#qi-hardware IRC log for Saturday, 2013-08-31

kyakthat's what i did the other day: http://imgur.com/a/JaLo111:11
kyaka case from old tetris game as a battery holder for msp430 :)11:12
kyaki swear, it took me an hour to solder three points11:12
kyakthis is like a dark craft for me11:12
kyaki couldn't solder two wires together.. so i twisted them first, and only then was able to solder11:13
whitequarkif you can't get your wires soldered, try sanding them, or put them in acid for a while11:15
whitequarkI think vinegar works, so would citric11:15
whitequarkan oxide layer forms over the metal, and it prevents wetting of the wire by solder11:16
whitequarkso you can remove it either mechanically or chemically11:16
kyakyea, that's exactly what happened, the tin just wouldn't stay on a wire (but rather fall down or stay on my soldering iron)11:18
kyakwhitequark: how to make the tin stick better to the pads of SD card? Should i use vinegar?11:20
whitequarkkyak: I'd just take a screwdriver and scrub them for a while, to make some shiny traces on the pads11:24
whitequarkalso I'd use a thin teflon-coated stranded wire and pre-tin it. then, I'd place the wire over the pad and heat it with the iron (not the pad directly)11:26
whitequarkthis way I'd try to avoid melting the plastic parts11:26
whitequarkit can be tricky and depend on the iron t°, but you can get quite good results with some practice11:27
whitequarkhm, interesting11:28
uncloudedhey thanks wolfspraul, servers seem up now11:33
kyakwhitequark: okay, thanks!11:48
virickyak: those golden pads can be cleaned very well with a pencil rubber11:54
virica pencil eraser 11:54
viricit works very well11:54
viric(it depends on how do you have them layed out, whether you can use a pencil eraser :)11:54
viricbut I mean pads not for soldering, but for contact.11:55
kyakviric: using a pencil rubber might be tricky, because there are plastic delimiters between those pads11:56
kyaki'll try it though, thanks11:57
wpwrakthe sd card probably has gold-plated contacts. they don't oxidize :)12:06
wpwrakwhee ! full serv(er)ice has been restored :) thanks, wolfspraul !!12:07
wpwrakkyak: your main enemy should be grease. you can dissolve it with alcohol. then just wipe it off with a paper towel. don't use overly aggressive chemicals, e.g., already acetone would attack the plastic12:09
wpwrakcopper wires, on the other hand, benefit greatly from tinning. if they're already tinned, they're good for a few years, but will eventually get hard to solder, too. there, abrasive techniques are suitable.12:10
wpwrakone thing to keep in mind: if the amount of metal being soldered is large, a lot of heat gets sucked into it. so a thick cable can be quite a pain to solder.12:11
wpwrakanother thing to keep in mind is that you need flux. if you have a flux pen or such, that's ideal12:11
wpwrakelse, the solder (tin) usually also contains flux. to use it properly, you need to "feed" the solder to the solder joint. make sure both parts being soldered are heated. if one is "cold", the solder joint will be fragile (if you manage to get a solder joint at all)12:13
virickyak: what do you use that red box for?12:38
uncloudedone more blinky LED via UBB!  http://amadeus.dist.ro/tmp/NanoNote-UBB.jpg12:49
uncloudedlibubb was easier to use than I expected.  thanks for that12:49
wpwrakwhee ! :) congratulations ! 12:51
kyakdespite of all your advice guys, i managed to fuck up the adapter12:55
kyakit's in trash now12:55
kyakviric: the red box is a case from an old game. It now contains msp430 launchpad board12:56
kyaki needed it for batteries12:56
wpwrakthat needs talent ;) how did you do it ?12:56
viricwhat do you use the board for?12:57
kyakwpwrak: i soldered the first contact quite easily and good, and thought it would be an easy walk. When i finished soldering all 6 contacts, two of them immediately fall off, and then other two fall off as i touched them a little bit12:57
kyakthen some tin was left on the pads, and that was bad12:58
kyaki had to heat it, and the plastic melted a bit.. i also had to use more tin, and the whole thing became messy12:59
kyaka then got angry and ripped off the wires and crashed the adapter12:59
kyakviric: the plan is to attach a sensor to the board and make the reading available in my home network13:00
