Which lead free solder?

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SamL

Which lead free solder?
« on: 24 Jul 2008, 01:57 am »
Cardas and Wonder leaded solder was recommended before the RoHS compliance come into force. Now my solder is running low and wonder if there a good lead free solder that worth getting. Or leaded solder is still the prefer option?

2wo

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jul 2008, 03:22 am »
Stick with your favorite leaded solder. The only reason to use a RoHS compliant solder is that you are a manufacture and are forced to…John   

DaveC113

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jul 2008, 03:37 am »
The Johnson ia423 is easy to use. Its the 2nd from the bottom in this link:

http://www.partsconnexion.com/catalog/soldertoolscleaner.html

I haven't tried to a/b it with leaded solder to see if it sounds better....

edit: I just saw they now recommend flux, so maybe I'm wrong as far as "easy to use". The only thing I've had an issue soldering to were a set of Switchcraft RCA center pins, they needed to be really hot. 


TerryO

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jul 2008, 04:29 am »
Unleaded solder is nearly worthless for a hobbyist, I strongly recommend to just avoid it. It is not only hard to use, it's not as reliable and cold solder joints can result easily. So just save yourself a lot of grief and get some decent leaded solder. You'll never be sorry.

Best Regards,
TerryO

AKSA

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jul 2008, 10:17 am »
I fully agree with TerryO, thanks mate.....

I use Multicore tin/lead with 2% silver.  It's called LMP.  Thickness is 0.71mm.

Wonderful to use, never gives dry joints, lasts indefinitely, a dream to apply.

Cheers,

Hugh

kyrill

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jul 2008, 05:40 pm »
Hi Hugh
\
Google gives me a lot of chaotic entrances to multicore solder

Do you know  a website dealer of the solder you recommended?

AKSA

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jul 2008, 10:09 pm »
Kyrill,

I buy it from Prime Electrics in Sydney and Mekatronics here in Melbourne, but it's getting harder to find.  Sadly I have no ideas about Europe, but it originates in UK, which is much closer to you than to me!!

I will seek out more information on the lot number and close description.

Cheers,

Hugh

rabbitz

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jul 2008, 07:22 am »
If it's Multicore Sn62Pb36Ag2 Ersin 362, then it's available in the UK at RS Online cat no 551-671.

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=searchProducts&searchTerm=551671&x=20&y=15

Not cheap and my last roll come from the UK but have found it in Australia since. Best solder I've used and just requires a bit more flux clean up than usual. Tried some lead free 96S x38 and was a pain so in the bin.

Stock up on leaded while it's still around.

andyr

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jul 2008, 08:22 am »

Cardas and Wonder leaded solder was recommended before the RoHS compliance come into force. Now my solder is running low and wonder if there a good lead free solder that worth getting. Or leaded solder is still the prefer option?


The "old" TRT Wonder solder is still still available - I bought some early in the year, from Michael Percy.  Apart from it supposedly being "good sounding" solder, it flows easily and I like its ~1.3 mm thickness (for when you have "big" soldering tasks like connectors and Binding Posts).

For the tiny tracks on Hugh's PCBs, I use Multicore "LMP tin/lead/silver solder" which is only 0.7mm thick.

Regards,

Andy

AKSA

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jul 2008, 10:31 am »
Kyrill, Peter is on the money, thanks mate!   :thankyou:

It's Multicore Type 362, 0.9mm thick, 2% silver, low melting point, 172C.

Wonderful solder, best I've used, and I'm a bit short now too.  It's now all I use on my modules.  Where did you buy yours, Peter?

Cheers,

Hugh

goldlizsts

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #10 on: 25 Jul 2008, 12:49 pm »
Unleaded solder is nearly worthless for a hobbyist, I strongly recommend to just avoid it. It is not only hard to use, it's not as reliable and cold solder joints can result easily. So just save yourself a lot of grief and get some decent leaded solder. You'll never be sorry.

Best Regards,
TerryO

Perhaps low melting temperature is important to avoid cold solder joints?  I've used WBT 4% silver, and very satisfied.  WBT is rated at 180 degrees centigrade.  Also, a powerful enough solder gun (enough wattage, at least 40, with temperature control) is desirable.

rabbitz

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #11 on: 25 Jul 2008, 02:15 pm »
Hugh

I originally came across it from a guy on eBay in the UK when I bought some banana plugs. He was selling 3m pieces and I was stoked with the results so I got him to send out a roll which was not the most economical way of doing it but I found out what it was.

RS Online in Australia do sell it at their usual high prices but trade would be heaps better.
500g 0.5mm stock no 436-4869
500g 1.22mm stock no 551-665
500g 0.71mm stock no 551-671

One thing is for sure.... it's going to disappear.




 

stvnharr

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #12 on: 25 Jul 2008, 10:55 pm »

I haven't tried to a/b it with leaded solder to see if it sounds better....


In order to do the above, one would have to have 2 identical pieces of electronics varying only in the solder used to make the connections, it could only be with 2 different solders, and nothing else could differ in the music system. There is no other way to judge "the sound of solder".
Has anyone been there/done that?
It pays to be careful with words!

FWIW, I like wonder solder, and nice to have the references here for others.

