#1
Ok guys...I really need help here. I just bought a 20/40 switchable wattage soldering iron from radio shack. I have some solder and flux.

Right now I'm trying to solder a wire to and output jack but I'm having no luck what so ever. I tried both wattage settings and neither seems to work. I let it heat and then put it on to the tab that I'm trying to solder to. I have the wire (18 AWG BTW) alligator clipped to the tab. I touch the iron to the tab with the tapered surface. When it seems like it should be good and hot (about 30 seconds) I try to apply the solder. It won't flow.

I know not to touch the solder to the iron but have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I'm getting really frustrated. Could someone please guide me through the process or at least point out what I'm doing wrong? I'm sorry if I'm doing something really obviously wrong.
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#2
You should let the iron sit for atleast 5 minutes before you use it, and keep it on 40W, since you are using 60/40 solder aren't you?

Apply flux to the area that you want to solder to allow the metal to flow. I just dip my iron into the flux (fumes ftl, ventilate ventilate ventilate!) and then the solder then my item. Works flawlessly.
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#3
I'm not positive that the solder is 60/40 but I would assume so. I got it with a soldering iron a while back that broke. Mkay...I'm gonna try again in a few minutes. So you apply flux to the iron and the other stuff or just the iron? Thanks for such a quick response BTW
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#4
I have that same soldering iron, and its a piece of junk. I only did some minimal jobs with it, and I ended up having to touch the solder to the iron to get it to melt. I would suggest getting a higher watt iron, that's what I did.
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#5
No worries! I'm a solder freak, LOL.
How I do it is I touch the solder and let it melt on my pen, then apply the solder to the material and then solder. Ta da!

Lemme know how it goes!
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#6
You should tin the tip of the iron with solder so the heat will flow more quickly to what you want to solder.
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#7
I just wait like 1-2 minutes, then make the tip of the solder gun touch the tin/lead solder and once i get a nice couple of inches it drips onto the soldering area and wait for it to dry, Then scrape the access solder on it. Works fine with me
#8
Quote by a4lrocker
I touch the iron to the tab with the tapered surface. When it seems like it should be good and hot (about 30 seconds) I try to apply the solder. It won't flow.
if the solder melts but just blobs up instead of flowing on the surface, you need to clean the surface. use some sandpaper or a fine file to grind away the first surface of the tab. then when you heat it, the solder will flow and make an intimate bond with the clean metal.
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