kyakfor god sake, i'll just buy the breakout board (http://www.ebay.com/itm/LinkSprite-Breakout-Board-for-microSD-Transflash-/271102000183?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1ef03c37) - and avoid solderinb13:02
viric'make the reading available' What does that mean?13:03
viricI still don't get it, sorry :)13:03
wpwrakhmm, if tin is on the pads, that's usually a good start. you can actually do that: pre-tin the pads as well. then you only need to make tin join tin, which is easy13:04
wpwrakbut yes, soldering such an adapter ought to be tricky because you have not very heat-tolerant plastic there13:04
larscusing flux makes things also easier13:04
wpwraki was just about to suggest that ;-)13:05
wpwrakmost soldering problems can be solved with: 1) more flux, 2) more heat, 3) less solder. (note: not all may apply at the same time)13:05
larsc4) loud cursing ;)13:06
kyakviric: i mean, sending sensor readings (indication) to my router/server to visualize it13:06
kyakso i need flux then13:07
kyaki only had tin and colophony13:07
wpwrakironically, it's sometimes easy to overheat things if you use too little heat: if the soldering iron is at a temperature that is barely sufficient, you have to heat the contact for a long time before it is hot enough. that means that the heat has a lot of time to flow into adjacent things, traces, chips, PCB, plastic, and possibly do damage there.13:07
wpwrakin such cases, you're much better off setting the iron to a high temperature and going in quickly13:08
viricI never understood how flux works13:08
viricwpwrak: yes, this happens. well pointed13:08
kyaki wonder if there are soldering courses.. i might as well take a couple of lessons13:08
wpwrakflux does several things: 1) it's an acid (i think) that removes oxides. 2) it reduces the surface tension of the tin.13:09
kyakyes, the tin always want to be a ball and doesn't want to stick13:10
viricbtw, I've a device with a broken ethernet RX13:10
viricTX works fine13:10
viricI changed the ethernet filter (the coils), and it still does the same.13:10
wpwrakviric: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flux_(metallurgy)13:10
viricany guess from your wisdom?13:11
viricwpwrak: but doesn't flux make it more difficult to heat? evaporating13:11
virickyak: that can happen because the tin 'ball' surface can get dirty, or with oxide. all oxide goes to the surface.13:11
viricthen the 'ball' surface doesn't stick anywhere.13:11
viricthat's why it can be better to drop that ball away, and start again with more tin13:11
viricalthough likely your tin source has some oxide, so flux will really help13:11
viric:8A;>B0 5ABL >:8A;5=85 (:8A;>@>B0). B@C4=>.13:13
wpwrakkyak: you get balls if 1) the contact(s) is/are not hot enough -> make sure the iron touches the/both contact(s). put a small drop of tin on the tip of the iron to ease the thermal transfer. of the tip is "dry", it's almost impossible to transfer heat with it.  2) if contact(s) is/are covered by oxides. -> clean and/or use flux  3) if the surface tension is too high -> add flux13:13
wpwrakviric: (drop the ball) yeah, that's what i meant with "less solder". you put it more clearly :)13:14
kyaksounds like flux can fix lots of things :) but it probably won't fix the curvature of my hands13:14
viricwpwrak: what you call surface tension, isn't it *oxid* over the hot tin ball?13:14
wpwrakbasically, if you have a problem spot, don't try to force it for too long. that will only cause more problems (e.g., at some point, plastics will melt and traces will separate from the board)13:15
viricI think that the hotter tin or any metal is, the quicker it oxides13:15
kyakwpwrak: can you have a look if this adapter would work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Breakout-Board-for-microSD-Transflash-/120966864747?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2a2fdf6b  I only see 7 pins, no DAT2 and DAT3. No even sure where CMD and CLK are13:16
wpwrakbetter to clean up, remove excess solder (e.g., with a soldering wick or by just scooping it up with the soldering iron), maybe wash off burnt flux (with alcohol), then try again from a clean state13:16
kyak'make clean'13:17
wpwrakviric: (surface tension) surface tension is what makes liquids form balls. also works with water. that's why we have rain and not just fog :)13:17
wpwrakaye ;-)13:17
