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Deang

How many here can actually solder?

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I'm curious; to those who can solder, but paid to have someone else do your networks - what stopped you from doing them yourselves?

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I can cook,  but I still dine out frequently.  I can do exhaust work, but I choose to let someone else lye on their back and get rust in their face.

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I would think that it would be the ease of availability to high quality components and of course your experience in putting all of that together relatively quickly. Not an endorsement, just an opinion.

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I can solder.

 

- At one time in my life I was employed as a Process Engineer/Technical Trainer for a United States Department of Defense contractor. I was certified/recertified as an instructor at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California.  I was qualified to train and certify hand soldering and wave flow soldering machine operators to meet the following specifications: Weapon Spec-6536E, DoD-STD-2000, MIL-STD-2000, NASA-STD-8739.3. I taught/certified/failed Assembly Line Operators/Supervisors, Quality Control Inspectors, Quality Assurance Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Procurement Engineers and NATO partner engineers/technicians. One of the most flattering accomplishments of my career was when I was selected to draft the Workmanship & Quality Standards chapter on soldering for the DoD side of the corporation. We manufactured weapon systems (FLIR's, missiles, drones and too many other weapon systems to list) as well as Space Navigation Receiver (SNR) satellites (commonly known as GPS).

 

- In Junior High school I first learned to solder in the Boy Scouts (Merit Badges in Electricity, Electronics & Home Repairs) and a year long course in Junior High shop class (Electricity & Electrical Circuits).

 

- While I was a kid, my next door neighbor (Mr. Burgess) operated a television and radio repair shop out of a 20 x 60 foot outbuilding in his backyard. I spent hours and hours and hours watching and learning from him. I had the immense privilege and pleasure to help with the repairs as an unpaid apprentice.

 

- Some of my first projects as a teenager were: Heathkits (vacuum tube pre-amplifiers/amplifiers/tuners and loud speakers), Dynakits (solid state pre-amplifier/amplifier) and countless Edmunds Scientific projects which only supplied the minimal ingredients and required me to scrounge high-and-low for the rest of the components. I hand-wired and assembled an overhead projector,  a crystal radio, a HAM radio, a clock/radio, a telescope, VOM meters, a dual-trace oscilloscope, a sine-wave/square-wave generator, two tube testers and various other gadgets and kits just for fun. 

 

- Other projects: ordered and hand-assembled from scratch the last two Moondog amplifier kits sold by Welborne Labs.

 

- Current projects: I recently ordered and received the parts from Parts Express to rebuild the crossovers in my Radio Shack Minimus 7 speakers.

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

In other words Dean, if you decide to offer a crossover as a kit, I am confident that I could build it.

 

:)

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Edited to add: I also learned a great deal about WIRE WRAP applications and how to test/inspect/certify wire wrap tools and operators. I was even called upon to prove to DoD inspectors (DCASPRO - Defense Contract Administration Services Plant Representative's Office) that wire wrap connections were superior to solder connections in our satellite assemblies.

 

For example: wire wrap connections were used exclusively in many of the satellites that I worked on for two primary reasons; 1) outgassing issues with solder connections, and 2) the proven mechanical rigidity of wire wrap connections and the impossibility/impracticability of retrieving the satellite for repair-or-replacement.

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Edited to add: After I left the field of DoD contract work, I entered the field of Telecommunications and Data Network Infrastructure. You might be surprised to learn that the PREDOMINATE method of making electrical/electronic connections in these fields is via WIRE WRAP and INSULATION DISPLACEMENT CONNECTIONS.

 

Impressive.  You've got me beat.  30+ years ago, I attended a week-long Mil Spec soldering school when I worked for General Dynamics. I was certified to solder anything on the F-16 production line.

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I'm curious; to those who can solder, but paid to have someone else do your networks - what stopped you from doing them yourselves?

 

 

I can solder, make things stick, create resistance and my joints look like fishing weights.   Im pretty good at curling the insulation back at the joint too.   Maybe my butane solder iron runs a little too hot.   Im better with a torch, a stick of lead and filling dented fenders.

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I would think that it would be the ease of availability to high quality components and of course your experience in putting all of that together relatively quickly. Not an endorsement, just an opinion.

Okay, well any of you loons are smart enough to read a simple schematic and source the parts of your choice.

With all of the kits that Crites has sold, I figured this thread would be up to 50 pages by now. Of course, I've seen some of that work, as well as plenty of results from the Universal kits -- which is why I've stayed away from kits.

Gil makes good suggestions on the first page. A temperature controlled soldering iron and the right solder are a very good start. You also need: a glue gun, a good drill, zip ties of several different sizes, small needle nose pliers, small wire cutters, desoldering braid, tin/copper bus wire, crimper, disconnects, and other small parts. You could also invest in a lot of test equipment, but the parts you buy are tested at the factory - and new capacitors either work or they don't. Incidentally, the same with coils - they either work or they don't. Still, I recommend a multimeter, and another meter for measuring capacitance and inductance.

