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Preventing Solder failures?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by RCRookie, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. RCRookie

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    I've read several posts of crashes involving Solder welds coming loose or solder pads seperating from the board.
    I'm curious if gluing all soldered connections is an adequate fix... Any suggestions from people who solder electronics regularly is appreciated.

    I have to assume vibration is the main culprit in these crashes, I'm hoping to avoid or atleat minimize the chances of a similar fate, and its not something i like to worry about everytime i fly.

    I KNOW DJI will never address this as currently its not a "provable" flaw. So its up to us Guinea pig beta testers to find a solution

    Maybe better solder (softer) or glue is the best fix. All suggestions welcomed.

    Thanks for any contributions...

    The Rookie
     
  2. Geoelectro

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    The pictures I've seen of failed solder connections were obviously "cold solder joints". This is where the solder didn't completely bond with both surfaces. When soldering a wire to a solder pad, both the wire and pad must reach a temperature that solder can flow to. If you just heat the wire solder will flow to the wire and to some degree stick to the pad since the solder is melted but not necessarily bond to that pad. Another way of saying it is the wire and pad both need to be hot enough to melt the solder.

    To check a solder connection the simplest way is to reheat the joint (wire and pad) and add a small amount of solder making sure it flows to both surfaces. Or, you could remove the wire from the pad, remove the old solder, and resolder.

    I wouldn't add any adhesive until I knew the solder joint was right.

    One of the indicators that the solder joint was "cold" is the solder is shaped like a ball or round, around the wire. I plan to install new motors in the future on my old craft and I will take photos of old joints compared to re-soldered ones.

    Geo
     
  3. RCRookie

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    Excellent Post Geo....Exactly the kind of info I,... and perhaps others need to know.

    Looks like I need to learn to solder effectively first, maybe I'll practice on an old pc card. It's also 'good advice' to check all solder connections for cold solder joints as you suggest.

    I've also wondered if it were possible to isolate the MB and other components from vibrations in the bird, from the plastic mounts with maybe rubber washers?
    I've never opened mine up so,...I have no idea if this is even possible.


    Thanks for your input.

    The Rookie
     
  4. gpauk

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    It doesn't help that it's much harder to spot dry joints visually with lead free soldering than it used to be with leaded solder.
     
  5. JimDE

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    I truly believe someone with excellent soldering skills is missing out on a great money making opportunity with DJI Phantom rehab. I know I would of at one time paid to have a qualified tech go over and resolder every soldered connection in my phantom just for peace of mind that some kid making $10 a week in China work did not risk my $1400 investment. It would be worth a few hundred just to know someone with expertice redid these connections and looked the components over for possible issues.

    I am guessing here but say at a fee of $250 a bird plus shipping a tech could open and resolder all connections and give each motor a look over for the c clips and a general phantom once over. I am guessing this process could be honed down to 2 hours or less. A qualified person could easily make $1000 per day at the cost of solder and time. He could even state a exclusion of responsibility is it did crash. I would of just been happy to know someone good gave it a overall rehab. $1000 a day for service work from home does not sound too shabby.
     
  6. JimDE

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    I would be truly surprised if China uses lead free anything. Reloaders complain that lead shot prices went through the roof because China was buying it all up at too dollar and rumor has it they even built a bridge over water with lead in it. Just think what our EPA would do with that one ;-)