viricanother trick to get less oxide on the solder tip, is to leave tin on it when you unplug it from power. then tin will rust, not the tip.13:17
viricwpwrak: I know, but why the ball doesn't melt with anything else... it can be because it has oxid around it13:17
wpwrakusually it's the "anything else" that has the oxide13:18
viricIn my picture, hot tin also gets oxided, if hot for long.13:18
cdebe careful of oxidising flux too13:18
viricbe careful of not lighting alcohol too.13:19
wpwrakmelting the ball should pretty much eliminate any contaminations of the tin. i mean, they may still be there, but a liquid mixes in three dimensions while surface contaminations/oxides are very thin. so they just disappear in the drop.13:19
viricwpwrak: ok13:19
wpwraknot sure about tin oxidation. what does happen, though, is that all the flux in your tin evaporates. and then you'll have a bitch of a time doing anything with it. that's one of the reasons why "old" tin balls are better removed.13:20
wpwrakyou could still "make them work" by adding more flux, but you'll be working with an unfavourable volume mixture then, making things only harder13:21
wpwrakcde: there we come to the point of cleaning up afterwards ;-)13:21
viricI agree13:21
viricthen there is the Pb too. All is easier with Pb13:21
viric(in the tin mixture)13:22
wpwrakflux remains aggressive also when cold, just less so than when hot. so it should be removed after soldering is done. else, it may eat into traces, pins, etc., and eventually destroy the circuit.13:22
wpwrakalso, flux can be a weak conductor, especially when there's a bit of humidity. conductive enough to, say, defeat a weak pull-up on a reset line ...13:23
viricwpwrak: ah really? removed with alcohol?13:24
viricwpwrak: in fact I remember you wrote something with LaTeX about soldering and more.13:24
viricor was it aboud making circuit boards at home?13:24
wpwrakthe cleaning method depends a bit on the type of flux. there are special solvents for flux that work quite well. you can also use hot water and alcohol, applied repeatedly. or take the easy approach and get an ultrasound bath. that removes all that dirt remarkably well.13:25
wpwrakmaking circuits at home. pcb, soldering, even testing13:25
wpwrakit's a bit dated, though. i now do things a bit differently13:26
viricit was a very good idea to write a document about that13:26
wpwrakthis is the description: http://www.almesberger.net/misc/led-toy/ledtoy-building-0pre9.pdf13:30
wpwraknow i: 1) use a different acid (HCl + H2O2 - cheaper, cleaner, quicker, easier. drawback: releases Cl2, so don't store it near metal)13:31
wpwrak2) don't "bathe" contacts in solder, especially not SSOP or such. rather, i "paint" the solder over pin and pad. that's usually enough and is a lot quicker and safer.13:32
wpwrakthe approach with solder wick and such is now reserved for problem spots.13:33
viricwhat happens with metal?13:33
wpwrakit corrodes. FAST ;-)13:33
wpwraknot fast enough that you could watch, but if you, say, keep something that releases chloride in an enclosed space, let's say a storage cabinet, you may find after maybe half a year that the metal hinges of that cabinet have been largely converted to rust13:35
wpwrake.g., i kept a bottle of HCl (muriatic acid) under the kitchen sink. small quantities of Cl escaped. now the hinges don't look so pretty (they still work, though) ... and the HCl has now been banished to a box on the terrace13:36
wpwraki also have an improved method for aligning the transfer paper with the pcb, but that's mainly needed because i now cut and drill (with a CNC mill) my boards before etching13:39
wpwrakthe improved alignment works by doing one side at a time. so instead of 1) rough cut of board, 2) transfer toner, 3) etch both sides, 4) fine cut board, it's now13:40
wpwrak1) precision-cut board, 2) transfer toner, 3) etch, and optionally: 4) transfer toner to the other side, 5) etch other side.13:40
wpwrake.g., for things like atben and atusb, i uses that, because things have fairly tight tolerances13:41
wpwrakboard with larger components still allow both sides to be done at the same time. well, unless i have a day of dual left-handedness, in which case i'd fall back to doing them one at a time13:42
