Soldering Tips

Logging Data Into Your Weller WX Station

by Michelle R. on January 22, 2016

Weller WX

 

You know about the many features that Weller’s WX system offers. Intuitive interface, global language support, a touch screen viewable from all angles, intelligent tool recognition— the list goes on. But do you know how to log data with your WX station?

Weller University is now offering a free downloadable training document that gives you details on how to harness the power of this functionality. From connecting the WX to your PC to transferring data to other WX stations, all the bases are covered.

The main benefits in accessing these features are:

  • Monitor and log performance data in real time for up to three channels simultaneously through PC software via wired USB connection
  • Simple and easy data logging from station USB port to USB stick without wired connection to PC and work disruption
  • Chart and save in Excel for analysis
  • Use data to monitor and chart processes, operator solder training and certifications or analysis and improvement of soldering processes

Download the brochure here.

Weller soldering stations are known for being top-of-the-line. Hisco is proud to offer these Weller stations and many more Weller products to complement your soldering processes. Call us or visit us online today to learn more!

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The Care and Keeping of Your Hakko Soldering Iron

by Kathy S. on January 15, 2016

The Care and Keeping of Your Hakko Soldering IronYour shiny, new soldering iron tips won’t stay that way for long. But, with proper maintenance, you can help ensure the quality results you expect from your quality iron. Hakko recommends five do’s and don’ts for lower melt times, cleaner solders and a longer iron life.

  1. Don’t reshape your soldering iron tip.

Filing or grinding the tip can cause permanent damage. Instead, buy replacement tips in the different shapes and sizes you need; it’s much more economical in the long run.

  1. Do tin your tip.

With each use, and after any long pauses, be sure to add a fresh dollop of solder to the tip in order to tin it. This helps to remove any leftover oxide. Tip tinners and cleaners that are a mixture of solder paste and flux can also be used to help remove oxides.

  1. Do clean your tip.

You do need to clean your tip frequently, and if you need to take a break longer than an hour, or you are working at temperatures above 665◦F, you’ll need to clean the tip before you resume soldering.

  1. Do use a proper sponge.

When you clean your tip, use a damp, synthetic sponge—no rags or fabrics.

  1. Don’t use tap water.

Tap water may contain contaminants and should be avoided. Do dip your sponge in distilled water before cleaning the tip of your soldering iron.

Following a few simple steps can extend the life of your soldering iron to its maximum and keep your tips gleaming in the process.

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Rework-ing Best Practices You Can Implement Today

by Kathy S. on December 29, 2015

Rework-ing Best Practices You Can Implement TodayEquipment failure. It’s still a major problem even with the recent uptick in automated processes. Faulty mass soldering continues to require the reflow work of a deft hand. But how do you ensure successful manual soldering when the process is so highly dependent upon an individual operator’s skill level?

Consider the following best practices from CircuitMedic to streamline the hand soldering process:

  1. Fine-Pitch Gull Wing Soldering
  • Clean and prepare pads; apply liquid flux to corner pads.
  • Position the component and align pads.
  • At one corner, place tip at the junction between the pad and component lead. Solder the component in place.
  • Wait for solder to solidify, and solder the opposite corner.
  • Place small diameter solder along the edge of the component leads.
  • Place tip against the solder in line with the tip of the first component lead to be soldered. A uniform amount of solder will flow, creating a consistent solder joint.
  • Move tip down the line until all leads along the side are soldered.
  1. Auxiliary Heat Desoldering for Multilayer Circuit Boards
  • Apply a small amount of liquid flux to joints of the component to be removed.
  • Place tip against the lead on the board’s component side.
  • Align desoldering tip with a component lead end; contact the joint lightly.
  • When solder melts, begin rotating the desoldering tip.
  • Continue to rotate until a change in the motion is detected.
  • As soon as the solder in the joints is completely molten, activate the vacuum and extract the solder.
  • Remove the desoldering tip and the soldering tip from the component lead.
  • Desolder remaining component leads using a skipping method to reduce thermal buildup.
  • Probe component leads to ensure they are not soldered to the side of the plated hole; remove component.
  1. BGA Dog Bone Masking
  • Inspect dog bones under a microscope to determine if solder mask is needed.
  • Scrape away loose solder mask and solder connecting the BGA pad to the via.
  • Seal the exposed copper with a small amount of high-strength epoxy.
  • Process BGA normally.

Depending on your application and environment, follow the above steps and help ensure successful handiwork is always within your reach.

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How to Conduct Rework without Going Haywire

by Kathy S. on December 22, 2015

How to Conduct Rework without Going HaywireOops! Found another design error? Sometimes designers who fail to validate the schematic, layout and board risk wasting time on rework and wire tacking. And, sometimes wire tacking seems to be a necessary evil in an ever-changing design environment.

Jumper wires, also called wire tacks and patch wires, are discrete electrical connections that are part of the original design. The purpose of these additional wires is to bridge portions of the conductor pattern formed on a printed board. Haywires, on the other hand, are discrete electrical connections that are added to the board in order to modify the basic conductor pattern.

When do you need to add them? Well, you might need additional wires if a design flaw appears in production and test. Also, you might need additional wires if an upgrade or modification is needed, and it’s not possible to scrap the boards. Sometimes a damaged board requires a repair involving additional wires.

However, not all rework options require jumper wires or haywires. Take a look at this rework option case study from CircuitMedic. Here, circuit patterns were corrected using flat ribbon conductors.

Whichever option you choose, experts advise careful consideration of all proposed rework methods based on your unique situation—before your board goes completely haywire.

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4 Tips to Solder Tip Selection

by Kathy S. on December 15, 2015

4 Tips to Solder Tip SelectionThe wrong soldering tip can quickly turn a routine task into a train wreck. With so many different types of tips on the market, it’s easy to get derailed. The best tip is to know which tip is the best tool for your specific task before you begin. Here are four of the more common ones, so you can always stay on track:

Chisel Tip: Perhaps the most common of soldering tips, the chisel tip is easy to use and serves multiple purposes. This is a good tip type for beginners. It’s ideally suited for creating smooth joints and smoothing over solder deposits.

Pointed Tip: Need to do small, detail work? Reach for the pointed tip. It’s great for moving solder around once it’s been deposited. Use it to create small solders and pinpoint where you want your solder material to land. Beginning and advanced users rely on the pointed tip.

Rounded Tip: The rounded tip offers stability in soldering and is used for depositing solder and for creating strong joints. It’s a solid choice for both beginners and advanced users.

Mini Wave Hollow Tip: The hollow tip features a small well that holds solder material at the tip. This makes it easy for depositing. Beginning and advanced users choose the hollow tip to move solder around while it’s still hot.

Need help figuring out which tip goes with which system? Visit All-Spec’s tip selection guide, and find the perfect tip for your task every time.

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