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Thread: Soldering tips needed

  1. #1
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    Soldering tips needed

    I just started soldering for the first time and quickly learned to hate it. I was able to solder three 9800's vGPUs however it was such a pain. My problem is the solder tends to be attracted to the gun more than the wires (no eye rolling from the professionals). Each time I try to set the solder, it all runs back on the gun. I read the guide posted above but is there a "guide for dummies" somewhere out there? Thanks.
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    http://soldering.webng.com/articles/...lder/flux.html

    The reason it runs back up the gun is because solder prefers the hottest surface. Flux helps make it flow to the work surface instead of going back towards the gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snwbdr94 View Post
    http://soldering.webng.com/articles/...lder/flux.html

    The reason it runs back up the gun is because solder prefers the hottest surface. Flux helps make it flow to the work surface instead of going back towards the gun.
    That is exactly it. Without flux, all you'll get on those small solder spots is cold solder joints. What you need is rosin (colophony) which works great for me.

    The problem with SMD soldering is that you can't heat the solder spot and then let solder flow over it. By the time you get the solder flowing, the trace will be burnt away. That means you only have time to touch the surface once and it should stick. And that's only possible with good rosin, if you are soldering by hand.
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  4. #4
    omg... i knew there was something i was missing... my tv wouldnt turn on one day and the samsung support guy wanted £400 for a new mainboard...
    so i took it off the wall and found the blown caps, a quick trip to maplins later and i went at it... last time i used a soldering iron i was repairing a servo on my radio controlled car, i used to race them when i was about 8 years old and i burnt my finger...
    so i very nearly wrecked the mainboard... i just managed to solder the caps on adequatly...
    well now i know why it was so difficult..... flux had left the building....
    may i add not one tutorial i watched mentioned flux....

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    Quote Originally Posted by purecain View Post
    omg... i knew there was something i was missing... my tv wouldnt turn on one day and the samsung support guy wanted £400 for a new mainboard...
    so i took it off the wall and found the blown caps, a quick trip to maplins later and i went at it... last time i used a soldering iron i was repairing a servo on my radio controlled car, i used to race them when i was about 8 years old and i burnt my finger...
    so i very nearly wrecked the mainboard... i just managed to solder the caps on adequatly...
    well now i know why it was so difficult..... flux had left the building....
    may i add not one tutorial i watched mentioned flux....
    Those tutorials most likely aren't meant to be used for SMD soldering. Those are probably meant to learn how to solder some cables together etc.. For that it's perfectly fine without the use of extra flux, because the solder most likely contains a flux core. That means if the solder melts, it heats the rosin inside, which makes it flow better.
    As I said, the problem is: There is no letting the solder flow on SMD components, because you only tip a drop of solder where you need it.
    Anyways, SMD is best soldered not by hand, if possible.
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    Yes, I read about flux but was unsure about using it. I was attempting this mod:

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...21&postcount=2

    It not easy (possible) to apply flux to that very small spot without it getting everywhere. I was afraid the solder would get everywhere.
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  7. #7
    flux is your best friend with vmods. i use rosin core solder and use flux as well, just works better for me that way oh and an uber fine tip

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    The rule of thumb is: Practice on some old/older hardware that you don't care if you wreck it. Only then if that worked out and you had some practice try to do Vmods on the stuff that you really intend to use.

    It's always bad to start directly with what you need. I mean you will most likely make some mistakes first, but you'll learn from it.

    And dont be afraid, even if something goes wrong, there is nearly always a way to fix. Maybe not obvious, but there most likely is.


    Besides, don't worry. Solder will just stick to other solder or copper surfaces. It won't go anywhere the flux is.
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    Im not worried about my 9800's. I was able to successfully able to do all three but one came off (2 of 3 is for for a first timer). I had to use the gun and solder at my job and am looking for a gun for myself. Anyone know where I can get a nice soldering gun with a fine tip (CHEAP). Thanks.
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    Ok, getting this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Weller-SP40LK-...ef=pd_sim_hi_9
    http://www.amazon.com/American-Termi...ef=pd_sim_hi_1

    Comments or suggestions are welcome. Is 900F too hot? There is a similar (and cheaper) iron that only gets up to 750F:

    http://www.amazon.com/Weller-SP23LK-.../dp/B0009ZD2AG
    Last edited by StAndrew; 02-06-2010 at 04:42 PM.
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    i brought the weller 25watt today, seems to works nice, 750F is definitely enough IMO but don't quote me on that i'm no expert, it was my first vmod
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    25W should be plenty for vmods. Some even say that 25W is too much. But I've been doing my mods with a plain simple 25W ERSA fine tip soldering iron for years now.

    It's a bit of a personal preference thing. Just keep in mind: Going higher in Watts will make it burn traces faster.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the inputs. Ill go with the 25W. Cheaper and if it does the job, thats good enough for me. Thanks again.
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    What about Silver Bearing solder? I find it a lot easier to work with this smaller diameter braid then the thicker of rosin core. This with flux will work very well no?
    Heatware
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    i have a question regarding this as well, i have a standard weller 25w soldering iron, what would be a good recommendation on tips that are fine/small

    also what are some good recommendations on a small/fine soldering iron/pencil for around $60-80 (i would consider $100 if necessary)

  16. #16
    thanks for the tips celemine1Gig.... your an asset to the community my friend...

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    Quote Originally Posted by purecain View Post
    thanks for the tips celemine1Gig.... your an asset to the community my friend...
    +1

    PS. pretty good tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NN7UGWYmBY
    See also other videos from that user.
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by filmbot View Post
    What about Silver Bearing solder? I find it a lot easier to work with this smaller diameter braid then the thicker of rosin core. This with flux will work very well no?
    Radio Shack has a good silver-bearing solder that is very thin-good or mods and Kester makes a greate one as well 2% silver is the bomb-just don't get lead free it's more aggressive on iron tips and needs a hotter working temp and goes cold easier-the 2% silver helps with soldering dissimilar metals which is mostly the case. Happy modding!!!!
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  19. #19
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    Always a pleasure to help, if it's appreciated.

    BTW, I'm using the so called "FELDER Loettechnik Sn100NI+" fully ROHS conform solder ATM. It's kind of a special solder from a german manufacturer with the formula Sn99,3CuNiGe. I used some solder with a different formula before (can't remember it exactly right now), but unfortunately that always slowly dissolved my ERSA Ersadur solder iron tips. That was because of one ingredient it included. Will have to check again which one it was. Now with the new solder named above, the problem is gone. And it's not any harder to work with IMHO.
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  20. #20
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    Ok, I totally screwed up my soldering and after all your help (and the tutorials) Im ready to try again. Thanks again! Ill let you know how well three 9800's run at 900 core and 2300 shader!
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    Sorry for a late bump but this seems that this maybe a great combo for us that have to do delicate work. Both are very very thin

    Iron: http://www.cooperhandtools.com/onlin.../WM120_300.jpg
    Solder: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2062717
    Heatware
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  22. #22
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    1. clean tip freq.
    2. heat the metal using iron and touch the solder to the heated components you want to solder
    ...no science to it

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cling View Post
    1. clean tip freq.
    2. heat the metal using iron and touch the solder to the heated components you want to solder...no science to it
    Do that to a small trace on a PCB and you'll burn it away at least 50% of the time.

    Soldering SMD by hand generally doesn't work that way, unless it's a big power or GND plane for example, that can take the heat.
    Quote from one of our professors:
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