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neil_w

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Thanks! Those look very nice...
Normally I would look for a set that has at least one set of cross-locks, but I can't seem to find any on Amazon. You can get the cross-locks separately I guess. I don't use them as much but they are sometimes quite useful.

Micro-Mark has a lot of good tweezers, but you'll pay more than the Amazon cheapies.
 

prfesser

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Definitely agree with those who have suggested a practice SMT soldering kit. Also you may want to get some no-clean soldering flux, such as Kester 951. I know the solder provided with the kits is flux-core, but a little 951 really helps the solder flow even better. I got a solder "pen" but it's a bit awkward to use. A squeeze bottle with needle tip may be easier.

Best -- Terry
 

boatgeek

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Normally I would look for a set that has at least one set of cross-locks, but I can't seem to find any on Amazon. You can get the cross-locks separately I guess. I don't use them as much but they are sometimes quite useful.

Micro-Mark has a lot of good tweezers, but you'll pay more than the Amazon cheapies.
I found tweezers helpful, but even more helpful for me was a toothpick. I would basically put the component on the board, flip it right side up with tweezers and the push it into place and hold it (if needed) for soldering with a toothpick.
 

heada

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The kit with the blinkin' lights, down to 0402 is what I used to train on. Very helpful.

I have a tweezers set similar to above and they work but ceramic tweezers work better. There are several on Amazon and this is just 1 example. I like them because they're squeeze to open rather than squeeze to close.

I can't recommend the non-clean flux pen enough. I swipe the pen tip over the pads before I solder and its amazing the difference. For things like the wifi module on Eggtimer kits, its night and day.
 

neil_w

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I have a tweezers set similar to above and they work but ceramic tweezers work better. There are several on Amazon and this is just 1 example. I like them because they're squeeze to open rather than squeeze to close.
I like to have a couple of each type, useful in different situations.

I found tweezers helpful, but even more helpful for me was a toothpick. I would basically put the component on the board, flip it right side up with tweezers and the push it into place and hold it (if needed) for soldering with a toothpick.
I typically just use the tweezers to hold the component in place while soldering, but toothpicks are always useful. :)
 

jqavins

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prfesser

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Because the kit is from an eBay seller, I looked there for other items. I can't guess at the quality of any of these.

Tweezers. $2.80

951 Flux Pen. $3.95

Magnifying lamp. $11.85

or

Lighted headband magnifier. $8.98

Third hand, old style. $8.59

or

Third hand, Doc Oc style. $32.69

One used to be able to get PCB holder arms like the one here as add-ons to old style third hands. Maybe one still can, but I failed to find any.

But there is this. $17.95
FWIW my flux pen had to be pushed against the surface to dispense, and it always dispensed way too much or not enough. For me it's moot, my hands are far too shaky to do SMT soldering anymore, I sent my last stuff to Connor McGrath to assemble. A bargain!

Best -- Terry
"Gettin' old ain't for sissies" -- Terry's Dad
 

OverTheTop

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Two Protons are complete. I think around 2.5 hours all up, maybe a little less. Next up is inspection, test, then conformal coating.

Protons.jpg


FWIW my flux pen had to be pushed against the surface to dispense, and it always dispensed way too much or not enough.
You don't have to push to dispense each time, just often enough to keep the marker tip loaded with enough flux.
 

rharshberger

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Started Solidworks design work on my Nike M5E1 Aerobee 2K fantasy scale 2 stage project. The interstage coupler will be 3D printed and the donor kit for the Aerobee is a 3" Madcow Aerobee Hi kit, with Loc 4" airframe for the Nike booster, and its a 5 fin design.

NikeM7 Aerobee2k two stage 916.jpg
 
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prfesser

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Two Protons are complete. I think around 2.5 hours all up, maybe a little less. Next up is inspection, test, then conformal coating.

You don't have to push to dispense each time, just often enough to keep the marker tip loaded with enough flux.
I am highly jealous of your skills. Those look like commercial boards. Mine don't even look amateur-ly done. :)
 

OverTheTop

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I am highly jealous of your skills. Those look like commercial boards. Mine don't even look amateur-ly done. :)
Thanks. I guess having a few hundred thousand solder joints over the years helps. I was also taught by a RAAF instructor on the correct process, and have read the standards that show what "target condition" for the joints are. I see a lot of people that just keep soldering, and never aim to improve their outcome. I look at each joint and think what I could do to get it to target condition if it is not already there.

As for beginners in this workspace, it is largely a question of practice, especially tweezer technique and solder quantity.
 

Cape Byron

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As for beginners in this workspace, it is largely a question of practice, especially tweezer technique and solder quantity.
Yep. I went to work with an electronics company in the UK for a while and I learned how to solder. 'Cause I thought I knew and I didn't. They told me I didn't. Repeatedly. :)
 

jqavins

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You don't have to push to dispense each time, just often enough to keep the marker tip loaded with enough flux.
If I'm not mistaken, Terry said his was not a marker type at all. Something like this, but needing a push on the needle rather than a squeeze of the bottle.
1600343590138.png
 

prfesser

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If I'm not mistaken, Terry said his was not a marker type at all. Something like this, but needing a push on the needle rather than a squeeze of the bottle.
View attachment 432036
No, I got a "pen", it does look like a marker. It didn't dispense well. Push to get the tip wet and sometimes nothing, other times a lot of flux came out and drenched the work. The wet tip was only good for one touch, after which I had to push the tip again.

The bottle Joseph shows is what I'd get if I had it to do over. I'm pretty sure I could have dispensed better with that. Plus you can get a whole lot more for the money.
 

Flyfalcons

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Ordered a bunch of 4" LOC parts for an Estes upscale that I've been wanting to do for the last couple years. I've had the vinyl for it sitting around too long and it's time to finally just build it.
 

rdrown

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Thanks. I guess having a few hundred thousand solder joints over the years helps. I was also taught by a RAAF instructor on the correct process, and have read the standards that show what "target condition" for the joints are. I see a lot of people that just keep soldering, and never aim to improve their outcome. I look at each joint and think what I could do to get it to target condition if it is not already there.

As for beginners in this workspace, it is largely a question of practice, especially tweezer technique and solder quantity.
I worked for the USAF for 35 years and took many high reliability solder classes. I always laughed at the guys who would say “The bigger the glob, the better the job”. They were Not very good at soldering. Your job is A1.
 

Nytrunner

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:cool:
Started Solidworks design work on my Nike M5E1 Aerobee 2K fantasy scale 2 stage project. The interstage coupler will be 3D printed and the donor kit for the Aerobee is a 3" Madcow Aerobee Hi kit, with Loc 4" airframe for the Nike booster, and its a 5 fin design.
Those look like Ventris fins!

Are you making the sparky blue motor to go along with it?
 

rharshberger

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:cool:

Those look like Ventris fins!

Are you making the sparky blue motor to go along with it?
They do look a bit like Ventris fins, as for the motor, nah, it will be something Aerotech and most likely a White Lightning in the booster and something smoky in the upper stage.
 

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