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Is there a good how-to on soldering on the forum? I have never been any good at soldering, but I suspect that it's always been down to the cheap equipment I've used.

How about recommendations for irons and solder suitable for successfully repairing slot cars?

TIA
 

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What sort of repairs do you want to do?

Here's a starter for the iron. solder and flux to use. (Don't neglect the flux, it's important to getting a good joint, particularly in the more difficult to solder materials)

Soldering the lead wires back on only needs a smaller iron - say 25 watt.
Soldering heavy brass chassis together needs a larger iron - say 75 watt.

60/40 solder is fine for everything.

The rosin core in solder is OK for tinned copper wires, for brass and copper Fluxite flux is good, for steel an acid flux is needed.
 

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I always had trouble soldering wires to motors and pretty much anything else too.
I had a friend show me how to solder but i don't think i enjoyed it much before i got a decent soldering iron (think it is a 30-40$ Weller) and decent solder.

Practicing is the key. I'm not a very manual person and i got good enough.

Then one day, i built a fairly big DIY electronics kit (hundreds of parts).

Could you tell us more about what's going on when you try to solder ? I used to have all my solder joints breaking. Think i had some very lousy solder...
 

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The bigger the heat path the more energy you need. As has been said for motor leads etc. 20W and up is good. Don't buy a cheap Chinese pistol grip unit for $5!!

Buy a soldering iron holder. Not expensive and $5 Chinese ones are just as good,



Like wise a soldering stand is good if you can find a cheap one.



Clean the tip on the damp sponge between joints.

Make sure the outlet into which the iron is plugged allows enough free cable to allow you to change the position of the iron.

Buy some soldering flux or soldering grease.


apply a small amount to both parts makes the job so much easier.

"Tin" wires/connectors before soldering together. Dip wire in paste, Put a "little" solder on the iron. Put the iron under the wire and touch the solder onto the wire.

Sometimes soldering irons get too much solder on them. Give the iron a flick and the excess solder will fly off. (Not recommended in a carpeted room :) ). The solder solidifies on impact with the floor or the bench and can easily be swept up.

If working on circuit boards a solder sucker is a neat piece of kit to have.

Failing that some solder wick. Bonus solder wick can be used for braids.

There are lots of tutorials on-line and practice on some junk before attempting the real work.
 

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Thanks for the replies thus far.


When I said..........QUOTE (StuBeeDoo @ 27 Apr 2012, 20:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>recommendations for irons and solder suitable for successfully repairing slot cars?........ I should have been a bit more precise. What I meant was repairing the electrics;- fixing "dry joints", replacing blown LEDs, making connections in cables, wiring-in a new motor, that sort of thing. I'll never have the patience to scratch-build a chassis.
 

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hi
i use a 25w one for wire to motor work and a 8w one when i solder onto lighting boards and chip boards etc.

Weller are the top brand but i just stick to the one's maplin's sell as they are about half the price.

First one lasted over 4 years of heavy use as i chipped a lot of cars and added lights to the old layout...
 

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A couple of thoughts on soldering:

The work must be clean, clean, clean!

The most common mistake made in soldering is to use the iron to carry the solder to the work. You can sometimes get away with this when soldering fine wire onto small tabs such as motor terminals but the correct thing to do is to use the iron to heat the work to the point where solder liquefies on contact. This will avoid the problem of "cold" solder joints which occur when liquid solder contacts a cold work part and solidifies before completely wetting the joint.

EM
 

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Also highly recommend "tinning" the parts to be joined. That is to say apply a thin layer of solder to each of the wires or parts to be joined. Then "sweat" the wires /parts together. That is to say reheat the parts now touching eachother with the iron, the previous tinning will now reflow. At the same time with your third hand apply some additional solder. Don't overdoo the additional solder, a good joint has a nice smooth often concave appearance to it, no nasty blobs or a heavy convex shape.

