Soldering, @#&*! Did you?

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to work?
I hold in my hands a real work of screwed up art : ). It's something
very simple and I've done it before, took only 5 minutes or so. But
this time it took me an hour and a half. Honest!
I'll try to make it short. The doohickey I made is a pair of male and
female Deans Ultra Connectors. They will be a part of a set of 3 for
connecting 3 batteries in parallel.
I can't seem to get the %@ *! plugs together to be soldered. burned
my pretty little plastic clamps's jaws. Tried to wire the prongs with
thin wire, didn't stay. finally, I managed to get a bit of solder on,
and quick to the sink to cool it off. Shouldn't have tested it, it
parted. This happened 5 times.
Finally with great restraint, refrained from testing. Quick! the
wires! Solder!
Then I tested for continuity. Horrors! No current! Found out I had not
set the meter correctly.
Here it sits and it can wait until tomorrow as I was swearing under
my breath. If only I had a 3rd pair of hands.... that's what friends
are for, but none was around. Remember, I've done this before. Is
there a lesson here?
Hope I didn't bore you,
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been there...done that........done even worse.
Reply to
John N. Kessler
So, build a third hand.
See the photo album "Strange tools you just gotts to have", on my web site. Cheers, Fred McClellan The House Of Balsa Dust
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Reply to
Fred McClellan
The big Dean plugs are a B*tch to solder! By the time you get everything hot enough, it melts the plastic. Also really hard to tell when you have a cold solder joint. I lost a great airplane because of that. The outside was all nice and shiny but the joint parter while airborne. SPLAT.
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Man, I dont know why you guys are having such probs with those. I just clamp the plug in a hemostat, apply the soldering iron tip to the underside of the lug, tin that sucker real nice, tin the wire end, heat the lug again and apply the wire end to the lug. Remove the iron. Hold the wire in place till the solder solidifies. Usually use my wide tip when soldering them but even the pin tip will work. It helps to add some solder to the tip of the iron before applying the iron to the soldering lug. Better heat transfer. NEVER had one come loose even on packs that have been ejected during crashes. I put Deans Ultra plugs on all my flight packs, speed controllers, charging leads (other than rx or tx packs), you name it.
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I use the same technique. I use a 40-watt iron and a wide tip. You need enough heat to get the deans blade hot quickly before the plastic gets hot. Put a little flux on the deans blade. Heat from below and put a little puddle of solder on the blade. Tin the wire, then heat deans again and immerse the wire in the puddle of solder. Hold while it cools. Heating the blade should only take 1-2 seconds. This method doesn't require the third hand to hold the solder.
John VB
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How you did it is exactly the way.
But I was trying to solder lug to lug not wire to lug. Even the wire to lug as you mentioned is a 3 hands job unless I have a specila jig. I don't what kind that would hold something small and the correct angle to get solder onto both wire to lug OR lug to lug. Your hemostat still needed something to hold it doesn't it?
It would be easy if I can solder one set of male to female soldered. Then I can assemble the other 2 together to form a group of 3 for a parallel adaptor connector. Picture 3 female connectors assembled side by side in parallel and a male plug soldered to the middle one.
I know there are commercial adaptors available, but the one I made is compact and custom to my set up.
If only I could remember how I did it so easily the first time. As the poster said below this (KE6ERB) , the plastic part of the connectors sometimes melt. Of little comfort to know I'm not the only one with this problem.
Sorry to be long winded. Any other suggestions? Wan
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Actually, KE6ERB is me and was part of my sigline. OK, I havent tried to solder two of the DUP's together so that is a new one on me. I usually put something heavy on the hemostat and have it jutting beyond the end of my bench. Using a second hemostat to hold the second DUP should work if you heavily tin both lugs in advance. I have cooked the hell out of those DUPs in the past but havent had the plastic melt to the point of deforming the blade alignment. Sounds like you need one of those dojigger thingies with all the aligator clamps attached. Been meaning to get one but have managed without so far.
