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DIY General Knowledge Thread
Old 6 days ago
Reptil's Avatar

Thread Starter
DIY General Knowledge Thread

I'll start off with some videos about soldering

Old 6 days ago
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gruvsyco's Avatar
I like the eevblog guy too. I don't know if he's actually super knowledgeable or if his yelling at you leads you to believe that. I like these 2 videos a lot.

  • It's quite popular to use Kester 331 solder for all your parts that can tolerate a water wash (nothing with moving components), as the solder is easily cleaned up with water, just bath the board in hot water and scrub with a toothbrush if needed. I haven't done this yet but will on my next build. Everything else, Kester 245 is recommended as the flux is minimal and easy to clean up.

  • Check your polarity. Diodes, Electrolytic caps have an orientation when installing.
  • Matched transistors. While building my TTSH a few builders said if you don't have anything to properly match transistors, modern production is good enough that if you take your transistors of a strip, they should be close enough. This would not apply to bulk or NOS. So if you can't match don't stress.
  • Transistors that sit in pairs flat to flat (matches) can be zip tied together. this makes them easier to solder in and keep clean looking.

Last edited by gruvsyco; 6 days ago at 01:52 AM..
Old 5 days ago
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Derp's Avatar
Old 5 days ago
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cane creek's Avatar

I have a few rules that work for me,

Rule 1
Use a fat tip, soldering is all about applying heat quickly and this cannot be done with one of those useless pointed tips.

Rule 2
Don't not use a wet sponge to clean your tip, wet sponge applied to a hot tip causes thermal shock, ok it will clean the tip but will also ruin it at the same time.
You end up needing to change your tip every couple of builds.

Since i started using a tip tinner called "Qualitek Delta Tip tinner" its now a question of how many years do i get out of a single tip, this stuff is really worth its weight in gold, you can find it HERE

Rule 3
When soldering SMT/SMD chips use lots of flux and the solder will find its way, i just use a "electrolube smf flux pen"

Rule 4
Get a smoke absorber/extractor, when i first started DIY after a build id feel nauseated off the fume, since getting a "solderwerks black jack BK486" smoke absorber I've never had a problem since as it sucks the lot up.

Rule 5
When doing SMT/SMD you need a 10x Loupe to examine your work, I've looked at my work through a magnifying glass and it looks fine then look again with a loupe and find all sorts of problems, i use a "belomo triplet 10x" and swear by it.

Old 5 days ago
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cane creek's Avatar

I bought this LCR-T4 off Ebay about 2 years ago it was £6 at the time and its superb.
It measures Resistors, Capacitors, Diodes, Transistors, Thu-hole & SMD

Old 5 days ago
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cane creek's Avatar

Me doing a bit of SMD, notice I'm using a fat tip.

Old 5 days ago
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cane creek's Avatar

I wouldn't waste your money on any of these fancy clamps to hold your PCB, I've spent a fortune on them the last few years and find you can't beat putting your PCB flat on a bench then at least you can rest your elbows which then leave you with a steady hand.
Old 3 days ago
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Coorec's Avatar
I use a flat wooden breakfast plate. Put resistors into PCB... flip it.. solder .. rinse repeat.

Proper desolder equipment however is worth investing money in! Else you might end up ruining a 400 Euro build... I know a guy, who knows a guy, that might know another guy to whom this may have happened
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