wpwrakand i can only recommend the purchase of an ultrasonic cleaner. they're not every expensive, the cheap chinese ones are around USD 100 (plus taxes etc.). the general rule is that the lower the power/volume ratio, the better. and volume doesn't have to be large - just enough room for a pcb.13:46
wpwraklow power is better because there's a risk of hitting a resonant frequency, especially in a bonding wire. the less power, the less risk of that leading to damage.13:47
wpwrakthe "professional" models for electronics cleaning have a variable frequency (sweep) to avoid that sort of problem, but that makes them more expensive13:48
wpwrakultrasonic cleaners are often used for dental cleaning and for fuel injectors. so that's where you find the mass-market variants.13:49
kyakwpwrak: can you have a look if this adapter would work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Breakout-Board-for-microSD-Transflash-/120966864747?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2a2fdf6b  I only see 7 pins, no DAT2 and DAT3. No even sure where CMD and CLK are14:20
wpwrakkyak: looks suspicious. only 7 instead of 8 contacts, and one may just be the card detect switch, so you miss 6 signals.14:50
wpwrakbetter use this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MicroSD-Micro-SD-MSD-Card-Breakout-Board/111078236563?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D261%26meid%3D958576211999441019%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D120966864747%2614:50
kyakwpwrak: requires soldering, but thanks :)15:58
viricthe verb 'breakout', exactly... what does it mean?15:58
wpwrakkyak: you need to overcome your fear :-)16:04
wpwrakviric: in this context, basically "branch out". e.g., you branch out (otherwise inaccessible) signal paths of a circuit16:05
viric'break' sounded dangerous to me16:09
kyakbreakout boards sometimes refer to as terminal boards16:14
viricand 'launchpad'? what is that launchpad?16:21
viricis it just a proper name of a board?16:22
kyakthere are several launchpads by TI.. the one i'm referring to is MSP430 LaunchPad, see http://www.ti.com/ww/en/launchpad/overview_head.html16:23
wpwraklaunchpad is the area from which you launch a rocket16:26
viricok, a product naem 16:27
kyak"high quanlity" search query on ebay reveals quite a few results! :)16:27
wpwrakin pre-technological times, the poetically inclined may have used "fount", "fountain", "source", "dawn", etc.16:28
wpwrakkyak: as a general rule, the more attributes in the name, the less likely it has any of them :)16:29
kyakhttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-AMTECH-Soldering-Flux-Paste-NC-559-ASM-UV-TPF-10CC-USA-Welcome-/331006458141?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d1185b91d <- will this flux be fine?16:30
kyak(this one has "USA Welcome" in it's name, wtf) --)16:31
wpwrakthat also works for countries. e.g., i'd stay away from anything that calls itself a "democratic people's republic" or similar16:31
wpwrak(flux) no clue :)16:32
kyaki guess flux is a flux, so i'll just get the first cheapest16:33
wpwraknormal attributes are: "rosin", "water soluble", "no clean"16:34
wpwrakand no, not all fluxes are created equal16:35
virickyak: why do you buy that through internet?16:35
wpwrakrosin is resin, the sticky stuff that comes out of trees16:35
wpwrakit's a) good for surface tension/cleaning, b) good for "sticking" SMT components to their pads, c) messy to work with, d) a nightmare to clean.16:37
kyakviric: cause i'm going to buy other stuff anyway.. like microsd adapter, and probably that wireless board as well (2 pcs cost 2$, it's nothing)16:37
kyaksome wires maybe, and sensors16:37
virica wireless board for $2?16:38
wpwrakwater soluble is: a) good for surface tension/cleaning, b) borderline for "sticking", c) only a little messy, d) cleanable with some effort (repeated water/alcohol sessions, specialized remover (solvent), or just use an ultrasonic cleaner)16:38
kyakviric: http://www.ebay.com/itm/40056056469216:39
viricah, not wifi16:40
kyaknope :)16:40
wpwrak"no clean" is, at least the one i have: a) poor as a flux (didn't analyze the problems in depth, but soldering in noticeable harder with it than with the others), b) useless for "sticking", c) almost imperceptible, d) nominally doesn't require cleaning. if you want to clean up, the process would be the same as for "water soluble".16:40
kyakwpwrak: is it required to clean up the flux?16:41
