Key to Soldering: Pace Yourself

When writing my last article, I came upon something I thought had been lost to the seven seas of YouTube: the old-school “Basic Soldering Lesson” series from Pace Worldwide.

This nine-episode-long series is what retaught me to solder, and is a masterpiece, both in content and execution. With an episode titled “Integrated Circuits: T0-5 Type Packages & Other Multi-leaded Components” and a 20-minute video that only focuses on solder and flux, it’s clear from the get-go that these videos mean business. Add that to the fact that the videos are narrated by [Paul Anthony], the local weatherman in the Washington DC area back in the 80s and 90s, these videos are a joy to watch.

Even if you know what you’re doing, don’t skip the first video. It’s where the “workpiece indicator” concept, which runs throughout the series, is introduced.

Covering everything from what solder really is to how to correctly solder integrated circuits, this series has it all, even if it’s slightly dated. And, while it’s not a hack, it’s a great way to rejuvenate your soldering skills or give someone a hot start on their soldering journey.

Speaking of which, we’ve seen many things designed to educate, but one size certainly does not fit all. Do y’all know of any well-made sources that teach foundational topics that are as accessible as this series? If so, let us know in the comments.

The first video in the series is after the break. In sum, they’re long but worth it.

30 thoughts on “Key to Soldering: Pace Yourself

    1. There are very effective solvents that clean PCB in seconds (they also can cause cancer apparently).
      Sometimes these dips will also dissolve the plastics, so many people simply prefer no-clean flux.

      Personally, I prefer to clean the boards no matter the flux used… given we usually add an excessive ratio of alcohol based flux to our pastes to improve yields for RoHS (60/40 is still better than SAC305 in my opinion… but rules are rules).

      Mostly, I found that if there are any QFN or high-pin count chips (<0.5mm), than it makes things easier to properly inspect under magnification. Also, its a huge bonus if you plastic coat your board later… the coatings will adhere better to glue everything down.
      =)

      1. “In my day sonny, we had liquid FREON Tricloroethylene (Or trichloroethane 1:1;1) to remove flux with… it certainly wasn’t hard to remove flux with that stuff handy. it literally disolved on contact. Of course, getting cancer, brain damage or putting a hole in the ozone layer weren’t a big deal back then either.

          1. What? That section is just describing the progression of public interest in the ozone depletion. “The sudden recognition in 1985 that there was a substantial “hole” was widely reported in the press. The especially rapid ozone depletion in Antarctica had previously been dismissed as a measurement error.[33] Scientific consensus was established after regulation.[29]”
            It then goes on to a long list of consequences of ozone layer depletion! :P

  1. Great find, thanks for sharing! That playlist is going into the off-line archive we keep here, not that our fibre-optic link goes down very often.

    On Linux run the following on your command line:

    youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL926EC0F1F93C1837

      1. Some call it power, I call it freedom. :-)

        Glad you like it.

        There are a lot of cases where it is very beneficial for people (all over the world) to do this because they only have access to a fast link periodically and need to watch videos during times where they are off-line.

  2. There are a few things that are not really recommended anymore.

    60/40 solder: lead is no longer allowed. (except for repairing old stuff)
    melting teflon: very dangerous carcinogens are released.
    melting PVC: chlorine and chlorince containing hydrocarbons are released?
    One of his solvents is no longer allowed. (the other one IPA is still ok).

    1. 60/40 solder – imo, lead-free stuff is, at least partly, results in planned obsolescence. It causes way too much problems for the amount of issues it solves.

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