Soldering issues/vocabulary: • saw-der (the “l” is silent) solder

Soldering issues/vocabulary: • saw-der (the “l” is silent) solder
Soldering issues/vocabulary:
• saw-der (the “l” is silent)
• solder – what is it?
• essentially it is metallic hot-glue
• “radio solder” is for making electrical connections (avoid counting on solder joints for structural support)
• one can also solder together copper plumbing fixtures (using a propane torch and different kinds of solder – called “sweating” pipes together)
• safety – soldering involves working with hot liquid metal – be aware!
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the soldering iron, solder, and the components get hot and stay hot (for a while)
when a liquid, solder can splash – the comic recommends doing this (perhaps in jest)
cover up, especially eyes and exposed skin
if you get burned, treat it (and report it)
• rosen-core vs lead-free solder -- lead-free sounds healthier but it has a higher melting temperature and worse chemicals
• solder comes in various diameters – we’ll usually use 0.025” or 0.032” diameter solder
• solder wire is flexible, not brittle – good
• solder wire conducts heat – beware!
• use a soldering iron to melt the solder – ours are adjustable temperature – keep setting mid-range
• tip tinning, tip cleaning (wet sponge or metal sponge) – keep tip of iron shiny, but not drippy
• component pre-tinning (before connecting) – especially stranded wire
• key idea: don’t melt the solder on the iron and try to apply it to components – instead, heat the component and let it
melt the solder – the solder will only spread as far as the surface is metal and is hot enough
• let solder flow (AKA flash) over soldering pads and make fillets around wires
• if need be you can “rework” (i.e. move around) solder with a hot iron
• pcb – printed circuit board has holes and soldering pads for component connection plus surface (and/or subsurface)
wires called traces
• don’t apply so much solder that it forms a solder bridge over any plastic areas on the pcb and touches another trace
• clip off excess leads when done (hold leads or at least cover with a hand so they don’t fly across the room!)
• remove excess solder with a desoldering braid (which likes solder more than the pcb) or with a solder-sucker
• learn to strip (insulation off) wires with a wire stripper – use 22-gauge solid wire for (solderless) breadboards
• use the helping-hands to hold components – your hands will hold the iron and the solder wire
• learn to be quick – some electronic components, especially ICs (chips), can be damaged if they get too hot for too long
• especially when soldering headers, use the helping hands to heat-sink the pins so the plastic doesn’t melt
• cover exposed metal with electrical tape or shrink-wrap (might have to put that on in advance; don’t get it hot too soon)
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