wpwraki normally use "water soluble". btw, the name refers to cleaning with hot pressurized water. you can't just wash the flux off with tap water.16:41
wpwrakfor rosin an water soluble, it's strongly advised16:42
kyaki translate "use "no clean16:42
kyaki translate "use "no clean" for home"16:42
kyakwhere do i get an ultrasonic cleaner or hot pressurized water at home?...16:43
wpwrakbesides, if your board is complex, burnt flux makes it hard to see small details, so you want to clean the board from time to time even while making it. e.g., once after tinning, then after soldering (before testing), and a last time after you've debugged it.16:44
wpwrakebay -> ultrasonic cleaner :)16:44
wpwrakhot pressurized water: you don't ;-) your dishwasher would have how water but only mildly pressurized, but it's also full of salts that would have a feast with your fragile circuit16:45
wpwrak"no clean" has the worst soldering performance. at least the one i have. (i mention this because the soldering performance is really bad)16:46
kyaknah, i'm not getting an ultrasonic cleaner just to clean up some soldering joints i make once a year.. Besides, there were no ultrasonic cleaners 30 years, people somehow managed to solder?16:47
wpwrakthe others are good. but rosin (that's your colophony) is messy16:47
kyakwait a second16:47
kyakcolophony is a flux?16:47
wpwraki described it already twice: rinse under hot water while brushing, then apply alcohol, rinse again, etc., until it's clean enough for your taste. you can use a flux remover to accelerate the process16:48
kyakif it is, how do i use it? i just put a soldering tip there every now and then, but i don't really know why16:48
wpwrakweellll .... in what form does it come ?16:49
wpwrakflux can be liquid, a gel, like shoe cream, etc.16:50
kyakthis form :)16:50
wpwrakcristalline ?16:50
wpwrakwow. didn't know it could do that ;-)16:51
kyakyes, it is16:51
wpwraki use a flux pen. that's like a felt pen / marker and dispenses liquid flux16:51
kyakit starts boiling when i put tip in there16:51
kyakand evaporates16:51
wpwrakyou can also use a gel. a bit more messy because it contains more solids.16:51
wpwrakyou want to be able to apply the flux to the parts you're about to solder, before soldering16:52
kyakthis probably explains why the first joint went so well16:52
kyaki applied rosin there, because i was waiting for soldering iron to heat and was bored16:52
kyakso i was sticking it into the rosin, since it has much lower melting temperature16:53
wpwrakyou want something like this: http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?vendor=0&keywords=CW830016:54
wpwrakor this: http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?vendor=0&keywords=SMD4300TF1016:54
wpwrak(first joint) mystery solved :)16:55
wpwrakcause and effect still prevail ;-)16:55
kyaki will get myself another uSD-SD adapter16:56
kyakand relaxants16:56
kyakthere is tin which already has colophony inside. Is it good?16:57
kyak(this is not my case, but i know such thing exists)16:58
wpwrakit helps. but it's better if you can add flux independently.16:59
wpwrakto use tin with flux inside, you have to a) joint the two parts, b) heat them (both), c) feed the solder17:00
wpwrakthat is, to use tin with flux inside, without using separate flux17:01
wpwrakif you have separate flux, it matters much less whether your solder also contains flux. though i'm a bit surprised you can actually easily find solder that has none ;-)17:02
kyaksomehow i found  it :)17:03
wpwrakif you move towards SMT, feeding the solder to the hot joint becomes impractical because you need only a tiny amount of solder. so you put a small drop of solder on the tip of the iron and apply that to the joint. but for this to work, the flux must already be there, since the flux in the solder will have evaporated by the time you're there.17:04
wpwrakplease don't tell me you got plumbing solder ;-) is your solder a wire of about 1 mm diameter or less ?17:05
wpwrakor is it a 1 cm wide bar ?17:05
kyakit'ssomething like this: http://www.chipdip.ru/product0/9000172909/17:07
kyakwhat is plumbing solder?17:08
wpwrak1.5-3.0 mm ... heavy duty solder ;-)17:10
kyakyeah, mine is 1.5 mm17:12
wpwrakyou want proper electronics solder. with such a thick wire, it's already hard to get a small enough drop.17:13
wpwrakcare to share a picture of your soldering iron ? i'm kinda curious what sort of monstrosity you use for that ...17:13
