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Re: [TowerTalk] Soldering Radials?

To: "Rick Karlquist" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Soldering Radials?
From: Charlie Gallo <>
Reply-to: Charlie Gallo <>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 20:56:40 -0400
List-post: <">>
On 3/23/2011 Rick Karlquist wrote:


> My experience is that I have 1000's of silver soldered ("Stay-Brite" brand)
> connections, that are going strong after 10 years.  Occasionally,
> I have made temporary connections with 60/40 and those rot away within
> a year or so.  YMMV.

> Rick
> N6RK

Stay-Brite (at least some of them) is a Low temp silver bearing solder, that 
(at least with the rolls I have) melts at temps BELOW what normal 60/40 melts 
at (does anyone actually use 60/40?  I always use 63/37 for electronics, but 
that's me)

After that, you get into what are usually referred to as "hard" silver solders. 
 Probably the easiest to use is often called "Sil-Phos", and almost any HVAC 
guy will have some in his truck (they use it to sweat the refrigerant lines) - 
and most will me more than happy to hand you a stick or 2 (heck, a lot of the 
guys use it to hang stuff up in their trucks - or at least they used to)

Beyond that, you get into all sorts of silver solders, with different 
compositions, and therefore different melting points.  What folks who have to 
do fancy work will do is use the alloy with the HIGHEST melting point FIRST 
(and usually to attach the largest items), and then work their way DOWN the 
melting point curve, so that they won't melt the higher melting point solders 
as they work on later items

As someone said, flux is a BIG deal

For cleanup, beside washing/brushing down (most of the fluxes ARE acid based - 
deal with it), if you want a clean look after, you really need to 'pickle' the 
work - basically, it's soaking it in weak acid.  Commercial product include 
stuff like Sparex, but a lot of folks just make up a saturated solution of 
white vinegar and salt (hence 'pickle') and put the work in there - wait a few 
hours/a day, and the work will be nice and clean (don't forget to rinse again). 
 Another common mild acid used (works well) is Sodium Bisulphate - yep, the 
stuff used to reduce alkalinity in swimming pools

I don't do much brazing or silver soldering these days, and when I inherited 
Dad's sets (mind you, I already had 2 sets here), I ended up with enough sets 
to be silly - I actually gave 2 sets away to friends, and still have 8-10 O2 
bottles and 4-5 MC and B tanks running around - at the rate I use them, I'll 
probably never have to worry about the hydro tests being out of date, because 
I'll probably never have to fill another tank in my life

73 de KG2V - Charles Gallo
Quality Custom Machine-shop work for the radio amateur (sm)


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