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Easiest solder to use and clean?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next [all]
Author Easiest solder to use and clean?
neil.johnson
decaying.sine wrote:
Not sure what you are saying about "claims." I'm not talking about what you were saying I was referring to the statements made in the kester 245 datasheet. I called them "claims" because I was wondering if what you were talking about was counter evidence to the statements in the datasheet. This was fresh in my mind because I was reading the safety datasheet for 245 this morning and saw the flux in 245 is modified hydrogenated rosin and that made me wonder if it was somewhat conductive after all.

Well, everything conducts at some level, just that some things conduct far better than other things, so we form notional categories of "conductors" and "insulators". I am not saying anything counter to the properties described in the Kester datasheet, simply pointing out what it is actually saying.

For example, note on the datasheet the SIR results (Surface Insulation Resistance) to IPC standards. From the table shown on the 245 datasheet you can see that, on day 1, the 245 flux adds about 2.0GOhm parallel resistance between the test points (without flux there is 12GOhm, with flux comes down to 1.7GOhm, from which you can work out the value of the added parallel resistance). Over time, the board absorbs moisture and the measured resistance falls in the case of the bare board, and actually increases a bit with flux (or in a hand-wavey approximation stays about the same).

Now consider the case of a high-performance sample-and-hold, with a teflon capacitor and CA3140 MOSFET buffer (input resistance about 1.5TOhms).

Sure, a guard-ring can help mitigate leakage, but it won't completely prevent it. And now we've wandered off topic.

Quote:
If you are thinking I was porpoisely being an ass, you obviously haven't spent much time hanging with me. sad banana

Ummm...ok.

Neil
Addam
Great thread here, based on this I went with the water soluble and no-clean combo as suggested and it seems to be working great for me.

I just received a couple panels that have some smt components pre-soldered. One of which (L-1 Tube VCA) has a couple through hole components (caps and IC op-amps I believe) that need soldering. Am I generally ok to use the water soluble solder and wash if there are smt components pre-soldered? I assume so but wanted to double check. Thanks!
whoop_john
You people are such tarts. I make my own cheap liquid flux from colophony and use tin/lead solder. I wash any flux residue off with IPA after the event. I also use very thin solder.

I do fine work and it performs, what is not to like?
Kirr
Addam wrote:
Great thread here, based on this I went with the water soluble and no-clean combo as suggested and it seems to be working great for me.

I just received a couple panels that have some smt components pre-soldered. One of which (L-1 Tube VCA) has a couple through hole components (caps and IC op-amps I believe) that need soldering. Am I generally ok to use the water soluble solder and wash if there are smt components pre-soldered? I assume so but wanted to double check. Thanks!

Personally I wouldn't want water anywhere near my PCBs just based on common sense. It might corrode something, or seep into cracks or pores of something and stay there and cause issues. Or may be not, but avoiding it entirely means I don't need to worry about it. I use a combination of isopropyl alcohol, toothbrush and wet wipes to clean my boards with great results. One advantage of this method is that it's universal - I don't need to care what flux or solder I use.
mskala
Kirr wrote:
I use a combination of isopropyl alcohol, toothbrush and wet wipes to clean my boards with great results. One advantage of this method is that it's universal - I don't need to care what flux or solder I use.


Isopropyl alcohol will not work well for cleaning water-soluble flux... that stuff really does require water. So you still need to care.
Addam
Quote:
Personally I wouldn't want water anywhere near my PCBs


This was my thinking, too, until reading through this thread and looking a little elsewhere. I've since used the water soluble solder and "washed" the boards populated with basic through hole resistors, caps, sockets, etc without issue (though these builds are still only weeks old at this point). Then no-clean solder for pots, jacks, etc.

I'm comfortable with this method but my paranoid self really just wanted to make sure smt components can be "washed" in the same manner.
Kirr
mskala wrote:
Isopropyl alcohol will not work well for cleaning water-soluble flux... that stuff really does require water. So you still need to care.

Oh. Thanks for the tip! I still need to care then.
m0d
Water evaporates on its own with no residue - and it can get out of whatever it gets into as long as it isn't sealed.
neil.johnson
m0d wrote:
Water evaporates on its own with no residue - and it can get out of whatever it gets into as long as it isn't sealed.

Only distilled/deionised water does, ordinary tap water contains impurities and added ingredients both organic and inorganic. Where do you think kettle/tap limescale comes from?

Neil
fuzzbass
sduck wrote:
Throw the 44 away. Or just use it for repairing copper pipes.


I like 44. It smells like a head shop. Just got back from Portland. Head shops are now called glass shops. I use the two spool method, but I use 44/331. Maybe I'll try 245 when my 44 runs out. That could be a while. 331 cleans up easy, but stinks, like curry and piss. 331 flux is marginally less workable than 44 but not so much. I do all my rework with 44 because the flux is is more cooperative.
m0d
neil.johnson wrote:
m0d wrote:
Water evaporates on its own with no residue - and it can get out of whatever it gets into as long as it isn't sealed.

