Building the Morserino


Carlos KD2VOX
 

I am getting ready to put mine together, And am wondering is I could get any pointers and or advise.  I have watched a few videos in YouTube and I am confident I can do it,  However I do not have a soldering Iron and,  since I am not  (for the moment ) into building electronics considering this "affordable" tool.  My local Radio shack went out of business a few years ago, so I am forced to go places like  Ebay and Home Depot. 
Am I correct  thinking the soldering must contain lead ? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/124119096797?hash=item1ce6131ddd:g:ZVEAAOSwnexebovA

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-Rosin-Solder-61474/207038687 
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-8-oz-Leaded-Rosin-Core-Solder-61477/207038690

Thank you

Carlos
KD2VOX




Benton Jackson
 

The solder does not have to have lead, but if you're a beginner I would highly recommend it. The lead makes the solder flow a lot easier and make a better connection.

If you absolutely have to use lead-free solder, at least get some with a touch of silver in it, that makes it flow a bit better. Like this one, which is 99% Sn, .7% Cu, and .3%Ag. https://smile.amazon.com/Mudder-Solder-Electrical-Soldering-0-22lbs/dp/B01B61TWGY


On Sat, Jul 10, 2021 at 3:29 PM Carlos KD2VOX <kd2vox@...> wrote:
I am getting ready to put mine together, And am wondering is I could get any pointers and or advise.  I have watched a few videos in YouTube and I am confident I can do it,  However I do not have a soldering Iron and,  since I am not  (for the moment ) into building electronics considering this "affordable" tool.  My local Radio shack went out of business a few years ago, so I am forced to go places like  Ebay and Home Depot. 
Am I correct  thinking the soldering must contain lead ? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/124119096797?hash=item1ce6131ddd:g:ZVEAAOSwnexebovA

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-Rosin-Solder-61474/207038687 
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-8-oz-Leaded-Rosin-Core-Solder-61477/207038690

Thank you

Carlos
KD2VOX




Gwen Patton
 

Carlos,

There's a LOT of options out there for soldering irons. What you want right up front is _temperature control._ You need to be able to set it so the tip gets hot enough, not just to melt the solder, but to heat the connection point hot enough for the solder to "wet" it and stick properly. If the pad or wire or lug you're soldering to is too massive for the temperature you've set, the connection will be a "cold solder joint", and will very likely cause problems later. So you want the iron to get hot enough for the solder to flow onto and stick to everything it's supposed to. But you also want it controllable so it doesn't get TOO hot, and damage components. I've got two soldering irons for PCB soldering, but since you're just starting to build the kit, here's one that's inexpensive, simple to use, and will handle most of what you want to do at this point without a problem.

https://www.banggood.com/MUSTOOL-MT883-80W-Electric-Solder-Iron-Station-Adjustable-Temperature-180-480-or-392-896-Auto-Sleeping-110V-or-220V-EU-or-US-or-UK-Plug-Option-p-1553736.html

This is the iron I use when I not only could be soldering components to the board, but also soldering connectors. Connectors can be a pain to solder, since they're large masses of metal compared to the wires and copper PCB pads you were soldering the other parts to. They absorb a lot of heat, making it hard to get the connection hot enough. So you have a temperature control to raise the heat in the tip, and the iron has enough thermal mass so it won't cool down too much when soldering something with some mass to it. I've found mine to be completely reliable, and it's inexpensive enough that, if you decide that building stuff isn't really to your liking after all, you won't feel guilty about sticking this in a toolbox, since it's only $12. I find it difficult to set aside something when I've spent a pile of money on it -- my Scots blood rebels!

The other PCB iron I have is a small one with a long, delicate tip for those times when I feel like hand-soldering surface-mount components. Usually, I apply solder paste with a syringe, then use a hot air pencil to melt the solder onto a bunch of connections at once, but when there's only a few components, using an iron to do it isn't really tough. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XBFTKMY

This is a TS100 temperature controlled DC iron, that's powered with a laptop power brick. This package came with a small power brick, but I replaced it with a higher voltage supply that supplies 24 volts, I think the maximum it'll safely use. I use an ILS tip, which is long and tapered, with a semi-wedge at the end to allow enough surface contact to get everything hot enough. It's very lightweight and there's a TON of different brands making the same iron. The tips are available everywhere. There's a new version, the TS80, that uses a different tip connection that's supposedly better, but I just didn't see a need to upgrade. If I break my TS100, I may get one of the TS80's, but we'll see.

