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SOLDERING TIPS

XT30 plugs

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Skippers Walker07/01/2020 13:03:59
46 forum posts
12 photos

I would appreciate any tips on soldering XT30 connectors please?

eg Soldering Iron wattage etc. I have a range of irons available 25w, 40w & 60w

I have never attempted soldering this small type of connector before!

Thanks

SW

Martin_K07/01/2020 13:22:00
150 forum posts

You need to rig up something non conductive of heat to securely hold the connector and wire. I often use wooden clothes pegs when soldering.

For connectors with a cup into which the wire sits I partially pre-fill the cup with solder, then re-melt when inserting the wire. You want a big enough iron to get the solder flowing almost immediately, holding the iron against the work piece waiting for something to happen is the way to melt plastic parts.

Making very short leads is difficult, you cannot get heat shrink tubing far enough away from the connector to stop it closing up too tightly to subsequently slide it over the joint.

Nigel R07/01/2020 13:33:36
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3737 forum posts
585 photos

Use something fairly heavy to hold the connector as Martyn K says, I use a short length of 2x2 with a few holes into which I can wedge the connector.

Tin both bits, as per standard practice.

XT30 is fairly small, a 25W iron is plenty. I use a 25W on 60A cabling, no problems.

Gary Manuel07/01/2020 13:36:02
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2254 forum posts
1548 photos

What Martin says plus - always plug the XT you are soldering into a mating XT connector while soldering and for a short time afterwards. This will keep the pins aligned just in case you do get the plastic a bit too hot.

Skippers Walker07/01/2020 13:44:47
46 forum posts
12 photos

Thanks folks that's really helpful. I have a 'helping hand' to hold the connector, my real concern was about overheating the tiny plastic parts with too big an iron....I'll stick to 25w and go from there.

I really appreciate the advice

Christopher

Cuban807/01/2020 13:47:11
2909 forum posts
1 photos

When I was at college in the early 80s we had electronic soldering exercises that comprised partly of constructing small cubes and pyramids from sections of tinned copper wire. Got us used to handling small components and use of tools as well as actually how to solder correctly. Too much heat would cause the workpiece to fall to bits and too little would make dry joints. The point is practice and more practice until you can make a well flowed joint without really thinking about it. A decent 50W iron, various sizes of bits, clean joints and quality fluxed solder in different sizes. (I still find lead free solder inferior to standard 60:40) is a good place to start. Good luck - decent soldering is regarded as a black art (it's not) but rather like flying a model, the more you do (usually!) the better one gets.

Denis Watkins07/01/2020 16:07:59
4327 forum posts
104 photos
Posted by Skippers Walker on 07/01/2020 13:44:47:

Thanks folks that's really helpful. I have a 'helping hand' to hold the connector, my real concern was about overheating the tiny plastic parts with too big an iron....I'll stick to 25w and go from there.

I really appreciate the advice

Christopher

Blue Tac Christopher

A blob applied where there is no contact with the to be soldered metal

Heatsinks nicely, and can be peeled off to use next time

But still as the lads say

Cleaned tinned parts in close contact, firmly held

Then apply the hot iron as briefly as it takes to leave a bright soldered joint

A good tip is to apply the iron

Count slowly, One, Two

Then remove the iron

Edited By Denis Watkins on 07/01/2020 16:08:21

Piers Bowlan07/01/2020 17:35:35
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2118 forum posts
53 photos

I haven't soldered any XT30s but plenty of XT60s so here is my 2p worth. ALWAYS connect a male and female plug together, as others have said. Tin the wires and when cool, slip over the sleeving. I put the plug in a vice but clamp it between a couple of pieces of ply for insulation. Tin the connectors by touching them for a couple of moments with the hot iron as you push the wire solder Into the connector sockets. A small soldering iron (25W) is likely to have a small tip so heat will be quickly wicked away by the wires. That is why I usually use a bigger iron (60W or 100W) with a large soldering tip. Lots of heat (Joules) rather than a high temperature. With the wires and plugs nicely tinned just push a wire into the plug socket as you touch the plug with the iron for a couple of seconds. The wire will sink into the socket as the solder melts and wick into the wire - take the iron away and keep the wire still while it cools. I then turn the plug over in the vice and do the same with the other wire. I usually position the plug so that the solder flows down into the socket to tin it. Don't over tin the plug socket as it makes a mess when the wire sinks into it as it melts.

