In addition to the theoretical and design skills necessary to design a printed circuit board, great mechanical skill is also required for soldering components. In the PCB design phase there are holes made in strategic places on the board. Each component will be attached to the board by soldering the leads into those holes. If the soldering is done poorly or incorrectly, it will interfere with the proper function of the board. Click here to learn more about PCB design.
Proper Soldering Leads to Better PCB Functionality.
To create a PCB that works properly, follow these tips on soldering:
Using a soldering iron with temperature control
A soldering iron that doesn't have temperature control won't be able to sustain the heat required for effective soldering. Be sure your soldering iron has tip settings of six hundred to seven hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure to clean the tip of the iron
Steel wool pads and damp sponges are things you can use to clean extra solder from the tip of the iron. If using a damp sponge, wipe the tip quickly to avoid prolonged contact with the moisture. It will decrease the temperature of your iron and reduce the quality of your work.
Components must be flush with the circuit board
If no special instructions are given, every component needs to be attached flush with the board. This is part of proper PCB design and it helps create the correct contacts for each component lead.
Don't use excessive amounts of solder
You will only need a tiny bit of solder to attach board components. If you use excessive amounts of solder it will creep onto other components and tracks. For more PCB design tips, click here.
Heat component leads and copper pads when soldering
You must heat your soldering surfaces to ensure the proper flow of solder in your connections. The extra surface heat helps the solder flow into all parts of your connection in both through hole and surface mount boards. Clumps and rosin joints are some of the problems with improper surface heating.
Eliminate excess lead
To clip off the excess lead on the backside of the printed circuit board use diagonal cutters. Excess leads can lead to problems like unwanted contact with other components and wires. Be sure that your board is clean and organized from the design phase to construction. For more PCB design info, click here.