Don't cheap out on solder. If you have to get lead-free, the suggestion of the Tin/Copper/Silver alloy is really good. But get it from a reputable dealer, like Kester. Cheap, Wun Hung Low brands just aren't worth the couple of bucks you'll save on them. I dislike lead-free solder with the heat of a thousand suns, so I get the standard 60/40 Tin/Lead Rosin-core solder, but I get the really thin 0.031" diameter variety. Since I'm soldering really small parts, thin solder is much easier to use. If you see "plumbing" or "acid core" on the description, DO NOT USE IT. That's for soldering copper pipe, not electronics. The acid flux will eat your components and destroy the board. You want ROSIN core. That's for electronic use.

Good quality solder wick or some other de-soldering tool is also very handy. I've never managed to get one of the pneumatic solder suckers to work, though, so I stick to wick. Maybe I'll get a vacuum desoldering gun at some point.

One more thing I suggest is a rosin flux pen. It's like a marker that applies liquid flux. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077GVRMZQ/

This lets you pre-flux the pad where you're going to solder to, if it seems like the solder isn't flowing well into the connection. I also use it to give the desoldering wick a bit of a head start. It has rosin in it already, but it's dry. A touch of fresh flux helps the solder flow out of the connection into the wick easier.

Ok, I've babbled long enough. There's a thousand other options out there, and I'm sure someone else will bring up their favorite system, like a Hakko soldering station, or a hot air rework station, or a reflow plate. (I have the hot air station and reflow plate. I use the former, but I've never used the latter.) I've heard great things about Hakko soldering stations, but they're very expensive, and there's a lot of counterfeit models being sold online these days.

The Morserino is a great kit, and very useful. I hope everything goes okay and you get as much enjoyment from  yours as I got from mine!

73,
Gwen, NG3P


va3smu@...
 

Hi,

agreed on the leaded solder.  It's easier to work with.  Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you solder with leaded solder.

I would recommend having a look at these soldering tutorials (I use these links when talking about soldering with my college/university students)

1. Adafruit: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guide-excellent-soldering/surface-mount?view=all
2. Sparkfun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f95i88OSWB4
3. EEVBlog:
a. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5Sb21qbpEQ
b. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYz5nIHH0iY&t=0s
c. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9FC9fAlfQE&t=0s 

Adafruit has some suggestions for a soldering kit: https://learn.adafruit.com/make-it-glow-how-to-solder-neopixels-a-beginners-guide/your-soldering-kit

Weller sells really good soldering stations for affordable prices ($75 to $150).

James


Valerio Angelici
 

If I can add something to the previous posts, avoid using cheap solder. I'm in Europe, and from when I bought a roll of Kester solder (with shipping from USA I paid a lot for it) I use only that for everything! 


Il dom 11 lug 2021, 08:21 <va3smu@...> ha scritto:
Hi,

agreed on the leaded solder.  It's easier to work with.  Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you solder with leaded solder.

I would recommend having a look at these soldering tutorials (I use these links when talking about soldering with my college/university students)

1. Adafruit: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guide-excellent-soldering/surface-mount?view=all
2. Sparkfun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f95i88OSWB4
3. EEVBlog:
a. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5Sb21qbpEQ
b. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYz5nIHH0iY&t=0s
c. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9FC9fAlfQE&t=0s 

Adafruit has some suggestions for a soldering kit: https://learn.adafruit.com/make-it-glow-how-to-solder-neopixels-a-beginners-guide/your-soldering-kit

Weller sells really good soldering stations for affordable prices ($75 to $150).

James


David Wilcox
 

Carlos,

Please read the instructions.  The designer of the kit says NO LEAD FREE SOLDER for a reason. It sucks!  

Also make sure you have the latest instructions, the version 4.1 I think it is.  I had difficulty finding the latest one (I have built one of the original ones and the main site kept taking me to the old instructions).  The latest kit has an extra volume control for the headphone volume. 

Follow Gwen’s detailed soldering instructions. She is an expert.

