Soldering to a flat surface (like on microswitches)


I was looking for some advice for soldering to flat surfaces. I am tinning my wire, heating it up on the microswitch where I want to solder, then holding the flux over it to draw it and secure it. Is this the best way? I’ve had mixed results…maybe I’m doing it wrong. Who knows?

Any help, as always, is super appreciated.

My first mod is almost done. It may be easy stuff for most experts, but I’m proud. As long as I don’t fry my PCB we’re in the clear for some groovy gaming action. Indeed.

Sounds about right. I used to think I just sucked at soldering and that it was too delicate for me…but eventually enough practice helped and I am fairly comfortable with soldering/hacking joysticks together.

When soldering to a microswitch, I tin the wire, then tin the actual microswitch a little, then hold the tinned wire to the switch and heat up the solder already on the switch, and the two form nicely.

soldering to microswitch tabs can be pretty damn annoying. The problem is that the tab is a big honking thick piece of metal compared to what you usually solder, so all of that crucial heat from the iron is spreading through the conductive metal; it takes longer to heat it up because its heating the whole thing, not just the part the solder goes. It sounds like you’re doing it right, just be patient, and let the iron get the metal good and hot so the solder bonds well. You probably dont need flux so much as a good hot metal tab.

when soldering to switches like cherries… keep the iron on the solder and wire till it smoothes over the switch like melted butter… it should spread out pretty far and your done.

I always just threaded the wire through the little hole on the microswitch tab, and then tinned the wire together. Then I learned the magical ways of the quick disconnect!

You should use terminal connectors, there much faster to apply and easier to swap the microswitches out if needed soldering microswitches is a tedious task


You should use QDs on buttons. Even if you can solder, it’s a hassle if you want to use QDs later on.

I’ve never really had much luck with the quick disconnects. Either I crimp them where they don’t touch the contact or just don’t stay in the QD or they just seem to fall off. Either way, I think soldering is the way to go since my quick disconnects disconnect too quickly.

Thanks for the pointers, I’m going to work on it tomorrow. If I haven’t fried the PBC, it should be four way Xbox Live nirvana. If I did…well…age old story.

Something that might help a little that wasnt mentioned before, when I solder to a conrtoller’s PCB I like to put a very light coating of flux on the tinned wire. This way the solder flows well even before the rosin from the core has a chance to help. Just make sure you dont glob the flux on the wire otherwise it will make a mess when it gets heated.

For disconnects I always make the exposed wire extra long thwn twist and bend it in half. It stays in the crimped part much better that way.