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Trouble soldering due to bad sight.

Published:

I am having problems trying to solder, right now I can't solder right a circuit board such as the one that I showed on another post, the real size of the board is about 1.25 Inches by 2.25 Inches, very small about the size of a 9 volts battery, but thin of course.

The copper holes' pads and the copper traces are small and all the traces are too small and close together for me, I have not done any soldering for very many years and now not only I am out of practice soldering, but my eyes' sight is even a lot worse than it was some years ago.

I will try to retrain myself to see if by practice I can learn how to solder even with bad sight, I used a magnifying glass, but it was not enough, perhaps with more practice I can solder better, otherwise I won't be able to build some electronic circuits, there are other possible ways of building some circuits, but not all of them, perhaps I should start to practice with 1 transistor circuits and then if I can do those then move on to 2 transistors circuits and then to harder to build circuits.

Bigger PCBs with holes' pads and traces that are farther apart from each other should be easier for me to solder, well for the moment I won't try to build that circuit, I will only practice soldering for a while then I will either try to build that circuit or try to build some other one.

So no more of these posts until then. 

Entry #185

Comments

1.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 25, 2008, 9:57 am
Lantern, we share the same problem with the eyesight. Might I suggest some strong reading glasses (magnifiers)? They're only 10-20 bucks and work really well for close up work like you're doing. My son is an electronics tech for Fermilab and he builds circuit boards for a living. They use magnifiers for the real small stuff.

Good luck in your projects!
2.
LANTERNComment by LANTERN - February 25, 2008, 12:04 pm
Thanks Rick G

I will have to buy and try the "Visor Magnifiers" the ones that some people use for close-up work, but I don't know how much they might help, I am already using a magnifier lamp, a big part of the problem are the soldering irons, they have to have just the right heat and used exactly in the right way, I forgot how and I am just relearning, I am also trying several kinds of soldering irons to see which is best for me to use, one of them uses butane gas and is portable another is the "Cold Heath" kind and the other 2 are the regular kind, one 21 watts and the other 45 watts, I am also trying very pointed and a little less pointed tips to see which produces better results.
I might be able to work something out with time and enough practice, a big problem is the tips of the irons fouling up (Getting Black) so much due to the heat, they must stay silver bright and with a good coat of solder on them to with on working O.K. Black tips won't melt the solder.
Too much heat is bad and so is not enough heat also.
I am getting much better heat control with the portable butane gas soldering iron, but needs to be recharged with the butane gas lighter fluid often, as the amount of gas burning in it can be adjusted just as with a lighter and so therefore it's heat also.
They should make them a little bigger to hold more butane gas in them, they are small.
Again, thanks for your advice and post.

Fernando.
3.
jarasanComment by jarasan - February 25, 2008, 7:56 pm
I reccommend Antex soldering irons, Model C with the right tip will work for what you are doing. That cold solder thing is junk.

Here is the link to order from:

http://www.mmnewman.com/content/antex/index.asp
4.
LANTERNComment by LANTERN - February 26, 2008, 2:18 am
Jarasan (Jaime)

Thanks, that one seems to be just right and they also sell extra tips for it, I also need to try solder that has tin and silver, instead of the one that I have that has tin and lead, soldering fumes are very bad, I guess that it also has to do with the solder's rosin core, but printed circuit boards are best for building electronic circuits, point to point, wire-wrap, breadboards, etc are not as good, I would do wire-wrap also, but the wire-wrap posts are expensive and also hard to find, sooner or later I might try those and other building techniques anyway.
In time I might talk in more detail about wire-wrapping and other ways in which circuits can be built, but first I need to try to solve my soldering problem if it is possible to do that, I will order that Antex Model C soldering iron and some tin-silver solder sometime this week.

Thanks a lot Jaime!

Fernando.

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