Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

What skills do you need to start working on the 9x? Any recommended hardware?
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RCPlaneHobby.com
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Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by RCPlaneHobby.com » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:36 pm

would this topic be good for the forums?

I would like recommendations with links for soldering stations
and for test meters

and vid tuts on soldering and how to test some basic components you find on pcb's e.g. resisters, capacitors etc.

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Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by Rob Thomson » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:43 pm

Yes! Definitely.


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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by kaptain_zero » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:23 am

I can highly recommend the videos over at the EEVblog. Dave has done a 3 part soldering tutorial, and his $50 and $100 Multimeter shootouts are priceless. Even better yet, Dave is currently working on a quadcopter project and he's chosen the 9x radio.... only a matter of time before he starts hacking it too, I'm sure! :-)

The general consensus over at the EEVblog is that the Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station is probably one of your best bang for buck soldering stations out there. There is no need for anything more involved for our purposes anywhere and it could be argued that it might be overkill. I have the previous model, the 936 and it's perfect for my use. Tips for anything from fine SMD to XT60 connectors soldering are available. Currently on sale in Canada for $99, the FX-888 would last most people a lifetime and be a joy to use each and every time.

Regards

Christian
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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by RCPlaneHobby.com » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:33 pm

thanks Christian that is great info. I watched a bunch of his vids and subscribed. Great stuff.
Can you recall if there was a consensus for meters and which he recommended?

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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by kaptain_zero » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:40 pm

The standard by which all others are judged is the Fluke 87V. It's not the *best* meter out there, there are others with more features or wider ranges, more digits etc. etc. but invariably, the 87V is what most of us compare to. The Fluke 87 has been around for a while.... the 87, 87 III and the the 87V which is in the process of being updated due to a flaw that one gent on the EEVblog ran into... susceptibility to the radiation from a GSM phone, which in his case bricked his almost new 87V. There's videos on that too by Dave and he also gets first crack at reviewing the updated board.

To be honest, watch the $50 shootout... it pretty much says it all.... I think an Extech meter won the shootout and it's all one really needs for basic work. It's as accurate as any of them and 3 of those meters are better than one 87V as you can compare readings on them from time to time, which tells you if one starts to drift... That said, I now have two Fluke 87V's and an old Beckman DM800 which is still a great meter and only cost me $25 at a ham radio flea market. I bought both my Flukes brand new off Ebay, for about 50% of what the local shops charge for them. I'd take a used one if I could find it at the right price but I kept tripping over new ones for used prices, so I bought those instead. The big thing about meters is that sooner or later you are going to measure something dangerous... like mains voltage... a $10 Chinese meter is just not built to the same safety standards, even though it's still pretty accurate. I have two of the cheap Chinese meters, they do not agree on measurements but the newest one is close to spec. The 20+ year old one has drifted off... I simply calibrate it with my Flukes and use it for rough work such as checking wires on a trailer, batteries etc.

ANY name brand meter purchased from an electronics supply house is usually fine.... be it an Extech, Amprobe, UEi, Uni-T, BK Precision etc. etc. and if you want to know more about c**p meters, check out Dave's EEVblog #6 - Part 2 of 2 - Why cheap Chinese Multimeters suck.

Don't buy more meter than you need... unless you want to make electronics your hobby.... and even then, a good $50 Extech will still be very useful, just like my old Beckman.

RCPlaneHobby.com wrote:thanks Christian that is great info. I watched a bunch of his vids and subscribed. Great stuff.
Can you recall if there was a consensus for meters and which he recommended?
"There's only two things that excite a man, expensive toys and real expensive toys."
-- Red Green


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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by RCPlaneHobby.com » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:06 am

thanks a million for the info. and those vids are great!

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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by RCPlaneHobby.com » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:49 pm

how bad would it be if i made one of these?
http://www.afrotechmods.com/cheap/iron/iron.htm

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Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by Rob Thomson » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:57 pm

Interesting article! :)


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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by kaptain_zero » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:52 am

I just ran across this soldering station yesterday on Hobby King. I even spent a good 1/2 hr with HK live support trying to get one but alas.... I live in Canada and it's only available from the USA and AUS warehouse as it has been discontinued. I cannot order from the USA. :(

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... duct=19240

It's a measly $16 and it's basically a clone of the Hakko 936. Website shows more than 10 available in both the USA and AUS warehouses... It's NOT a Hakko, but it's all most would ever need for hobby soldering. Tips would be compatible with Hakko 936/888 tips. I suggest grabbing one if you need it.

