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Electronics best type of solder?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Hazchem, 1 Apr 2007.

  1. Hazchem

    Hazchem Minimodder

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    can anyone give me an idea of what mix is best, that is readily available from somewhere like maplin? I'd like to know which is nicest to my iron, is as non toxic as possible, forms the best joints and is easiest to solder with.

    thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. tech3312

    tech3312 Where's my dremel o.0

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    there's two question i need to ask u what are u soldering circuit board or wores and second what is your wattage of your solder some solder requires a certain wattge for it to be able to melt and solder.
     
  3. hithisishal

    hithisishal What's a Dremel?

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    I find 63/37 solder easier to work with than 60/40. It is closer to the eutectic composition, so you go straight from pure liquid to A+B solid faster, with less solid+liquid time in between. The result - no "plasticy" region in between - it hardens faster.

    This is good.
     
  4. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    For years metallurgists have argued about the exact composition for the eutectic, a few ppm of other impurities common in tin and lead ores will move the figure. 60Sn/40Pb, 63/37, 62/38, the difference is truly negligible, the flux makes the perceived difference between supplies of one or the other. The one to avoid is plumber's solder (20Sn/80Pb) which has a marked mushy region to allow wiped joints and (in cored form) contains an aggressive acid flux unsuited to electronics.

    As far as Maplin go, they now only sell lead-free solders so your only choice is tin-copper or expensive tin-copper-silver. Lead/Tin eutectic mix is still available from Rapid and is legal if you're not selling the stuff you make with it.
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2007
  5. smoguzbenjamin

    smoguzbenjamin "That guy"

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    I use a 'special' kind which is supposed to be nicer for your iron, its Sn60 Pb38 Cu2. The copper is supposed to make it iron-friendly, but I just have a (perhaps psychological) affinity for the stuff. Long story short: it's the stuff I like to use.
     
  6. Wolfe

    Wolfe What's a Dremel?

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    Make sure you buy rosin core solder.

    Solid core needs an external source of rosin, and most of the other core components are for specialty applications.
     
  7. SteveyG

    SteveyG Electromodder

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    Standard Multicore 60/40 solder e.g.: HERE .

    I bought about 10 500g reels just in case they ever stopped making it :D
     
  8. ConKbot of Doom

    ConKbot of Doom What's a Dremel?

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    I'm liking some of the 62/36/2 tin/lead/silver solder I picked up from radio shack. Better appearance then their 60/40
     
  9. g0th

    g0th What's a Dremel?

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    Hmm, that reminds me. I should go and pick up a few kg of hippy-unfriendly brain-cell-killing solder before they stop selling it.
     
  10. led_zeppelinzoso

    led_zeppelinzoso What's a Dremel?

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  11. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Slightly relevant, a review by EPE of that ColdHeat soldering iron. Conclusion: Not suitable for soldering electronic parts. :nono:
     
  12. g0th

    g0th What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, i bought one of those last time i ordered ThinkGeek gear just for the novelty value, it seems pretty cheap, but it's useless.
     
  13. Dreamslacker

    Dreamslacker Minimodder

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    I just use Cardas Quad Eutectic which is an audiophile solder. I don't use it because of it's supposed audio qualities but the natural rosin they use allows the solder to wet very easily and it's smooth and very easy to use.
    As a bonus, the solder supposedly contains some kind of polymer that protects the joint (which is always shiny) after soldering and the flux doesn't need to be cleaned off.
     
  14. hithisishal

    hithisishal What's a Dremel?

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    Is it worth the extra $73/lb?

    86 vs 13
     
  15. SteveyG

    SteveyG Electromodder

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    Sounds like a waste of time to me when there are so many other weak links in the chain.
     
  16. Dreamslacker

    Dreamslacker Minimodder

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    I bought it when it was on promotion at a website a couple of years back. It was something like US$39/lb then.

    It's a subjective matter I guess. For me, less solder used is better. It's just one of those necessary evils. Using the cardas solder allows me to use less solder per joint due to how well it wets. ie. Cardas Quad Eutectic solder goes a longer way compared to the regular Kester Eutectic I have.
    Less time is taken for each joint as well. About 25% the time. So the Cardas earns it's cost for me. Especially because I OEM audio interconnects to a company.
    Less time spent with each solder joint also reduces the chances of overheating the component(s) being soldered to.

    All in all, less time spent and less likely for bad joints means the Cardas is indeed worth the extra dough for me. Even if I had to pay the full price for the solder.
     
  17. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    An interesting comparison of both solders and fluxes; there's also a 138-poster at DIYAudio on favourite glues.
     
  18. Wolfe

    Wolfe What's a Dremel?

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    Geez!

    I picked up a 1 kg reel of rosin core solder from Jameco for $12!

    That like $5 a pound. Plus, It's nice stuff. Flows really well, and it's got the kind of flux I like.

    Solder is cheap. Paying $89/lb it really ridiculous, not to mention a little stupid. I could use 8 times the solder and still save half my money.
     
  19. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Not quite standard, SteveyG, that's the more expensive (£18.50-£20 against £15 for the standard Multicore 60/40 22G 500g I linked) no-clean flux recommended for repair work. Any different?

    I'm using Rapid's own label 60/40 at the mo, £7 for the same amount, seems just as good as the Multicore I had (and half the price). :)
     
  20. Dreamslacker

    Dreamslacker Minimodder

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    Since I use it for cables/ amplifiers that I sell, the solder's name is a marketing point for me.
    Audiophiles will pay quite well for voodoo so US$10/ Kg Kester 44 Eutectic actually costs me more in the long run than Cardas Eutectic due to the premium I get to charge for using Cardas. ;)

    I roughly charge US$100 for every hour of labour so the first 2 inches of the Cardas paid for a pound of the stuff.
     

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