How Do You "TIN" a soldering iron?

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harry wrote:

The examples you gave are (mostly) not subject to mechanical stress.
I'll bet I could pull apart YOUR soldered (only) wire joint. I'll bet my CAT could probably pull apart your soldered joint. Heck, your soldered wires would probably fall apart out of shame.
I'll further bet an insane ostrich couldn't pull mine apart.
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 07:56:13 -0800, Smitty Two

That depends entirely onthe tip. An "iron" tip is different from a "copper" tip.
I've successfully tinned copper tips, and plated copper tips

True, but an electrical connection that is not mechanically secure before soldering does not pass any inspection. (except for solid wire into a printed circuit board)
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On 11/29/2010 5:12 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Well it just happens to be that NASA prohibits a mechanical connection before soldering it. It makes it too difficult to repair. I'd imagine there is a bit of vibration, but the connections hold just fine.
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On Tue, 30 Nov 2010 00:14:46 -0500, Tony Miklos

are FORBIDDEN. Crimped connections only, thank you very much. Soldered connections must be supported against vibration for a distance in both directions from the joint. Perhaps in space where gravity is not an issue things are different.
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On Nov 30, 1:11 am, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

So, what is it? Are they forbidden or are they forbidden if not supported? I know they aren't totally forbidden because I know that when an instrument is installed using a plug type connection, they solder the wires to the plug.
Hank <~~~ confused
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wrote:

On a cannon type connection with no strain relief, the pins are crimped, and ONLY crimped. On a Sub D type connector the same is true. If the connector is soldered, the cable MUST be solidly affixed to the chassis of the device or the tray within something like 2 inches - I'd have to dig out the actual specs.
So generally, soldered wires without support are definitely forbidden, and soldered connections with support are frowned upon - proper high pressure crimps are preferred.
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On 11/30/2010 1:11 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Think components in printed circuit boards, not wires.
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On Tue, 30 Nov 2010 10:13:22 -0500, Tony Miklos

and their resonances are both high enough and low enough to make it impossible for the components to be induced to vibrate and flex the wire to cause fatigue, no problem, I guess.
I was always taught when populating a board with discrete, through-hole components, to put the little hook in the lead to locate it the proper distance from the board and to hold it relatively securely in position for soldering. All the higher end contract board assemblers around here always did that as well.
Lots of electronic manufacturing around here - home of RIM, Electrohome,ComDev and a raft of other high-tech electronic companies over the years - now more of the "silicon valley north" computer geek businesses.
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 19:43:19 -0800, Smitty Two

You have inspected millions of solder joints. I won't dispute that. What were these joints on? On circuit boards you are correct - and I stated that.
What kind of joints between 2 wires do you inspect that do not have a mechanical connection component other than solder? On what?
Educate us please.
If they were not joints between 2 wires, what kind of joint were they? ( am assuming we are on target here and they were electrical connections - although even most (although certainly not all) tinwork has some crimping involved before soldering)
Wiring onto terminal strips GENERALLY involves a "hook" of some sort on solid core connection wires.
I'm not saying you are wrong and I'm right - I'm just asking what connections, and what kind of connections, on what, do you consider to be adequate with no mechanical component to the connection other than the solder.
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 22:52:32 -0800, Smitty Two

ALL the high end speaker equipment I've worked on has had the wires bent around the tabs on the speakers. Most of the junk chinese stuff I've had to resolder has not - - -

I was taught to twist lap, at the very least, and "western union" joint every soldered splice before soldering and taping, or heat schrinking, a joint, and to heat shrink at least half an inch past the joint in both directions on 18 guage wire. A bit less (proportionally) with decreasing wire guage. (for vibration/bending protection)

I guess as long as it's better than the chinese, and not too much more expensive - but it's still not "best practice"

In mnost cases that is definitely correct. I will, on occaision, po]ut a spot of solder on the terminal end (where the wire end comes through) but it has to be a quick shot, not allowing ANY solder to wick to the outer end of the crimp. Sometimes required for corrosion protection (to keep fluid or corrosive gas from "wicking" up the conductor) and always combined with a good heat shrink sleave on the crimped end.

