Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

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deidarabochi
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Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by deidarabochi » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 pm

Hi,

I am currently attempting to solder through the GPIO pins on the Pi to Helder's PCB, but am having trouble getting the solder to make contact with the PCB. How can I fix this? The only thing I can think of is that the Pi and the PCB weren't clamped together (instead put together with some electrical tape), but the solder doesn't seem to even want to stick to the PCB, regardless of how tightly put together the Pi and the PCB are.

EDIT: I tried just applying solder to the PCB, just to see if it would stick, and it doesn't. Is this normal? Will it only stick when I apply the solder through the pins on the Pi?

Abunchahicks
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Re: Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by Abunchahicks » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Sounds like you don't have enough heat. Try warming up the PCB and pi with a heat gun or hair dryer before soldering. Don't get them too hot or you can damage them.

deidarabochi
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Re: Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by deidarabochi » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:03 pm

Abunchahicks wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:49 pm
Sounds like you don't have enough heat. Try warming up the PCB and pi with a heat gun or hair dryer before soldering. Don't get them too hot or you can damage them.
I tried just heating up a specific pad with the soldering iron (which is hotter than a hairdryer), and directly tried to apply solder, and it still doesn't seem to stick. This makes me think that simply heating up the PCB and Pi won't get the solder to stick.

I also want to note that my soldering iron's tip isn't thin enough to fit through the GPIO pins. Would that be a problem? (I'm suspecting it wouldn't be, since the solder seems to be refusing to make contact with the PCB pads)

I'm also wondering what material the pads on the PCB are made of.

Psyicman
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Re: Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by Psyicman » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:30 pm

Ok first off go get a pencil tip soldering tip and a flux pen. If you have a cheap low watt soldering iron or just a really old one. Upgrade to a new iron. Something in the 40-50 watt range. Weller makes a good iron. The one I use is Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station and have several tips. They are not to expensive and you can get them indavitually or in sets. A Weller digital soldering iron if you have the money to burn. Ok now if you don't have a cheap iron and can only work with what you got do the following. Check to make sure your contacts and the GPIO ports are intact on your components. Clean them all with a little rubbing alcohol. When you clamp the Pi and PCB together make sure they are secure together. After you solder a contact use a pice of tinned wire to stick into the holes a couple of times. That will help get the solder down to the contact below.
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dryja123
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Re: Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by dryja123 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:04 pm

You really need to have the right equipment to be successful with the project. You'll need a proper soldering iron with the proper tip.

When applying solder to the GPIO you need to place the soldering iron on the ring of the GPIO hole, rest the iron for a second, and drag the solder from the iron to the hole. If you have the proper amount of heat when you remove the solder from the iron you'll see the GPIO "drink the solder and it will make contact with the board. If you don't have contact you'll have to stick the tip in the hole and give it s gentle wiggle.

The process should be:

1) Iron tip on the hole
2) Apply solder to the tip of the iron and drag into the hole
3) pull the solder away and leave the tip on for a second. The solder will flow into the hole.

The whole process should be 3 seconds, max.

If you're not melting solder at all that's a completely different issue. You need to make sure the tip of your iron is at the proper temp, clean, and tinned.

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exodus
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Re: Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by exodus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:59 am

I'm having some issues as well so thought I'd add onto this thread versus starting another.

My equipment: Welerl wesd51 with 0.4mm conical tip

I noticed the 0.4mm tip doesn't fit through the pi zero GPIO holes, so there isn't direct contact to the board pad. Could this make it harder to achieve solid contact?

My technique so far was to slowly melt solder into the hole, and the push the tip in all the way. Hold for a few seconds and then check. A couple connections have worked but most aren't checking out with my multi-meter.

Does the small 0.4mm tip have enough direct heat at the tip for melting purposes?

Any recommendations on the iron temperature to insure good melting but not overheating the other components?

RE: If you're not melting solder at all that's a completely different issue.
I have noticed that when tinning the iron wasn't melting the solder at the tip...

For reference I'm using Kester 245 No-Clean Solder 63/37 .015" solder.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Thx, Ed
dryja123 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:04 pm
You really need to have the right equipment to be successful with the project. You'll need a proper soldering iron with the proper tip.

When applying solder to the GPIO you need to place the soldering iron on the ring of the GPIO hole, rest the iron for a second, and drag the solder from the iron to the hole. If you have the proper amount of heat when you remove the solder from the iron you'll see the GPIO "drink the solder and it will make contact with the board. If you don't have contact you'll have to stick the tip in the hole and give it s gentle wiggle.

The process should be:

1) Iron tip on the hole
2) Apply solder to the tip of the iron and drag into the hole
3) pull the solder away and leave the tip on for a second. The solder will flow into the hole.

The whole process should be 3 seconds, max.

If you're not melting solder at all that's a completely different issue. You need to make sure the tip of your iron is at the proper temp, clean, and tinned.

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dryja123
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Re: Having trouble soldering through GPIO pins

Post by dryja123 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:01 pm

exodus wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:59 am
I'm having some issues as well so thought I'd add onto this thread versus starting another.

My equipment: Welerl wesd51 with 0.4mm conical tip

I noticed the 0.4mm tip doesn't fit through the pi zero GPIO holes, so there isn't direct contact to the board pad. Could this make it harder to achieve solid contact?

My technique so far was to slowly melt solder into the hole, and the push the tip in all the way. Hold for a few seconds and then check. A couple connections have worked but most aren't checking out with my multi-meter.

Does the small 0.4mm tip have enough direct heat at the tip for melting purposes?

Any recommendations on the iron temperature to insure good melting but not overheating the other components?

RE: If you're not melting solder at all that's a completely different issue.
I have noticed that when tinning the iron wasn't melting the solder at the tip...

For reference I'm using Kester 245 No-Clean Solder 63/37 .015" solder.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Thx, Ed
I use the same iron. I use the ETO tip for through hole soldering and the ETA for everything else. I use 63/37 solder at 600f.

The ETO tip is thin enough to get into the hole and wiggle.

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