Demo video on soldering PCB output connectors


Dedicated elf
Jun 20, 2009
Canberra, ACT, Australia
A question asked by many DIY enthusiests soldering their electronic components onto various PCB's is "What soldering Iron and how hot"

What Soldering Iron:
this is one that has an answer that starts with, "Depends". It depends on what component you are soldering and what you are soldering it to.
A resistor being soldered to a 1oz copper pcb (think Lynx Dongle) will only need a lower powered fine tipped soldering iron preferably temperature controlled.
A fuse clip being soldered to a 3oz copper pcb (thing TigerDMX48) will need a higher powered thick tip soldering iron to ensure that heat can be transferred quickly to get an effective solder joint.

Most people will settle for a general solder station and the iron for it may come with different tips, using a fine tip for the resistor and a thick flat tip for the fuse clip will achieve the same goal. It is regularly suggested just to turn the temperature up on your soldering station and whilst this can work it not optimal as it's about heat transfer and for that you need the correct tip.

How Hot: Simple answer hot enought to melt the solder and make a clean solid joint.

Warning: Techo Talk.....
The longer answer is, solder has a clearly defined melting point, this melting point is different for Lead/tin (183C) v Lead free solders (227C).
Let's assume as a hobbiest you are using the common Solder that consists of 63% tin (Sn) and 37% lead (Pb) that has a melting point at 183C, this means that the tip temperature has to be 15-20 degrees above this to allow for dips when heating something and MUST be able to transfer that heat effectively to the solder joint.

You are now asking "ONLY 210C but i run my solder station at 275 or 300", well the 275-300 setting may have a tip temperature closer to 210 than 270 so that's ok. Personally i run my solder station at around 410C giving me a tip temperature around 330C measured at the tip and take care not to heat the sloder joint for to long.

End Tech talk.........

WARNING: To low a temperature can be worse than to high. To low a temperature means you leave the soldering iron on the joint far longer leading to greating heating and potential damage to integrated circuits.

Below is a 3.5 minute video showing me soldering the output connectors on a TigerDMX120 to assist in understanding the above.
I plan to follow this with further soldering videos showing different things.