How to SolderEdit

  1. Wet your solder sponge.
  2. Plug in the soldering iron (about 3 minutes to heat up).
  3. Ensure your components are placed properly in the PCB board, with the leads bent 45 degrees to hold them in place (less for components which will not fall out; a slight bend will ensure the component lead touches the edge of the PCB and there is a strong solder connection between them).
  4. Break off a hand-length piece of solder (we use the type with flux core, so flux is not required).
  5. When hot, wipe the soldering iron tip on the sponge.
  6. Touch the soldering iron to the solder to apply a bit of solder and "tin" the tip. If it does not flow easily and quickly your iron is not hot enough yet.
  7. Wipe off the solder from the iron tip. You should now have a silver tip which will conduct heat quickly.
  8. Touch the soldering iron tip to both the lead of the component and the PCB pad and wait 1 second to allow them to heat up.
  9. Touch the solder to the lead and the PCB (not the iron) and keep both soldering iron and solder in place until the solder flows onto the board and up the lead (3 seconds maximum; if it is not flowing and your component does not have a large heat sink, either your tip is not tinned properly, is damaged, is not hot enough, or you are holding it improperly and not contacting the surfaces).
  10. Remove the solder and soldering iron.
  11. If done correctly, there will be a cone of solder extending up the lead, with a solid base wrapped all the way around the lead on the PCB pad. If there is a round bead instead of a cone, the joint was not hot enough; reposition the iron and make sure it has been tinned directly before using.
  12. Snip off the excess lead with side-cutters.

Condensed version:

1. wet sponge

2. plug in soldering iron

3. Push leads through holes in PCB and bend leads behind board(45 degrees)

4. Break off hand length piece of solder

5. wipe hot soldering iron on sponge

6. Touch iron to tip to "tin" the tip

7.Wipe tip on sponge(tip should now be silver)

8.Heat component lead and and pcb solder point

9.Touch solder to base of lead(not iron)

10. Remove solder and soldering iron

11. You should get a cone of solder going up the lead

12. Trim extra lead