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Soldering basics explained

Filed Under: computers and internet, robotics, electronics

soldering wires at a deskElectronics DIY'ers will find this soldering how-to page from AaronCake useful. It's an awesome resource for beginners, with basic definitions, step-by-step instructions, great photos, and helpful tips. Here are a few things I learned:

1. Traditional soldering irons are a much better bet than soldering guns. That's because soldering guns give off too much heat--enough heat to damage the circuit board that you're working on. Oops!

2. You know that distinctive smoke and smell created by soldering? (With two electronics-infatuated brothers, I grew up with that smell!) Well, the odor comes from rosin that's released into the air when the solder melts. It's actually harmful to the eyes and lungs, which is why you should always solder in a well-ventilated space.

3. A bad soldering job results in what's called a "cold joint." You can tell it by sight because the solder is dull and gray-colored. A cold joint doesn't transmit electricity properly. Meaning? You need to re-do the connection.


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