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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME
Muff Wiggler
FUCKING HELL I HATE SOLDERING WTF AM I DOING WRONG?

OMG I'M GONNA BURN MY FUCKING EYES OUT WITH THIS FUCKING SOLDERING IRON I JUST SPENT A FORTUNE ON. TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY


FUCK I'M SO FRUSTRATED HOW THE FUCK DO YOU GUYS DO THIS DIY STUFF???

argh

triple the price of your goddamn synth modules and guitar pedals. I don't care. I can't build this stuff myself. I suck.

Dead Banana sad banana
dude
breathe man. not the fumes though. take your time and practice before you start on anything important.
Bricks
What're you working on?

I spent a long time failing at soldering.. then it finally just sort of clicked. Got a good solder suggested on this board, and eventually got the feel for slowly feeding it to the piece being heated by the iron. I used to HATE it.. now I kind of enjoy it.

It is definitely one of those things that can get me all worked up when it goes wrong.. but so rewarding when it goes alright!

You'll get there. Don't bother to stress yourself over the whole thing - not worth the negative energy.
infradead
can i have that iron you just bought?

i think i'm trading for some diy stuff

also quit soldering and fix the damn search damn..
Joe.
Make everything on breadboards, then hot glue eveything in place hihi

Nobody will ever know you suck at soldering unless they take the modules out of your modular.
Muff Wiggler
i was succssful without much stress building a CGS psycho LFO a few years ago using a $9 ratshack iron

I now have a Weller WES51. I'm trying to build a super simple guitar pedal with 22 components on the board

in fairness the components went in OK (looks like shit though) but getting the wires soldered to the fucking pots is making me want to set fire to my entire goddamn house.

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?????????????????????

also now the tip of my iron is useless, it won't even melt the solder. I have to go about a half inch up the 'shaft' behind the tip in order to get the solder to melt. I got 22 components soldered in place, and now I need to replace the tip? How the fuck are people doing this???

Oh and also about 80% of the time the solder melts into little balls that don't stick to anything, just roll around on the fucking board and gather together into stupid little ball parties that want to short stuff out

i'm going fucking insane.
JohnLRice
Muff my friend, grab a tasty beverage and watch this video! thumbs up

andrewF
infradead wrote:


also quit soldering and fix the damn search damn..


i guess you are joking, but whynot offer to help out instead of whinging about it?

Soldering -
common problem is - soldering iron not hot enough
I like my iron fkn hot so it melts solder instantly, holding an iron against components and waiting for the solder to melt sucks.

Soldering (for me) goes like this -
1. clean the iron on your sponge, leg, etc
2. touch a bit of solder to the iron so it is wet, not a big blob, consider it the equivalent of licking your lips. The soldering iron needs to heat up the metal of the components as well as the solder, if it is dry it is harder for the heat to transfer.
3. put the iron against the corner of the component pin/leg and pcb, give everything 1 second to heat up and then touch the threeway connection with the solder, just long enough so a cute little solder mountain is formed.
4. Pull the iron and solder away quickly. If everything is hot enough, the motion with the solder is almost a jab. If you are holding the solder there for more than a second, your iron needs to be turned up.
have a look at some soldering vids on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=soldering&aq=f

soldering should be a relaxing activity, almost like meditating. Once you get into it, it is a great way to switch off from all the day-to-day bullshit and focus.
Joe.
You need flux on the pads, and a tip cleaning product by the sound of it.

(GOOT tip cleaners work well)
Cybananna
I've found guitar pedals to be much harder than modules. Not really sure why, they should be easier.
mome rath
ahahaha

welcome to building things


w00t
Muff Wiggler
Thanks guys, your replies are exactly what I needed - video was a big help as was andrewf's comments... i've actually been holding the solder to the component and then applying the iron afterwards. Pre-heating the component makes a lot of sense now that you've pointed it out.

i don't have flux and have never used it. I guess I should pick some up, as well as something to clean my iron tip.

i *know* that it's not supposed to be this frustrating. I'm gonna give up for tonight but I'm going to come back to it - i need to push through this phase and get good at it.

Thanks guys
cbm
Muff Wiggler wrote:
I now have a Weller WES51. I'm trying to build a super simple guitar pedal with 22 components on the board

I've made several thousand solder joints with my Weller WESD51. It's not the iron.

What solder are you using? How hot do you have the iron set?

Quote:
in fairness the components went in OK (looks like shit though) but getting the wires soldered to the fucking pots is making me want to set fire to my entire goddamn house.

And what kind of tip are you using?

