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Alternative to soldering
Old 06-26-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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Alternative to soldering

I inadvertently broke two wires off a tiny circuit board that were soldered in place. I don't own a soldering gun + accessories and priced them at the hardware store, but it would be very expensive for me to buy all the equipment to use just one time. I don't know anyone with soldering equipment either.

Is there any other way I can attach these wires back to the board? Could I just superglue the wires in place against the soldered points on the board? Any other thoughts?
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
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You have access to a Radio Shack? Is this in your price range? 25-Watt Pencil - RadioShack.com
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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REWahoo beat me to it.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #4
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No Radio Shacks this side of the Atlantic, but maybe I can find something like that here, I'll just have to do some more looking. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #5
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I needed to solder a small wire in my GPS circuit board and I only have large soldering guns. I grabbed a small nail with a pair of pliers, heated the nail red hot with a propane torch, then touched it to the solder. Worked like a charm.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:57 AM   #6
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Oops, Trek I forgot you were in Estonia - no RS I suppose.

As to glue, I'm pretty sure it won't work.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:58 AM   #7
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I needed to solder a small wire in my GPS circuit board and I only have large soldering guns. I grabbed a small nail with a pair of pliers, heated the nail red hot with a propane torch, then touched it to the solder. Worked like a charm.
Clever idea. I don't have a propane torch, but I do have a gas stove in the kitchen. I could heat a nail using that flame. Thanks for the idea!!!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:06 AM   #8
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What would MacGyver do?
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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Hey! I wrote that episode! My guy took the small screws from his sun glasses and used them to attach the wires to the board. Because he was in the dessert, he then used cactus thorns to hold the sunglass frames together. WHAT A GUY!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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The hot nail sounds like a good idea.
If that doesn't work, would you be able to order from a place like deal Extreme?
DealExtreme: $8.60 Heat Adjustable Safety 40W Electronics DIY Soldering Iron (100~450'C/220~240V AC)
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #11
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Done! I heated up a small nail on the stove until it was red hot and then quickly placed it against the wire/solder points and they melted right together.

In retrospect, I didn't need an alternative to solder, but an alternative to a soldering gun! Thanks again travelover.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:09 AM   #12
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Done! I heated up a small nail on the stove until it was red hot and then quickly placed it against the wire/solder points and they melted right together.

In retrospect, I didn't need an alternative to solder, but an alternative to a soldering gun! Thanks again travelover.
Good job, Trek. You nailed it!
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:10 AM   #13
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Good job, Trek. You nailed it!
Definitely a hot tip. Can't hammer that home enough...
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:26 AM   #14
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Done! I heated up a small nail on the stove until it was red hot and then quickly placed it against the wire/solder points and they melted right together.
Glad to hear it worked for you - I've done something along those lines when I didn't want to hit the object directly with the flame of the torch.

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In retrospect, I didn't need an alternative to solder, but an alternative to a soldering gun! Thanks again travelover.
A good lesson in problem solving! Sometimes you need to think more about the problem itself, rather than the conventional solutions. It reminds of the marketing slogan that "No one ever really wants to buy a drill bit, what they want is a hole".

-ERD50
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:04 PM   #15
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It reminds of the marketing slogan that "No one ever really wants to buy a drill bit, what they want is a hole".

-ERD50
Heh, Heh. Reminds me of Howard Hughes line to congress ragging him about having a monopoly on well drilling bits. His answer: No need to buy my drill bits, they can always use a pick and shovel.

As for quickie soldering rig. Take apart a "D" cell, Connect the extracted carbon and sharpened (like a pencil) rod to a battery terminal (12V Motorcycle or car) via wire. Connect the other terminal to whatever needs soldering. Touch carbon tip to said material, voila, heat. Just add solder. Works better on larger pieces.

And no, McGyver never heard of this one. Pssst, keep it quiet, it is a secret.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #16
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Glad to hear the hot nail worked, that's something simple to keep in mind.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:33 AM   #17
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Soldering guns are not used on circuit boards. Unless you want to destroy them. A small pencil iron is the correct tool. 25 - 40 watts.

Rosin core solder also. Watch out for the solder used in plumbing which has an acid core.

60/40 Tin-Lead works best if you can still find it. (I have a lifetime supply)
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:04 AM   #18
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Note that you ARE going to need to solder again, so you might want to pick up an iron. There is great pleasure in fixing things with a good soldering job. You can certainly save the cost of a few soldering accessories also by fixing your headphones, power supply cables, etc. I got one of these at a garage sale recently, which makes things a lot easier and more enjoyable:

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Old 06-27-2010, 10:33 AM   #19
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Note that you ARE going to need to solder again, so you might want to pick up an iron. There is great pleasure in fixing things with a good soldering job. You can certainly save the cost of a few soldering accessories also by fixing your headphones, power supply cables, etc. I got one of these at a garage sale recently, which makes things a lot easier and more enjoyable:

These go on sale at Harbor Freight for about $2 frequently. Very handy for soldering two wires with minds of their own.
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