Custom Search
More than 12,000 searchable pages indexed.

Your RF Cafe
Progenitor & Webmaster

Click here to read about RF CafeView the YouTube RF Cafe Intro VideoKirt Blattenberger ... single-handedly redefining what an engineering website should be.

Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

5th MOB:
My USAF radar shop

Airplanes and Rockets:
My personal hobby website

Equine Kingdom:
My daughter Sally's horse riding website

•−•  ••−•    −•−•  •−  ••−•  •
RF Cafe Morse Code >Hear It<

Job Board

About RF Cafe™


Soldering Tip - RF Cafe Forums

The original RF Cafe Forums were shut down in late 2012 due to maintenance issues. Please visit the new and improved RF Cafe Forums that were created in September of 2015. Unlike with the old forums where users registered individually, the new forums use a common User Name and Password so anyone can post without needing to create an account. Please find the current User Name and Password on the RF Cafe homepage. Thanks for your participation.

Below are all of the old forum threads, including all the responses to the original posts.

-- Amateur Radio
-- Anecdotes, Gripes & Humor
-- Antennas
-- CAE, CAD, & Software
-- Circuits & Components
-- Employment & Interviews
-- Miscellany
-- Swap Shop
-- Systems
-- Test & Measurement
-- Webmaster

 Post subject: Soldering Tip
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:27 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 451
Location: Erie, PA

This afternoon I was doing some soldering of copper plumbing (moving the washing machine connections in the basement) and ran into an unexpected situation where the propane torch was not able to deliver enough heat because of the large amount of copper fittings in the immediate area. I was using the standard Pb-Free plumbing solder (SnSb5), which has a melting temperature of around 235 °C.

It just wasn't going to work. I pulled out the MAPP/Oxygen torch, but alas the Ox bottle was empty. What to do?

Well, fortunately I have a good stash of the good old 60/40 PbSn solder, which has a melting temperature of around 188 °C. That's 45 degrees lower - pretty significant.

It worked. The solder flowed readily into the joints using the propane torch, and as a bonus, the comforting signature shiny finish resulted. Lead-free solders are dull when cool... the way we used to know to spot a cold solder joint. Since the downstream flow goes only to a washing machine, I am not concerned about the lead content (not that I would be anyway, since the 1950s vintage house is filled with it).

So, this is a good reminder for anyone else facing a similar situation whether with a plumbing project or with an electrical/electronic project that is difficult or impossible to solder due to not being able to transfer enough heat.

- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster

Posted  11/12/2012