Solder iorn wattage and solder size?

justindfish

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Nov 14, 2009
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I'm going to attempt to build a few p60 drop ins and also will be building a triple. What size iorn should I get and what size and type of solder do I need to work on the small drivers and mcpcb boards.

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SemiMan

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I'm going to attempt to build a few p60 drop ins and also will be building a triple. What size iorn should I get and what size and type of solder do I need to work on the small drivers and mcpcb boards.

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You can't really solder SMT leds with an iron, you need a hot plate. For soldering wires, parts, etc. I generally suggest a 60-80W iron (temperature controlled). It is better to have lots of power, heat the part fast, and for a short period of time, then to take a long time heating it up and hence being hot for a long period of time.

Semiman
 

moderator007

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I use a cheap harborfreight 30 watt for small electronics about 5 bucks. I agree a temperature controlled soldering station would be better but not really necessary. I use thin rosin core solder from radio shack. The thiner solder allows you to get just a tiny blob on the end of the tip for small parts. I would also recommend to use flux on the part or parts being soldered. If you are going to solder something bigger than your normal small parts for flashlights then you may need to move up to something with more watts. I also have a weller 100/150 watt gun for larger jobs. As stated above by Semiman you need a iron that can heat the part or parts up quickly to avoid overheating the part. So the size of parts and the iron should be sized accordingly. The advantage of the temperature controlled solder station.

Just my two cents.:)
 

hellokitty[hk]

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Jan 29, 2007
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Usually 60/40 or 63/37 is pretty standard.
If you live in an area that doesn't allow leaded solders you're out of luck :(
You'll just have to make do with unleaded solders I guess.
Thinner solder is better, and flux in the core also makes things a lot easier.
 

wquiles

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You can't really solder SMT leds with an iron, you need a hot plate. For soldering wires, parts, etc. I generally suggest a 60-80W iron (temperature controlled). It is better to have lots of power, heat the part fast, and for a short period of time, then to take a long time heating it up and hence being hot for a long period of time.

Semiman

+1 - well said :)

I got a few photos for the OP of my setup to reflow SMT LEDs here:
http://www.atdms.com/reflow_leds.html


Will
 

justindfish

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Ok so a rosin core or use flux is the way to go I knew it needed to be small.

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musicmagic

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Sep 23, 2012
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I personally have a el cheapo 15 watt pencil point for tiny stuff, a 45 watt pencil point for general usage, a 100 watt chisel tip, and a 220/300 chisel point beast that I picked up from some yard sale a year or two back. I agree that the smaller the solder, the better for this application. (with flux core). I would also use a solder sucker (not necessary, but useful if you have one), and some liquid rosin flux (also not necessary, just handy to have around IMO).
 
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datiLED

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Atlanta, GA
I would recommend a temperature controlled soldering station. I have a few, and find that the 60W, or above produce the best results. A good entry level station is this 60W from Circuit Specialists. I have one, and have recommended it to others who are very happy with it.

I have a fine point tip that I use for SMT work. I build a lot of circuit boards with all SMT components, and it just takes a steady hand and some flux*. Small diameter (0.015") Kester solder is available at Mouser. The 44 is standard, and the 245 is the no clean version. A pound will last you a very long time. I do a lot of soldering, and am using the same roll that I bought 8, or 9 years go. It doesn't take a lot of solder for SMT work. While you can't do leadless components, or a component with a thermal pad on the bottom, the typical components used on the Chinese driver boards can all be soldered by hand using a fine tip on a soldering station. (I am getting a hot air rework station to do leadless components.)

*You can get a bottle of Kester 951 liquid flux on e-Bay for a good price. Get a bottle with an applicator tip to make things really easy on yourself.
 
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