Edited By Piers Bowlan on 07/01/2020 17:37:43

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator07/01/2020 21:27:07
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Moderator
6755 forum posts
197 photos

Like Piers I haven't soldered any XT30s but lots of XT60s.

I recently soldered some wires to an XT60 connector without tinning either & was amazed at how much easier it was & how good the result. As many have noted it's very easy to add to much solder & make a mess when the solder overflows.

A useful tip is to join a plug & socket together before soldering. This is so that, in the event of the contact getting a little too hot & softening the surrounding plastic the mating half will hold the contacts in the right place whilst the plastic cools.

So my method....hold both the connector & the wire together using a pair of "helping hands" or similar; the XT connectors are nicely dished so make sure the wire sits snugly in the dish. Apply heat from a reasonably large soldering iron (40 Watt plus IMHO) with a well tinned tip. Apply the solder & let it flow around the wire & the contact. Remove heat & allow to cool. Insulate with heatshrink tubing (probably best to slip this over the wire before soldering....wink 2) Job done...

Now many might say that this is a bad method & that everything must be tinned first & I would have nodded vigorously in support but having soldered them without any tinning all I would say is try it yourself.....you might be pleasantly surprised.

Just another quick thought too.....be VERY careful when soldering connectors to the battery leads....you are in great danger of short circuiting the battery when doing this....the flash & spark that can result are impressive but I don'r recommend it. And no, I'd rather you didn't ask how I know this.....dont know.....so be sure to only strip one wire at a time...solder & insulate it thoroughly & then do the second wire.

Like much in modelling....it's a skill....the more you do the better you get so get a few connectors & some wire & get practicing....thumbs up

conrad taggart08/01/2020 09:43:54
103 forum posts
5 photos

Plenty here including the tip of leaving the mating connector attached to keep pins straight ad make it easier to handle and quicker to cool down so the surrounding plastic on the connnector you are soldering is not melted https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=soldering+an+xt60

Engine Doctor08/01/2020 10:38:58
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2467 forum posts
39 photos

As others have said " plug a Plug and socket together when soldering to prevent distortion of the mouldings" .

Don't forget though that when soldering to battery leads the contacts sticking out the end can will/can short on anything conductive like your helping hands so please insulate the bare contacts with some heat shrink.

Lima Hotel Foxtrot08/01/2020 11:03:23
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382 forum posts

All of the above, plus, when I am soldering connectors onto batteries (I only use XT60s) I use a female side where I have covered the exposed part of the pins with large dollops of hot glue. More surface area to hold onto, no exposed metal, no heatshrink to slide off.

Nigel R08/01/2020 11:58:54
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3737 forum posts
585 photos

On the battery, only ever strip back one wire at a time. Leaves less to chance.

"everything must be tinned first & I would have nodded vigorously in support but having soldered them without any tinning all I would say is try it yourself."

The main issue with not having pre-tinned connectors is that of oxidisation, but, when we are doing electric type soldering, there it is almost always a nice quick job, too quick for this to be a problem.

When doing heavier work like UC or cabane wires (or plumbing!) we would use flux to help us out and keep the joint clean.

As ever, 3 secrets to good soldering - cleanliness, cleanliness, and (wait for it) cleanliness.

Skippers Walker09/01/2020 14:03:37
46 forum posts
12 photos

Just to say thanks to all the helpful folk that replied to my recent Soldering query. I'm pleased to report that my 'mission' has been accomplished successfully, with a bit of practice as suggested!

Happy modelling

SW

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