Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and then flowing a filler metal into the joint—the filler metal having a relatively low melting point.
Soldering is very helpful if you want to join two or more metal objects with a stronger bond than tape, for example, but not too strong, as applying some pressure can break a soldered bond. Soldering is very important because it creates a temporary bond that can then be placed in a product. In my project Visionary Inc.’s caneye we build a cane for blind people. In our project , we used soldering to connect all of the wiring (including to the ultrasonic sensors). It was vital in the creation of the caneye, as the sensor array would not function throughout the cane if we didn’t use soldering to extend the wires.
Here is a quick lesson on how to Solder:
– Make sure you have all the proper pieces
- The solder
- The iron
- The Fan
- Whatever two things you are desiring to solder
- Then you turn on the iron and put it up to your desired temperature you want it (about 375 to 400 degrees)
- Then you wait for the Iron to warm up
- You then place some solder onto the iron just to prep it up for your soldering job.
- Then you place the solder and the iron right near to the place that you need to connect together (like between two wires or between a wire and Arduino board to give two examples) also make sure to place both onto the location to put the solder on but do not have the iron and solder touching eachother – feel free to use clips provided at the soldering station in order to hold some of your pieces you want to solder in place
- Then once the metal melts onto your desired location, make sure the solder is on there nicely
- Then move on to the next place you need to solder
However, despite our eventual success, we originally struggled a bit with soldering, so here are some tips:
- Make sure you are using the lead-free solder & the temperature of the iron is around 400
- Try to stabilize the objects your soldering as much as possible, because if something moves while you are soldering, it is very likely you will make a mistake or be unsuccessful.
- Make sure that the fan is on, as the fumes caused by soldering can be quite strong and can be dangerous. The fan will minimize the odor.
- While soldering, be sure to keep your fingers/body as far away from the soldering as possible (make special note of where you’re holding the soldering iron), as touching either the iron or the hot metal can be very painful.
- When soldering, first melt some solder onto the metal objects. Then, push the objects together, and use the soldering iron to melt the already placed solder together (if needed, add some more). This popular practice is known as tinning.
- When finished, it can be very helpful to wrap a piece of electrical tape around the soldered objects, especially if you are planning on putting a lot wires close to each other.
We learned how to solder from two sources: Dr. Aviv provided us with advice as we went along, and the Internet. Here are some great YouTube videos that provide many important tips and tricks for soldering beginners:
Picture to get you familiar with soldering:
Written by Ben Glicksman Class of 2018