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Soldering on the kitchen table, Class 101

If you are a DiY kind of person, chances are you get in there and put your finger on a problem. I hope this tutorial expands you DiY toolkit. My intention is to present you with basic instructions for tackling soldering tasks. For this tutorial, I will be using: Chem-Wik Rosin solder wick, size .100; Tenma Rosin core, 1.0mm, 60/40 solder, a wet paper towel and my trusty 45watt Hakko soldering iron. I will demonstrate the removal and re-installation of a defective capacitor on a Samsung power supply.

Please view my poor video to see a full demonstration of the techniques detailed below.

Prep: Allow your iron to heat for a few minutes until the tip will readily melt solder, then tin the iron and clean the tip with the folded wet paper towel.

Soldering is a form of welding, metals mix to form strong bonds. In the past years, the industry has mover away from lead alloy solders due to environmental concerns. I however, recommend them for repair purposes due to the lower melting temperature and ease of use.

The PCB board I will demonstrate on is a new PCB so the solder does not flow very easily. I will add my lead alloy solder to the terminals prior to beginning the removal process. This will allow the solders to mix and create a more fluid solder which is easier to work with and which will wick away more easily.

I then heat 1 solder junction and gentle push the component over, so that the leg I am heating becomes clear of the solder junction. I repeat this process on the other solder junction and the component is free of the PCB.

By applying the solder wick to the junction first, we are able to heat the wick which will in turn heat the solder. This method will allow the hot wick to melt and wick the solder from the copper pad of the PCB. You may need to repeat this, using a clean spot on the wick, to remove all the solder from the pad. Repeat this process for the second pad.

I then insert the new part, paying close attention to the polarity (if needed) and fold the legs over once the part is fully seated. This will hold it in place as you solder the component in place.

The most sure method of soldering is to first, apply heat to the junction of the component and the PCB with the iron. Then apply the solder to the junction of the iron, PCB and component. Never apply solder to the iron and then glob it to the part, this will cause a poor electrical connection. When you have applied sufficient solder to the junction, remove the solder and then gently slide your iron tip up the component leg and away from the junction in one light sweeping motion. Your solder should be shiny and appear wet... this is a good solder junction.

I then trim the legs from the part as close as possible; so that they do not cause an electrical short.

This concludes "Soldering on the kitchen table, Class 101"


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