP is a joke. The 'glowing-poker' trick that they occasionally play was NEVER funny.

-ssltech

When I bought my OKI-Metcal iron a couple of years ago, I bought a couple of tips with it. I'm still on the original tip, after tons of work. It just treats solder like butter, and 2 of my friends have gone straight out and bought them after  trying mine. I have two of the "glowing poker" Weller's in the dead iron cupboard.

Gwyn Mathias Mixer Madness in one form or another since 1972... Happy Sequoia user!

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darin k

Gold Finger

Posts: 902 Member Since:26/01/2011

#48 [url]

Apr 6 12 2:15 PM

Thanks for sharing, Crispin...that's a keeper.

-phantom309


Yep; I nominate Crispin's post for a stickie on using non-leaded solder.

Darin Keatley

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andy peters

Silverado

Posts: 54 Member Since:07/02/2011

#50 [url]

Apr 8 12 5:26 PM

The Oki/Metcal model I checked out was the SP200. I wasn't impressed. The death blow was a non locking flimsy connector for the soldering wand. It just felt cheap. The MX500 system looks great. The Weller WD1002 is priced like the SP200.

-gold

My SP200 has been a champ for about 15 years. The handful of SP200s around the office are all holding up well.

The cable that connects the wand to the power supply is basically a CPC that locks. If you yank on it, it doesn't come loose, although you probably don't want to pull the power supply off of the bench.

The tips just slide into the wand, held in place with friction, and they're designed that way for quick tip change.

-a

"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

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andy peters

Silverado

Posts: 54 Member Since:07/02/2011

#51 [url]

Apr 8 12 5:29 PM

 9) Cleaning the board. Don't do it!  Use rosin and halide free "no clean" flux( rosin & halide free = fumes don't mess with your lungs).  It leaves a white waxy residue on the board which is ugly but harmless. Cleaning a board (unless done rigourously)actually just spreads impurities and possibly still active flux across the entire board.  Customers often demand clean boards however - re-education required?

-crookwood

I agree with your list, with the exception of the no-clean thing.

Clean the board with a proper detergent, and rinse with deionized water.

A clean PCB is always better than one with potentially-conductive flux left behind.

-a

"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

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dcollins

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,365 Member Since:27/01/2011

#52 [url]

Apr 8 12 6:01 PM

A clean PCB is always better than one with potentially-conductive flux left behind.

-andy_peters

I have also heard tales of solder-mask that was something like 400k/cm of leakage.........


DC

 davecollinsmastering.com


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longscale

Tin Man

Posts: 48 Member Since:29/03/2011

#53 [url]

Apr 8 12 9:33 PM


Use 63/37 multicore rosin (No clean) solder.  The 63/37 (Sn/Pb) is a eutectic alloy; which means that the melting point is truly  a melting point - not a range.  Practically no plastic range.  60/40 solder on the other hand has a larger plastic range and you must be careful to not move the parts during cool down.  I always use 63/37.

A good iron helps (I use a Hakko), as does a PanaVise and some magnification.

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chrisjuried

Tin Man

Posts: 48 Member Since:25/10/2011

#54 [url]

Jun 2 12 5:01 PM


Quality tools are essential, in my opinion. I use Klein hand tools, Hakko irons and Tektronix, HP and TEC test equipment. You pay a bit more for quality, initially, but save many times over in the long run.

   
This is great advice.  The Hakko's are great bang for the buck.
Also solder seems to be a little different today than it was 30 years ago, don't know if it's true but my "vintage solder" seems easier to work with still.
I recently bought the same pro Weller machine (a 129.00 on I found new for 89.00 on ebay!) that my tech has and it's made the job way easier.
Quality tools make all the difference.

-silvertone


Sincerely,   
  
Chris Juried  
Audio Engineering Society (AES) Member 
InfoComm-Recognized AV Technologist

Juried Engineering, LLC

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studiochap

Gold Finger

Posts: 254 Member Since:05/02/2011

#55 [url]

Jun 3 12 8:36 AM

Quality toolsare essential, in my opinion. I use Klein hand tools, Hakko irons andTektronix, HP and TEC test equipment. You pay a bit more for quality,initially, but save many times over in the long run.

-chrisjuried


+1 on buying good tools - it amazes me that eg many studio owners will pay $$$/£££ Ks for a console, but will buy the very cheapest iron.

But NEVER EVER let assistants gain potential access to your  fine miniature side-cutters.... it's always too late after they've had them out of your toolbox and used them to cut power cables etc.

Gwyn Mathias Mixer Madness in one form or another since 1972... Happy Sequoia user!

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christopher wilson

Silverado

Posts: 152 Member Since:31/01/2011

#58 [url]

Jul 11 15 11:22 AM

Hi friends, Do you technically knowledgable PRW members have a recommendation regarding how much solder to use in XLR cable builds?  I would have though using no more solder than necessary, and trusting the strain relief, was the way to go.  When I looked at the insides of a bunch of cables, they all had mounds of solder holding the wires into the cups.  Here's a picture of me trying to meet it in the middle a bit.  Any advice about how to make this better would be very much appreciated, thank you.image

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ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,058 Member Since:22/01/2011

#60 [url]

Jul 11 15 4:44 PM

christopher wilson wrote:
Hi friends, Do you technically knowledgable PRW members have a recommendation regarding how much solder to use in XLR cable builds?  I would have though using no more solder than necessary, and trusting the strain relief, was the way to go.  When I looked at the insides of a bunch of cables, they all had mounds of solder holding the wires into the cups.  Here's a picture of me trying to meet it in the middle a bit.  Any advice about how to make this better would be very much appreciated, thank you.image

If you're looking for overall critique, I'd say that the sleeving on the shoeld is a fine precaution, the amount of solder is SLIGHTLY heavier than necessary, but not a problem.

At a glance I'd offer one advice to improve things, and that's always to put the "shoulder" of the sleeving (i.e. where the stripped and tinned conductor exits the insulation) RIGHT up to the solder terminal. -Ideally, there hsould be NO gap or distance of exposed conductor. The white conductor in the above image looks like it's got 2-3mm of exposed conductor. the more exposed conductor you leave, the more chances of unwanted contact with other conductors. I like people to perhaps strip back a little less, so that the sleeve sits ALL the way next to the solder cup/contact.

Other than that, I echo that it looks fine.

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