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Old 03-09-2010, 08:14 PM
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soldering wiring terminals

I'm putting together my wiring and crimp/soldering the terminals. I've never soldered wires before and after some practice pieces I seem to be getting pretty good results. I'm using a Weller 140w gun and my question is "how long should it take to get the pieces hot enough for the solder to melt." It is taking 60 - 100 seconds to reach temp. Seems awful long especially when I got a lot to do. Is this a reasonable amount of time ? Would a small iron be faster. Maybe I just need to learn patience.

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Old 03-09-2010, 08:53 PM
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I'm bad about taping the trigger down with electrical tape. [ Make sure you have all of your wires crimped and fluxed] I usually do 10-12 at a time and then unplug the soldering gun for a while until you get some more ready for soldering.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:58 PM
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140 watt is not big enough for soldering terminals. I have an old Weller 325 watt gun that works exceptionally well. Pull the trigger and three seconds later apply solder.

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:43 PM
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I have a Weller also, and I believe it's a 150/300 gun. Works great, but you have to tighten the tip all of the time as it keeps working loose. I'd check that and give it a try again.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
140 watt is not big enough for soldering terminals. I have an old Weller 325 watt gun that works exceptionally well.....
Yep, definitely a case where more power is better, and faster,
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:30 AM
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thank you guys
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:49 AM
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I use a 40 watt pencil Weller iron, with a chisel tip.
I usually set something heavy on the handle, so I can hold the wire and terminal in one hand, and the solder in the other.
I put usually wipe the tip off with damp rag, put a small drop of fresh solder on the tip, and then hold the backside of the terminal in the fresh solder, on the tip of the iron. I then feed solder on the top of the terminal, and into the ends of the bare copper wire. On some terminals that are already tinned, you can see the change when the tinning melts from the heat of the iron.

Do not use too much solder. If you use a lot, it will travel up the wire, away from the terminal, and make the wire brittle. Some say to not solder wires because of this issue, but personally, I have seen way more electrical connections go bad inside the terminal that were not soldered than I have ever seen wires break.

Get your solder at an electronics supply store, and look for a rosin core, 63% tin, 37 % lead mixture. It melts at the lowest temperature.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pre-Tuner
I have a Weller also, and I believe it's a 150/300 gun. Works great, but you have to tighten the tip all of the time as it keeps working loose. I'd check that and give it a try again.

I'll agree with this statement. Just loosen the two tip nuts then retighten. These guns will do up thru at least #12ga wire on the full pull back of the trigger for full power.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:09 PM
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thanks again everyone. Daniel - I've not heard of that technique before - I'll give it a try although I confess I'm a little worried about burning my fingers! Flux has been mentioned - do you guys regularly use flux on new "installations". I thought the rosin core was all you needed.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:28 PM
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If the wires are new, and the terminals are new, there should be no need for flux.

Keep in mind with my method of soldering, I use a pencil iron that is always on, not a trigger type gun. It is just one way of getting around the fact you need one hand to hold the wire, one hand to hold the gun, or iron, and one hand to feed the solder into the warm joint. That's one more hand than I have.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:31 PM
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The flux draws the solder in and makes a great connection. Just dip the ends of the wire or wires into the flux and solder as usual. I use it on new or old connections
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:45 PM
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Be real careful what flux is used - i.e. NOT acid core. Some good reading for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flux_%28metallurgy%29


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Old 03-10-2010, 05:43 PM
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Use a good rosin core solder and you really dont need flux. The key to a good solder connection is a good mechanical bond to start with and to heat both pieces that are being soldered. Dont use to much solder, it just makes a mess and as mentioned above makes the wire brittle under the insulation

Flux keeps the items being soldered from oxidizing so it is important if you dont use a rosin (flux) core solder to use a flux dip.

A good solder connection will be shinny, if it is dull and flaky looking, that is called a cold joint and it wont last.

You may want to also buy some heat shrink tubing, it makes for a nice finished look.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:11 PM
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I use a 35 watt Weller and it joins most everything. Making sure the wires and terminals are clean and shiney (always knew shiney was best) you will have very good joints.
The shrink tubing is a very good idea, it offers protection to the solder joint and support where the wire enters the terminal.

For really big stuff I have a American Beauty iron 140 wats the tip is 3/4 inch dia can do almost anything with that beast.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:50 PM
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Yep, using the shrink tubing. Always used insulated terminals with just a crimp but trying to reduce resistance by doing it this way. Does look nice - hope it works as well. This gun just takes so long to get it hot enough to melt the solder good that the insulation gets warmer than I want , plus the patience thing.
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