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  (#16)
dabid
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03.14.2006, 07:59 PM

Soldering is easy, just take it one step at a time. I use a Weller 20w iron for simple and small stuff (servo wires) and a Weller 80w iron for anything bigger. It takes a while to heat up, as others have mentioned, but it is amazingly good once it gets there. I can do batteries like nothing (my old Weller 40w struggled with this big time), and do any wire soldering in seconds. My only gripe is that the tip is super fat, but you just gotta learn how to angle it so you don't melt the Deans plugs.

Oh yeah, when doing Deans plugs, I ALWAYS make sure to have the plug I'm soldering on plugged into another plug (with short length leads attached to that one) to not only dissipate heat, but also keep the pins in the correct spot as the plastic cools back down. I used to not do this, and my plugs just wouldn't fit together, but I don't have that problem anymore.
   
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brijar
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03.14.2006, 08:14 PM

Hey, that is a really good tip dabid! Now I think about it, it seems like an excellent idea. I have one battery with deans and it will only go halfway onto the male connector without extreme force being applied:007:. I'm gonna try that next time I solder deans or other connectors:027:.

Thanx a lot,
Brijar!!!


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JOHNNYMAXXIMA
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03.14.2006, 10:27 PM

Yes, good tip dabid. I actually have to do a deans tonight and I will use that tip.
   
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macfjej
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03.15.2006, 12:46 AM

thank you all for your support. from the sounds of it your not just helping me, it seems as if everyone is learning a little bit from this post. thanks for the link Brijar, though i don't think there are any radio shacks in Canada anymore :frown: but at least now i know that chisel tips exist for this model so i may be able to find them somwhere. it sounds like a lot of people use irons of a much higher wattage and i don't want to sound like a broken record but this is a hot enough iron right? and what does mike mean by twisting your leads? from what i hearing, no one does it.

again, you guys are being a huge help, i'm feeling a lot more confident in my ironing abilities, thanks guys.

Last edited by macfjej; 03.15.2006 at 12:48 AM.
   
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damon
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03.15.2006, 06:04 AM

Brijar, that video is awesome! For the first time ever, I soldered 7 deans connectors with no problems....well, one burned finger and half the time I forgot the shrink wrap...which lead to more practice!

Dabid, that is great advice on keeping the plugs connected. One warped a little and that would have kept it in place.

I am with Macfjej...you all are such a help! I can't wait for the 8xl so I can put it all together!
   
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Scoob
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03.15.2006, 07:20 AM

I used to be the worst at soldering and I hated it but I finally got it and am pretty decent now. I don't know how much it will help you but the single biggest help for me was using a wet sponge to clean the tip. My tips always got to the point where they would not heat the solder and when it did the solder would just fall off the tip. Cleaning the tip took care of both of these problems. Every couple minutes clean the tip and you can get alot of the black off. It seems like my tips always have to "break in" before they'll transfer heat worth a darn. I don't use the pointy part of the tip, back away from it a little and look for the shiny part to tranfer heat best.
   
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brijar
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03.15.2006, 07:39 AM

I noticed with my screw-on tips, they didn't transfer heat that well. Then I saw somewhere that you need to use pliers to really screw them on there. After trying this, it seemed to help a lot with heating. Scoob, if you have screw-on tips, you might want to try using some pliers and tighten it down for better contact and heat transfer. Make sure you don't over-do-it, else you might strip the threads. Just tight enough so you can't easily unscrew it with your fingers.

macfjej, like I said before, I have that exact soldering iron. It has worked fine for me and will probably work fine for you. I do, however, suggest at least a 60w iron for soldering batterys together so it will melt the solder faster and not heat up the battery. I just had to take my batteries to my LHS to get them soldered, but I may just get a stronger iron next time because one of the cells blew up after a few runs:035: and I don't want to blame them, but I think it was due to incorrect soldering. I think you can get a pretty cheap 60w iron from Tower Hobbies for about $6. Clicky!

Good Luck,
Brijar!!!


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BrianG
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03.15.2006, 08:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by brijar
I noticed with my screw-on tips, they didn't transfer heat that well. Then I saw somewhere that you need to use pliers to really screw them on there. After trying this, it seemed to help a lot with heating. Scoob, if you have screw-on tips, you might want to try using some pliers and tighten it down for better contact and heat transfer. Make sure you don't over-do-it, else you might strip the threads. Just tight enough so you can't easily unscrew it with your fingers.
That is good advice. I would like to add that you should periodically check this, especially when the iron is hot (use pliers!). The cooling and heating cycles tends to loosen the threads after a while.
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Cadtech
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03.16.2006, 12:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by macfjej
...and what does mike mean by twisting your leads? from what i hearing, no one does it.
Twisting the wires prior to solder is preferred. This ensures you get max. "mechanical" contact between the individual strands of wires and keeps stray wires from poking out.

I don't like cutting insulation with a knife, as shown in the video - too risky to cut into individual strands of wire! I prefer to use a wire stripper; make the cut through the insulation and pull the tag of insulation part way off - NOT ALL THE WAY!
Now grab the tag and twist it hard while you pull it off the wires! This will twist the wires neatly and tightly.

Also, when doing Dean's, here are more tips;
Use a jig. An X-acto Extra Hand is perfect to hold the wire in one clamp, the Dean's in the other clamp. Leaves your two hands free to hold solder and soldering iron.
I made my own jig using simple wooden clothes pins.

Another tip: I like to twist the wire ends, then flatten them a bit before tinning. Yields more surface area for the solder joint, and also makes for a low profile joint.

Finally, buy some better shrink wrap and cut each piece longer! The crappy ones you get with the Dean's always split, or get pulled off the joint when unplugging the connectors.

As for not needing the soldering iron: Consider it a tool like any other; consider it before you purchase, buy for quality, and treat it as if you will be keeping it forever. I have tools I received as presents when I was in my teens; over 30 years later, I still use some of them! I cherish each one don't abuse them, and am thankful I kept them in good condition every time I need them.
   
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macfjej
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03.16.2006, 11:29 PM

thanks for answering my question cadtech, i wasn't sure if he ment twisting the stands in the leads (which i always do) or somhow twisting the post-tinned leads togeather before soddering them, thankfully it's the first one. this thread almost deserves a sticky, there's a lot of useful soddering information in here that you can't find in any one place anywheres else on the web
   
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HotnCold
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03.17.2006, 05:32 AM

I dont know if anyone is interested - but mike has access to a soldering iron that is,in my opinion the best i have ever used - it is adjustable from barely warm to 800 degrees f. Has a stand - Its simply awesome - and it warms up from completely off to 800 in less than 3 mins - I dont know if its listed here but it called the Hako - Ill try to find some info and post here for all interested. Trust me - once you use this - there is not other soldering iron...


Hows that "Hope and Change" working out for Ya???
   
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HotnCold
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03.17.2006, 05:36 AM

HereI did a search and picked the first one with pics so you could get an idea of what they look like. Like i said - PM mike and he can pick one up for you......


Hows that "Hope and Change" working out for Ya???

Last edited by HotnCold; 03.17.2006 at 05:41 AM.
   
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