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Soldering to Pot


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What is the trick to get wires to solder to the pot casing? Once in a while, I get lucky and it will hold. MOst of the time, I end up heating the pot way too much and get awful looking results.

Please - I need answers from people who really know what they are doing with soldering.



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Just to clear up what I was talking about -

I have ruined pots in the past by getting them too hot (push/pull pots). As far as I know, the way to do this is to heat up the casing, apply solder then re-heat it as you place the wire on it. Is there a better way?

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What wattage iron do you have. I use a 45 so it melts fast so I can get off of things before they damage.

First you need to tin the pot (heat the pot surface and melt some solder on it.

Then I place my wire on the tinned area. I hold the wire between my soldering iron and the pot, so that both items heat up. then I apply solder. Once the solder melts onto both I pull away the iron.

Remember you want both parts to heat up in order to get a good contact.

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Use at least a 30W iron. File the pot lightly at the point you want to solder, often the pots have a coating on them which messes with your soldering.

You can also get some flux, it comes in small plastic containers like a pill box and looks like grease, make sure it is NOT the acid based stuff for plumbing, smear some on the filed bit on the pot and then solder.


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What i normally do is hold the wire gently with pliars, and then silver the tip of the wire's exposed part. If you don't know what that is, its when you put the wire tip on something you're not afraid of damaging, (wood surface, old desk, etc.) and apply solder to it.

After you've silvered the tip, heat up the casing a bit, and apply the now silvered tip of the wire to the case. Then hold the soldering pencle on it until it melts. as soon as it melts to the case, take the pencle away from it, and gently hold the wire to the pot using the pliars until the solder dries (1-5 seconds).

I do all this with an 80 wat radio shack soldering kit, and it seems to work out quite well.

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Check this thread for some good info :D.

Maybe other members can offer more specific advise in this thread?

Drak has good advice in this thread. The solder work I do at work is on small ICs (integrated circuits) with 144+ pins that are each the size of a needle point and not much further apart than that (and surface mount). This makes it even more important to make sure you have good, quick heat transfer to prevent damaging expensive components and still maintain a good conductive surface and these ideas still apply to soldering pots.

Once again read what Drak has to say about tinning, heat transfer and also about scraping the pot for a good, clean surface to solder to. Flux helps tremendously to transfer heat and allow solder to flow. I use ALOT of flux when I solder but I also make sure to clean it with flux remover when I'm done. When too much flux is used I've seen it remain sticky causing dust particles to stick to it. Dust can have particles of metal/conductive material in it causing short circuits.

One thing I would add is DO NOT BLOW ON THE SOLDERED AREA TO COOL IT QUICKLY. This can cause what is known as a cold solder joint. This cools the outer surface of your solder point faster than the inside of the solder and very small cracks can develop at this point. This is probably the #1 problem I run into and these cracks can be hairline thin making it a pain to find the problem on big circuits.

Anyways, sorry to go off...it might be a bit more info than necessary if your only going to be soldering wires on control pots but these are the basics to soldering anything.

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