DaveC113

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #13 on: 26 Jul 2008, 12:25 am »
The easiest way to a/b would probably be to construct an IC with a bunch of solder joints patching the signal wire together. I have no idea how many solder joints it would take to become audible though...

As far as ease of use, saying lead free solder is worthless for the hobbyist isn't the conclusion I came to. The Johnson solder works great with the iron at 800 F and makes nice looking joints. I built my entire amp with it and had no issues using it. I am experienced enough to know what a cold joint is too...

stvnharr

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #14 on: 26 Jul 2008, 01:21 pm »
The easiest way to a/b would probably be to construct an IC with a bunch of solder joints patching the signal wire together. I have no idea how many solder joints it would take to become audible though...

As far as ease of use, saying lead free solder is worthless for the hobbyist isn't the conclusion I came to. The Johnson solder works great with the iron at 800 F and makes nice looking joints. I built my entire amp with it and had no issues using it. I am experienced enough to know what a cold joint is too...

Sure, interconnects would work for this.  But I think it better to have several interconnects of the same wire and connectors only differing in the solder used to make the contacts.  That's only 1 variable and any difference would be in the solder.
Personally, I think the "sound of solder" is a pretty small thing.  But this is a hobby afterall, and everything is open.

PSP

Great Solder => flows smoothly and has a low melting point
« Reply #15 on: 26 Jul 2008, 05:54 pm »
When I began to DIY, my first effort was to fix and then tweak an old NSD 7020 instead of throwing it in the trash (that was ten years ago, before we were thinking about the environmental consequences); that 7020 is currently making sweet music in our home. 

Several times while working on the 7020 I would solder in a new part and then listen to hear sibilance or light distortion (like a slightly dirty stylus).  Close examination showed a bad solder joint and the distortion was gone after heating and reflowing the joint. 

So, I think "good solder" is good because it helps you to make a good joint and does so at low temperatures.  A low melting point means that parts see less thermal stress during soldering and that must be a good thing.  I use Cardas solder and like it a great deal.

Peter

TerryO

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Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #16 on: 26 Jul 2008, 07:45 pm »
The easiest way to a/b would probably be to construct an IC with a bunch of solder joints patching the signal wire together. I have no idea how many solder joints it would take to become audible though...

As far as ease of use, saying lead free solder is worthless for the hobbyist isn't the conclusion I came to. The Johnson solder works great with the iron at 800 F and makes nice looking joints. I built my entire amp with it and had no issues using it. I am experienced enough to know what a cold joint is too...

The heck with a bunch of solder joints, just use the solder instead of the wire in your ICs. That way you'll be able to assess if there's any discernable difference with 10 + inches of solder from one plug to the other. Use identical lengths and set down for an extended listening test.
Psst: It's already been tried, but the results were "very" subjective, IIRC.

BTW: I said that lead-free solder is "nearly" worthless for the hobbyist, not that it can't be done. You are the proof that it can, but why anyone would, given a choice is beyond me. Manufacturers who must comply with Government regulations is one thing, but unless there isn't a choice or it's all you have, I certainly wouldn't bother as there are TTBOMK no advantage to leadfree solder.

Best Regards,
TerryO

ginger

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #17 on: 30 Jul 2008, 05:06 am »
TerryO and Hugh have the "right" advise.

I do have to use Lead Free Solder on some jobs for work. I've even done the 2 day mil-spec, lead free soldering course.

It is MUCH harder to use and MUCH harder to get a decent solder job. You have to clean your iron after EVERY connnection made. You usually have to pre tin all joints and often have to use a separate flux dispenser. Couple that with its MUCH harder to clean up flux residues afterward (Fluxclene just smears it all over the place). Then you get into the REQUIREMENT to use a separate dedicated iron for lead free, etc. etc. After that you get into reliability issues with lead free solder joints tending to form "wiskers" and the problems just escalate.

Any "poor bas...d" who has ever had to actually work with lead free will tell you if you have an option (and you do) - DON'T.

BTW - Just because you might be using Lead Free compliant components, you don't have to use lead free solder for them.

The guy who ran the Lead Free Soldering Course had this advise for NON- Lead free work.
Iron Temp 350 degrees C
63/37 Sn/Pb for general use
62/26/2 Sn/PB/Ag for soldering to gold
Use NATURAL Rosin Core rather than artificial RESIN Core if you can get it. - he RECOMMENDS Kester brand (for OZ folk Mektronics are the Kester agents).
Clean up with Fluxclene followed by IPA (Iso-propyl alchohol).

If you have the option, and especially for rework, prebake the PCB at 60 degrees C for 1 hr making sure that temperature rises initially at not more than 1 degree C per second (This is usually beyond the hobbiest).

Use RTV Silicon under components which are spaced up off the board.

Leads should protrude on the solder side by 1 to 2 lead diameters.

When yo bend the component lead on the solder side (to keep component in place) prior to soldering do not bend more than 45 degrees.

Ideal tip size is 2/3 to 1 pad diameter.

There - more than you ever wanted or probably needed to know.

Cheers,
Ian

whubbard

Re: Which lead free solder?
« Reply #18 on: 30 Jul 2008, 06:00 am »
Just thought I would add that my Cardas Quad Eutectic works VERY well.

-West