Jump to content



Photo

Soldering


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:42 PM

I can't shrink tube to save my life, not with those tiny connectors, anyway. Anyone ever use that liquid tape/plasti-dip stuff as a substitute?

Dan "My Soldering Sucks, Too" Coplan
  • 0

#2 JimBartell

JimBartell

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 494 posts
  • Long Beach, CA, USA

Posted 14 February 2007 - 01:32 PM

I can't shrink tube to save my life, not with those tiny connectors, anyway. Anyone ever use that liquid tape/plasti-dip stuff as a substitute?

Dan "My Soldering Sucks, Too" Coplan


I've used it as a substitute potting compound on the ICBM current sense modules but it is a major pain to work with and god help you if you have to remove it from a connector. You would have to cut all the leads, dig it out and start over.

What is the problem you are having with shrink tubing? It is a million times easier to use than Plastic-Dip, trust me on this.

Soldering, like operating, is simply a matter of the right tools and practice, practice, practice.

Jim "can't spin balance" Bartell
  • 0

#3 Afton Grant

Afton Grant

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 908 posts
  • New York, Boston

Posted 14 February 2007 - 02:57 PM

Concurring with Jim, shrink tubing is much easier if you have the right tools, the right size tubing, and remember to put it on BEFORE you solder (I'll admit that's burned me more than once). Do you have a heat gun, or are you using some other heat source?

When I first began toying with soldering, I was using a cheap Radio Shack iron and a lighter as a heat source. After I turned several 6 pin connectors into 1 pin connectors, I ponied up the cash for a real system. A couple hundred bucks for a nice Weller soldering station and real heat gun was WELL worth the money. Get various sizes of tips for your iron, from very fine to blunt. Also, if you don't have the little magnifying man with the alligator clamp hands, pick him up too.

I've used the Plasti-Dip on various things, but Jim is correct in that it is a PITA if you ever have to rework the connections. A big advantage Plasti-Dip has over tubing is its ability to create a tight seal. It can protect your connections from corrosion much better than tubing can.

Best of luck,
Afton
  • 0

#4 nick franco

nick franco

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 258 posts
  • San Fernando, CA

Posted 14 February 2007 - 04:31 PM

After I turned several 6 pin connectors into 1 pin connectors,

been there :lol:
  • 0

#5 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 February 2007 - 04:06 AM

I have all the right tools (I think) short of a heat gun including the nice Weller soldering iron, alligator clamp station, etc. My problem is as much as I try to keep the shrink tubing away from where I'm soldering, invariably it ends up shrinking before I can finish soldering. I have a clunky heat sink, at least that's what I think it's called, to keep this from happening, but for the really small wires/connections, it gets in the way more than it helps and often squashes the plastic around the leads therefore exposing them (which in theory would then be covered by the tubing but shouldn't get squashed in the first place).

I wonder if the Learning Annex offers classes on soldering...

Dan
  • 0

#6 Afton Grant

Afton Grant

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 908 posts
  • New York, Boston

Posted 15 February 2007 - 09:23 AM

Ah ha. I see your rub. I would try a couple things. First, increase the temperature of your iron. This will hopefully apply a larger amount of heat to a more localized area for a shorter amount of time - not allowing the rest of the wire to heat up as much.

If that doesn't work, try a poor man's heat sink. Cut a small piece of paper towel, the diameter of the length of wire you wish to protect. Soak it in water and wrap it around the wire several times. This is obviously a bit more time consuming, but it just might work.

I'd definitely like to know what Sensei Bartell suggests as I have encountered this problem myself with varying degrees of success and failure.

Best,
Afton
  • 0

#7 JimBartell

JimBartell

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 494 posts
  • Long Beach, CA, USA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:35 PM

I'd definitely like to know what Sensei Bartell suggests as I have encountered this problem myself with varying degrees of success and failure.

Best,
Afton


Yes. this happens to me too (like yesterday, for example). I have several ways to deal with it (no heat sinks involved).

1. Use larger tubing. It's tempting to use the size closest to the wire, but it's not really necessary as most tubing will shrink quite a bit. If it is larger is makes less contact with the wire and so conducts less heat .

2. Use a shorter piece of tubing. I have a tendency to make the piece too long which prevents being able to keep it far enough away from the solder point. Figure out exactly how much you need and use that much and no more. It isn't usually necessary to insulate the pin all the way down to the plastic insert, just where there is a reasonable chance of shorting between the wires.

3. Frequently you can slide the outer insulation of the cable back 1/4" or so. This enables you to slide the tubing farther away from the solder joint until you are done soldering. Then just push it back into place before you put the connector shell on.

4. If at all possible, pre-tin (solder coat) the wire before putting the tubing on and soldering it to the connector. This makes the soldering go much faster so less heat is transferred. But be careful because sometimes this will make the wire too large to fit into the pin, so this isn't always feasible.

Jim "no tubing shrinkage here" Bartell
  • 0

#8 Chris Konash

Chris Konash

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 111 posts
  • New Jersey

Posted 15 February 2007 - 10:34 PM

Yup, agree with Sir Jim,

I always tin the wire.

