Misuse of electronics tools

Thought this would be put better here, I’ve noticed some misuse of the electronics causes resources that I thought I’d address.

First, soldering iron temperature.
Leaded solder melts at 180c.
For PCB’s on a normal trace, 290c is perfectly sufficient. I personally solder at 290-300c unless soldering a ground plane, where I might bump it up to 350. For leaded solder, 350c should be all you will ever need in your life.
A higher temperature soldering iron increases risk of the flux core solder boiling and spattering everywhere, it also increases the risk of lifting traces and damaging components.
If the joint can be made in under 3 seconds, better yet in under 1, you have got it hot enough.

Preferably, I’d also ask for a little bit of solder to be flowed over the tip before turning it off to prevent oxidisation.

Secondly, solder wick.
I found this on the bench today:

Only 5% or so of that was used. This is what not to do.
If used correctly, the whole strip should be a nice shiny silver.
To correctly use desoldering braid, add a little solder to the joint you want to remove solder from, add a little solder to the tip of your iron. place braid over point to be desoldered right on the edge of the previously used section. wait, heat will flow into the braid and then into the joint, melting the solder below. this should take under 7 seconds. if insufficient solder was removed, either lift and perform the same action or slide the braid over the joint, being careful not to push too hard in the process.


Finally, the area around the bench. Clean up all the little stripped bits of wire, don’t cut off far more solder than you need, don’t pull the goddamn hands off the goddamn third hands, put the power supplies back where you found them and for the love of god don’t leave your shit on the bench.

Reason I say this is that EVERY TUESDAY I clean up the bench and put stuff back where it should be.


Please take a photo of the bench it in its most pristine and print a nice copy , then frame the copy with the words “leave it looking like this” underneath it. Optionally wait till its very very messed up and do another picture but with “… not like this.” underneath it. Optionally itemize the items you just described into a third picture/poster of “Do’s & Don’ts” .
Hang them all on the wall above the bench in question.

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Another issue the electronics area is having: the stripping tools and pliers/cutters are disappearing from the bench for long periods of time (up to a week) while somebody works on a project somewhere else. Perhaps at least one of each needs to be tethered to prevent this.

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This exactly. Last Tuesday I was using the little blue diagonal cutters at the bench, only for them to disappear while I spent 60 seconds grabbing another component from my toolbox. They still haven’t shown up, so all week I’ve had to very awkwardly use the huge red cutters to snip resistor legs and trim solidcore wire from veroboard.

If anyone can recommend a good method of chaining some commonly used tools to the bed, I’m open to suggestion. This is getting a bit ridiculous.

Shadowboards and/or tool rolls with signout logs.

Yeah, no. That will end with a nice empty shadowboard and a nice empty log. There is already a set of tools for the space, If I get a set of tools to be chained to the bench, there should be no problem.

Ball chain is $3/10m, that should be more than enough for some wire strippers, side cutters and pliers.

For reference, in the tools box next to the electronic workbench
Top section is for small tools
first draw is for crimpers
second draw is for wire strippers
third draw is for blades and other assorted tools.

Paint everything a bright fluorescent colour! Just not pink, because that’s what the welding shop uses :smile:

I agree with sirhc, pain stuff a vibrant color or put some other clear marking on it, tied down or not!

On another note, ball chain sucks… your much better off with a fine linked regular chain or jewelers chain. Its less liable to come apart and more flexible, so less of a pain to use the tool when its hooked up.

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Jewelers chain sucks. You should get the chain we use to lock the gates shut, and an unreasonably large deadbolt.
PS. I bought some simple twine to attach items to their place. If someone deliberately is going to break chains and cut twine, then there isn’t much we can do to stop them.

Because using a soldering iron is much easier with 3kg of chain hanging off it hayden…


I have no preference for the type of chain so long as it’s not heavy and it’s long enough :slight_smile: However, hairy twine is a very bad idea for anything potentially involving heat or moving parts. You have no idea how many times in just the past week I nearly set fire to the twine that’s tethering the lighter designed to be used with the heatshrink.

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How about something like this?

Its light, flexible, can be made to any length and is strong as you could want.


I think your better to create some fabric rolls, maybe 2-3 have all the basic tools in the roll and then place it into the armoury.

Thus, finish the armoury
purchase 2-3 sets of tools
crate fabric rolls for the tools

I can show you my computer roll next time if you like.

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Perfect solution for once the armory is done.

At any rate, I’ve just ordered in some sidecutters with what I’ve made from the classes. Seeing as they are $3 each, I’ll just order in a handful when I get the chance.