Electromagnetism is difficult to learn. Applying the concepts of these physics principles in the real world is even tougher though! Once you understand how the systems of voltage, current, resistance, watts, work amongst each other, applying these principles will help you start building your own circuits. Here we will discuss some of the basics of soldering your own circuit board, but make sure, you understand the principles behind what is discussed here beforehand. It will make learning how to solder your first circuit board much easier!
Soldering is a useful tool to have in your back pocket no matter what industry you are in. Whether you are an IT technician, plumber, provide a roofing service, or any other contracting services. Soldering can save your tail in several different situations.
First and foremost, we must consider the soldering iron that we are going to use. For most circuit boards, it is recommended to use around a twenty-five or thirty watt iron. These irons come with both thick and thin tips. While for some projects you will use thick tips, for your first basic circuit board, it will be best to use a thin tip iron.
Now that we have figured out what iron to use, lets consider what type of solder to use. For your first project, it is recommended to use the Kester Solder, preferably of 1 millimeter in length. If this is your first experience soldering a circuit board, the Kester331 is recommended because it is easy to wash with just your everyday faucet water.
Use a copper circuit board, and try to make sure that it is clean. Dirty or drab copper will make soldering much more difficult. If however you must use a less than spectacular piece of copper, try to clean it off with a basic pink eraser.
It is absolutely critical that your copper board is as sparkling as possible, because this is what will help you get a good soldering connection! A dirty or muddy board will have more random particles or debris that will be in the way of creating a strong connection. In the same vein, your soldering tip should be as sharp and clean as possible, as a dirty tip will also get in the way of making a good connection. During the soldering process make sure that your soldering tip is consistently shiny and never black or dirty. Have a towel with you the whole time to constantly wipe off your tip.
Once you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to solder your very first circuit board. Move your shiny tip against one of the wire sides (it does not matter which side you do first), while pressing on the board and other side of the wire, thus stimulating similar amounts of heat into both wires. In the next step, you will repeat this same process, but with the other side of the wire. If this step is done correctly, what should happen is that the copper from the board and the heated wire will fuse together and actually melt the solder rapidly. The heat should flow quickly into the soldering hinge. Heating any part of this circuit for too long will damage either the board or your wire, thus destroying your first soldered circuit board.
When you are ready to clean up, use a solder sucker. Remember that soldering a circuit board can be extremely difficult, and that the only way you can really get good at this process, is practice! Go over these tips as you try to solder your first board. As you become more advanced you will find that you prefer a different type of solder for example. Good luck!