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Tutorial on soldering with perfboard

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 mday
(@mday)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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Topic starter  

I would really appreciate a tutorial video on using perfboards for assembling circuits.  Any tips and tricks for soldering, arranging wires, etc., would be great.  Or would wire wrapping be a better approach?  Designing and ordering a PCB seems like overkill for a simple one-of-a-kind project.

I was working on a simple project with a NodeMCU an an I2C sensor.  I just needed to solder four wires between the two.  The 0.1 inch spacing between pins was a bit too tight to easily loop a 22 gauge wire around one pin without risking it touching an adjacent pin.  Trying to butt a wire up against a pin was quite challenging when I also needed both hands for soldering.  I think part of my problem was that the board I was using was just wide enough for the NodeMCU, with no holes outside of the pins; a wider board would have let me run a wire outside next to the desired pin, and create a solder bridge between the wire and pin.


   
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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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Posted by: @mday

I would really appreciate a tutorial video on using perfboards for assembling circuits.

 Trying to butt a wire up against a pin was quite challenging when I also needed both hands for soldering.

Practice, practice and more practice.  When I first started I soldered many a circuit board project until I was able to time it just right.  Like learning to bronze or weld you get a feel for it. Like a cook can tell if the temperature is right or the food needs turning.

One hint might be to add solder to the pin and then add solder to the wire. Then hold the wire to the pin and apply some heat until they melt together.

If there is more than one strand of copper in the wire twist it between two fingers and then add some solder.

Probably shouldn't breath the smoke so a light breeze blowing away from your face helps.

No doubt there are many tutorials on the internet these days.


   
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Pakabol
(@pakabol)
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soldering paste and a heat gun is always nice you can do small joint and large ones 


   
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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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Posted by: @mday

Trying to butt a wire up against a pin was quite challenging when I also needed both hands for soldering.

Here's a tip for freeing up a hand.   If you are soldering a wire to a pin, first tin the pin, then tin the wire.  Finally put the solder down and hold the tinned wire up against the tinned pin and just heat them up.  The existing solder will flow together and you'll be done.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


   
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Cap Electronics
(@cap-electronics)
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T

Posted by: @mday

The 0.1 inch spacing between pins was a bit too tight to easily loop a 22 gauge wire around one pin without risking it touching an adjacent pin.  Trying to butt a wire up against a pin was quite challenging when I also needed both hands for soldering.  

 you need helping hands or a PCB holder to help you trust me it makes life so so much easier. It might be a good idea to solder the module to a small piece of perf board and then solder wires to the perf board that way you might be able to get around the 0.1 inch spacing problem especially if you solder the wires directly to the pads or strips (copper) of the perf board and practice practice and once more practice.

 


   
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rickstheman
(@rickstheman)
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Any tips on soldering male connectors for the gear motors to the Power Distribution perfboard? Trying to use yueton 3.5mm male banana pug bullet connector. 


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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@rickstheman

What I did for the motor connectors on my power distribution board was to drill holes in the board the same size as the connectors, so they would have a tight fit.

I then used some epoxy on the top side around the connector, to secure it to the perfboard. You need to be sure not to get any on the connector itself!  I waited for the epoxy to dry and then it was pretty easy to solder to the connectors on the underside of the board.

Not sure if it applies to your situation but I thought I'd put it out there.

?

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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(@witchdoc59)
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Posts: 22
 

I've seen videos of guys building circuits with perfboard and when they show you the bottom of the board they have these long lines of solder that are connecting the pin holes together.  Is there a trick to doing this?  Do I need to block the holes with something?   My solder doesn't want to bridge the distance between the holes.  If I can find some bare copper wire then I'll run a couple of lines of that.  But I was wondering if there is some particular way of doing this.

All and any comments greatly appreciated.


   
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Lee G
(@lee-g)
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I’m by no means an expert, but I like to use 30awg wire-wrap wire on the underside of the perf board to make connections, It usually takes a minimal amount of solder, you can route the wires as needed, and looks neater (IMO) than using solder to bridge the connections. Soldering "helping-hands" are a definite plus! Perhaps some of the experts on here can give you a better answer.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@witchdoc59 A few tricks, correct heat, the right solder and liquid or paste flux. The challenge is finding non fake flux. However, you can always use some copper wire to bridge a long line of holes. I have typically used very thick solid wire but am wondering how very small as in wire wrap 30awg might work. I have some soldering to do soon, I will give that a try.

One more thing, using a soldering tip that is designed for that job helps a lot. These tips (2 sizes) are concave so hold a blob of solder that you can then wipe across a series of copper contacts.

https://amz.run/7hrC

FYI, I use a Hakko soldering iron set to 625F and use 63/37 solder in a few diameters. Smaller diameter melts quicker. Also, a little liquid flux is pure magic.

This is the soldering iron, it is not the best but not the worst, very middle of the road https://amz.run/7ZRi

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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THRandell
(@thrandell)
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@witchdoc59

I found this guy's technique helpful.

Tom

To err is human.
To really foul up, use a computer.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@witchdoc59 I forgot to mention, I have seen others create 'solder traces' on perf board by using a soldering iron with a fairly fat chisel tip. In the attached picture, the tip 2nd from the right would be much better than either the most right or most left as that tip has the biggest surface area and therefore can spread the solder more readily. Of course, a bigger tip like that with a concave side to hold more solder is the absolute best, but fewer people have that type due to cost.

Screenshot 2024 01 19 at 09.51.48

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Bob_D
(@bob_d)
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@witchdoc59 

I have a few tried and true tips:

-Copper proto boards will oxidize, and lightly cleaning the board is important. Others may not agree with me, but I have extremely fine automotive sandpaper that I lightly sand and wipe the proto board before starting a project.

-I use salvaged wire from printer or serial cables for interconnects to circuit boards as they tend to be 24 gauge and are multi colored which is helpful. I also use small pieces of heat shrink to route cabling bundles conveniently in a project case.

-Keeping the tip of the soldering iron clean, and using the right amount of heat is also important to consistant soldering. 

There are many good tips in this post, I am sorry if I duplicated any. 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@bob_d I am confused. You say oxidation may be a problem, and certainly, raw unprotected copper does oxidize in the presence of oxygen. So if you use an abrasive to expose fresh raw copper to the oxygen in the air, isn't that going to make the board oxidize more quickly? I think there are sprays to 'seal' the copper so it doesn't oxidize. I did a google, and found this.

Organic solderability preservative or OSP is a method for coating of printed circuit boards. It uses a water-based organic compound that selectively bonds to copper and protects the copper until soldering. The compounds typically used are from the azole family such as benzotriazoles, imidazoles, benzimidazoles.

Can you see why I am confused?

 

 

 

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Bob_D
(@bob_d)
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Posts: 8
 

@zander 

Some of the proto boards that I have are 4+ years old. Even though I have kept them in plastic bags they do not solder well if I don't clean them or lightly sand them. They will oxidize faster, but not to the point they will fail to conduct.

I think the main point is if the solder isn't flowing properly, double check that the heat is set just right, the copper is clean, the solder isn't too dull (yes, solder can also be the reason for a poor solder connection).

Soldering really is somthing you have to do over and over until you can read each solder joint and know if it is sound. 

 


   
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