Soldering - What am I doing wrong?

I'm having a heck of a time putting Deans connectors on my battery packs. I have melted 2 female sides trying. I've tried silver solder & flux and rosin core solder & flux.
I've tried two soldering irons - both pencil tipped. One is 60 watts and the other has a boost to 130 watts. I cleaned and tinned the tip and both sides of the joint before soldering. Both irons worked fine for the first joint but then didn't seem to get hot enough for subsequent joints. I pulled and cleaned the tips again, being sure they were very tight when put back. I end up having to hold the iron on the joint so long that the plastic around the connector melts. I've tried holding the connector by the metal part with hemostats acting as a heat sink, but then I can't get the solder to melt adequately. Am I doing something wrong? Is it the irons? Any suggestions for a better one?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"BCRandy" wrote

Am I doing something wrong?

You need (or could use) a two speed gun. The hotter the better. You can always turn them to the lower setting, or cycle them on and off, if they get too hot. I like the hottest one I could find.
You get the wire good and hot first, then shove it in and let the wire and the gun heat the connector. Holding the wire with a hemostat to keep too much heat from traveling up the wire; then take it off once the solder is flowing on both parts - then shove it home.
A big, hot honkin' gun is also useful for soldering landing gear and other stuff like that. Plus, I like not having to wait forever for the thing to heat up!
You can also get a spare tip, and file it down to a bit more of a point (rather than the chisel shape that most of them come with) for when you need to get into tighter places.
The only time I use a pencil iron nowdays, is for soldering circuit boards, or very, very fine wires.
--
Jim in NC



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You need a blade tip. I use a 40W Weller pencil iron with a 1/4 inch wide flat tip. Absolutely no problems with Deans ultra connectors. I melt a little puddle of solder on the connector blade, tin the wire, then hold the tinned wire to the puddle and heat and let it melt in. Takes about 1 second.
John VB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A 60 watt iron should be more than enough although I prefer using a blade tip for the Deans. I don't use the solder gun type because they are inclined to overheat the metal and damage the plastic. If your soldering iron is not heating consistently (after cleaning it thoroughly) ditch it and buy a new Weller. If you're using a plug in tip type make sure that the contact side of the tip is cleaned thoroughly. Actually you need three hands for this job but a small vise or holder will do ;-) 1. Prepare the iron tip , clean and tin. 2. Place the Deans plastic snugly in a holding device (don't over tighten). 3. Put heat shrink on the wire as far from the heat as possible. 4. Tin the Deans blades and the wire. 5. Place and hold the tinned wire on the Deans blade. 6. Place the *heated* iron on top of the wire pressing the wire against the blade. 7. When the solder flows freely remove the iron and *TRY* not to jiggle the wire. Hold it steady long enough for the solder to solidify - That's the hardest part for me. If you jiggle a little you'll wind up with a cold solder joint and have to do it all over again.
Another method I've tried successfully is to drill a hole in each blade to accommodate the wire. Lace the wire through the hole and twist it back on itself. Now you don't have to worry about moving the wire as the joint cools. This only work for small gage wire because the blades are too small for a large hole. Good Luck :-))

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oops, After step 6 - Feed a small amount of solder at the wire/blade contact point.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BCRandy wrote:

It might be that you're not conducting heat into the part effectively. Try applying a bit of solder to the iron as you put it against the joint - it won't flow over the entire joint until it's all up to temperature, but it will assist in transferring heat into the joint.
Another thing you can do is plug in the corresponding connector, so that if the platic melts on the part you're soldering, it'll hold everything in place.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How large a tip are you using? I use a pretty good sized tip on my weller when soldering Deans connectors. I hold the plug with a hemostat by the business end while soldering the lugs. I pre-tin the wire end and the lug making sure to leave a small bead of solder on the lead, lug and iron tip. Wiping the iron tip with a wet paper towel or damp sponge will clean any flux crud off the tip. Sounds like you are doing it right unless you are using a fine "pencil" tip. You need a decent chisel tip that is at least an eighth of an inch wide. A pencil tip just doesnt have enough contact area to heat the small area you wish to solder. You want a fast heat of only the area you wish to solder. The pencil tip will heat slow allowing the heat to spread thruout the entire lug, melting the plastic. It should only take a few seconds of contact to solder the connection. So, my guess is you need a bigger tip on your iron.
--
Dan
AMA605992
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The problem sounds to me like bad solder. Good solder, 60%-40% with good resin core or multi-core goes on easy and is secure. The "60%" must be tin and the other lead. I do a lot of soldering at work repairing electronically controlled machinery and it is too easy on all kinds of solder joints and connectors; tools are sometimes pencil irons but usually little rechargeable battery things. When I try to find decent solder on my own for my airplanes it becomes a ridiculous chase (and I reside in a major metropolis). We probably need one or more of our parts manufacturers/suppliers to make bubble packs of reasonable amounts of good solder (4 oz, 8 oz, 1 lb?).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bought my roll of rosin core solder at Radio Shack. Ive been using the same roll for years now. Never had a problem other than failing to attach a surface mount part but that was me. Soldered many Deans plugs with ease. Interested to see if its the iron tip or the solder.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fubar of The HillPeople wrote:

The problem sounds to me simply like needing to let the tip heat up again after making the first joint.
Lower power non thermostatic irons do not maintain a very good tip temeperature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Charlie" > wrote

Even better, I use solder with 2% silver, and love it. I think it makes a real difference.
--
Jim in NC



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Jim, Where do you get the 2% silver stuff? Does it require a higher temperature?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Rat Shack, I think. It is real thin stuff, no rosin core. As far as the temp, it would be my guess that it is little different from the regular stuff. It will work with a low power pencil, or a Weller, no problem.
--
Jim in NC



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Jim ;-)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie wrote:

Yeah, he probably left it open and it absorbed water.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Or mislabled plumbing solder. Seems that good old 60/40 is getting hard to come by. The usual silver bearing solder sold at the hardware store has a higher melting temp than 60/40.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Checking the site, Radio Shack has rolls of the stuff in diff thicknesses. They also have a silver content solder.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I doubt humidity is a problem as I live in the Uk which is damp most of the time and my rolls of 60/40 solder have sat in a drawer open to the environment for about 5 years now and no problem, they are so old they have lost the shiney colour and gone grey but they still work fine. The silver bearing solder is usually lead free so the main content is pure tin which has a lower melting point than lead, I use it on some jobs where lead content is a bad move such as metalwork on model ship construction for museums because they state in the contract that no lead based metal of any sort is to be included, if I want to make sure of a joint I use a small '000' brush to apply silver solder flux paste then use ordinary 60/40 solder regardless of if it has its own flux or not and I havnt had a bad joint yet,
regards, Terry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Terence Lynock wrote:

I was making a joke about "bad fuel".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Robert Reynolds" > wrote

And a pretty good one, at that! <g> I laughed at it!
I got it, without you "drawing a picture," by the way! :-p
--
Jim in NC



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.