be subjected to undue vibration/stress, in theory the joint will work. Tensile strength of 60/40 solder is 6400 lbs, shear is 5700. Tensile strength of 63/37 is 6700, and shear is 6060.
In comparison, drawn copper wire is 12,500 and rolled is 32,000
None of your applications are particularly "safety" items - like aircraft wiring and even automotive electronic control wiring.
For your applications, solder without independent mechanical connection appears to be "good enough" - in most of my applications it is NOT. Best practices for soldered electrical joints involves a mechanically secure joint which is THEN soldered to assure a permanent low resistance electrical connection.
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wrote:

MANY, but not all applications. And I've seen many an armature unwound from overspeed.
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 21:41:32 -0800, Smitty Two

I've had a few of them over the years - and yes, a professional temperature controlled soldering iron works real nice - and on 4 and 6 layer circuit boards they are highly adviseable. But a cheap, old, well-used and well-tinned iron can do the job ALMOST as easily if you are doing onesy-twosies on single or double layer boards with reasonable sized traces.
Don't try fixing SMT stuff with it though. (I've done a fair amount of both - board level repairs on American Megatrends motherboards back when my eyesight was good enough to handle it, as well as repairing old tube radios, and a whole lot in between)
Would I love to have a good temperature controlled soldering and desoldering station on my bench? You bet! But the boss isn't paying for them today.
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 00:26:05 -0500, B_ snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Does no one use Sal Ammoniac to keep their soldering tips clean anymore?
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On 11/29/2010 10:41 AM, homer wrote:

a lot depends on the tip itself. Good electronic soldering tips should not be filed as the plating in place, will no longer be there. For electronics tips, use, as someone said, a wet sponge. If the tip is really corroded, use a bunch of paper towels folded up and wet with water, and then scrub the tip on the paper. This works a little better than the sponge. Also, you can gently scrape the tip with a knife for even a screw driver to remove some of the oxidation. I have a small tin of electronic flux (I've had it sooooo long that it was about 15 cents on the stick-on price tag) which I will occasionally dip the tip into. This helps clean it up also. Also, temperature regulated irons keep the tip cleaner by not cranking the temp so high that oxidation occurs rapidly.
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On 11/29/2010 9:41 AM, homer wrote:

I do, it's usually the main component of tip cleaner. Another thing that works well is either a copper or stainless steel pot scrubber. I have a tip cleaner I got from Radio Shack years ago that is cone shaped and has a compound that cleans a hot tip, it is used like a pencil sharpener, I believe it contains sal ammoniac.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/2wnbta8
TDD
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 17:01:40 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Ammonia and Hydrochloric Acid. Definitely not good stuff to have around electronic circuit boards.
If you use it on your soldering iron, be sure to rinse the iron to dilute/neutralize/remove the acid.
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On 11/29/2010 9:23 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's what the wet sponge is for. A little tray in my 40 year old Weller temperature controlled soldering station. I have some 40 year old tips for it that are still working fine. I bought it new and have replaced a few parts over the years but it ran 8-12 hours a day for years when I was doing bench work with few problems.
http://www.action-electronics.com/pdf/wtcpntechsheet.pdf
TDD
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On 11/30/2010 12:57 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

<snip>
40 seems like a lot, but now that you mention it, those Weller irons are workhorses. Tips lasted a long long time and you could replace whatever part needed it. I have some vague memory of needing a new "body" every dozen years or so. Never had more than a WP25, maybe the temp control lasted longer! The Ungars were terrible.
Jeff

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On 12/2/2010 1:01 AM, Jeff Thies wrote:

When I accidentally dropped the iron on the plastic case, it melted a grove in it and Weller replaced it at no charge back in the 70's. I replaced the heater element once and of course several tips but that's all. The soldering station is still working like new. The replacement for it has a sponge tray and iron holder that can be snapped onto either side of the transformer housing.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51qfRFCKv4L.jpg
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41O%2Btt6jxHL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
http://www.parts-express.com/images/item_standard/372-140_s.jpg
TDD
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On 12/2/2010 2:29 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

I think I have the next model up, "Weller EC 2001" adjustable and with digital temperature readout. Great tool! It's over 20 years old and there were many times it was on 8 hours a day. I think I replaced the whole heater and cord once, lots of tips.
My old Pace solder sucker went through a lot of heaters, the second one I bought is much better, (Pace ST115) I think it's been about 8 years with no problems. I love to desolder a 40 pin IC and have it litteraly fall out of the board.
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