Learning how to solder!

I’ve been watching some videos on youtube about how to solder. I understand that you’ll need a few tools and so on. I’ve watched how to desolder and I just want to post things up just to get some help from the people who are doing it. I understand that you need to tin your solder iron if thats the correct term. Meaning to just lightly touch the solder wire against the tip of your solder iron? As you solder you want to press the solder iron against the wire onto the pcb to heat up the wire or something like that? Then you want to touch the solder wire onto the wire that you are soldering onto the pcb but becareful not to touch the solder iron? If you wanted to desolder you need something like desoldering braid? To use it you heat up the desoldering braid against what you want to desolder with the solder iron and the braid sucks up all the old soldering? Also when you solder always flick off the excess solder and then apply new solder? I’d like to learn how to solder and maybe be able to help people in my community with this. I mainly want to learn it just to dual mod my TE and learn to pop up led mods. Please comment and give me your knowledge! I’d like to hear and learn from you guys. =]

After you get your tools (iron and solder for sure, possibly flux, copper braid, and desoldering pump) buy this:

and this

There you go. Clip the wire to 1" or 1/2" length. Bend it and put the two ends through neighboring holes. Solder it on the bottom. Keep going until you’ve filled the board. Tons of practice for only $7.

I just recently learned how to solder myself. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but that might just be because of all the reading/YouTube tutorial watching I did beforehand. You should follow Toodles’ suggestion; your first few tries are probably going to be atrocious but you’ll pick it up pretty quick. That said, I’ve seen some pretty nasty botched jobs on these forums so make sure to get your practice in.

Could I ask what is the flux and what is it used for? Also whats a desoldering pump? Is that better than desoldering braid? And Thanks for the board I’d probably like to test. Put two ends through neighboring wholes and solder it on the bottom? I guess I’ll need a diagram or something or just try it out and you can tell me if I’m doing it right xD

Where could i get supplies for soldering a psb? Wires and so on? Thanks a lot for the help toodles =]

A desoldering pump sucks in a lot of air from a small targeted area, causing hot solder to get sucked off whatever surface you want cleaned. It has the advantage of being reusable. The smaller pen sized ones are easier to pump for each use, but I’ve heard complaints of them getting clogged and having to be repaired. Larger and heavy duty ones can be tiring to pump for each use for larger projects, but it probably won’t break any time this decade.

Flux removes oxidation from whatever you’re soldering. Most solder comes with a core of flux in it already, so you probably will not need to purchase separate flux.

You should be able to find just about everything you need at a hardware store or at Radioshack.

I dont have radioshack here anymore sadly =( But I’ll go around looking what I got around here. I need a understanding of this first. Are PCB’s double sided? Like does a hole run through? I want to understand how would I solder a wire to a PCB before I actually try it.

My list of items would basically be.

Basic solder iron, 22awg solid wire?, rosin core solder? solderless quick disconnects? desodlering braid or copper braid, and guessing a desolder pump just to help me keep my soldering clean and tidy? electrical tape might be needed ?

Not all PCB are double-side.
Not all PCB have through-hole vias.
Not all Prototype Boards are double-side.

Thanks jdm, Guess I’ll stick to what I know solder the wire with the iron then touch the wire (not the solder iron) with the solder. If I’m wrong correct me please. =]

Iron should touch both the wire being soldered and the copper its being soldered to.

You should also strongly consider hitting up the trading outlet to find someone to do it for you. Much better and usually cheaper to get a pro to do it for you rather than buy the tools and risk damaging things.

Now I need to find what pcb’s I need to dual mod my 360 TE to a 360/ps3 dual mod. 8 button layout

I agree somewhat because if I damage it I’ll waste all of my money. But getting it done + labour cost + shipping back and forth = rape lol I want to learn how to solder mainly to learn how to solder leds too.

Do you guys wear any safety gear?

Another reason why I wouldn’t do it in the trading outlet because its about 100 + shipping and obviously I’d want to do it quick so it’d probably be 150+ >_> Coulda just spent all the money I invested in this thing for a custom case. But to bad I bought my TE before I joined SRK. Might aswell pick up another life skill.

Not really. Don’t intentionally inhale the fumes though, but isn’t a problem if you in a ventilated room. Maybe alligator clip helping hands will help you from getting burnt, but my left hand has gotten really dexterous, I’m able to hold a pcb in my pinky and ring finger and a wire in my thumb and index finger. When you start, you will probably get minor burns, so have some neosporin and a cold faucet ready.

Also no higher than 30 watt soldering iron for PCB work.

The Mad Catz SFIV FightPad and Mad Catz Xbox 360 Controller are the coolest to use.

Interesting, I think I’ll follow this thread and see if I learn a thing or two.

I’ve made a how-to-solder guide some time ago using a wireless 360 PCB. No vids and it’s in italian but there are pics of every step. It shows how to avoid the most common mistakes that noobs do like holding wires with hands while soldering them to the PCB, resulting in solder peaks and cold joints.


You know, a tech at my work told me I should wear safety glasses since solder “splatters,” and yet I’ve never seen that happen until you wipe off the iron on the sponge. Other than that no… I don’t believe any of us use safety equipment for soldering, just be prepared to have your fingers possibly burned a little…happens to everyone. I solder a shitload and I still burn mine once in a while.

You don’t need to buy two types of solder. One spool of standard 60/40 rosin core will do everything you need it to.