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Old 10-18-2008, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default Baby steps towards assembling my Megasquirt

I decided to try my hand at soldering a board together, and it all worked the first time, somewhat to my surprise I ordered this kit that simulates a die rolling, it took me a couple hours to assemble this evening, the first components took the longest as I learned to position the piece and my hands, how much heat to use on my soldering iron, etc. I only made 2 mistakes (that I caught), one was mis-reading one of the resistors and putting it in the wrong spot, which gave me practice desoldering, and the other was running into another pad, which required more use of the desoldering braid. I couldn't find my small set of dikes, so the leads are longer than I would have liked, and I will definitely get a smaller pair before I move up to assembling the MS.

LMK what you guys think.












Full res pics at
http://www.askthedrunk.com/boileralu...st_solder_job/
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:43 AM   #2
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Not terrible, but plenty of room for improvement. You have a few "cold welds" where you didn't melt the entire puddle. Second pic, middle of the pic, there's a vertical column of joints. Top one on this column is bad. Above this one, there are 3 horizontally. From here, to the right and down a bit, there are 3 more going horizontally. On these three, the far left one is cold welded AND it's bridged to the middle joint. Maybe they are supposed to be joined, but if they are, that's a poor connection.

Definitely get another project kit like that and do a few before you build your MS. I'm not saying you couldn't build a MS and it work, but there are people (who I will not name) who have built their MS with very little experience soldering and then 2 or 5 or 11 weeks down the road, they don't have spark. And after weeks of "trying and testing everything", it turns out to be a problem that originated from poor assembly. So IMO, practice practice practice before you build the MS to spare yourself this headache.
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:17 AM   #3
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Looks good, but don't forget to clean *ALL* of the flux off. Any left over can collect moisture and cause a bridge.

I got a can of Generation 2000 Heavy Duty Defluxer by Riteoff which I don't think you can even get anymore. its stock number 51635 if you can find it. Use sparingly but will remove every bit of flux on your board.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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What type of soldering iron are you using? I built my MS with a cheap 8$ radio shack iron. I now use a much much better iron at work. I recommend going online and spending a few extra dollars on a decent soldering iron. It makes everything else so much simpler.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I didn't have or use any flux remover, I will pick some up. The iron is an adjustable unit I got from Amazon, I tried a few different ranges as I went. What size tips do you guys recommend? Also, it seemed like even on the same setting, sometimes the solder would melt a lot faster than others, everything seemingly being constant. Is there an ideal "melt time" that the solder should take to puddle? What temp range should I be using on a circuit like this or the MS? I do have another kit, as well as the MS stimulator to build before I tackle the MS itself.
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:13 PM   #6
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Resistors
Black| Bad | 0
Brown | Booze | 1
Red | Rots | 2
Orange | Our | 3
Yellow| Young | 4
Green | Guts | 5
Blue | But | 6
Violet | Vodka | 7
Grey | Goes | 8
White | Well | 0

What type of iron are you using? I find that if you add a tiny bit of solder to the braid when desoldering it helps the solder flow, due to heat transfer.

Edit: I saw you said your using an adjustable iron, brand? What temp were you at? Are you using ROHS solder? You can use rubbing alcohol to remove the flux, depending on what type of solder you are using (No clean, Water soluable, ROHS, Etc)
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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This is the iron I have: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002UU8YQ
There used to be a pic when I bought it 6 months ago. I am using .032" rosin core solder, pretty sure that was what was recommended in the MS build manual.
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