Specifically on wires, particularily thin ones, tinning not always necessay so long as the wires are clean. When possible twist the wires to be joined then apply solder, it will then flow nicely into the tiny voids. Alos invesyt in a couple of sizes of thin heatshrink sleeeving. This is slid onto one of the wires before making the joint, then over the joint when it is made, and shrunk down with a heat gun. Absolutely invaluable for all sorts of things, you will wonder how you managed without it.


Rich
 

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Stubeedoo,

This video was kinda helpful:


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again everyone.


I'll get myself a Weller iron and some 60/40 rosin solder and start practicing.
 

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QUOTE (300SLR @ 29 Apr 2012, 00:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi StuBeeDoo
For that sort of use you don't need to bother with high power irons or separate flux
60/40 rosin cored solder and irons like Bigbird suggests are fine.

yes . But I would still advocate getting some soldering paste it make life much easier.

QUOTE The work must be clean, clean, clean!

The most common mistake made in soldering is to use the iron to carry the solder to the work. You can sometimes get away with this when soldering fine wire onto small tabs such as motor terminals but the correct thing to do is to use the iron to heat the work to the point where solder liquefies on contact. This will avoid the problem of "cold" solder joints which occur when liquid solder contacts a cold work part and solidifies before completely wetting the joint.

Wot he said!
 

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QUOTE (Abarth Mike @ 30 Apr 2012, 08:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>yes . But I would still advocate getting some soldering paste it make life much easier.

Brass chassis yes, but definitely not needed for soldering wires & LED's etc. Multicore much easier & better.

Rich
 

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Amen to the soldering paste - it's absolutely essential. I had a couple friends here who had trouble soldering, and soldering paste has transformed their lives!

Besides cleaning, it also helps heat transfer and heat transfer is the key to soldering....

While the general principle is of course to heat the parts which is turn melt the solder, I've found that charging the iron tip with a bit of solder helps the heat transfer and gets things flowing. Also, in electrical connections, like soldering to the leads on your motor, too much heat can damage the motor, so you definitely want to put a little solder on your iron beforehand and then let that flow into the joint.

As said above, practice is the key too - it becomes automatic after awhile, and soldering is fun! 5-1 you try soldering a chassis within a year!

Don

PS: Rich, guess our posts crossed... I still use paste for electrical connections, including wire and find it makes things much easier.
Also, I thought 60-40 didn't exist any more? that lead is now totally banned... I still have a roll, but it was bought a few years ago...
 

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Well I have been soldering wires & electronic components for 40 + years now and have always used 18swg Multicore 60/40, and for very small stuff, 64 pin surface mount components etc I use 26swg Multicore 62/36/2 which has a small amount of silver in. I have tried lead free solder and hate it. Melting point is too high. and joints just do not look as good. Which reminds me to go buy another roll of 60/ 40 before it is banned.


Have never used additional flux on electronic components, and I have done a lot of joints in my time.


Rich
 

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QUOTE (RichG @ 30 Apr 2012, 16:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well I have been soldering wires & electronic components for 40 + years now and have always used 18swg Multicore 60/40, and for very small stuff, 64 pin surface mount components etc I use 26swg Multicore 62/36/2 which has a small amount of silver in. I have tried lead free solder and hate it. Melting point is too high. and joints just do not look as good. Which reminds me to go buy another roll of 60/ 40 before it is banned.


Have never used additional flux on electronic components, and I have done a lot of joints in my time.


Rich

This is valid but what the OP said was.

QUOTE What I meant was repairing the electrics;- fixing "dry joints", replacing blown LEDs, making connections in cables, wiring-in a new motor, that sort of thing. .....
 

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Yes I read the OP question. And for all those items on the list I would not use anything other than Multicore 60/40, no additional flux needed.

Rich
 

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Rich,

I've been doing this for 45 years too (minus a few off for good behavior...), and have always found a little external paste to make things easier. I know the rosin core should do the trick, but for me it doesn't.

In any case, the idea is for the beginner to try different methods and find one that suits.

Don
 
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