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Soldering leads to DC motors

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DavidL
(@davidl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

Hi

I'm working on one of the projects that includes DC motors that come with a robot chassis (in this case https://www.amazon.com/perseids-Chassis-Encoder-Wheels-Battery/dp/B07DNYQ3PX).

I'm having trouble soldering wires to the small copper loops (I'm calling them "leads", possibly not the right term) that are on the motors.

I've broken both of the leads on both of the motors several times, and one of the leads is pretty much gone. 

I'm fairly new to soldering, so maybe it's just something that takes practice, but I'm hoping there are some tips that can help me with this.  My short-term solution is to buy some motors with the wires already soldered, but for future projects I'd like to be able to do the soldering myself.

In case it matters, I'm using a 15W soldering iron, 3 mm diameter solder with flux, and 22AWS solid wire.

Thanks in advance for the help!

David


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
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Joined: 8 months ago
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I used to have the small 15W pencil style soldering iron.  The station ones are a LOT faster heating up and can be controlled to given temperature.

But mainly, I also still have trouble using Sn 60% / Pb 40% solder.  I found the solder versions that have 1 to 2% silver is just plain easy to solder!  It is quite a bit more expensive than the those without, but I'll never go without it again!  

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, Access Point Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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DavidL
(@davidl)
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Joined: 6 months ago
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@inq Thanks for the pointer!  Can you recommend a brand?  I just bought some that doesn't seem to have any silver.   Fortunately it's cheap, so I can order some more without wasting too much money.

 

 


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
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Joined: 8 months ago
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I'm out of town at the moment, so I can see the actual brands of either of the items.  

Station

I got the cheapest Amazon soldering station that had better than 4 stars and had a bunch of reviews.  Where the pencil, is on full load all the time and takes a lot of time to heat up, these stations have 60 watts or more and heat up in seconds and have a thermostat.  They also recover near instantly.  They also have replaceable tips.  You can try out several shapes to find the one that works best for you.  The one I have has the dial/box separate from the holder.  I prefer that, but that is purely subjective.  It was around $30.  Something like this should be fine.

"https://www.amazon.com/Soldering-Station-392%E2%84%89-896%E2%84%89-Adjustable-Temperature/dp/B09LH46XX6/"

https://www.amazon.com/Soldering-Station-392%E2%84%89-896%E2%84%89-Adjustable-Temperature/dp/B09LH46XX6/

Solder

I just noticed another thing... 3mm is way too big especially for a 15W pencil style.  It just doesn't have the power/recovery to melt such a large chunk of solder.  Basically it is absorbing the heat and dissipating it up the solder wire. 

Again, I don't use any particular brand, just fine one well rated by customers in Amazon/eBay.  I just looked through Amazon and I'm not seeing anything I recognize and the silver content seems to be going down.  The kester is about the best, and it still has high silver content versions, but it seems you have to buy 1 lb quantities... that will last the rest of your life. 😆 

Maybe try one of the small quantity versions with 0.3% Ag.  Look for about  0.8mm (0.032") or thinner.  It will melt quick and flow easily.  

 

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, Access Point Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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DaveE
(@davee)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 678
 

Hi @davidl,

   Sorry, I am not familar with the motors you mention (and the link you gave went nowhere useful), but I am sure the general principles of soldering are the same as for chips to boards and so on.

In addition the to good advice you have already received from @inq, I hope the following will be useful.

   You mentioned 'solder with flux'... I don't know know whether you realise it, but you need separate flux, as well the flux 'imbedded' in the solder.

Make sure your flux it is intended for electronic repairs, etc.. Avoid anything that mentions plumbing or other metalwork pursuits!

It comes in different forms, the cheapest usually comes in a flat top tin  and looks like car grease. It does the job, albeit leaving an 'unsightly' brown residue. You can clean it off afterwards, although it is basically harmless if you leave it on.

There are more expensive forms for surface mountwork, which is not supposed to leave a residue, often sold in a syringe.

The main thing, is use some!

-------

Also note that in most countries, for health reasons, most commercial electronic products (from phones to cars, etc. ) now have to use lead (Pb) free solder. The alternatives tend to need a little higher temperature than the 'old skool' tin-lead that @inq mentioned.

---------

Suggest you have a look through YouTube soldering tutorials .. there are lots, and whilst the quality is (as always on YouTube) "variable", and many will be dealing with surface mount chips, but the principles are the same, and if you watch a few, I think you may pick up some useful ideas.

Best wishes, Dave


   
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Inst-Tech
(@inst-tech)
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Posted by: @davidl

Hi

I'm working on one of the projects that includes DC motors that come with a robot chassis (in this case https://www.amazon.com/perseids-Chassis-Encoder-Wheels-Battery/dp/B07DNYQ3PX).

I'm having trouble soldering wires to the small copper loops (I'm calling them "leads", possibly not the right term) that are on the motors.

I've broken both of the leads on both of the motors several times, and one of the leads is pretty much gone. 

I'm fairly new to soldering, so maybe it's just something that takes practice, but I'm hoping there are some tips that can help me with this.  My short-term solution is to buy some motors with the wires already soldered, but for future projects I'd like to be able to do the soldering myself.

In case it matters, I'm using a 15W soldering iron, 3 mm diameter solder with flux, and 22AWS solid wire.

Thanks in advance for the help!

David

Hi @davidl, Was just reading your post, and the responses from some of the other members..

As both davee and @inq have suggested, there are numerous techniques and choices of equipment that one can use to aid in the art of electrical/electronics soldering. I call it art because with enough practice and experience, it becomes a sort of an art form, and at times just as tedious as painting or sculpting..

