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Thread: Having issues soldering pixel strips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
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    Default Having issues soldering pixel strips

    So I'm pretty new to everything - but I must have spent hours watching videos on the internet....

    I am pretty novice at soldering, and I'm trying to solder up some pigtails to the end of some pixel strips. I cannot for the life of me get the wire to fuse to the pad. I ordered an iron of amazon (so granted not 'high end') - I believe I'm getting some solder on the pads after cutting away the silicon on the strip. Then i'm kind of tinning some 16 gauge wire. When it comes time to join the wire to the pad, the solder just doesn't melt anymore - so it just sits there and doesn't re-melt or fuse. I try to improvise with additional solder (against all the advise out there) and then it just turns into a big mess. And without the ability to melt or wick away the solder onto a wick, i end up cutting a pixel of the strip and trying again.....

    5 pixels in and still nothing - I'm up against a wall. Any advise? or videos that are REALLY good out there?

    Thanks in advance.

    Materials I am using:
    Strips: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M9BJ9N8...t_details&th=1
    Iron: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082F1RKTM...roduct_details
    Wire: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13733

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Newtown CT
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    Default Re: Having issues soldering pixel strips

    To me it sounds like an undersized iron. Advice: Make sure you use a very sharp knife and scrape the pad clean just moments before you tin it. Next hint Make sure your solder has some flux in it or that you add "electronics grade" (not plumbing grade) flux at the moment you apply solder.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX (near Katy)
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    Default Re: Having issues soldering pixel strips

    Are you using 60/40 solder? The lead free stuff will not bond well.
    That's a feature not a bug.
    There's no charge for that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Bloomingdale Ga
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    Default Re: Having issues soldering pixel strips

    I have pulled my hair out with the same problem in the past. What Martin said, Clean and Flux!!

    It is also the reason I no longer use strips. I just can't deal with it. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
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    Default Re: Having issues soldering pixel strips

    Doesn't look like the solder I have says anything about flux - have seen that in some of the videos - so I'll get some of that and try it again.

    Thanks for the advice so far!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Newtown CT
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    Default Re: Having issues soldering pixel strips



    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern California
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    1,387
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    Default Re: Having issues soldering pixel strips

    Flux when reheating small solder joints.
    Kevin

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