Author Topic: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM  (Read 3062 times)

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Offline lordvader88

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My workbench is just a chair in my room, my PC and oscilloscope are on the desk.

I was trying to solder up a simple 6-7 piece RF detector pen freehand, like in a video, and the guy makes it look so simple freehanded, granted he has flux and and I'd say a good soldering station. I have an entry level SS and my fluxpen and rosin flux, and protype boards are in the mail (20-30days to go).


I've seen people do great stuff on wood, but I don't have any tonight. Once I made a simple circuit on another little PCB using its traces



What are some tips for holding the stuff in place(he just holds it with 1 hand and did it all) I tried and failed. I got 3 easy pieces together.

I tried on top of a can, holding it down with heavy pliers, I'll give it all another go now, but any tips ???


Yes I guess I could also use part of a TV remote PCB, but I don't even have a drill here ATM
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 10:40:39 pm by lordvader88 »
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 09:29:31 pm »
Leaded components?
If so, make all joints mechanically by wrapping or twisting the leads before soldering.

You'll need a surface you can solder on without worrying about burning the desk.  Metal is a bad idea because it robs too much heat from any joint touching it. Hardboad on top of felt to protect the desk works well enough.  If you don't have any, try a thick newspaper on a tray.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 09:33:16 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 09:33:41 pm »
At the very least, get yourself a set of helping hands from eBay, cheap as chips and will hold the board in place.  As far as components are concerned, tin the solder pads and tack one leg of your component down, holding it with tweezers if necessary as I don't know if you are soldering PTH or SMD.  Then solder the rest of the legs.  If soldering through hole resistors, caps, etc, don't be afraid to bend one lead to help hold it in place, solder the non-bent lead first and then straighten the bent lead and solder it.  Remember flux is your friend and as Louis Rossmann says, you can never have too much.
That which doesn't kill you still requires a co-pay.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2016, 09:44:41 pm »
I have a selection of drill press vices which are low profile so can be worked on easily under a microscope or an illuminated magnifier, or without any visual aid.

In the Uk we have Blutak which is a bit like playdoh or plasticene but has better stickability, I still use it occasionally.

If it's a small through hole board with a handful of components, which will need constant flipping over frequently for component insertion and subsequent soldering then quite often I don't use anything other than my own dexterity, holding the board and feeding solder from the same hand if necessary.
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2016, 10:08:20 pm »
I was trying to solder up a simple 6-7 piece RF detector pen freehand, ........
...... and protype boards are in the mail (20-30days to go).

I've seen people do great stuff on wood, but I don't have any tonight.
.....
What are some tips for holding the stuff in place(he just holds it with 1 hand and did it all) I tried and failed. I got 3 easy pieces together.

I tried on top of a can, holding it down with heavy pliers, I'll give it all another go now, but any tips ???
I *think* the O.P. is trying to do self-supported point-to-point construction (no PCB, not even a bare Paxolin substrate drilled for the leads)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 10:10:46 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2016, 10:38:59 pm »
All good points guys, thanks, I did manage to finish, about to find out if it works after I find pocket radio.

Yeah it was just bare component to component so that I can put it in a pen.



Mines bad, mostly poor joints, shaky hands don't help, clamp station with lights magnification on on my list. I have a piece of plywood on the chair. I've watched lots on soldering, I know the NASA tips

And what I might about wood was for cool base and glue gun, on the list too

 
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 10:45:59 pm by lordvader88 »
 

Offline salbayeng

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 04:43:29 am »
Greetings Lord Vader !
One thing that is really useful is a "wolfcraft" drill vise , this has a slight recess in the jaws and holds PCB's perfectly , it also has a quick release feature. (red knob) , There are also horizontal and vertical grooves in the jaws so you can hold round things.  You can get it at some Hardware stores and hobby/model making  suppliers.

The other thing I made is an "operating table" , it's 160mm x 210mm , and the top is 70mm from the desk , its just a bit of chipboard, with a big lump of cast iron screwed to the bottom (made from two bits of junk I found in the shed), it's important to get a bit of weight in this so it doesn't skid around or tip over. It positions the PCB just right so your hands are in a comfortable position. You can spin it around easy, and attach foldback clips to hold wires etc. So you can solder THT , and SMD , and use a hot air gun too.

There's a little platform that goes over the table, with about 6mm clearance over the PCB, this is helpful with SMD loading as you can lean on the platform/ put SMD parts on it, There are a couple of bits of glass fibre tape on the top, these are useful for flipping SMD resistors etc up the right way. There are some little trays in there too to hold assorted SMD parts .



 

Offline lordvader88

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2016, 06:28:41 am »
thanks yeah and its not huge either so something like that I should check out.

I got the detector working despite wiring the 9V battery clip on BACKWARDS. But its actually light up in my room always just in the air. IDK if its just RF from my electronics in here. In his video he had to be touching to get it to light up. But I built it the same even with the same 2n3904 and diodes. I was going to use RF specific BJT and diodes.


Or no I used like 2x 1N914 , but they are really really similar
« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 06:44:59 am by lordvader88 »
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 07:24:06 am »
Well the schematic's pretty simple:

The only ways you can get the LED on all the time are if its picking up RF or if the transistor is connected the wrong way round or is bad.  Short-circuit the middle 1n cap - if the LED stays on, the transistor is wired wrong, or is bad.

To test if its picking up a high level of ambient RF, you need to screen it.   probably the easiest would be to put a sheet of foil on the table with the detector pen on it then cover it with an all-metal kitchen sieve, wrapping the foil up over the edges of the sive frame so it makes good contact to the mesh all the way round.   The LED should go out.   Possible culprits include WiFi base stations or video senders  within a couple of metres or strong local transmitters e.g. TV or radio stations in nearby buildings.
 

Offline MarkF

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 08:11:44 am »
I've been using a small wood clamp to hold my boards while soldering.
 

Offline xani

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Re: Soldering without clamps, jigs, prototype board, flux, or even wood ATM
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2016, 06:56:21 pm »
As a base I just use wooden cutting board (like ones used in kitchen).  Easily accessible, cheap, and variety of shapes available. Bamboo ones are better as they are maintenace-free (they wont warp or crack easily. Or you can get nicer one for kitchen and use old one for your soldering stuff.

As for "holding stuff together", if your board have screw holes put a bunch of standoffs in them, it makes it easy to mount to vice if you do not have rotating one, or just attach standoffs to something heavy
 


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