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Re: [softrock40] heat gun vs embossing tool

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  • Jasmine Strong
    Unleaded solder is way more difficult to get good results with. You can still buy 60-40 solder. It s not that expensive. -J.
    Message 1 of 37 , Jun 26 6:09 PM

      Unleaded solder is way more difficult to get good results with.

      You can still buy 60-40 solder.  It's not that expensive.


      On 26 Jun 2013, at 18:02, Daniel Morgan <kk4mrn@...> wrote:


      Would lead-free solder with rosin core from Radio Shack work building the SoftRock Lite II Combined Kit?    I bought this thinking this would work.  But, I have been hearing hams say that I should be using lead-tin solder something like 40/60 with 

      From: Tony Parks <kb9yig@...>
      To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 8:23 PM
      Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: heat gun vs embossing tool

      Hi Steve,

      For soldering the SMT parts I use the Radio Shack 0.022 inch diameter solder, 62%-tin, 36%-lead, 2%-Silver. catalog number 64-013. 

      I replace the soldering iron tips on my 15W Radio Shack iron regularly and usually build two kits with each fresh tip.   Solder wick is used when I think there may be a problem with too much solder on a pin or solder bridging between pins.

      Reasonably good lighting and an inexpensive magnification  glass to check the soldering complete the simple tools that I find are enough to build an Ensemble kit or two each day.

      I use 91% isopropyl alcohol and an old tooth brush to clean up the circuit board after soldering is completed.

      It is fun to start the build of an HF RX Ensemble II receiver prior to breakfast and have it playing properly by mid-morning.

      Tony Parks

      On Wed, 2013-06-26 at 22:33 +0000, km5ht wrote:

      I'm curious. What solder did you use. I found that kester SN63PB37 #285 in a .020 size worked well for almost all parts. I used some .010 for some of the very smallest pads. My eyes are not what they used to be, so invested in a luxo rectangular lighted magnified lamp with the optional 8D lense. Much easier if you can see what your working on. Also bought a small lighted 7X hand held magnifier at Frys for inspecting joints. Well worth the $5. Other tools I found handy were an L/C meter and RF probe. Both I built. Next project is a toaster reflow oven. Picked up a used one for $8 and have a surplus temp controller, thermo couple, and solid state relay. I plan on using leaded paste on some test boards before doing a live project. I have learned so much building this kit, and just wanted to say thanks for all that you do.

      73 Steve, KM5HT

      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Tony Parks <kb9yig@...> wrote:
      > I have used an inexpensive 15W Radio Shack soldering iron to build more
      > than 300 Ensemble kits in the past year's time. My 72 year old hands
      > shake a bit but things typically work out well.
      > Hope the kit building goes well for everyone.
      > 73,
      > --
      > Tony Parks
      > kb9yig@...
      > http://fivedash.com
      > On Wed, 2013-06-26 at 11:13 -0400, Bill Cromwell wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > On 06/26/2013 10:56 AM, Glen wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hello,
      > > > I have built about 500 smt boards without an oven or heat gun.
      > > > What I do for 'normal' parts line 0805 SO16 TQFP 32 & 44 is to put
      > > a
      > > > dot of solder on half of the component, or in the case
      > > > of multipin devices on one pad only in the corner. Using a
      > > magnifying
      > > > glass, grab the part with a good pointed tweezers, place
      > > > the part on the board, and slide the part onto the pad (of course
      > > you
      > > > just used your other hand to melt the solder).
      > > > On fine pitch parts, do NOT use any solder. Use a flux pen and wet
      > > > down all the pads. Place the part with a magnifying glass, and
      > > > use a 1/32" tipped solder iron, and just touch each pad in turn. It
      > > > will solder just fine. Of course, once the part is placed and before
      > > > you solder it, I put pressure down on top of the chip with the
      > > > tweezers to keep it from moving.
      > > > 73's
      > > > Glen K4KV
      > > >
      > > Thanks Glen,
      > >
      > > I have a regular heat gun/paint stripper that is great for processing
      > > heat shrink tubing so fast that other parts and even the gun "barrel"
      > > don't get hot. Seems like a little much and maybe seeing parts blown
      > > right off the board. I know what to do with a soldering iron so I
      > > will
      > > shop for a soldering iron with those small tips - tweezers, too. Once
      > > upon a time I used such an iron to place SMD caps and resistors
      > > across
      > > traces on circuit boards to make repairs. It's time to revisit that.
      > >
      > > 500 smd boards. Probably more than I will be doing (grin).
      > >
      > > 73,
      > >
      > > Bill KU8H
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >

    • kb9gpm
      Actually, I use a cheap Radio Shack station too. Well and a bench magnifying glass too. Mainly because I already had it. But one of these days when it wears
      Message 37 of 37 , Jul 2, 2013
        Actually, I use a cheap Radio Shack station too. Well and a bench magnifying glass too. Mainly because I already had it. But one of these days when it wears out, I plan on upgrading to a nice Weller. So they can be built without buying expensive equipment. You just need steady hands. I've even build a Peaberry using the same setup.

        73 David K9GPM

        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Adam Jacobs <jacobs.adam@...> wrote:
        > I still think that if it is your first time building up the board, just
        > do it with a soldering iron and do it section by section. Being able to
        > follow the various tests and troubleshooting steps for each section as
        > it is assembled is very nice, especially when this is your first time.
        > There's plenty of room to get fancy and assemble the entire board
        > without testing anything on your 2nd or 3rd board. :)
        > There is absolutely no requirement to us solder paste, heat gun,
        > embossing tool, etc, etc to assemble the components on these boards.
        > Tony says he puts them together with a $20 radioshack soldering iron
        > (holy cow, Tony! Talk about skill)... I use one of the lower end metcal
        > units, but only because I happened to have access to one. Before that, I
        > used one of the classic blue-handle Weller irons and it works great.
        > Just my $0.02
        > -73 Adam W7QI
        > On 6/29/2013 11:08 AM, John Greusel wrote:
        > > Jon,
        > > It's customary to do all the SMT components at once and yes it does
        > > change the values in the step by step assembly instructions such that
        > > you can't rely on them as much.
        > >
        > >
        > > John
        > > KC9OJV
        > >
        > >
        > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > > *From:* W7VH <jon@...>
        > > *To:* softrock40@yahoogroups.com
        > > *Sent:* Saturday, June 29, 2013 10:02 AM
        > > *Subject:* [softrock40] Re: heat gun vs embossing tool
        > >
        > > Thanks for all the info everybody. If I use the
        > > solder paste, I'm still wondering if I need to do
        > > all the parts I'm using it on in the whole kit
        > > all at once?
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > >
        > > Jon
        > > W7VH
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
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