Introduction: How to Master Soldering (solder Tips & Tricks)

About: All what I do I'm doing it for fun 🎩 🎮 My name is Chris, I'm an electronics engineer and a Youtuber who likes : Electrical projects 🔌 3D printing ⚙️ Electronic R&D stuff 🔎 We all know that robots are our …

Hey guys! I Hope you already enjoyed my previous instructable "Arduino MIDI Controller DIY" and you are ready for a new one, as usual I’m making a learning instructable to show you how to make some cool electronics stuff, and talking about electronics this instructable will take us back to one of the basics of electronics which is how to master the through-hole soldering so if you ever faced a troubles with soldering your components? Solder wire dripping? Components getting burned? Well, no more worries, because in this video I will teach you whatever you have to know about how soldering works. So let’s get started.

Step 1: The Necessary Tools

As we all know, a great work needs the use of great tools:

1. Solder iron

The task is so simple and all what you need is a solder iron and it’s important to know how the solder iron works and how to use it properly and securely, it’s a kind of hot metallic or ceramic resistance that could reach more than 400 Celsius degrees in a short period of time in order to molten the solder wire this is a dangerous tool that we are using in this video so please be careful when you take this soldering iron in your hands to avoid any sort of accidents. I’m using a pretty soldering station, it has a soldering iron already, just one more important information about the soldering iron which is the solder tips, it’s that part that get in contact with the solder wire and the electronic component and there is many kinds of solder tips, you have to pick one depending on the component you want to solder, there is some thin tips for thin component foot, and larger ones for larger component foot.

2. Solder wire

The second tool is the solder wire or the core wire, and also there is many types of solder wire depending on the task, the wire is made out of several different metal alloys that creates a soldering joint when melted so each solder wire type is made of a specific composition, but overall they fall into two categories: Lead and lead-free. Lead-free wire is more popular today because it causes less pollution. It is more expensive but not necessarily better. Anyway I advise you to use the lead-free wire for a batter appearance of you soldering and also I advise to choose the suitable diameter of the soldering wire which is between 0,7 and 0,8 millimeters. Choose a wire with flux in its core. It's simpler to use because you won't have to add additional flux after soldering.

3. Brass wire

The third tool is needed once you combine the solder iron and the soldering wire, I’m talking about the brass wire since the burning flux leaves dark marks on the soldering spot and on the tip of the soldering iron. You will need to clean the tip to remove these stains. This used to be done with a moist sponge, but these days a brass wire is preferred (we use brass because it's non-abrasive). The reason we don't use a sponge anymore is simple, yet important: it cools off the iron too fast. Repeated exposure to this kind of temperature shock will wear out the iron tip more quickly.

Step 2: Extra Tools

there is other tools that you may need like the flux which is used to clean the soldering spot and to clean the PCB solder mask, a third hand is needed also and it will be like a kind of support for you while soldering the electronic components, you could also need a digital microscope to check the soldering spots after performing the soldering task.

Step 3: Soldering Trick

Before moving to our first practicing assignment, here is a picture that shows how to place the component in its placement on the PCB and how to take the soldering iron and the solder wire.

The secret to successful soldering is to heat up everything at the same time: the solder wire, the soldering spot, and the component.

Step 4: Start Your First Time Soldering

I’m using in this project a PCB that I have ordered from JLCPCB for one of my previous projects which is CNC plotter machine, you can refer to JLCPCB website if you want to order any PCB design you make, just upload the GERBER file of the appropriate design and set some parameters like the PCB thickness Qty and color by the way no matter what the color you select the price will be the same for any color you choose. There is an important parameter that you have to set regarding your design which is the PCB layers, I’m using here two layers PCB that means I can solder my components from both sides of the PCB.

Starting the soldering task and as I told we need first to set the soldering iron tip and then we heat it up, once it’s ready to use you can notice that the soldering wire is molten easily "see picture 2", we clean the soldering tip and we place the components one by one, so I will solder this IC socket which has 16 pins "see picture 1", we heat up the socket foot and the soldering spot "see picture 3", then once we close the core wire the molten soldering takes its place above the spot "see picture 4 & 5" to cover the whole spot surface and to connect the component foot to the circuit’s spot "see picture 6", once we zoom in the process you can see that this is easy to do if you are using the right tools the right way "see picture 7 & 8", do the same for the rest of your components and then you can clean the PCB spots with a flux and after this you have your PCB soldered and ready for action.

As you see guys, through hole soldering is no longer a secret now so you can master it yourself, I will post another instructable about how to solder surface mounted devices or SMD device using a SMD rework station so stay tune for the next tutorial, do not forget to watch our previous instructable which is Arduino MIDI controller.

One last thing, make sure that you are doing electronics everyday

It was BEE MB from MEGA DAS see you next time.