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Solder for LED ribbon strips not sticking!

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Passions

Joined: Jan 12 2008
Posts: 7


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:40 am

I just got these...https://www.oznium.com/flexible-led-strips/led-ribbon

But soldering is such a pain in the ass. I'm trying to solder 18 gauge wire onto the contacts, but they just pull right off! I've tried sanding down the contacts even to get the solder to stick, but nothing.

I've never had any problems soldering before, but this is really frustrating. I'm using Radio Shack Rosin-core solder. Any ideas??? icon_evil.gif
itzbjorn

Joined: Jul 21 2005
Posts: 2276
Location: MPLS Minnesota


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:45 am

Flux?
Passions

Joined: Jan 12 2008
Posts: 7


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:36 am

Ok I used 20 gauge wire, then soldered that to the 18 gauge wire. POS thing took me nearly 2 hrs to wire up.


Last edited by Passions on Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total
Black DX

Joined: Oct 16 2007
Posts: 1007


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:45 am

how hot is your iron? and are you tinning the wires and contacts before connecting them?

I used the exact strips in my hvac cluster and I had to solder around the same size wires on with out any issues... I'm using a 40watt iron and the same radio shack rosin-cor solder.
Aken

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 10885


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:56 am

Smaller wire is much easier to solder onto the strips. We recommend using a maximum of 20 gauge, with 22-24 being better. The strips do not draw much power so the small wire can handle it, and you can easily attach bigger wire later on if necessary.
Phil
Owner, Oznium.com

Joined: Feb 11 2003
Posts: 7721


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:01 am

18 gauge wire should work just fine - maybe the solder wasn't hot enough.

Anyways, glad to hear you got it working. Any pics?
Passions

Joined: Jan 12 2008
Posts: 7


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:12 am

Yeah...18 gauge was a total disaster. I used 20 gauge and it stuck like a cork in a bottle. mj.gif

These suckers are bright as hell. icon_cool.gif


Here's a pic before I heatshrinked everything up:
Kevin_S

Joined: Jul 20 2003
Posts: 2810
Location: WV


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:54 am

Tip for the future: place you tip between your surface and wire for a few seconds before adding the solder. I REALLY should do a video of this -- I'll stick it on my to do list.
clutch1

Joined: Oct 08 2006
Posts: 1928
Location: around hurr.


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:26 am

Like Bjorn said, flux is a lifesaver if things aren't sticking like they should.
Passions

Joined: Jan 12 2008
Posts: 7


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Post Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:16 pm

Kevin_S wrote:
Tip for the future: place you tip between your surface and wire for a few seconds before adding the solder. I REALLY should do a video of this -- I'll stick it on my to do list.


Interesting tip...I never thought of that.
ImagoX

Joined: Aug 24 2006
Posts: 2124
Location: Columbus, Ohio


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Post Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:23 am

I'm certainly no soldering master, but the one tip I learned about it is that solder flows towards the HOTTEST thing... if that's the tip of the iron, it will flow towards the tip and not stick to the wire properly.

You need to heat the wire before using solder. What I usually do is heat the wire from *below*, then press the solder to the wire itself. When the wire gets hot enough to melt the solder, the liquid metal flows down towards the soldering iron, spreading between the wire strands. Doing it this way causes gravity AND heat-activated capillary action to work in your favor. Of course, this technique only works on wire, where you can get beneath it like this - soldering to a board or solid surface takes a different technique, one that I'm honestly not too familiar with - I mainly only solder wires. icon_cool.gif

LMK if this helps!

FYI - most solder has an inner core of flux, which helps with capillary action. When the solder melts, the flux is released. Properly heating everything is really the key, in my experience. Good luck!!
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