need help soldering

I'm having some trouble soldering and am hoping you guys can give me some pointers.  When I try to get a little bit of solder on the tip of my iron, the bead that forms will sometimes either not stick to the iron at all or will roll up the tip a bit so it's on the side rather than right on the point.  How can I get the solder to go on the very tip?  I am soldering 0603 surface mount LEDs, so precision is key.

Also, I've been placing my wire against the fluxed pad and dragging a bit of solder across it, but something I read said you should apply a tiny bit of solder to the pads and the ends of the wires separately then hold them together and just apply heat with the iron to fuse them.  Which method do you think is better/stronger?


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zack2476 years ago
tinning the pads and the wires is a much better way to solder.

If the tip of your soldering iron is dirty, use a wet sponge and rub the soldering iron i\on it while its on. if the tip still looks dirty, you might want to check radio shack for a new one.

the best way to solder is to apply heat to the part to be soldered, and apply the solder while still applying heat.

with 0603's, apply a little bit of solder to the pasd and then lower the 0603 into place with some tweezers, still holding the 0603, melt the pad and let go of the LED. if it stays in place you soldered it well enough. push the other end of the LED down and solder it too.
martzsam6 years ago
Are you using rosin core solder? If not you should be applying solder to whatever your soldering. It helps it bond.
aliasjanedoe (author)  martzsam6 years ago
Yes, I am using rosin core. Thanks.
caitlinsdad6 years ago
If your soldering iron is not hot enough or the tip is dirty, solder may not stick. You can lightly sandpaper the tip or wipe it on a wet sponge when hot to get rid of the excess burnt flux. As for soldering surface-mount-components, I believe they are "wave" soldered with special techniques that use hot air, heating pre-tinned joints from the other side or circuit boards dipped in a bath of solder. There are many soldering instructables that may help, just put soldering or wave soldering in the search box. Pre-tinning the parts to be connected is always good because you are priming the parts to be soldered. That way, new solder will fill any remaining gap and you know that the solder has already bonded to the wire or pad. Also, less heat that could cause damage if you need to heat the entire joint up to get solder to stick. Good luck.
aliasjanedoe (author)  caitlinsdad6 years ago
I'm using surface mount LEDs, but I'm only connecting them to wires for other projects, not actually surface mounting them. My soldering iron is brand new, so the tip shouldn't be dirty, but I'll try cleaning it anyway. Thanks.
https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Bead-Jig/ , she also has another instructable with light up sneakers using the same LEDs.