[sdiy] unleaded solder

Richie Burnett rburnett at richieburnett.co.uk
Sat Apr 2 20:14:41 CEST 2016

Exactly what Eric said, +1.

Avoid lead free solder for DIY projects and R&D work if you can.  You only 
need to worry about going lead-free to meet RoHS / WEEE requirements if 
selling the finished product into the EU, and if you are productionising 
something for volume manufacture then let the assembly house worry about 
optimising the lead-free assembly.  Temperature profiles, ramping and dwell 
times, etc, are the world that they live in for PCB assembly, so just let 
them take care of that side of things and you will get good results.

It's definitely harder to get good results consistently with lead-free 
solder by hand, whereas I find good old fashioned leaded solder very 
forgiving of "less than perfect, soldering in a hurry" technique.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Eric Brombaugh
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2016 5:27 PM
To: Synth-Diy diy
Subject: Re: [sdiy] unleaded solder

It's not your imagination and not your age or technique - lead-free solder 
is harder to work with. It requires a higher melting point and generally 
gives joints that are more likely to appear "cold". It also does very 
strange stuff if it alloys with remnants of lead-based solder, so it's best 
to use a tip that's never been near leaded solder.

I'd avoid lead-free for DIY applications - it's not worth the effort.


On Apr 2, 2016, at 9:19 AM, Phillip Harbison wrote:

> Last night I was soldering for the first time in many years. I
> am trying to use lead-free solder. I believe it is 99% tin and
> 1% copper. In the lead solder days I never had a problem with
> getting good joints. Last night I had lots of problems. Perhaps
> it is more a matter of declining vision and unsteady hands, but
> I'm inclined to believe the solder is part of the problem. When
> using lead solder it was quick work so my eyes and hands did
> not have as much time to become fatigued. It seemed to take
> forever to get the solder flowing. I had my iron set at 430•C.
> I'm not sure if that is sufficient temperature, but it is near
> the iron's maximum temperature. I struggled to assemble a kit
> with a ZIF socket, a dozen discrete components, and a handful
> of connectors on a 1.25" x 4" board. I did not time myself but
> I'm guessing at least 90 minutes. Any suggestions on what I
> might be doing wrong? Should I give up on lead-free solder? I
> would appreciate any advice anyone can offer.
> -- 
> Phil Harbison
> _______________________________________________
> Synth-diy mailing list
> Synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
> http://dropmix.xs4all.nl/mailman/listinfo/synth-diy

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