[Blabber] Lots of soldering, tips and tricks?

James Carpino jamescarpino at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 9 16:14:59 UTC 2017

My biggest tip is use a hot iron.
In my childhood I generally used a 15W Radio Shack soldering iron because it had a nice shaped tip and that was what I could afford.  I learned to deal with it, and perhaps my soldering wasn't that bad, but it took a while to heat things up and flow the solder in properly.  25W was about the same.
 Once I had a real job doing soldering and got to use a temperature-controlled Weller station, the quality and speed of soldering I got went way up the scale.  I found that I could work well even with a low quality unregulated 50W iron (with a fine tip); you have to watch that it doesn't overheat, and cool it on a wet sponge as you go.  But since you don't know how hot it is, you have to get a sense of it from letting it heat up and seeing the difference.  

This is my favorite iron.http://www.mpja.com/Mini-Solder-Station-ZD-99/productinfo/15860+TL/
You can use any 40-50W iron with a fine tip.  I've used a 40W iron from Microcenter, but it doesn't get quite as hot as the 50W.  For fast repetitive soldering I really like 50W.  If you are fighting to keep it cool, that's better than fighting to keep it hot.

If you tend to overheat the iron as I do, buy some tip tinner as well.  People tend to overuse it but it certainly doesn't hurt.this stuff:http://www.microcenter.com/product/425044/Tip_Tinner

Also, for reasons I don't really know, the 15W iron blew through tips like crazy, and the 50W tip lasted a long time (5 years of similar use).  Perhaps I just learned to take better care of it, I don't know.  

Wet sponge, tip tinner, hot iron.  I think that's a George Thorogood song.

      From: Konstantin Avdashchenko <konsgn at hotmail.com>
 To: Hack Manhattan! <blabber at list.hackmanhattan.com> 
 Sent: Saturday, September 9, 2017 11:53 AM
 Subject: Re: [Blabber] Lots of soldering, tips and tricks?
#yiv8378463348 #yiv8378463348 -- .yiv8378463348EmailQuote {margin-left:1pt;padding-left:4pt;border-left:#800000 2px solid;}#yiv8378463348 #yiv8378463348 #yiv8378463348 --p {margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;}#yiv8378463348 you could use a cheap solder pot from aliexpress to tin all the connections by dipping them into molten solder.
also, you could make whatever kind of soldering iron tip you want from thick guage copper wire in one of those 2 prong giant weller soldering guns. shape the wire however you want as long as it connects across the two prongs and it will be faster to connect the pre-tinned parts together.
good luck.

Science! From: Blabber <blabber-bounces at list.hackmanhattan.com> on behalf of Isaac (.ike) Levy <ike at blackskyresearch.net>
Sent: Saturday, September 9, 2017 10:59:04 AM
To: Hack Manhattan!
Subject: [Blabber] Lots of soldering, tips and tricks? Hi All,

I'm that lurker from Brooklyn, hoping my question is OK here,

Can anyone point me to any tips for soldering lots of wires at scale?
Like making jigs for soldering, or tips for holding the material, or
tips for how to apply solder to expedite things?

I'm soldering up a project with a big chain of high power shift
registers, soldering more than I've ever soldered in my life.  As an
amateur, I'm competent soldering components to boards- but now, I have a
*lot* of wires to solder down and I'm fumbling through it too slow.

For anyone curious, I'm driving 12v LED strips from TPIC6B595 shift
registers.  My LED strips RGB, the cheap kind that are common these
days.  I have nearly 200 strips to solder to, (4 wires each, at least
the wire I have is a strip of 4 wires), Pictures attached.

Thanks- any thoughts much appreciated!  (Even if your only suggestion is
'work faster' ha).


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