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Soldering Soldering
Idiot's guide" to Soldering

First, you need a soldering iron (around 25W for fine work and about 50-80W for connectors anc coaxial cable), 60/40 solder and a soldering iron holder. It pays to invest a bit more into a reliable good quality soldering iron with suitably fine tip for fine work. Adjustable temperature is a plus here as you can use the same iron for fine work and more robust cabling etc. Be careful not burn up anything. The soldering iron is extremely hot so DO NOT touch the metal parts of the soldering iron! Also, try not to breath the fumes from the solder. Work in a well ventilated area. Before you solder, you must tin the tip. Simply wait for the soldering iron to heat up, apply a coat of solder on the tip, and wipe it with a wet sponge. Now, to solder the components onto the board, cut the leads at the proper length. Stick the component's leads through the proper holes and bend it so that It'll stay still. Put the soldering iron tip so that it's touching the lead and the copper at the same time. Then apply the solder on the lead (not on the tip of the soldering iron). Let the joint cool by itself. PRACTICE A LOT!

A small tip: Whenever you remove insulation from a wire, apply a coat of solder to the exposed end. It will be much easier to handle after that.

This is how a solder joint should look like:

Amount of Solder to be used
a) Minimum amount of solder
b) Optimal
c) Excessive solder

A more extensive guide to soldering can be found here: http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/solder.htm

Discuss this article in our Forum!

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