what cable for soldering to track?

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hobby boy
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby hobby boy » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:12 am

If you are interested, I've found some suitable leaded solder with flux that doesn't need cleaning. Leaded Solder
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Dale_the_noob
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby Dale_the_noob » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:24 pm

I finally got a chance to try soldering again and I think that the soldering doesn't provide enough heat. Its a new 18 watt antex jobbie, but I have to hold the solder against it for a second or 2 for it to melt.

I've tried a pointed tip and I've tried a normal tip and neither seem to get enough heat.

So I've just ordered one of these....

http://www.maplin.co.uk/50w-solder-station-35016

But off ebay instead, rather than paying £33 for the iron and £6 for the tips, I've paid £19.99 for the lot....

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/50w-Soldering-Kit ... 45f183c40e

Hopefully when I get time next week to do some soldering I will have more luck.

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Flashbang
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby Flashbang » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:56 pm

My list of items for easy soldering are....
Hot suitable wattage soldering iron.
Good soldering irons tip.
Rosen cored solder.
Fibre pencil to clean areas to be soldered.

While I don't normally recommend the use of additional flux, a drop of Carrs Orange or DCC Concepts Sapphire “No-Clean” Flux liquid
will help. DO NOT USE any other type of liquid or paste style flux, as they will need washing off with water and if not washed off will slowly erode the joint due to their acid nature!

Practice, practice and more practice on some old rail will help you improve your technique.
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Dale_the_noob
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby Dale_the_noob » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:16 pm

I've got all of that list.

The fact I've got a problem melting solder on the tip tells me there is a problem with the iron

I've got a fibreglass pen thingy and just about managed to clean the rail between the sleepers. Held the rail in a 3rd hand thingy and then held the iron steady for ages and...... nothing :(

I will repeat with more powerful soldering iron

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:31 pm

A new soldering iron tip needs to be tinned before trying to solder anything. To tin a new bit, start with the iron cold. Plug the iron in and as it starts to warm up hold the end of the solder to the tip. As it get hotter, the flux in the solder (assuming you are using flux cored solder) will melt and partly coat the tip before the solder starts to melt.

If you have any non corrosive flux available (for example that recommended by Flashbang) you can use this to coat the tip of the iron. Don't coat too big an area of the tip with flux as the solder will tend to spread itself all over the fluxed area and it's not necessary.
As the solder melts it will coat the area of the tip that has been fluxed and the iron is now ready for use.


It helps to have a touch of molten solder (just a tiny bit not a big blob) on the tip of the iron before applying the iron to the joint. The molten solder helps to transfer the heat into the joint. Wetting the tip with solder needs to be done just before applying the iron to the joint and then hold the solder to the joint while the iron heats the joint. As soon as the solder starts to melt, remove it and a fraction of a second later, when the solder has run into the joint, remove the soldering iron, taking care not to move the joint while the solder sets. If the joint moves before the solder sets you can get a dry joint (or a frozen joint as some people call it) which is not reliable and may have a high resistance.

In the case of soldering droppers to rails it can be easier to tin the two components before soldering them together. Do this by applying solder to the stripped end of the wire. This can be allowed to cool (but it's not a necessity), then apply some solder to the rail. You now place the wire in contact with the rail and apply the soldering iron (very slightly wetted) to both the rail and the wire. You don't (or shouldn't) need to apply any more solder to the joint and you don't need three hands. This process of joining pre-tinned components together is often called a sweated joint.
Last edited by Roger (RJ) on Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

foggy
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby foggy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:37 pm

Bought the soldering iron that you have Dan and have been practicing using the iron on my rails, (n gauge)
and like you i am a complete beginner, i found setting the knob to just on the first red band on the heat setting
was just right, also used the supplied tip was just ok

Hope this makes sense

Dave

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Dale_the_noob
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Re: what cable for soldering to track?

Postby Dale_the_noob » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:03 pm

New soldering iron arrived today.

Had a test and my first one wasn't bad, so I decided to start on the droppers. Managed to solder 16 dropped tonight, each pair getting easier.

A few melted sleepers, but now I'm using more solder I'm doing it quicker and less melting.


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