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Setup for soldering and fixing stuff and hardware

Hello,

so I've been using a really old soldering iron that my father was using for about 20 years and I decided to buy my own stuff.

I want also to try fix my GPU that died on me (no display signal but fans spin).

 

So I've added a hotair/solderingiron 2 in 1 station that seems pretty good and has good reviews (4.9 at 550reviews) and no clean flux tube.

 

Is there anything else that's nice to have when soldering stuff?

I was soldering like cables and the passive parts like diodes etc but how I've said I want to try to fix my GPU.

 

I've seen also a guy using some weird yellow tape to cover the chokes on his graphics card, i guess it's because of the hotair gun? (is it called gun?)

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10 minutes ago, BotDamian said:

I've seen also a guy using some weird yellow tape to cover the chokes on his graphics card, i guess it's because of the hotair gun? (is it called gun?)

That's kepton tape, which can be used to keep out some of the hot air from the hot-air reworkstation (which is typically not called a hotair gun, to avoid confusion with the hairdryer-like device, which is often called a "hotair gun").

12 minutes ago, BotDamian said:

Is there anything else that's nice to have when soldering stuff?

I am still a novice in soldering/repair work/etc., but from my minimal amount of projects I've noticed this is essential to me:

Quote

Tools

  • Multimeter (needs to have continuity mode at the least)
  • Sidecutters/flushcutters (especially for any sort of THT part, I prefer flushcutters personally)
  • Tweezers
  • Anti-static bracelet
  • Fan: to blow away fumes from your face, but always work in a well ventilated room, possibly even with a fume extractor too
  • Safety goggles (solder can splatter, especially when working with solderwick and using sidecutters can be dangerous for your eyes)

Supplies

  • Soldertin (couple sizes, mainly 0.5mm and 0.7mm, I find leaded solder to work the easiest, but that of course carries some risks).
  • Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (70-99% recommended)
  • Something to apply the IPA with (cotton swab/toothbrush recommended)
  • Solderwick
  • Flux
     

But this is of course a non-exhaustive list, which would expand based on my doing more projects.

 

Plus, it depends on what sort of jobs you do too.

I've intentionally neglected to mention some of my often used components - such as 2.56mm headers - as those are only used in quite specific scenarios.

There are thing I haven't mentioned though - simply because I haven't used them - but which you might consider essential though. Such as for example heatshrink of different colors and sizes is probably essential for working on cables.

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

 mini_cardboard: a 4% keyboard build log and how keyboards workhttps://linustechtips.com/topic/1328547-mini_cardboard-a-4-keyboard-build-log-and-how-keyboards-work/

 

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Thanks man, that helped me a lot.
I also got myself a tip cleaner, magnifying lamp and a soldering mat  😄

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2 minutes ago, BotDamian said:

Thanks man, that helped me a lot.
I also got myself a tip cleaner, magnifying lamp and a soldering mat  😄

oops, totally forgot to mention those!
But yeah, those are what I would consider essential too.

 

My soldering station came with brasswool and a sponge, which are both great to have. The silicon mat just protects the desk and the part(s) from the desk.

The magnifying glass (with light) is truly and underrated piece of equipment. Just used one yesterday, when working on soldering an atmeag32u4 chip in place (which this chip is about 1x1 cm/0.4 inch with 44 pins, 11 on all four sides). With a chip of that size and the amount of pins, you're bound to make a short (or misalign it when tacking down one pin), so it's great to get a clear close-up with a magnifying glass.

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

 mini_cardboard: a 4% keyboard build log and how keyboards workhttps://linustechtips.com/topic/1328547-mini_cardboard-a-4-keyboard-build-log-and-how-keyboards-work/

 

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4 hours ago, minibois said:

oops

Sorry for changing the topic bit I've seen the thread in your signature and it's so interesting! Would you mind making one about mice? Sensors etc?

I understand that it creates pictures and then compares it but how? 

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20 hours ago, minibois said:

Fan: to blow away fumes from your face, but always work in a well ventilated room, possibly even with a fume extractor too

By occasionally blowing you can eliminate the need for a fan, since the smoke is only there when applying fresh solder or flux, not all the time. It's something I do all the time since I often solder in locations that aren't a fixed soldering workstation, so bringing in fans/fume extractors all the time is a pain.

 

The other day I was soldering something while wearning a mask and the guy next to me was like "oh nice so the mask stops you from breathing in the smoke". It was exactly the opposite; it just prevented me from blowing away the smoke and here it goes all in my face. I proceeded to solder without the damned thing on, I decided I prefer inhaling covid over those fumes. Especially if there's S-39 involved.

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2 hours ago, akio123008 said:

By occasionally blowing you can eliminate the need for a fan, since the smoke is only there when applying fresh solder or flux, not all the time. It's something I do all the time since I often solder in locations that aren't a fixed soldering workstation, so bringing in fans/fume extractors all the time is a pain.

 

The other day I was soldering something while wearning a mask and the guy next to me was like "oh nice so the mask stops you from breathing in the smoke". It was exactly the opposite; it just prevented me from blowing away the smoke and here it goes all in my face. I proceeded to solder without the damned thing on, I decided I prefer inhaling covid over those fumes. Especially if there's S-39 involved.

Blowing away the fumes is probably an okay solution on the short term/for a temporary setup, but I for a permanent setup I would definitely recommend a fan.

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

 mini_cardboard: a 4% keyboard build log and how keyboards workhttps://linustechtips.com/topic/1328547-mini_cardboard-a-4-keyboard-build-log-and-how-keyboards-work/

 

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All of this depends on what you're working on. If you're working on a lot of old stuff, you really should invest in a vacuum desoldering tool. If you're working on a lot of power stuff with heavy ground planes, then something like a Metcal (which has very good temperature regulation) is really worthwhile. 

 

You also should absolutely buy some good tweezers and a pair of forceps.

 

For almost all soldering, I recommend having some liquid flux. I use Kester 186, though I'm not all that pleased with it. You don't have to remove it (it's non-corrosive and non-conductive, at least in theory), but on the flip side it's very sticky and also really hard to remove.

 

 

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