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10-13-2005 01:11 PM  13 years agoPost 1
RonPro

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Columbus, OH

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Do I need to worry about leakage current from my solder iron when soldering the connectors onto my ESC wires? I’m using the standard Align ESC that comes in the combo kit. In the past I’ve always disconnected my iron when it came time to apply the solder to joints where circuits are attached. But I wondered if these circuits, since they are made for high currents anyway, would still require that method?

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10-13-2005 01:20 PM  13 years agoPost 2
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Why would you want to unplug your iron when soldering? The idea is to keep it hot to melt the solder joint, and make the solder flow.

You should never be soldering on a powered system, so "leakage" currents are not a problem. You're applying heat, not electrical voltage to the solder joint. Further, the electronics are not grounded with respect to the iron so there would be no path for current to flow. If your iron is applying a voltage to whatever it is you are soldering, it's time to dump the iron as it's defective!

Unplugging the iron while soldering is self-defeating. As the idea is to make the joint hot enough to melt and flow the solder in as short a time as possible, unplugging your iron allows the tip to cool, and will promote the formation of a poor joint that will have high resistance, heat up in operation, rob your system of the voltage you need, and eventually fail.

There is NO NEED to unplug your iron.

Dave

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10-13-2005 01:24 PM  13 years agoPost 3
RonPro

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Columbus, OH

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Re: Soldering
But I learned a long time ago that most soldering irons exude a bit of 'leakage' current and in the case of micro circuiits that current can fry the circuit. Hence I was taught in college to simply let the iron get its hittest, unplug it and work as quickly as possible, plugging it in again after contact was complete.

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10-13-2005 01:24 PM  13 years agoPost 4
TRex888

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Monmouth, UK

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If you are concerned you should wear an earthing strap to your wrist and ground that to an earth point such as your radiators in your house.

I've solder hundreds of sensitive circuit boards in my life without any potection and have bever fired anything in my life. You'll be very unlucky if you fired something.

Damn nose in hover

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10-13-2005 02:20 PM  13 years agoPost 5
Gary Hoorn

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Annapolis Maryland USA

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RonPro,
I ran a repair center for RC Radios for many years. We serviced every part of radio systems from several manufacturers. The soldering irons were never unplugged. I suppose if someone was stupid enough to attack a circuit board with a Weller Soldering Gun some damage might be possible but I suspect that would be more from excess heat than anything else. That theory of "leakage" sound like an old wives tale...
Gary

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10-13-2005 04:05 PM  13 years agoPost 6
jack726

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Cerritos California

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It is the AC from a soldering iron that can destroy sensitive circuits, even though the circuit is not powered. The damage is usually not immediately noticable, but can be a problem over time.

We used to use DC soldering irons on super sensitive circuits to eliminate this problem. That being said; no circuit we are working on here requires that drastic a practice. I would not use a Weller soldering iron though. Though the output of a ESC could probably even survive that.

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10-13-2005 05:01 PM  13 years agoPost 7
TRex888

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Monmouth, UK

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ESD is static electricity. So having carpets with nlyon content etc is not good. Yes it can kill components, but I've yet to personnally experience a failure caused by it in 24 years, but it does and can happen I have seen results. Modern I.C.s usually have a protection circuit on the input that will at least give a one off protection against a big strike.

Leakage current is something that can happen, but usually this is because the equipment (i.e. soldering iron in case) is poorly designed. In fact if the leakage current is too high it can be lethal and that product should not have been placed on the market.

FYI.

Damn nose in hover

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10-13-2005 10:29 PM  13 years agoPost 8
MikeInMobile

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Mobile, Alabama

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Don't worry about the "leakage" current from the soldering iron unless you are using a 2 wire plug soldering iron. The ground (earth) connection is usually attached to the tip, and the heating element is a ceramic element inside of the barrel of the soldering iron.

Additionally, unless the item being soldered is grounded, no current can flow through the affected circuits (no current = no voltage drop). Only a current flow can affect circuits.

I am an electronics engineer and work with this stuff everyday. In the old days, we used to have to worry about things like this. Nowdays, with the advent of soldering stations, we no longer have to think about these things.

Think about what you are soldering ....... all of these connections are designed for very high current flows and relatively high voltages. The static discharge, although an extremely high voltage, cannot create enough current to degrade the performance of the device.

Remeber, CURRENT kills, not voltage.

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10-14-2005 01:39 PM  13 years agoPost 9
RonPro

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Columbus, OH

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Mike -

Thanks for your insight. My college days were in the early seventies, so maybe that was the case then.

If you could indulge me just a bit - and perhaps educate others - I understand that its the current and not the voltage, but might it have been that caps in the circuits might have drawn on some of the available stray voltage, therefore creating the killer current flow???

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10-14-2005 03:01 PM  13 years agoPost 10
Gary Hoorn

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Annapolis Maryland USA

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RonPro,
The early solid state components were much more sensitive to stray electric currents etc. Things thankfully have improved with time. The advice you were given back then was probably good for the devices out at that time. I stand corrected. Tough getting old, I tend to forget what things were like 30 years ago
Gary

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