So here are some tips for you, First, as @davee has already noted, apply flux both to the wire leads, and the motor lead tabs.. Then apply solder to the wire leads in a process called tinning the wire. the apply solder to the motor lead tabs, now when you go to solder the wire to the tabs , you'll have a basic foundation to solder to..heat is the enemy of the solder process, to much, and to can burn up the wires, tabs and traces on circuit boards. To little and you will get bad connections, ( cold solder joins) and a very frustrating experience. When I was in the Navy (over 50 years ago) they taught us how to solder as part of our electronics training.. I would suggest that you try experimenting on pieces of scrap wire and old components  that are no longer usable first before trying to solder to components that you want to use on your projects. Get the "feel" for what works for you, and what doesn't..The choice of solder and equipment is different for various project, so that will just take time and experience to unpack..

Hope this is helpful to you, and good luck on you projects..

Regards,

LouisR

 

LouisR


   
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Fritigern
(@fritigern)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 18
 

@davidl, I know how you feel re soldering and am an amateur home solderer with limited dexterity who does not look forward to doing it.

Everyone has made good suggestions, which I already follow, but for what it is worth...

Cleanliness! electronics factories are like operating theatres, so your components should be clean too. Solder will not stick to a dirty surface so I have an alcohol cleaning spray which I splash on everything first, also if I will be soldering for a while, I wear latex gloves to stop the oils on my skin contaminating the components on handling. I use a "helping hands" cheap little stand with croc clips on adjustable arms to hold the components and have occasionally rigged up semi jigs to hold things in place so I can solder them. I use a solder station with controllable heat. I usually set it as low as possible; the longer you contact a component the hotter it will get, so you should try not to keep the contact up for too long because burning a 45p semiconductor may not a massive loss - unless it's your last one.

i use the pointy tips for general tinning and soldering things together, the hoof tips are good for soldering things to the perforated boards. If you are soldering something poking through a hole, I would  cut it short before you start so you don't end up with perfect tinning a quarter of an inch away from the circuit board. I find solder will not jump across air gaps unless you do not want it to. I try not to leave the soldering iron switched on for long periods to stop it sooting up, I'm usually turning it on, using it then immediately turning off while I get the next bit ready. You can get solder off things using solder removing tape, narrow ribbons of loosely woven fine copper wire- lay them over the blob of solder and press the hot soldering iron tip on to it. Also use the wet sponge to clean the soldering iron tip frequently. If it gets very dirty you should persevere with sponge, flux and poking it in a little pot with a kind of loose copper brillo pad in. They say not to use sandpaper to clean soot off the tip. I can say from personal experience that sandpaper does a fantastic cleaning job, but then your soldering iron tip gets smaller and smaller as you use it until you are left with a sad stump.

So cleanliness, flux, tinning, holding in position, wiping of solder tip. And remember, a lot of our imported electronic goods have been soldered by children, so it is not advanced science.

You now know as much as i do.

Fritigern


   
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DavidL
(@davidl)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

@inq Thanks for the suggestions!  I will probably get a soldering station, and I'll definitely look for solder with the characteristics you recommended.

 

Thanks!


   
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DavidL
(@davidl)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

@davee Thanks for letting me know about the link.  It looks like I added a couple of characters.  It was supposed to be this:

https://www.amazon.com/perseids-Chassis-Encoder-Wheels-Battery/dp/B07DNYQ3PX

I'm sure it's a pretty typical scenario, so the link is probably not going to add much. 

I have an old (about 20 years old) container of flux that sounds like what you're describing.  Probably time to get a new one.   I haven't used it consistently, so I'll make a point of that in the future and see if I get some better results.  

Thanks!


   
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DavidL
(@davidl)
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@inst-tech Hi LouisR, thanks for the advice.  I think I'm going to look for a soldering station sooner rather than later.  I appreciate the detailed tips.  I've done soldering in the past, but I was never concerned about the technique.  It was mostly to get two wires to stay together (ham radio antenna) and I soldered so rarely that I never gained any skill.

Thanks for the great tips!


   
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DavidL
(@davidl)
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@fritigern Hi, Fritigern.  Thank you for the response.  I will keep in mind the advice about cleaning the components.  I haven't cleaned anything (maybe a superficial cleaning, but nothing serious), so there is a lot of room for improvement. 

I bought some "helping hands" with my last attempt at learning electronics, so I have that covered.  It seems like the soldering station should be on my list of things-to-buy-soon. 

I appreciate the pointers about un-soldering.  I have a solder sucker (maybe not the right term) that seems to do a good job.  I will try the solder removing tape too.

Thanks!


   
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DaveE
(@davee)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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Hi @davidl,

  Looks like you are getting a lot of good advice ...

  I wouldn't be surprised if that old tin of flux still worked, but hopefully a new tin will not break the bank! Just try to minimise breathing in the fumes.

  A small point of information regarding this forum ... it seems to have an intermittent problem with Amazon links .. they are supposed to show the product, but (for me and others) it often just shows a blank box. One alternate is to copy the link with "https://" missing from the front of the address ...  that should just show the link.

Good luck with the project. Best wishes, Dave.


   
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DavidL
(@davidl)
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Joined: 6 months ago
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Topic starter  

@davee Hi, I agree, the advice has been terrific.  It's great to get so many responses!

Thanks for the information about the Amazon URLs.  I'll keep that in mind.

 

Take care.

 

DavidL

 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@davidl I discovered liquid flux a while back, wouldn't think about doing any soldering without it now.

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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