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 Frequently Asked RC Car Soldering Questions
What wattage of soldering iron should I have?
I would recommend at least a 60 watt iron. One with a flat tip is especially useful for building batteries and soldering wires that are 12 to 14 gauge. Anytime you heat up electronics or a battery for to long of a time are taking the risk of damaging it. Having a better wattage iron melts the solder quicker. I would stay away from soldering guns, because they are never ready when you need them, and they do not have the large wide tip with all that stored energy to do the job quickly. Anytime the job takes longer than necessary, you can damage batteries and expensive electronic equipment. The key is to have a hot iron that transfers heat quick and doesn't loose it.

How do I make better solder joint?
Clean connections are the to a happy solder joints. Using sandpaper and sometimes a file to clean a spot on a motor can, and a little flux is probably necessary. The flux should be for electrical use. Remember motor magnets are affected by heat, and so are batteries. So by making sure the connections clean, it keeps the time down on the soldering job. On batteries you need to sand or rough up the end of them. I use a sanding drum on the end of my Dremel tool, it works fast and quick.

What kind of solder should I use?
I recommend using a rosin core solder. Using an acid core solder will destroy components. I use a 60/40 rosin core solder. This solder will melt at about 371 degrees. If you need a solder the that will melt at a lower temperature try a 63 / 37 solder. I use a .031 inch thick solder. It is good for small stuff and building batteries.

What is the best way to build a battery?
I recommend using sandpaper or a emery board to rough up the tops of the battery. This will help the solder stick to the top of the battery. Remember do not get the battery to hot while soldering them together. Heat kills them and you can ruin them before you even use them.

How do I know when my soldering iron is ready?
The solder should melt very easy and flow like a thick liquid, if it doesn't then the iron isn't ready.

How do I soldering capacitors to my motor?
First make sure that you motor requires them. May new motor have internal capacitors built in. If you motor requires three capacitors make sure the can is clean. Decide where they are going to mount on the can and use sandpaper to rough up that area. Note some motors only require two capacitors. If this is the case many motors such as the Reedy MVP come with a capacitor mounting post called a solder tab. Here is an example of a three capacitors motor.

Solder a 0.1µF (50V) capacitor between each of the following:
POSITIVE (+) motor tab & NEGATIVE (-) motor tab.
POSITIVE (+) motor tab & GROUND tab
NEGATIVE (-) motor tab & GROUND tab

How do I cover up the ugly solder joint?
Heat-shrink tubing can be applied over solder joints for insulation and finished appearance. Use heat-shrink in preference to electrical tape - it is more permanent. To shrink the tubing, hold a hot soldering iron close below it or a match farther below it.

Things to keep in mind.

Use 60/40 or 63/37 rosin core solder. Never use acid core solder.

Use an iron that's hot enough, but not too hot.

Make sure to clean the parts down to the bare metal where they are to be joined. (Paint, oil, and rust are among the impurities that will interfere with a solder joint).

Apply only a little solder to the tip of the iron.

"Tin" each part where it is to be joined to the other.

Once the parts are tinned, arrange the parts the way you want them to be joined.

Keep the parts still while the solder cools, and don't blow on the hot joint; any movement weakens the joint.

Clean and tin the soldering iron tip often.

Whenever possible, twist the wires together before soldering for a good mechanical connection.

Do not over tin the wires or apply too much solder to the connection.

Always insulate your soldered connections to prevent shorting.

Do not over-heat what you are soldering.

***Remember that solder does contain Lead which should in no way be swallowed. So make sure you wash your hands and don't intentionally breath in the fumes.
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