Only distilled/deionised water does, ordinary tap water contains impurities and added ingredients both organic and inorganic. Where do you think kettle/tap limescale comes from?

Neil

I think of pure H2O when I think of water, perhaps because that is the definition of water. I didn't mention tap water because it is impure. Thanks for clarifying it.
Addam
I think I'll just go ahead and use the (tap) water to wash the solder for the smt components. Should this clearly muck things up I will report back.
realitycontrol
Addam wrote:
I think I'll just go ahead and use the (tap) water to wash the solder for the smt components. Should this clearly muck things up I will report back.


Hey Addam, do you have anything to report back?
In the middle of my first SMD build right now, caps resistors and diodes have been put on with organic core solder and have been washed. About to start on the ICs and wondering whether I should use the organic core or the no clean solder!
keninverse
I use 331 all the time for smd. I even clean with tap water. I really don't think it's that big of a deal as long as you get most of the water off before it dries.
realitycontrol
Cheers, 331 it is then.
Though I have just come across an IC with a moisture-sensitive warning label. Common sense is telling me to keep that one free from water and use 245 instead!
Addam
realitycontrol
The SMD build I did was the L-1 Tube VCA which had all the SMD components pre-soldered and then some caps and ICs were through-hole which I soldered (fun build and nice module btw). I soldered sockets for the ICs, the caps and whatever else and rinsed the whole thing afterword with regular tap water and no trouble so far.. I use a hair dryer after to help dry but I think that can be substituted by a little patience as others have suggested. No idea what the original solder on the SMD parts were, which, honestly, I didn't even consider.

I'm guessing by now you went and soldered things up smile
realitycontrol
Cheers Addam, sounds promising.
I started soldering with 331 though stopped fairly quickly after the 3rd IC (out of 5).
These last few ICs are dead close to some resistors and caps which have already been populated and I'm struggling to keep it tidy with a 1.5mm chisel tip. Ordered a couple of finer tips but they won't be here until Monday. sad banana

That Tube VCA's demos sounds amazing, props on the build.

Back on topic;
I picked up some .40mm 331 & .60mm 245 from Mouser based on some of the suggestions above.
So far I'm impressed, a vast improvement over the standard rosin multicore stuff I was using before.
listentoaheartbeat
reggiechacha wrote:
I just got some Omega 63/37 fast flow rosin free solder. Readily available in the UK. Works fine for me.

http://cpc.farnell.com/omega/63-37-16swg-ff-500g/omega-63-37-fast-flow -2-500g-16swg/dp/SD00147?in_merch=Products%20From%20This%20Range


The best! w00t
Addam
I struggle a little with the no clean stuff I got but using the washable stuff has been the best.

I considered trying one of those tight mutable diy builds for about 30 seconds until I decided it was a little above my pay grade, so to speak smile
realitycontrol
Addam wrote:
I considered trying one of those tight mutable diy builds for about 30 seconds until I decided it was a little above my pay grade, so to speak smile


What's the worst that can happen?

Oh yeah, you could solder almost the whole board, get down to the last few components. Everything's nice and neat so far, then realise that you've soldered the components in the wrong order and have to order additional kit...

It's stressful, but a lot easier than I first imagined.
If you've got the tools and want something just slightly more challenging then give them a go. thumbs up
Addam
realitycontrol

Good advice, I think the newer NonLinear Circuits modules are SMT.. I'm thinking one of those might be a gateway Guinness ftw!
realitycontrol
Addam
Just taken a quick look at some of the NLC PCBs that are available on Thonk, they look to be a perfect gateway. Many are a nice mixture of SMT & through hole. The SMT components are also nicely spaced out which should make for a stress free build.

After another day of working with 331 & 245 I'm finding that the 331 is fantastic, the 245 is good but needs a little help with a flux pen on some SMT components. 245 works brilliantly on jacks, pots and switches though.
[/b]
Addam
Cheers, realitycontrol !
I am kind of realizing with my fledgling system I've been spending all my time putting modules together and too little time actually using them so I might put a little self-imposed moratorium on DIY for the moment.. will definitely be giving the NLC stuff a good, hard look though.. I think we will start to see more and more manufacturer's looking to add SMT stuff to their PCB offerings also, especially with everyone is euroland's obsession with low hps.
calaveras
Curious. Anyone know what you would do to clean up after K100LD?
It says no clean, but there is certainly residue. I've tried some board wash in a can spray, and it gets rid of some of the residue. Not all.
Altitude909
calaveras wrote:
Curious. Anyone know what you would do to clean up after K100LD?
It says no clean, but there is certainly residue. I've tried some board wash in a can spray, and it gets rid of some of the residue. Not all.


no clean means you dont have to clean up the residue, not that there wont be any. It will say in the documentation what to use to clean up what's left
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