Have fun.  It is an easy build if you follow the instructions to the letter.  Read the instructions three or four times before starting. Also check to see that you have all the parts before starting.  Don’t be in a rush.  Haste makes a lot of waste.  

Since I have two Morserinos my big thrill was using the LoRa function to have one send Morse code to the other from different rooms in the house.  Almost like being on the air itself.  Fun for new pre hams who are getting ready to take their license test.

Dave K8WPE since 1960

David J. Wilcox’s iPad

On Jul 10, 2021, at 4:29 PM, Carlos KD2VOX <kd2vox@...> wrote:

I am getting ready to put mine together, And am wondering is I could get any pointers and or advise.  I have watched a few videos in YouTube and I am confident I can do it,  However I do not have a soldering Iron and,  since I am not  (for the moment ) into building electronics considering this "affordable" tool.  My local Radio shack went out of business a few years ago, so I am forced to go places like  Ebay and Home Depot. 
Am I correct  thinking the soldering must contain lead ? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/124119096797?hash=item1ce6131ddd:g:ZVEAAOSwnexebovA

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-Rosin-Solder-61474/207038687 
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-8-oz-Leaded-Rosin-Core-Solder-61477/207038690

Thank you

Carlos
KD2VOX




David Wilcox
 

Carlos,

I didn’t comment on your soldering set or solder.  What you showed in your email should work.  Gwen’s suggestions are better but what you showed will work and is a good start.  Finer solder is easier to manipulate the amount.  

David J. Wilcox’s iPad

On Jul 10, 2021, at 4:29 PM, Carlos KD2VOX <kd2vox@...> wrote:

I am getting ready to put mine together, And am wondering is I could get any pointers and or advise.  I have watched a few videos in YouTube and I am confident I can do it,  However I do not have a soldering Iron and,  since I am not  (for the moment ) into building electronics considering this "affordable" tool.  My local Radio shack went out of business a few years ago, so I am forced to go places like  Ebay and Home Depot. 
Am I correct  thinking the soldering must contain lead ? 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/124119096797?hash=item1ce6131ddd:g:ZVEAAOSwnexebovA

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-Rosin-Solder-61474/207038687 
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Forney-8-oz-Leaded-Rosin-Core-Solder-61477/207038690

Thank you

Carlos
KD2VOX




Bob Garrett
 

I agree with you about the Kester but it is not cheap. Even living in the US, my last 1 pound spool cost me a little over $30. Good stuff though. 


Valerio Angelici
 

I paid 41 USD shipped for a roll, and I choose the one with 63/37 composition, as it should have a little lower melting point, so it's even easier to use!
I don't regret the expense and after 4 years I gifted pieces of the roll to friends and I have still a lot remaining for next year's!
It costs more but you get more than the cheap Chinese rolls! 

Il dom 11 lug 2021, 18:06 Bob Garrett via groups.io <bobgarrett66=yahoo.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
I agree with you about the Kester but it is not cheap. Even living in the US, my last 1 pound spool cost me a little over $30. Good stuff though. 


vince adams
 

Hello Group
I never do cheap Chinese solder. You'll regret it. Trust me!
73

On 7/11/2021 5:17:12 PM, Valerio Angelici via groups.io <valerio.angelici@...> wrote:

I paid 41 USD shipped for a roll, and I choose the one with 63/37 composition, as it should have a little lower melting point, so it's even easier to use!
I don't regret the expense and after 4 years I gifted pieces of the roll to friends and I have still a lot remaining for next year's!
It costs more but you get more than the cheap Chinese rolls! 

Il dom 11 lug 2021, 18:06 Bob Garrett via groups.io <bobgarrett66=yahoo.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
I agree with you about the Kester but it is not cheap. Even living in the US, my last 1 pound spool cost me a little over $30. Good stuff though. 


Bob Garrett
 

I also use the 63/37. I have been using the 0.020. Perfect for PCB work.  I just looked on Amazon and the price is still pretty close to what it was the last time I bought a roll and that was in July of 2017. 


Clay Nicolsen
 

The 63-37, or the "eutectic" alloy, is amazing. Goes from liquid to solid in milliseconds, and your risk of cold solder joints if you accidentally move something before the solder hardens is gone.

I love the stuff.