wpwrak(maybe some flamethrower the germans left in ww2 ? :)17:14
kyak--) wait a sec17:14
kyakfor solder, should i search for a thiner wire?17:14
kyakit seems that 1mm is the thinest17:15
wpwrakthe thinner the better. the one i get from local electronics shops is 0.7 mm17:15
wpwrakthat's the one i use most of the time17:16
wpwraki also have some 0.5 mm solder. that's pretty thin.17:18
wpwrak(what matters is the square of the diameter, so if 0.7 mm is "1", with 0.5 mm, I get half the amount of tin per distance17:19
wpwrakwith 1 mm would be "2". 1.5 mm is "4" ...17:19
wpwrakso with your thick wire, you have to be four times more precise than i have to be with my 0.7 mm wire. well, it doesn't exactly work like that, but it means that you'll have more trouble with dosage than i do17:20
wpwrakespecially when feeding solder to a joint17:21
wpwrak(as oppose to getting a small drop on the tip of the iron)17:21
wpwrakthe tip seems reasonable. but the pistol grip is really inconvenient for precision work. what you want it a pencil-shaped iron.17:22
kyakyeah, i don't use the handle like you hold a pistol.. i kinda hold it by it's horizontal part17:23
kyaknot very convenient17:23
wpwrakexactly. something like this would be a lot more convenient: http://www.howardelectronics.com/xytronic/253.html17:24
wpwrakbut i'd spend a bit more money and get something like this: http://www.howardelectronics.com/xytronic/lf369D.html17:25
kyaklook too pro :)17:25
wpwraktemperature control is useful if you have different sizes of things. e.g., for small things, about 270 C is great (on my station. the numbers may differ on other equipment)17:26
wpwrakUSD 50 for the station. about twice what a fixed-temperature iron costs17:26
wpwrakyou can probably find cheaper ones, too. xytronic are pretty good, though.17:27
kyakso i need a new everything :)17:27
wpwrakif soldering connectors with a lot of metal, i increase the temperature to 370 C. that way, the connector can suck up heat and the iron is still hot17:27
wpwrakalso, when tinning boards, i set the iron to 370 C, because i want to be able to move it quickly, to avoid overheating the "glue" under the traces17:28
wpwrakyeah, you need to get yourself some decent equipment17:28
wpwrakit's not that expensive. for about USD 100, you should be able to put together a pretty decent starter kit17:30
kyaki'll just finish this particular project with a pistol solder, and see if i still have an urge to do anything myself17:30
wpwrakyou'll also want small tweezers. like these: http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/ts--15-tweezers.html17:31
kyakyeah, i really lack those...17:31
wpwrakand you'll also want these: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PROSKIT-8PK3002D-WIRE-STRIPPER-PROS-KIT-PK3002-/40053526288017:32
wpwrakand the pk-3001 model, for thinner wires17:32
kyakdoing it with a knife right now :)17:34
wpwrakthey work great. much better than these critters: http://www.electronicum.at/preisliste/BILDER/1560-Abisolierzange-506.jpg17:34
wpwrakknife is okay but requires more skill. also has a much higher risk of cutting into the wire, damaging it17:34
wpwrakthese are also very nice: http://www.lotos.si/en-us/shop/item/263040000010217:35
wpwrak(i mean the specific model) they're very precise and well-built17:36
wpwrakthese are some of the essential tools. with proper tools, you'll be surprised how easy things are :)17:36
larscI think I have the second xytronic at the office, I can confirm that it works nicely17:38
wpwrak(finish with pistol) you have it backwards ;-) we already know that your tools are not good, so you can save yourself the frustration and get better ones17:38
kyakok, thanks for advice!17:44
kyaktools are very important, no argue here. And the same applies everywhere, not just DIYing17:45
wpwrakyeah, the more expensive the failures, the more certain you want to be your tools won't let you down :)17:47
Action: paul_boddie just saw there was a soldering tutorial in progress. :-)17:47
wpwrakheh :)17:50
paul_boddieI sympathise again with kyak and the trials of soldering.18:03
paul_boddieBut I found that 60/40 tin/lead solder made a difference with my iron.18:05
paul_boddieThis stuff: http://www.clasohlson.com/uk/Electrical-Solder/30-956518:05
