December 1973 Popular Electronics
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Here are a few good soldering tips that appeared in a 1973 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. One suggests using hot melt glue to hold components and cables in place both for soldering and just to keep them from moving during normal use. Another describes how to turn a standard pistol type soldering gun into a resistance soldering tool. It actually works pretty well for soldering sheet brass and copper and for high mass items like connector shells, but do keep in mind that there is a live voltage* between the two sections of wire when they are not making contact with the work piece. There's also a recommended method of soldering stranded or braided wire like coaxial cable shielding without having so much of the solder wick into the braid beyond where you want it (another way is to clamp a heatsink on the braid to prevent excess wicking). I posted an image file of the entire page to you can see other non-soldering related tips.
* My Craftsman Heavy Duty 230/150 Watt Dual Heat Solder Gun (not made anymore) measures 0.996 VAC/0.825 VAC, respectively, at the ends without the tip installed.
Tips & Techniques: Soldering Gun Doubles as Resistance Soldering Tool
Convert your standard soldering gun to a resistance soldering tool. Weller Soldering Gun
Prevent solder from wicking into wire braid or strands.
Soldering Gun Doubles as Resistance Soldering Tool
When it comes to heavy-duty soldering jobs, nothing can beat the resistance soldering method. Forget specialized resistance soldering equipment. If you already have a soldering gun, you can adapt it for resistance soldering without modifying the gun itself. Just remove the soldering tip and replace it with two lengths of the same gauge solid copper wire, gapping them to suit the job to be done. In use, the tip leads go on either side of the connection to be soldered. Then, when the trigger is pulled, current will flow through the joint to generate enough localized heat to permit the application of solder - faster than would be possible with the ordinary tip. - Jeff Jourard
How to Prevent Capillary Suction When Soldering Phono Plugs
One of the more annoying problems hi-fi enthusiasts have to contend with is solder being sucked up the center contact of a phono plug when assembling cables. The thing to remember is that capillary action - aided by gravity if the job is tackled in the usual manner - is responsible. So, the trick is to make gravity work for, not against, your efforts. Hence, when soldering the center conductor of a cable to the center contact of the plug, do the job as shown in the photo, holding the soldering iron below the plug. It helps if you pre-tin the conductor and the inside of the tip contact. Then apply only enough heat and solder to "wet" the connection. - Marshall Lincoln
Hot-Melt Glue Gun Firmly Anchors Bulky Components to Chassis
When it comes to mounting bulky components like can-type electrolytic capacitors, light-weight audio transformers, and the like in a chassis, you can avoid much of the mess and bother of drilling and cutting if you use a hot-melt glue gun. A thick bead of glue along the length or around the perimeter of the component, when pressed into the chassis, will form a heavy-duty bond. Do not, however, attempt to mount bulky heavyweights like power and output transformers in this manner; they will tear loose and inflict disastrous damage. Also, do hot use this technique for mounting heat sinks that require chassis sinking. - Robert M. Perlman, WB2VRW
Posted November 27, 2019