If someone decides to get one in the US, how about getting 2 and sending one up my way, I'm ready with paypal. :mrgreen:
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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by RCPlaneHobby.com » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:21 am

kaptain_zero wrote:I just ran across this soldering station yesterday on Hobby King. I even spent a good 1/2 hr with HK live support trying to get one but alas.... I live in Canada and it's only available from the USA and AUS warehouse as it has been discontinued. I cannot order from the USA. :(

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... duct=19240

It's a measly $16 and it's basically a clone of the Hakko 936. Website shows more than 10 available in both the USA and AUS warehouses... It's NOT a Hakko, but it's all most would ever need for hobby soldering. Tips would be compatible with Hakko 936/888 tips. I suggest grabbing one if you need it.

If someone decides to get one in the US, how about getting 2 and sending one up my way, I'm ready with paypal. :mrgreen:
so the usa and aus warehouses won't ship out of country i.e. to canada?

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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by kaptain_zero » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:29 am

Neither warehouse ships outside the country it's in.... :-(

Oh well, it will become a moot point in a matter of hours, there's only 4 left in the US warehouse... they won't last long.

Christian
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-- Red Green

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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by noobee » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:10 pm

i've been using various fixed power irons and even variable power (but not temperature controlled) ones in the past.

i got the hakko 888 and highly recommend it. wished i made the switch a long time ago. it is temperature controlled, heats up quickly and has a wide variety of tips available. one of the few purchases that i would take the trouble to recommend and write about :)

with better control over the iron, i find it easier to solder from small smd devices (0403) to larger 8awg/bullets/deans connections (which draws alot of heat away from the iron rapidly).

another useful tip i learnt is _not_ to use wet sponge to clean the tip, but use those wire sponges instead. the 888 comes with both, but i've replaced the wet sponge with a larger wire sponge. just jab the tip into the sponge.

finally, using flux really helps to wet the solder onto the joint, particularly those that are slightly oxidized. alternatively, you could clean oxidized areas with tarn-x, which is also used to prep and clean pcb copper surfaces for home made pcb fabrication.

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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by ShowMaster » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:40 am

Repair skills practice kit, wow!
I was just handed this by a tech friend that said practice makes perfect.
Talk about lucky me.
Having a great friend I mean.
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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by Rob Thomson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:32 am

Depends if your friend is saying - "Mate... you are rubbish and need practice" :-)
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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by Kilrah » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:18 am

You'll have fun with that BGA footprint!

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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by ShowMaster » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:14 pm

I got the whole story after posting this.
He actually is a work friend ( I still freelance for hobby money) I've known for 35 years that decided to retire. He was downsizing and had saved it for me.
But your right, he's seen my work so it could be a hint not a gift ha ha.
Now I need a generous supply of chip quick, I wish, and some dead CPUs and other SMD parts to work with.
SM


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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by jhsa » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Chip quik is quite expensive. I wonder how long it takes for the chinese to come out with their version ;)
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Re: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by jbeebo » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:02 pm

FYI - Quick Chip is nothing more than Tin-Bismuth solder. This solder when has a very low melting point and a large heat capacity. It readily blends with commonly used SAC (Sn-Ag-Cu) and Pb-Sn solders for electronics. Bismuth based solder was popular in Japan at the beginning of the Pb-free evolution, but was quickly abandoned for cheaper SAC when people got more confidence in SAC's mechanical and electrical properties.

If making electronics for high temperature environment (e.g. automotive underhood, my specialty), one wants to avoid Bismuth contamination at all costs because of low liquidus temperature. However, here in low temperature environment it can be very useful, as Flaps30 has reported.

I found an alternative source to Quick Chip, on ebay this seller offers 1m length of 0.030" Sn-Bi-Ag solder for $10 + FS. Admittedly this is still a ridiculous price, but saves a little cash and free shipping. Maybe the price is high because this particular blend is patented Indalloy 282?

If swapping the ATmega64, make sure to use very good flux for removal like this Kester RF741 tacky organic flux, and plenty of isopropyl alcohol for clean up. Do your best to remove all trace of Bi solder. Then good old fashioned 60-40 Pb solder w/ RA flux core for replacement. If doing the solder float method, I'd use a more aggressive flux like the RF741 again.

Haha, I just realized $10 for solder + $15 for flux is actually not any cheaper than Quick Chip afterall! :lol:

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Re: Sv: Printed Circuit Board Soldering / Testing

Post by dvogonen » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:57 pm

So that is what the wonder stuff is!
Always interesting to get inside information. I used to work as an engineer at a company that made solder paste dispensers and pick and place machines and thought a knew a bit about soldering. I did not know about bismuth in solder though. But it has been a while, almost 15 years. I got out before lead free soldering was introduced.

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