paul_boddieI still made a few solder balls, but it was a lot less frustrating than last time, but still frustrating. ;-)18:06
paul_boddieI read a review of the lead-free solder stating that it was "impossible" for soldering electronics.18:11
wpwraknaw, it's far from impossible. but it adds a challenge :)18:19
kyakheh, seriously? 220 Volt Power Option makes Xytronic LF-369D $21 more expensive19:20
kyakas compared to a base 110 Volt19:20
paul_boddieFor some irons it can be a real challenge. I think that some vendors sell irons assuming that people will use them with tin/lead solder.19:20
kyakalso i can't really find xytronic in russia.. and shipping is more expensive than the iron19:21
kyakwill look for something else19:21
wpwrakpaul_boddie: it's all a question of temperature. of course, with a fixed-temperature iron you'll more easily encounter a situation where it doesn't do what you want19:21
wpwrakkyak: a lot of chinese devices get rebranded. so you can often simply compare the picture. in many cases, devices that look the same really are the same19:23
paul_boddieIndeed. My feeling is that various "popular electronics hobby" vendors think that everyone is singing from their songbook.19:23
wpwrakalso, since the one you start with is already low-cost, there's not so much risk of the "clones" being flawed copies19:23
wpwrakpaul_boddie: just avoid the fixed-temperature irons :) better equipment isn't all that hard to find and only costs a little more19:24
kyakok :)19:25
wpwrakat some point, you also have to ask yourself if saving USD 20 is really worth days of suffering because things just don't want to work (plus the value of all the components you destroy in the process)19:26
wpwrakkyak: don't you have any city with some electronics shops where you live ?19:26
paul_boddieI think the problem is that people don't always know what they want when they start out.19:26
wpwrakkyak: all those things are really basic. they shouldn't be *that* hard to find19:27
paul_boddieSo they go along with advice about these things where the people giving the advice makes a lot of assumptions.19:27
wpwrakpaul_boddie: yeah, that's a bit of a problem. often, the "entry level" (= cheap) stuff just doesn't cut it. not only in electronics.19:27
kyakwpwrak: there is a lot of stuff. it's just that i don't really know what to choose19:28
wpwrakkyak: well, you know have a shopping list and some decision criteria :)19:28
paul_boddieSo, people say "this iron is great - it's all you need", but they don't mention that they only consider it usable with tin/lead solder.19:28
paul_boddieBecause that's all they use. They don't consider that many people may only see the lead-free stuff.19:29
kyakwpwrak: that's basically how i filter it now :)19:29
paul_boddieAs for cities with electronics shops, I was surprised to see soldering stuff resurface where I live.19:29
wpwrakleaded should still be rather common for DIY, even in europe, shouldn't it ?19:30
paul_boddieFor a while I thought we'd made a complete transition to a hipster economy and there was no more electronics soldering kit to be bought.19:31
paul_boddieBut I think the supply chain was just being flushed. That's when I noticed the tin/lead stuff which I hadn't seen before.19:31
paul_boddiewpwrak: Depends on what you mean by DIY. I'm not sure they recommend it for plumbing. ;-)19:32
wpwrakelectronics :)19:33
wpwraki actually wonder if lead pipes are really THAT dangerous. and i very much doubt the tiny amount of lead that can get sucked out of solder joints could possibly be much of a problem. well, unless you believe rather strongly in homoeopathy :)19:35
DocScrutinizer05wpwrak: could you finally take (and provide) some snapshots of the GTA03 prototypes? I think the "company confidential" meanwhile expired.20:19
DocScrutinizer05lead pipes for water are not completely harmless. For RoHS I'd think they wend nuts like they did for "Energy saving non-incandescent bulbs", where the CCFL with all the mercury and electronics is way worse than an incandescent lamp plus all the possible pollution by power plants for producing the electricity that they waste20:25
DocScrutinizer05probably the crap you need to use to avoid lead in solder is more nasty than the lead20:27
DocScrutinizer05particularly when you count in flux and whatnot, and the production process for the alternative metals in lead-free solder20:27