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The key for me is to hold the plug in a vise or similar clamp to hold it steady while I work. I lightly sand the section to be soldered, use a little flux, tin the wire and plug, then solder the wire to the plug by heating the plug tab. Never had one fail, makes a good solid connectio, and it takes me less than 5 minutes to do one. It takes me longer if I do it without sliding the heat shrint on the wire first! (as I have done many times!) :-) I use deans ultra plugs on everything and have no plans on switching any time soon.
Reply to
David Morris
I have no problem soldering to Deans plugs, and use the same technique as Fubar's, but with one variation. Steps are as follows: 1. Tin the lug (covering the outer 3 faces is sufficient). 2. Tin the wire tip. 3. Get a little extra dab of solder on the iron. 4. Position the wire tip against the lug, and apply heat _to the wire first_ so its solder melts first and fuses to the lug.
Applying heat to the wire first minimizes heat transfer into the plastic. I use a hemostat to hold the Deans plug, and position the solder roll so the solder tip is next to the work. This leaves one hand free to hold the iron and the other to hold the wire. You could probly go to Radio Shack and get some large alligator tips to make up a holding jig.
Reply to
Bill Sheppard
I've never had a problem with the chunky Dean's connectors, but I've got a couple of soldering irons for different jobs. The main thing is to get the maximum amount of heat into the metal quickly. That means using either a high temperature iron, or a high wattage iron with a lot of thermal mass in the tip. As someone else mentioned you should also have a glob of solder on the tip when you apply it to maximise contact and therefore thermal transfer. After generously tinning the respective parts, I use one of the stands with the alligator clips to hold everything in place while I make the final connection.
The idea with tinning is that when you do make the final connection - either to wire or another connector lug, you are only needing to melt the solder you've already applied, not the entire mass of the lug.
If it is taking longer than about 5 seconds to get the solder to flow, then you're not getting heat in fast enough and the whole lot is going to overheat and the plastic will melt. One trick is to plug in a matching connector while soldering to help sink away the heat - that way, even if the plastic on the connector softens, the other connector will hold it in position.
From the sound of it though, I suspect your iron is either too small or not hot enough.
Reply to
I don't use no stinking solder, I weld them on.
Short the plug, then jamb the wire onto the metal blades, strip the other end, and plug into a 110V outlet. By the time the circuit breaker trips... Viola! A nicely welded connection. If you do this at night keep a flashlight handy.
Just kidding...don't try this at home. : )
Reply to
Tom Johnson
May i add having the other half of the plug attached greatly reduces your risk of overheating the tab enough to melt the connector. Even if you do soften it a little the mating plug will hold the blade in proper alignment until everything cools. remove my-wife to reply :-)
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Sorry, Fubar, for coming back before my earlier post had yet to appear. I checked out the hemostat I happened to have and your idea for using it worked! Now all I have to do is, clamp the stat in a vise and voila! The soldering of lugs between male and female lugs should be very easy. Have to make another adaptor as the lugs sometimes burn up .
Now no more @#&*! : )
Thanks, Wan
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Could be the "quick to the sink" as this can fracture solder joints. They must be allowed to air cool.
-- Paul McIntosh
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
Thank you , Paul and everyone for your commentaries. I read each with interest. The wise cracks and serious advise are appreciated. I now have my third adaptor made and behold the beautiful work of art! The hemostat was a key factor of my success. No more rushing to the sink, no more %#@&! : ))
Only two more questions. On one of my home made adaptors, the gold plated (gold?) lug had what appears to be worn (plating somewhat gone) already, though never used except to test the power set up once.
Is this a matter of concern?
How often may I connect and disconnect before apparent wear?
Reply to
I think the gold plating starts coming off the first time you plug and unplug. I re-use the heck outta my DUPs with no problem. Steel rubbing against gold, the gold is going bye-bye very quickly.
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