Then apply heat and solider to the connector, and as a combined effort; insert the wire into the connector and remove the heat. Usually ends up being about the same time. Just make sure the solider 'flow's' Only use just enough heat to get the job done....

Chris Konash
  • 0

#9 Fred Davis

Fred Davis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:04 PM

I have all the right tools (I think) short of a heat gun including the nice Weller soldering iron, alligator clamp station, etc. My problem is as much as I try to keep the shrink tubing away from where I'm soldering, invariably it ends up shrinking before I can finish soldering. I have a clunky heat sink, at least that's what I think it's called, to keep this from happening, but for the really small wires/connections, it gets in the way more than it helps and often squashes the plastic around the leads therefore exposing them (which in theory would then be covered by the tubing but shouldn't get squashed in the first place).

I wonder if the Learning Annex offers classes on soldering...


So what am I, chopped liver?!
I have all tool needed, as well as mucho experience. And contracting me to do this sort of thing qualifies as a mitzvah. So call me
  • 0

#10 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 February 2007 - 08:19 PM

[/quote]
So what am I, chopped liver?!
[/quote]

No, but when my back finally gives out I need something I can do for a living. Not to mention, I find it a valuable skill to know and it's rather relaxing when I DON'T FREAKIN' MELT SOLDER ALL OVER THE DAMN CONNECTORS AND SHRINK THE TUBING AROUND MY FREAKIN' FINGERS...

I come to you for the stuff I rely on, everything else is practice and backup.

Respectfully (two fist thumps on my heart raised to a peace sign),
Dan
  • 0

#11 Chris Konash

Chris Konash

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 111 posts
  • New Jersey

Posted 16 February 2007 - 08:23 PM

[/quote]

So what am I, chopped liver?!
I have all tool needed, as well as mucho experience. And contracting me to do this sort of thing qualifies as a mitzvah. So call me

[/quote]




Hey Fred,

Still waiting for my Archos cable.

I was wondering if Dan were to have you do his soldering, would be ahead of, or behind the cable I've been waiting for since July? (Pre-paid of course)


Chris Konash
(Insert pissed smiley face here)
  • 0

#12 Ramon Engle

Ramon Engle

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 506 posts
  • Atlanta

Posted 17 February 2007 - 11:54 AM

What's up chaps!
Here's a little heat sink that is small enough to work on tiny connectors and not get in the way

www.mcmaster.com item 7689A13

I have a Hakko 936 soldering station that is fantastic. I also spent the money on the tip cleaner that looks like a steel (brass)wool. It cleans the tip much better than a sponge and doesn't decrease the tip temp.
I always flux the contact before tinning. This accelerates heating the contact for quick tinning.
I've also adapted some Noga "type" arms to accomodate alligator clips that allow me to hold cables or connectors at any angle any where. These were cheap. In fact I have a few extra if anyone is interested.
They have magnetic bases with an ON/OFF switch so if you have a thin sheet of steel as a base these arms won't budge. That's a really nice feature. There's nothing worse than having your clamp base move around as you try to solder.

The other big issue for me early on in my soldering career was using cheap shrink tubing. The cheap stuff doesn't shrink much and becomes very stiff. Spend the extra change for a nice variety pack from

BTX, McMaster Carr, RS Electronics or Digi-key

Attached File  alligator_clip.jpg   49.22KB   97 downloadsAttached File  noga_solder_arm.jpg   56.82KB   108 downloads

As Jim Bartell already knows I'm embarking on a major project involving mounting my Preson MDR on the bottom of my AR sled and running a 30 conductor cable on the outside of my post to a small break out box at camera will allow for 2 motors, camera and serial output. So I'm off to my soldering Dungeon for the next several weeks. So I'll be practicing all the little techniques everyone here has mentioned. If I have any epiphanies I'll be sure to relay them.
  • 0

#13 Edgar Colon

Edgar Colon

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 32 posts
  • Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:00 PM

Hey Chris;

Don't feel alone in this world,

I'm still waiting on my Archos cable too (after 2 or 3 attempts, none of them work 100%)
pretty much the same time :(

Dan, good luck in that quest, at least you've been well advised

Jim, planning to go LA soon, wondering if I can pass by

Edgar
  • 0

#14 Chris Konash

Chris Konash

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 111 posts
  • New Jersey

Posted 18 February 2007 - 10:10 AM

Edgar,

Don't want to totally go off topic but, my Archos cable has made more trips from NJ to CA than I have. If I get it back and it doesn't work I'll be throwing it in the trash and wanting a refund.

Chris
  • 0

#15 charlesneufeld

charlesneufeld

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 170 posts

Posted 18 February 2007 - 11:32 AM

Hey Guys,


I wouldn't bother with a heatsink. It takes up far too much soldering realestate... get a fine tip, tin and be quick.

Milliondollar tip - use tweezers! (she won't mind... it's for a good cause)

Have fun!

~C
  • 0




Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

BOXX

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

SkyDreams

Omnishot Systems

PLC Electronics Solutions

Teradek

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

IDX

Boland Communications

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Wireless Video Systems

GPI Pro Systems

PLC - Bartech

Varizoom Follow Focus