Mike’s Tech Tips – Issue 4

Top Tips for Successful Soldering and De-Soldering Processes

In this issue of Hakko Tech Tips, we will examine some of the most frequently asked questions regarding soldering and de-soldering, fielded regularly by our technical support team.  For more than 60 years, Hakko has designed a wide range of soldering and de-soldering solutions that make quick and easy work of different applications, which improve performance, reduce costs and improve work-in-progress. So, let’s take a closer look in our 5 tip format below:

  1. How can I optimise the de-soldering process?

    There are a number of factors you can introduce to your de-soldering practice. Firstly, select a de-soldering nozzle with an inside diameter that matches the lead diameter as closely as possible. At the same time, ensure that the outside diameter of the nozzle is a close match to the PCB pad diameter. We advise that the de-soldering nozzle is always held vertically to the PCB surface as this will provide optimum heat transfer and maximum vacuum force.

    To optimise solder flow, always apply a small amount of solder to the joint(s) to be reworked. This will provide a bridge of molten solder and will aid heat transfer from the Nozzle to the PCB/Component. To avoid reduced efficiency, care should be taken to ensure that the Nozzles are clean and clear. It is also essential to regularly inspect the amount of solder within the solder cartridge/filter pipe and empty when necessary. In-line Filters are provided to protect the De-Soldering Equipment, as part of a preventative maintenance plan these should be changed periodically to prevent solder blockages in the internal vacuum pump or venturi unit.

  2. How Can Hakko Improve Our Processes?

    Hakko is a globally recognized leader in soldering products with proven solutions that go beyond expectation. HAKKO takes tremendous pride in their people and products to deliver the highest level of performance for all kinds of parts and products in a wide range of environments. Customer service is second-to-none and the company operates a culture of total customer focus, dedicated to meeting the ever-increasing demands for maximum performance and improving work-in-progress for customers across the world.

  3. Troubleshooting: Why would my tip temperature be lower than my set temperature? What situations/problems would potentially cause this and how do I resolve?

    Oxidation of the soldering tip –
    Remove all evidence of carbide and oxides using a Cleaning Wire or a Tip Polishing Unit, e.g. Hakko FT700, FT710 or FT720. Then re-tin the tip using a Hakko FS100 Tip Cleaner. Clean off the FS100 chemical paste residues using your Tip Polisher. Re-tin the soldering tip using solder wire. If this process does not yield satisfactory results after numerous cycles, please replace the tip.

    Has the Soldering Tip changed?  All solder tips will exhibit different degrees of oxidation. When a tip has been changed it is unlikely it will maintain exactly the same physical and thermal properties as its immediate predecessor. As a result, we would recommend that the tip temperature be checked after changing tips. If required, all Hakko stations provide the facility to enter a temperature offset to align the display temperature with the actual reading from a digital thermometer.

    Has the Temperature Sensor of the thermometer deteriorated?  These can be eroded during continued exposure to molten solders (especially Lead Free alloys). If in doubt, replace and re-measure.

    Are the batteries low within your Digital Thermometer?  Insufficient power can result in incorrect readings. If necessary, replace the batteries and re-measure.

    Is the correct measuring method being utilised? We recommend that the tip undergoes measurement for the maximum temperature as this will ensure the integrity of the component and PCB. Since the temperature may be displayed lower for I-type and 1C-type tips whose tip end is thin in particular, take sufficient time for measurement and read the temperature when the displayed data are stable.