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Today’s Objectives: Soldering . Soldering is non-trivial, especially surface mount components Goals: good physical connection; electrical and thermal connectivity Technique: heat both parts of joint first. (Don’t paint with solder!) Avoid oxidation – the joint should be shiny. .

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Today’s Objectives: Soldering

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Today’s Objectives: Soldering

  • Soldering is non-trivial, especially surface mount components

    • Goals: good physical connection; electrical and thermal connectivity

  • Technique: heat both parts of joint first. (Don’t paint with solder!) Avoid oxidation – the joint should be shiny.


  • The photos below illustrate the basic steps in making a perfect solder joint on a p.c.b is extracted from http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/solderpix.htm and strictly for personal use, training purposes and education only.

Printed circuit board copper tracks must be clean to begin with, especially if they're not previously "tinned" with solder. Clean any raw p.c.b. copper tracks gently with e.g. an abrasive rubber block available from electronics suppliers.


Clean the iron "bit" (soldering iron tip) using a damp sponge.


A useful product is Multicore's Tip Tinner Cleaner (TTC) - a 15 gramme tin of

special paste which cleans and "tins" the soldering iron, in one go. New tips must be tinned immediately when used for the first time.


Insert components and splay the leads so that the part is held in place.


It's usually best to snip the electronic component wires to length prior to soldering. This helps prevent transmitting mechanical shocks to the copper foil.


Apply a clean soldering iron tip to the copper solder pad and the component lead, in order to heat both items at the same time.


Continue heating and apply a few millimeters of solder. Remove the iron and allow the solder joint to cool naturally.


It only takes a second or two, to make the perfect joint, which should be nice and shiny.


An example of a "dry" or "gray" soller joint - the solder failed to flow, and instead beaded to form globules around the wire.


More on Soldering:

  • Use the lowest heat that will work (about 650 F)

  • Keep iron tip clean and shiny.

  • Store with solder on it. Never “sharpen” tip.

    • Minimize heating time (avoids oxidation, damaging sensitive components)

    • Contact shouldn’t be more than 2-3 seconds Let components cool for a few seconds


Bad Soldering

  • A tenfold excess of solder on this hand-soldered printed circuit board, and (extreme left) an incomplete solder joint with poor coverage. There is no need to add more solder "for luck".


  • An example of a dry (or gray) solder joint found inside a commercial PSU for a computer peripheral.

  • The wire had been fed through the hole in the brass terminal, and merely tacked on with a blob of solder.

  • This is a fire hazard (risk of arcing and overheating).


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