Another requested post today and a perfect opportunity to raise something I’ve been meaning to for a while. If you want to see anything in particular on this blog, let me know and I’ll do my best to oblige.
Ok, lets get to it. Soldering is something that is very much overlooked in the world of blaster modding; with many people instead relying on the much dodgier ‘twist and tape’ method or just ignoring electrical modding altogether. Now twist and tape might very well work for quite some time, but it’s nothing compared to soldering. I started writing a ‘what is solder’ explanation here, but then realised that Wikipedia both already said it, and probably said it better…
“Solder is a fusable metal alloy used to join together metal workpieces and having a melting point below that of the workpiece(s). Soft solder is what is most often thought of when solder or soldering is mentioned and it typically has a melting range of 90 to 450 °C.”
“Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the workpiece. Soldering differs from welding in that soldering does not involve melting the work pieces.”
Awesome.Today we’ll run through joining two wires together, but the basic principles can be used on practically anything involving a wire and something else to connect it to.
We’ll start off with the tools and material as always; in this case some solder and a soldering iron.
And some wire which we’ll be joining.
Strip back a little of the plastic coating to reveal the exposed wire. Wire strippers are ideal for this, but with a little practice, a set of pliers with a cutting tool will be sufficient.
Once the wires are exposed, twist the individual strands together to form one core.
Do the same to the other wire we want to join.
Bend the ends to form little hooks.
Hook the two ends together.
Then twist the wires back around themselves. This ensures that even without the solder, you’ve still got a relatively solid join right here.
Start by heating the wire itself, then apply some solder to the wire. This will ensure that the solder is distributed between the individual strands of wire throughout the entire joint.
A common mistake is to apply the solder to the iron and let it melt over the wire. This isn’t what we’re after as you’ll just end up with a blob of solder on top of the joint, with nothing in the middle. This obviously won’t be as strong.
Once you’re done, cover with tape.
And we’re done.