it’s been years since i’ve soldered anything beyond medium gauge wire splices, but with a new project, it was time this week to dust off the trusty 12 watt Weller pencil.
the first thing i did was solder nine 26 AWG stranded leads from a hacked up serial cable to the tiny ass pads on this microcontroller board i have. pin 1 wasn’t going well, and then i remembered “tin your lead” – d’oh! the rest still weren’t that great.
then i moved onto a kit i needed to put together. being a kit intended for the mass geek public, it had larger pads and large space between the traces – things went much smoother.
so there’s a couple icky ones here, but i’ve seen way worse:
UPDATE: since i’ve gotten back into electronics more lately, i finally upgraded to a “real” iron. the Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station is a replacement for the much revered Hakko 936. get one at Amazon, Adafruit, SparkFun, or locally at Fry’s Electronics.
i was discussing this with a friend and he told me about kewlest paste-form geek item that i’ve seen in a while – ZephPaste: http://www.zeph.com/zephpaste.htm
yes the site is atrocious and looks like something “as seen on TV”, but watch the video. (the Ben Stein voice provides a nice contrast to the loud page layout.) checkout how they lay down the paste across several pads, but then when they heat the area, everything is drawn onto the leads/pads and nothing is left to inadvertently bridge connectors. slick! great for unsteady “software hands”.
it reminds me of the more novelty “Conductive Glue” from ThinkGeek. i need to get some of that to play with.