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what temperature to use w/ soldering station?

phsyconoodler

Member
Messages
4,305
It also depends on what tip you have on it.My Hakko has a nice skinny tip and I find 600 degrees to be just right.I find any higher than that burns wires quickly.
But it depends on how adept you are at soldering too.If you are a beginner it is best to practice at different temperatures for a while before overheating some caps and resistors.Use a hemostat whever you can til you get used to it.
If you use teflon wire burning it is not an issue so the higher temperature is ok.PVC is another story.Either way,the Hakko is one excellent machine.
 

Wakarusa

Member
Messages
1,458
The correct tip temperature is determined by the solder being used -- not by the components that you are soldering. The solder's appropriate temp range will be listed in the manufacturer's specs.

The comments about burning components and leads are appropriate, but these problems are cured by proper technique and correct use of heat sinks. The biggest problems with using the "wrong" temperature are:

Too cold: takes too long to heat the joint, solder may not fully melt so you can get a "cold" joint or an overheated component (from holding the heat on too long).

Too hot: with the iron too hot there's a good chance that you'll burn the rosin/flux when you touch the solder to the joint. When this happens you get a "dry" joint. The flux doesn't flow over the joint (it just goes up in smoke), so it's cleaning/wetting properties are lost.
 

phsyconoodler

Member
Messages
4,305
The temperature setting for solder does not always work like it's written on the box.If you use thicker solder it takes more temperature and thin solder uses far less.The size of the tip greaty governs the temperature you use.So saying just set it to the spec on the box is not taking into account other variables.It takes some finese to do it properly.
It's like welding.You can't do it exactly the same with every size welding rod.i like using a slightly thicker solder because i find the heat transfer to be better for my style,but I still NEVER use 750 degrees,because it vaporizes the flux almost instantly.
 

Wakarusa

Member
Messages
1,458
The temperature setting for solder does not always work like it's written on the box.If you use thicker solder it takes more temperature and thin solder uses far less.The size of the tip greaty governs the temperature you use.So saying just set it to the spec on the box is not taking into account other variables.It takes some finese to do it properly.
It's like welding.You can't do it exactly the same with every size welding rod.i like using a slightly thicker solder because i find the heat transfer to be better for my style,but I still NEVER use 750 degrees,because it vaporizes the flux almost instantly.
I'd say that, much like biasing an amp, the manufacturer's temp spec on solder puts you in a range of where your tip should be. As for tips and solder thickness, my take is to match the tip to the solder to the thing being soldered. E.g. small tip, thin solder for most small PCB work, wide tip, fat solder for 1/8" eyelets.

Which is all to say that I'll back off the absolute answer given before and agree there are other factors, but caveat that by saying I've seen way too many people set their iron way too hot and also often not match the tip/solder/temperature to the task at hand. It's why there's a variety of irons, solder, tips, etc. and more than one power unit on my bench :)
 
Messages
260
so if im understanding you guys right, for the most part you say to look at the info of my solder and see what temperature they recommend. i set to that temp and from there decide whether or not the temperature is right depending on how fast/slow the solder melts?
 

Wakarusa

Member
Messages
1,458
More fun facts:
63/37 PbSn solder melts at around 360 F
Solder baths operate at ~500 F

The nice folks at Kester have this to say:
"When hand soldering with a rosin flux such as the Kester #44 or the # 285 the recommended iron tip temperature is 750°F. If you are soldering with a low residue no clean solder such as the #245 or #275 we recommend a tip temperature of 600-650°F."


I use the 245 product with a tip temperature of 600 F and have never had a problem. I run the desoldering pencil around 725-750 F because it often has to burn through oxidation to melt the joint.

For additional reading on technique etc. see MIL-STD-2000 and ANSI J-STD-001 :)
 
Messages
260
just a couple side questions

1) i started messing around with the soldering iron earlier today just on an old remote circuit board, i was practicing removing parts and re soldering them back on. when i was doing this, there was some fumes coming up, is it bad to smell this because of the lead content of solder? is it unsafe?

2) my dad has some solder probably like 15 years old, it's 60/40, supposed to be real thin, i think its like .032 or something? is this fine to use? it says on the spool 'america's best solder wire' or something along those lines
 
Messages
260
just a couple side questions

1) i started messing around with the soldering iron earlier today just on an old remote circuit board, i was practicing removing parts and re soldering them back on. when i was doing this, there was some fumes coming up, is it bad to smell this because of the lead content of solder? is it unsafe?

2) my dad has some solder probably like 15 years old, it's 60/40, supposed to be real thin, i think its like .032 or something? is this fine to use? it says on the spool 'america's best solder wire' or something along those lines
bump for this
 

Wakarusa

Member
Messages
1,458
just a couple side questions

1) i started messing around with the soldering iron earlier today just on an old remote circuit board, i was practicing removing parts and re soldering them back on. when i was doing this, there was some fumes coming up, is it bad to smell this because of the lead content of solder? is it unsafe?
The smoke/fumes are mostly flux/rosin, but there's some lead in there. Not something you want big lungfuls of over long periods.

2) my dad has some solder probably like 15 years old, it's 60/40, supposed to be real thin, i think its like .032 or something? is this fine to use? it says on the spool 'america's best solder wire' or something along those lines
Some older solder used a flux/rosin core that's corrosive and required you to clean the joint after soldering. So, can you use the old stuff? Sure
[*]. Current no-clean products (like the Kester 245) are readily available and don't cost too much though.


[*] Unless you're going to sell the results in a country that's adopted the RoHS rules.
 




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