How to solder Dean Connectors

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by sawatt, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. sawatt

    sawatt Cadet

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    I guess you guys haven't seen this on how to solder Deans. If I can do it, anybody can :spin:
     
  2. planeflyer94

    planeflyer94 Rookie

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    Great video!!!
     
  3. Mooshu Beef

    Mooshu Beef Rookie

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    Great video!

    I like the idea of squishing the wire BEFORE tinning it.

    I don't use a clamp, I just hold onto the connector with my helping hands I got from Radio Shack. They look like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dual-Helping-Hands-with-Magnifier/dp/B0002BBZ2Y

    Also if people are having trouble soldering connectors a lot of times people try to solder to cold metal. The metal contact or wire or whatever has to be hot for the solder to "wick" onto it to effectively tin the contact. If your soldering iron isn't a very hot one you'll need to heat up the metal a bit longer than in that video. This is ok for wire and connectors, don't use a bad soldering iron to solder boards!
     
  4. Argonath

    Argonath Top Gun

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    Tip from an old Electronics tech: Heat rises. Clean the tip of the iron with a wet sponge, tin the tip of the iron and touch it to the BOTTOM of the wire or connector, then place the solder on the top of the wire or connector. It will draw the melted solder down into the wire braid or connector without having to have to "paint" the solder along the contact.

    You will get a better solder joint rather then a "Cold" soldered joint that can crack and cause you connectivity issues. It also takes less time to heat the contact / wire enough to melt the solder.

    Just remember, clean the iron tip on a wet sponge, tin the tip of the iron and touch to the bottom. Any clamps / helping hands like he shows are VERY useful in holding everything still while doing this... (If not, let me tell you, holding the iron and trying to put the connector / wire together while applying the solder with a piece clamped in your teeth results in burned fingers and a BAD taste in your mouth...)
     
  5. Dredogol

    Dredogol M0DERATOR - (aka "Dred")

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    Hmm... the guy forgot to clean the surfaces with an acid solution before adding the tin...
     
  6. eljay

    eljay Rookie

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    And, IMO, when you tin the surfaces you burn off the flux, and if you don't add fresh solder/flux when you make the joint, that's what results in a 'cold' solder joint.

    David
     
  7. Argonath

    Argonath Top Gun

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    You do not need flux in electrical connections this small (12 Gauge stranded wire like on your stove, yes but not on wire that small). By cleaning the tip of the iron and tinning it, you increase the transfer of heat to the wire strands.

    Touching the top of the strands with the solder causes it to be absorbed quickly into the stranded wire. This creates a solid, clean joint.

    PAINTING the solder (That is using the tip of the iron to move the solder along the wire or joint), is what creates a cold soldered joint.

    When you apply solder, the joint where the solder is applied should be relatively smooth and shiny (Silvery). This ONLY occurs when sufficient heat is applied to the wire / joint.

    When you "Paint" the solder on, you get a dull, greyish colored solder joint prone to cracking or what is known as a cold soldered joint.

    If you want to test your soldering skills, try this: take 14 or 16 gauge solid wire and cut it into 2 inch long pieces with the insulation stripped off. Make a pyramid of triangles (3 levels or more) by soldering all the ends together into triangles and making the pyramid.

    Once it's cooled, stand up and drop it on a hard floor. IF you soldered it right, no joints will break. If you did not, the cold soldered joint(s) will break.
     
  8. Kos-Mos

    Kos-Mos Rookie

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    Dean's connectors are the easiest ones to solder I have yet to find.

    Tin everything, then place the tinned wire over the plate of the connector, and press it on it (lightly). When the "bubble" of tin on the plate melts, it means that everything is the right temperature.

    Remove the iron, and voila! You are done for one wire.
     
  9. StevoRC

    StevoRC Rookie

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    I just recently purchased these Dean's with "grips" and they work great! Although they fit with my existing Ultra Dean's, for this price I may change them all to these new ones. :cool:

    This is where I purchased them:

    http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?app=goods&id=76

    :D
    Steve
     
  10. Kos-Mos

    Kos-Mos Rookie

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    Not Dean's connectors, chinese knock-off.

    They work great as long as you don't drain above 30A. The plastic melts around that level.