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I'm winding things down over here. I'm down to three AA builds and then I think I'm done. I have a half dozen emails that I haven't answered yet because I really don't want to take the work, but can't seem to say no. So I started thinking about kits again, but this could be a potential nightmare. So I was curious to see how many could actually solder.

I am unafraid but mediocre. Just make the instructions really clear.

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I would think that it would be the ease of availability to high quality components and of course your experience in putting all of that together relatively quickly. Not an endorsement, just an opinion.

Okay, well any of you loons are smart enough to read a simple schematic and source the parts of your choice.

With all of the kits that Crites has sold, I figured this thread would be up to 50 pages by now. Of course, I've seen some of that work, as well as plenty of results from the Universal kits -- which is why I've stayed away from kits.

Gil makes good suggestions on the first page. A temperature controlled soldering iron and the right solder are a very good start. You also need: a glue gun, a good drill, zip ties of several different sizes, small needle nose pliers, small wire cutters, desoldering braid, tin/copper bus wire, crimper, disconnects, and other small parts. You could also invest in a lot of test equipment, but the parts you buy are tested at the factory - and new capacitors either work or they don't. Incidentally, the same with coils - they either work or they don't. Still, I recommend a multimeter, and another meter for measuring capacitance and inductance.

yes but the information, the database of suppliers for specific applications is invaluable. That's something that certainly takes a long time to acquire and a mastery of putting it in practice. Regardless of whether the person receiving the goods actually ends up being happy with it is still a pretty good size crapshoot, still, it's worth a try.....

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I soldered my Crites kits for my Heresy's, easy work. I use a Metcal soldering station with the induction heating quick change cartridges. Use the right style tip, flux and your on and off the joint pronto. Makes soldering fun.

 

BillWojo

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Nice unit. I do everything with a Halco FX-888 with a T18-D32 chisel tip.

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Was talking to Mark Seaton on the phone
name dropping huh. aren't you cool  B)  

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Thanks Deang. I did a lot of research before deciding on the Metcal. At that point I watched Ebay and put a nice setup together for under 150.00. I purchased a used power supply, a new handle and a bunch of cartridges, both new and used. Even picked up the correct holder for the pencil handle with the cavity for the sponge. Compared to my old Weller it's a night and day difference. Money well spent.

 

BillWojo

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I replaced the input cap on my Lepai amps which was my first soldering adventure, they were through hole too which made it more tricky. Still not really confident but am capable of working with it. My biggest problem I am working on is getting the damn solder wick to actually pick up the old solder when its molten. I am going to re-cap my KG-5.5s soon though. 

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Soldering is not rocket science and is easy to learn.

 

The trick is enough heat for solder to flow freely but not too much so you melt your work.

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What's really important is to use the proper temperature and the properly sized tip. Temps should range from 600 to 900 deg. F depending on the size of the metals to be soldered and the type of solder used. Around 700 to 800 deg. is typical for most electronics work from point to point wiring to PC boards. I like a tip about 1/2 inch long at 700 deg. for point to point and a longer, thinner tip at 800 for PC board work. If one does not have much experience with PC boards, start with lower temps because it is easy to lift traces off the board with too much heat. Desoldering a PC board can be tricky, so if one has never done that before it may be wise to have someone with experience do that.

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Solder.....screw that I use super glue...

Are you serious or just kidding?

 

I believe he's seriously kidding. :D   my soldering skills are ok, I just don't do it that often, but purchasing a Hakko 888 certainly helped, as did the right chisel tip for what I generally do. 

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Solder.....screw that I use super glue...

 

I love it, Craig! I HAVE used super glue to hold down a long piece of 30 gauge wire used to fix an error in a PC board. After the ends were soldered down...

 

Bruce

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I would think that it would be the ease of availability to high quality components and of course your experience in putting all of that together relatively quickly. Not an endorsement, just an opinion.

Okay, well any of you loons are smart enough to read a simple schematic and source the parts of your choice.

With all of the kits that Crites has sold, I figured this thread would be up to 50 pages by now. Of course, I've seen some of that work, as well as plenty of results from the Universal kits -- which is why I've stayed away from kits.

Gil makes good suggestions on the first page. A temperature controlled soldering iron and the right solder are a very good start. You also need: a glue gun, a good drill, zip ties of several different sizes, small needle nose pliers, small wire cutters, desoldering braid, tin/copper bus wire, crimper, disconnects, and other small parts. You could also invest in a lot of test equipment, but the parts you buy are tested at the factory - and new capacitors either work or they don't. Incidentally, the same with coils - they either work or they don't. Still, I recommend a multimeter, and another meter for measuring capacitance and inductance.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to do a kit, I just don't want to be the one trying to figure out the pieces and parts and the configuration, that's why I had you do them for my split cornscala's.  I think another consideration is time for me anyway, I always have a huge list of things I need to do, and work a lot of hours, and I've learned that sometimes it pays me to pay someone else so I can focus on the things that I'm proficient at.  How've you been Dean?

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