Post by IndustrialAction on Oct 28, 2012 22:26:32 GMT -5
Hey all, I wanted to show you the results of an experiment that I have been working on. I'm doing an Igniter™ + TruColor™ install almost every week. The part that takes up more of my time than I care for is the LEDengin wiring. Getting all of the positive pads bridged and the other wires on takes time with the iron. I decided to take a new approach.
The first step was to cut-out a LEDengin sized hole from a piece of breadboard from Radio Shack. This is just a generic piece with no solder pads.
From there I laid out all of my other (pre-tinned) wires including my positive bridges and wires for each pad. I taped the wires down to the top of the breadboard using simple blue painter's tape.
The entire unit went on the hot plate and I set it for 250*F. The griddle gets hot fast and will actually heat up the LEDengin very quickly. As soon as the star got to temp I was able to dab my solder against the pads and it flowed very quickly. I was done with the entire soldering portion in less than 30 seconds. The breadboard did get pretty hot but it didn't char or burn. As soon as I had the solder on I took the whole template off the hot plate and set it aside to cool.
The results are a perfectly wired 10W LEDengin RGBA. I'm sure this same process can be applied to just about any LED though my primary interest is with the LEDengin right now.
Check out the video below and let me know what you think!
Post by IndustrialAction on Oct 28, 2012 23:41:30 GMT -5
Thanks! I'm researching better heat resistant materials for the next test. I'm thinking of trying some welding blanket. The holes in the PCB material let too much heat through. It didn't melt the wires but made some light pockmarks in the surface.
That is a great idea! You could even buy solder paste and pre-apply the paste to the pads and you wouldn't even have to hold the solder manually at all. But I'm sure it is super simple to solder like this since the entire LEDEngin will be heated at this point.
For a heat resistant material, maybe checkout the stuff used in cars that gets applied to the firewall and under the hood to keep the temperature down. There might even be a tape version that you could apply directly to the breadboard that you've already cut.
Post by blessedwrath on Oct 29, 2012 20:38:17 GMT -5
Love this idea, and envious that I didn't think of it first. I have a griddle similar to yours, so it's possible I could do my stars the same way. Way to think outside the box, IA!
I love the little lies they tell themselves; that they are good or evil, or that their methods reflect some higher philosophy. The truth is that the Force is passionless, aloof; utterly disinterested in human ideals. It is light and dark, violent and peaceful, beautiful and ugly. It does not care what our opinions are. It simply is.
Post by Darkside Engineering on Nov 2, 2012 19:39:37 GMT -5
some time ago I bough a mr coffee mug warmer, its small and was like $10 I used it to preheat the stars then used my iron to solder and it much quicker because its already hot, I didnt think about just trying to solder using the hot plate though, that a good idea Pat.
Post by Darkside Engineering on Nov 23, 2012 0:23:57 GMT -5
I used the hot plate today to do a couple of Led engins , however I was not able to solder just using the hot plate I still had to use my iron. Here are a few pics, NOTE: In the pic my Iron is at 400 c. I only use this high of a temp when doing ledengins and I dont keep the heat on long. (You have been forewarned, lol)
Thanks for bumping this guys. This thread was before my time. Great info to add to the box of knowledge.
It is good, and nice if you have problems soldering these thick based star LEDs. However in all seriousness, I have never had any issues soldering these until I tried to change my soldering iron tip to a "better one". I ran into major issues then, and actually couldn't do it. Going back to my old tip it was a breeze, go figure. The new one was too thin and just didn't have enough heat conductivity to get the job done to suit my tastes. I went back to my old tip and have been using it since.
Obi-Shane: That's a very interesting observation on the heat and size of the tip. I'll have to try that out since sometimes my soldering iron just seems... dead even though it's plenty hot and then a bit or moving around the point seems to suddenly make the solder melt the way it should. I'll have to try and see if a larger tip would make it work better.
Corran: I ran into the same problem with the spit and fire. I guess I should have been deep frying. Less healthy but oh so satisfying. Now the only question is what to do with the spit and open fire pit since I can't use it for sabers...
One other thing, the Mr. Coffee Caz is using is great! I've been using it with tri-rebels, X-4s and Quad rebels and it makes an already straight forward soldering job easy, even for someone with my shaky hands.
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