Re: Soldering Iron Temperature

Jim, N5IB

Hi Woody,

I use a Weller EC1001 with a small conical tip for both SMD and for conventional thru hole PCBs.
Temp generally set at 700F, using 63/37 multicore rosin flux solder.
Heartily recommend the 63/37 eutectic alloy - lowest melting temp, and passes directly from liquid to solid with no "plastic" phase, so fewer bad joints.
For through-hole work I use 0,025" diameter solder, switching to 0.015" for SMD.

As someone else mentioned, stick to plain rosin flux - avoid "activated rosin" or even "mildly activated rosin"
And "no clean" is a whole 'nother can of worms, as is lead free.

When using rosin core solder a telltale sign of "too hot" is when the flux residue begins to darken to brown.

Kitmakers like 4SQRP almost always use 1 oz copper clad PC boards. Unless the traces are narrower than 0.015" they will survive that 700F iron temperature for the "one mississippi two mississippi" count. If you get past "three mississippi" you're starting to run risks of lifting pads. Whenever I design a PCB for kitting I try to use the largest pad diameters and trace widths I can reasonably get away with. Pads of 0.075" to 0.080" and traces of at least 0.020", with 0.030" or 0.040" when possible. Much less likelihood of lifting a pad or trace, even during rework.

A lot of consumer electronics uses 1/2 oz cladding and very thin traces and tiny pads. If trying to do repairs or mods it's best to reduce the temp to maybe 600 to 650, and try to get in and out in a hurry.

Bumping the temp to 750F generally helps when soldering wires to BNC center posts or to solder lugs on robust parts.

And a small tip and iron like mine is not much good for soldering shield braid to PL259 connectors, regardless of how hot I set it. Just not enough thermal mass to maintain temperature. Break out the monster Weller gun.

73, Keep melting solder!
Jim, N5IB

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