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LED Soldering... #74070 Dec 28, 12:38am Dec 28, 12:38am
Joined: Sep 2003
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Saint Louis, MO
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LED Soldering...
Ok, I went out today and I bought a 15 watt soldering iron, a desoldering bulb, and light duty rosin-core solder (.032 dia., 2.5 oz, 60/40). I'm gonna practice on old computer chips and toys, and I'll start on my radio because it's still under warranty.

Did I buy the right type of soldering gun and solder for the job, or is a different type recommended?

Also, I was looking at the blue led bulbs at the store, and I noticed that they had really long prongs on the end of them. Can I cut them off a little, or should I just melt them down into the solder?

Any advice would be helpful, because I think I'm gonna fuck things up. grin


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Re: LED Soldering... [Re: slidr] #74071 Dec 28, 7:02am Dec 28, 7:02am
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Fort Wayne, IN
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The "prongs" on the LED's will not melt at the temperature for soldering. You can trim them down to the right size, just don't cut off too much.

Usually when soldering on a circuit board, there is a heat sink (little silver or copper circle) around the connection point. The idea is to put the soldering iron on the heat sink and touch the solder to the heat sink also. Don't put the solder directly on the iron. When the heat sink gets hot enough the solder will melt. Then stick the wire you're soldering into the bead of melted solder, remove the iron, and the solder freezes and you have a solid connection. Select the tip for the soldering iron such that it's small enough to touch only what you want to touch, but big enough to heat up the heat sink fairly quickly.

Other people may have better advice, as I have only done limited soldering work.

There is also such a thing as solder paste, which is much easier to use. Rather than trying to get the solder to melt in the right location at the same time you have the wire in place, you can sqeeze some paste at the connection point, and the paste helps hold the connection in place. Then you just heat the connection to make the solder flow (and the paste part melts away). If I remember correctly, I think when I used the solder paste for putting tiny little surface-mount chips on a circuit board, all it took was a hot-air gun to melt the solder paste.

Re: LED Soldering... [Re: slidr] #74072 Dec 28, 7:06am Dec 28, 7:06am
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Charlotte, NC
Johnny178
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The LEDS for the Radio and Cluster should not have prongs. If your are just practicing, it may not help much if you are using normal LEDS, they arent surface mount.

Re: LED Soldering... [Re: slidr] #74073 Dec 28, 9:09am Dec 28, 9:09am
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i dont like the fact that you got a 15 watt iron. 25 to 40 watt(adjustable)would be better!make sure the tip of the iron is clean always,get a wet sponge and pass the tip of the iron over it before soldering to clean all the black stuff that is going to accumulate on it.it depends on what you are soldering,you dont want to keep the tip to long on the wire just long enough for the solder to fully melt.if you are soldering sensitive stuff,its a good idea to break the surface a little with a fine grit sand paper that way the solder hold quickly after it melts (a soon as it melts lift the iron away and simultaneously blow air on the spot where the solder melted)and less heat will be transferd to what you are soldering.ps if you want good practice with soldering,get some old speakers and practice desoldering/soldering the wire leads that go down into the cone.cut and practice resoldering.some of them are tough because they are not completely metal,if you can handle those without burnig or cold soldering them you can hold your own against most regular wires etc.! good luck!


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Re: LED Soldering... [Re: hybridcelica] #74074 Dec 28, 9:53am Dec 28, 9:53am
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These are all good tips, however, I do not personally recommend that you blow on the solder to cool it, it will cool and harden on it's own very quickly. If you do blow on it, the result will be a "cold solder joint" which means reduced current flow through the connection. A correctly soldered joint should appear shiny and reflective and slightly concaved. I also recommend that you pick up some "flux/solder paste". Apply this flux to the area that you want to solder, and wipe it clean when finished. See picture below. thumbsup

1862409751-Soldering.jpg
Re: LED Soldering... [Re: Johnny178] #74075 Dec 28, 12:56pm Dec 28, 12:56pm
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Originally Posted by Johnny178
The LEDS for the Radio and Cluster should not have prongs. If your are just practicing, it may not help much if you are using normal LEDS, they arent surface mount.

They only have a few sized of them, and the prongs are around an inch long.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force...number one in the hood, G
Re: LED Soldering... [Re: slidr] #74076 Dec 28, 12:57pm Dec 28, 12:57pm
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Charlotte, NC
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huh?

Re: LED Soldering... [Re: hybridcelica] #74077 Dec 28, 12:59pm Dec 28, 12:59pm
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Originally Posted by hybridcelica
i dont like the fact that you got a 15 watt iron. 25 to 40 watt(adjustable)would be better!make sure the tip of the iron is clean always,get a wet sponge and pass the tip of the iron over it before soldering to clean all the black stuff that is going to accumulate on it.it depends on what you are soldering,you dont want to keep the tip to long on the wire just long enough for the solder to fully melt.if you are soldering sensitive stuff,its a good idea to break the surface a little with a fine grit sand paper that way the solder hold quickly after it melts (a soon as it melts lift the iron away and simultaneously blow air on the spot where the solder melted)and less heat will be transferd to what you are soldering.ps if you want good practice with soldering,get some old speakers and practice desoldering/soldering the wire leads that go down into the cone.cut and practice resoldering.some of them are tough because they are not completely metal,if you can handle those without burnig or cold soldering them you can hold your own against most regular wires etc.! good luck!
Thanks for the info. I'll exchange the iron today, but I only saw a 15 to 30 adjustable iron. The other ones were unadjustable...15, 25, 30, 40 something, and a soldering gun with 100 watts. I think I'll get the 15-30 adjustable if you think that's okay.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force...number one in the hood, G
Re: LED Soldering... [Re: Johnny178] #74078 Dec 28, 5:42pm Dec 28, 5:42pm
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Originally Posted by Johnny178
huh?
I'm saying that the only bulbs that they had had prongs on them, so I don't know if they are the right ones.

On another note, I exchanged the 15 watt for a 40 watt, so it should be a little easier to solder now.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force...number one in the hood, G
Re: LED Soldering... [Re: slidr] #74079 Dec 28, 5:44pm Dec 28, 5:44pm
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Charlotte, NC
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well they arent the right ones. You need surface mount LED's, its not something you can pickup from radio shack.

Re: LED Soldering... [Re: Johnny178] #74080 Dec 28, 6:55pm Dec 28, 6:55pm
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Thanks. I had a feeling that they weren't.


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Re: LED Soldering... [Re: slidr] #74081 Dec 28, 11:09pm Dec 28, 11:09pm
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