Rate this soldering job?

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
1,379
I'm not sure if there is a more appropriate sub forum, but this seemed the least off topic.

I am thinking about hand wiring up a simple keyboard and decided I needed to refresh my skills, as I haven't soldered in decades. I bought one of those cheap kits you get at places like Fry's. This is a simple electronic d6, just the first few parts. It isn't perfect (nor is my camera) but I'd appreciate constructive feedback.

Annoyingly, I think I'm going to need a magnifying glass--my eyes aren't 20 any more.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20200620_220940_1.jpg
    IMG_20200620_220940_1.jpg
    378.3 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20200620_221031_1.jpg
    IMG_20200620_221031_1.jpg
    431.7 KB · Views: 0

Deluded

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
1,376
Not a bad start. For now keep practicing.

Your ideal soldering glob is about 1/3 of that, or less. You want to see a shiny film of solder covering the hole, but it should not protrude out too much. Basically if you run your finger over it, you should feel a very slight bump.

If you're going to poke wires or pins through it, it's far easier to have the wire/pins in the holes and then melt a (small!) amount of solder around it. Like above, it should cover the hole, stick to the pin/wire. That's more than enough.
 

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
1,379
If you're going to poke wires or pins through it, it's far easier to have the wire/pins in the holes and then melt a (small!) amount of solder around it.

Thanks! That's what I did--well, I put the resistor's wires through the holes and then bent them to hold them in place, as I've seen described in tutorials. Guess I used more solder than necessary.
 

Deluded

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
1,376
Like I said, you're at a decent start. At least you know not to melt the two solder globs together -- that's more than half of the hack jobs I see from supposed "professionals".

From here on, it's all practice. Not all soldering irons are created equal, not all solder are equal, so it takes some time and some experience to find the sweet spot for your particular combo of iron + solder.

Having a little flux helps a lot too, I think I see some flux residue on the PCB in the pic above?

I use a $40 adjustable soldering iron/hot air station that I got off fleabay. It's no professional equipment by any stretch of imagination.... but it gets me by.

Having clean soldering iron tips helps a lot too, you have a sponge to clean it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: N4CR
like this

Arcygenical

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
25,058
They look fine, but are you using fine enough electronics solder? They look wetted properly, and they're all nice and shiny so you don't have cold joints. But, just... too... much.

Happens easily to me (blobby rather than the nice curved shape associated with a proper, solid joint) when I'm not using a screaming hot iron, or 1-2mm solder.

I'm using a 5$ adjustable ali-express iron that pulls up to 50 watts or so when I crank the in-handle digital dial up to 450f. I use it almost daily. High heat output, quick motions, flux, and the right size solder for the job are all going to be your friends here.
 

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
1,379
I have soldered before, but probably not for 30 years. Back then the few examples I saw of electronics used blobs this big. I'm using a Weller station I got at Fry's a while back. It's got a funky tip--it's like a flathead screwdriver except for kind of a weird crown. Makes it a bit tricky to see the wire because it gets in the way, so I probably should get a slightly smaller tip. Plus, like I said, my eyes aren't as young as they used to be, so getting a good view of the work piece is a bit tricky. I know some helping hands come with small magnifying glasses, and like I said I think I may need one of those.

The iron is 40W max, but it's just got a knob with 5 settings on it, so I ran it around 3.5 or so. The solder is 63/37 22 guage 2.2% flux, according to the spool.

I do know about bridging and stuff--that's why I had two pics, because the first one looks like the left-most two blobs might be joined.

Again, appreciate the feedback from everyone.
 

auntjemima

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
6,506
Pad coverage is fine, but you are looking for a concave "blob", or at the very least one that's like a cone. Less solder will do the job. Practice and you'll pick it up quickly.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,707
You will have immensely better results if you use s paste or liquid type solder flux. The solder will stick and flow way better. Those blobs look exactly like what happens when you don't use flux.
 

learners permit

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
330
Prep your connection/component leads easily by folding a piece of scotch brite pad and pulling leads through the fold while pinching leads between the fold to remove the oxidation that was clearly present on the leads. The solder will run into the pad eye better and give the desired radius cone that eluded you.
 

Kardonxt

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,249
Just to touch on what a few member posted here.

Keljian's diagram is great. I have best results applying some solder to the iron before step one to aid contact with the pad and part. Once everything is up to temp I apply the solder to the pad and port trying to avoid direct contact with the iron.

Like cyclone3d said flux helps a ton. I keep a small tub of general purpose paste flux and apply liberally to everything I want solder on. Many solders have flux in them so it's not absolutely necessary, but I find it helps tremendously.
 
Top