Rate my soldering skillz

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by Hooya, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Hooya
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    Hooya GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Just wanted to see what peeps here on the board thought of my soldering. Keep in mind I just started practicing about a week ago.

    Picture, 769KB

    I included the little ruler so you could see the proportions I was dealing with. This was done on an old PCI soundcard (soundblaster Live that I've had since 2000 if anyone is curious). The wires are from an IDE cable. I used a 30w iron with a tiny tip and .032 solder. The bottommost point was one I decided to do at the last minute so I didn't tin the point properly. All the wires hold securely to a pretty strong tug. I tried to find a place on the card that had the closest points to give myself the greatest challenge and most accurately approximate what I'll run into on a Wii modchip install.

    The one thing I'm having issue with is the insulation from the wires melting back no matter what... I've tried using a heatsink but with it clamped on there I can't control the wires as well on the board when I make the connection. As long as I make sure they don't touch anything it won't do anything bad, right? I mean, it's not up to NASA spec, but whatever. I still have about two months before I get my Wii, so I still have lots of time to improve.
     
  2. lookout

    lookout GBAtemp Board Room

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    deadly eyes ~ welldone..
     
  3. Scorpei

    Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    Just use tape around the parts where you burned of the insulation [​IMG].
     
  4. IBNobody

    IBNobody I try to keep myself amused.

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    Honest? That's a terrible job. You have too much wire exposed.

    The reason why you're having problems with melting the insulation is that you're using the wrong kind of wire. Ribbon cable isn't meant to be soldered and is usually rated around 100 degC. Teflon coated wire is rated at 200 degC. Use it instead. It will still melt, but it won't be nearly as bad as the ribbon cable. Be warned, though. It's a pain to strip.
     
  5. Hooya
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    Hooya GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    If the melted insulation is your biggest concern then I'm in good shape. Like I said, I was having trouble with that and didn't know how to approach getting it not to melt. I mean, I stripped just a little bit but as soon as I tin the wire the coating peels back 1 or 2mm. If using a different kind of wire will solve that problem (or taping it as mentioned above) then I will take those steps.

    Was there anything else that makes this a "terrible" job?
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    As a rule of thumb if the solder is dull and bends in/looks like a volcano it is done badly, your soldering however appears to be quite good especially for just a weeks practice: kudos.

    Tape up the exposed sections and make sure the solder joints are not loaded (or they might creep and so fail) when you put it back together and it should be good.
    It does not appear that you have but if you tin/"braze" the ends of the ends of the wire you are soldering to the board by giving them a thin coat of solder the job becomes that much easier and

    As for the wires melting the sheath generally slides back a bit and will slide forwards again (remove a strand or two from multicore wire if you find this especially difficult)

    Out of curiousity are you using lead-tin solder (it will usually mention Lead/tin or Pb-Sn on the label/packaging) or one of the lead free varieties? (if it is the latter then congrats are in order as that stuff is usually horrible to work with especially for someone lacking in experience).
     
  7. butaro

    butaro GBAtemp Regular

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    agreed, best wire to use with soldering you first strip extra then slide the covering of the wire so the only part there is sodered, then on the other side of the wire you have to do the same thing but being more exact.
    If i was still working at alcatel i could provide a cool demo [​IMG]
     
  8. Hooya
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    Hooya GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I did tin the wires, I touched the wires into my flux paste, getting a minute coating of flux then just touched the end to my tinned iron. I could visibly see the tinning on the wire. It was a thin coating, but well coated the wire.

    Thanks for the tip on the sheath slipping. I'll have to give that a try.

    The solder I'm using is 60/40 rosin core from Radio Shack. No lead here, I didn't want to bother finding that stuff. [​IMG]
     
  9. mikeosoft

    mikeosoft GBAtemp Regular

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    i think a rule of thumb is to use good wireing for starters, i like to try to use a solid core copper wire when applicable and if not i make sure i twist the wire as tight as possible. I make surei have good light and i dont go lightly with solder. You dont want to over flux the board as it can be a big hassle specially the smaller solder points.

    if that was your first real job then that's a good start, however, there is alot of room for improvment.
     
  10. pottageb

    pottageb GBAtemp Regular

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    [​IMG]

    ??
     
  11. Bitbyte

    Bitbyte GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    ._________.
    Lol, if it looks like a volcano, it's indeed a good joint [​IMG]
     
  12. Tanas

    Tanas GBAtemp Addict

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    Just count yourselves lucky that installing a wii modchip a peice of piss and that it couldn't be any simpler...
     
  13. EarthBound

    EarthBound a/s/l?

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    I havent modded anything since my xbox way back when.
    Im just going to take it to a repair store,and pay some dude to do it.
    6 points for a quick 20 bucks seems like a steal to me :)
     
  14. Dylanwhat

    Dylanwhat Member

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    Make sure they have a tri-wing.
     
  15. EarthBound

    EarthBound a/s/l?

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    I got one off ebay for a easy 3 dollars.I just gotta remember how to open/close it.
     
  16. Ben_j

    Ben_j GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Honestly it looks horrible...
    Anyway I had no trouble soldering my Wiinja. The solder that was already on the Wii was enough and I just had to tip it and it sticked the wires to it
     
  17. niklasnyfiken

    niklasnyfiken GBAtemp Regular

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    OK, the soldering experts call it horrible. Can you show us how it's supposed to look then? Show us a pic of your installed Wiinja/Wiikey/whatever.
     
  18. Mika-

    Mika- Newbie

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  19. frendly5

    frendly5 Member

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    Ironically, my installation was quite similar the poster. Which I thought was good. Due to the response here I've realized that it is not all that good. I've watched any soldering youtube vids I can find and feel much better about my technique. I realized i need to heat the points and add solder to the heated points. I was adding solder to the iron tip and trying to dab the points. I've ordered the wiikey and plan on installing with wires. Hope it goes well.
     
  20. korven

    korven Member

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    I too added a tiny bit of solder to the iron and dabbed it to the points. I know that I should heat the pad up and then add solder to it, but I was simply too afraid that I would desolder the pad.
    Everything worked out fine, so I don't really care [​IMG]