paul_boddieDocScrutinizer05: Are you the prime motivator for this Neo900 thing?21:01
DocScrutinizer05you might put it like that, yeah21:02
paul_boddieSeems like a reasonable idea. I guess GTA04 is a safe bet for stuff like production.21:03
paul_boddieWas just interested, really. I don't have an N900 or a Neo.21:03
DocScrutinizer05maybe you want to h´get a Neo900?21:03
DocScrutinizer05ooops, earthquake ;-D21:04
paul_boddieSo rare to see such coordination between communities. :-)21:04
DocScrutinizer05andway thanks for the support21:04
paul_boddieI had thought about getting an open smartphone, but the thing that has always been a concern is the state of the software.21:06
paul_boddieI lurk on the GTA04 list, so I sort of follow this kind of thing.21:07
paul_boddiewpwrak: There was the theory that lead poisoning pretty much did it for the Roman Empire, but they were a bit more careless than us.21:09
wpwrak(gta03) maybe ... would have to check the contracts. but then ... who cares nowadays about that anyway ? :)21:09
wpwrakin fact, i think showing the pretty curves could just draw interest in the wrong direction21:10
wpwrakwell, unless you want to frame it as "you were promised ... <this>. the untrustworthy chinese of course broke their promise. now, many years later, the steadfast germans can deliver <this>"21:11
wpwraknot sure this would be a smart marketing campaign, though :)21:12
paul_boddieWhere do the mischievous Finns come into the story? ;-)21:13
wpwrakpaul_boddie: the lead poisoning theory is very pretty. but does it make sense ? it would affect the big cities. people on the countryside would still get regular clean water. you didn't have to live in rome in order to have power. in fact, much better to be on the move, destroying enemy armies. or quietly live on the countryside, to be called to the capital in times of dire need, like cincinnatus.21:14
paul_boddiewpwrak: I think it had something to do with the way they cooked in lead pans.21:15
wpwrakDocScrutinizer05: i think RoHS may have some long-term benefits: get companies to seek alternatives to lead instead of taking it for granted. CCFL, on the other hand, reeks of idiocy or a very poor bribery-related-self-image21:16
DocScrutinizer05wpwrak: I'm just on my usual crusade for full disclosure21:16
paul_boddieIf anything, I think it's just another contributing factor to the poor judgement of various members of the Roman elite.21:16
DocScrutinizer05wpwrak: not idiocy, extremely smart business21:17
DocScrutinizer05though rogue21:17
wpwrakpaul_boddie: if you think the romans were decadent, what would you say about a society that has NSA/GHCQ, patent lawyers, and iTablets ? ;-)21:18
wpwrakDocScrutinizer05: which brings us to bribery ...21:18
wpwrakwhich, of course, is cleverly concealed, for all we know that bribery is bad. but who could begrudge us of, say, some well-placed incentives ?21:19
DocScrutinizer05and, as usual, the true lifespan limited to <<1000h21:19
wpwraki found a solution for the lifespan: argentina was eager to follow the EU nonsense. so the light in my corridor stays on from dusk to dawn. works great, still using the very first lamp.21:20
wpwrakthat lamp must have more than about 10 khours by now21:21
DocScrutinizer05twin of that bulb in the firehouse somewhere in NY(?), eh?21:25
uncloudedthe 1000h could also be noisy power.  our CFLs in the city blow more often than they should.  the tube is fine and the ballast is cheap.  friends who live off-grid with the same bulbs have never blown a bulb21:25
uncloudedstill, hopefully LEDs will replace CFLs before too long21:25
DocScrutinizer05I'm already on LED for two21:26
DocScrutinizer05nice stuff so far21:26
uncloudedis it still a 240/110V socket?21:27
DocScrutinizer05just costs more than gold21:27
uncloudedthat's the only way it will be popular because of existing sockets.  we're running 12V LED strips so only have a single 12V supply but it's not for everyone21:28
unclouded$3/m from DX FTW21:29
uncloudedthat looks like a nicely-made part21:29
wpwraki'm all for led, too, of course. whatever form or voltage, it cannot possibly be worse than its predecessors :)21:32
uncloudedseems I lied about the cost.  the one that produces the best light is $9/m21:47
uncloudedI guess that's more expensive than a CFL21:47
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