Soldering Irons

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Soldering Irons

Digital Solder station.JPG
Synonyms: DE: Lötkolben
Type: power tool
Material: solder
Access: upon introduction
Tutors: Patrick, Mitja, Lukas
Similar (More or Less): hot air soldering station

A soldering iron is a basic hand tool used to connect electronic components. The principle of working with a soldering iron lies in melting – as the name suggests – solder in order to conductively connect electrical components.

The normal soldering temperature is around 300°C varying from solder types and thermal capacity of the electronic parts or the soldering iron. Also the higher the power output of the soldering iron is the better it will melt larger amounts of solder or heat up bigger components.

How to Use

Preparations:

  • make room for soldering – crowded and messy workplaces only make the work more difficult
  • get solder (should be in the right on the peg board)
  • wet the cleaning sponge (usually in the soldering station)
  • check if your electronic parts are ready and nothing is missing

Next, heat up the soldering iron to around 300°C. When the solder melts by touching to tip, the iron is ready for use.
Try not to melt the solder directly on the tip but rather heat your components with the soldering iron and then apply solder to the parts. This will result in an optimal flow of the liquid solder and avoid "cold solder joints". If the joint is shining like a polished piece of metal then the soldering was successful and a reliable electrical connection was made.
Clean the tip afterwards with the brass wool and/or the wet sponge that's usually integrated into the iron's "station".

Ask a tutor if you have any questions or want an introduction into soldering. This video tutorial on splicing and soldering wires may also be interesting.

Safety

  • Please be careful while handling a soldering iron as it gets very hot! Mind your surroundings and other people to avoid injuries.
  • Avoid breathing in the smoke forming after melting solder. It isn't as much the lead vapor but the flux which is quite unhealthy when inhaled. If you plan on soldering for an extended amount of time consider using an extraction fan to reduce exposure.
  • Be aware to wash your hands after handling electronic components as the flux and the lead in the solder are toxic when absorbed through mucous membranes. Avoid touching your face or food while soldering to minimize contact.