Quote:
also now the tip of my iron is useless, it won't even melt the solder. I have to go about a half inch up the 'shaft' behind the tip in order to get the solder to melt. I got 22 components soldered in place, and now I need to replace the tip? How the fuck are people doing this???


It really sounds to me like you are using the wrong kind of solder.

Quote:
Oh and also about 80% of the time the solder melts into little balls that don't stick to anything, just roll around on the fucking board and gather together into stupid little ball parties that want to short stuff out

Have I mentioned that you may be using the wrong kind of solder?

For ease of soldering you want something like a 60/40 rosin core. I recommend getting it pretty thin, too.

I generally use Kester 285 in a .020" thickness.
negativspace
I've never bothered with flux, ever. You should be able to make a go of this hobby without it. Something else to watch is the diameter of your solder - I'd say .032" should be your 'bread and butter' size with maybe a roll of .062 on hand for stuff like 1/4" jacks - you'll eat up 1/2" per lug if you use the fine stuff.

(Fine solder really melts quickly - for me it all 'clicked' when I upgraded to a 40w iron and downsized to the .032" solder. Suddenly I solder like a pro... ) w00t

Also, tinning your tip can really keep it alive longer. Get a little tub of 'Tip Tinner' & use as directed. I was getting about a week tops out of my tips until I picked up that little tidbit, now I replace them just more than once a month.
haricots
Yeah sounds like the iron in not hot enough. My iron has two settings - 20w and 40w. I use 40 for components that are not that sensitive to heat. It's also possible that pads on your board are oxidized. I might be full of shit as I'm not all that great but I have had mostly success with my builds. It definitely takes a bit of practice.
Muff Wiggler
I've tried a couple of solders, I got a pile of components and stuff kindly donated to me by Dragonslair, and he included a tube of pretty thin diameter "lead free organic flux water soluble"

Also tried lots using Kester 331 which Blacet supplies in his kits

getting the same results from both

trying temperature ranging from 700-800 degrees, same results regardless
Dragonslair
Are you using the solder I gave you? if so, it is a lead free solder, and they can be a bit harder to use if your not used to it.
If it continues to be a problem, go to Radio Shack and get some 60/40 lead/tin, it's much easier to work with, and use that until you get used to soldering.
cbm
700° is about right for something in the 60/40 range.

Skip the lead free stuff until you get good at soldering. It's harder to work with (and wants a higher temp.)

Kester 331 is highly active water soluble solder, not what I'd use when starting out. It may explain the condition of your tip, too.

In fact, I would go down to Rat Shack (or equivalent) and see what they have in a rosin core 60/40 solder. See how that goes.

(dragons lair beat me to it)
andrewF
yeh fuck that lead-free solder off into the bin! I used it for a few years but it makes the job much harder and looks awful. Hard to tell a good solder joint from a bad one.

just make to wash you hands well whenever you leave the soldering bench.

These days nearly all solder has flux 'built-in', so technically you don't need to buy any. But it is useful to have around.
JohnLRice
600 to 700 degrees should be fine for most any component lead (you may want a little more for ¼" jack lugs etc)

use rosin code solder (NOT acid core, that's for plumbing!) rosin = flux. Use leaded solder, it is easier than non'leaded

make sure tip is clean. If you don't have an official sponge or a fancy coil ball you can just use a damp cotton wash cloth. (one you or especially your better half doesn't care about! angry hihi )

If you have all that and you are following the other advice here and in the videos and it's still not working, can you post some pictures or preferably a short video of what you are doing?

One problem I had in the past with some irons where the tip screws in is that the tip is partly unscrewed which makes it not heat well. Make sure it;s is screwed in tightly (use pliers if it is hot or you will reach a new level of frustration quickly. MY ASS IS BLEEDING )
mome rath
i use 60/40, super thin, with a weller wes51 at 775 F

seems to do OK if I'm not too drunk to follow the BOM Guinness ftw!



if you get too pissed off, put it down and try again later
infradead
oh man.. reading this is pretty awesome..

thanks for the tips!!
rico loverde
Stick with it muff, heaven knows I've almost thrown a few projects out of the window due to overwhelming frustration but it does get better, Im still blown away every time I get something to work.

Good luck man! Hope it gets better. At least you got a site that has a shitload of helpful people!
mikecameron
I've had weird results sometimes because of the boards themselves. Not much you can do about that. It's easy to feel like a badass when you have fresh boards with good sized pads and the right soldering iron. On the same note, if one of those parts of the equation is off, it can be frustrating as shit.
Luka
Wiring always sucks

I generally listen to music or watch movies or chat to peeps on gmail to keep sain while doing it. Getting drunk does not help but sometimes is unavoidable wink
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