    Real Dean's can take over 50A without melting (from experience, the company claims 40A safely). You will notice that the real ones become a lot darker when heated.
     
  11. StevoRC

    StevoRC Rookie

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    Kos-Mos,

    Thanks for the advice! So far, I have nothing over 30A! :D

    Steve
     
  12. Threedee

    Threedee Cadet

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    Great video, he did it pretty quick. But I think big no no he did was cuting the second wire before soldering on and heatshrinking the first one.
     
  13. LukeWarm

    LukeWarm Top Gun

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    How to Solder

    THE SOLDER: Use 60/40 Rosin-Core Solder, the thinnest wire, .032 dia.
    THE IRON: Maintain your iron by cleaning and filing the tip. If solder will not stick to some place on the tip, re file that place. Always keep a layer of solder on the tip (tin the tip). The tip, when hot, should always look shiny. Between uses, occasionally clean the hot tip by rolling and dragging the tip across a damp sponge. Store your iron with the tip freshly cleaned and re tinned. A common problem is the gun or iron stops working as well as it use to or will not get hot enough. On a pencil iron: reseat or wire brush the threads. On a gun: remove the tip and wire brush, or file all around the bends where it connects to the gun. You gun will work like new. I do this often.
    SURFACE PREPPARATION:
    For everything you solder, the items you wish to connect must be prepared by removing corrosion and contaminants, and then tinned just like you did to the tip of your iron. Solder will not stick to corrosion and polished surfaces. The best surface cleaner is a little wire wheel, on a dremel (rotary tool). You can also use very fine sand paper or a small wire brush, but don't overdo it. All your trying to do is dull the polish or remove the corrosion and contaminants.
    TO SOLDER: To help transfer the heat into the metal, start with a small glob a solder on the tip. NOTE: When tinning, If the solder beads up on the surface, it did not stick, Stop and re prepare the surface. Put the hot tip on the surface and feed solder where the tip and the surface touch. Move the solder feed away from the tip by feeding it into the edge of the solder pool to coat the surface. NOTE: The solder has rosin in the center of it, and by feeding the solder in the edge of the pool, you are applying the rosin where it is needed. *Now that both surfaces are tinned with solder, just heat and melt them together. You may use additional solder if needed. When finished, your solder job should look smooth, clean and professional.
    CLEAN UP: Wipe off the burnt or clear residue around the finished connection.
    HEAT DAMAGE: If the surface is cleaned properly, the solder will take quickly. Use as little heat as possible to get the job done. On deans connectors (and other like things), you may put a flathead screwdriver on the metal close the plastic to sink the heat so the plastic does not get damaged.

     
  14. JettaManDan

    JettaManDan Administrator

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    to use something to help with this...the clamp idea is good...but my pads melted when i tried the way the video showed...i have one of those plier type wire strippers that are spring loaded...all i did was open the jaws and put the deans in the jaws...held it firmly enough to solder them....i put some solder on the tongue...twist the wire, solder on that - and then joint the 2..using some needle nose pliers o hold the very hot wore in place. Has cleaned up my deans soldering a bunch.
     
  15. LukeWarm

    LukeWarm Top Gun

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    An extra set of hands is nice, one person to solder and one person to hold. Much faster.
    People are better than clamps. I ask for help. But clamps are the next best thing.
     
  16. tankd0g

    tankd0g Rookie

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    He really didn't heat that second joint properly but on connections this big it's probably fine. You do need flux for this but it's in the solder if you buy rosin core. If he did not have enough flux then you would have seen the solder bead up on the Dean's connector like water on a waxed car. This is known at "improper wetting". You will see the edges of the solder pool curl under themselves or voids form in the middle of the pool where you can see straight down to the metal. If you see this happening, more heat is not going to fix it, you have to remove the solder and start over.

    The more oxidation on your joint the more flux you need. Freshly stripped wire and new connectors will need very little flux, a connector you found at the bottom of your tool box from 2 years ago will need additional flux or sanding.

    Btw: I recently bought one of these, works much better than wet pads to remove the scale off your tip
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6380

    Also everyone should have a solder sucker or de-solder braid to remove solder if a joint needs to be redone.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33011
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5987
     
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