Radio Shack Solder

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Hi all... hope this is the proper forum (mods please move if not).

 

Anyway, it seems that Radio Shack is filing bankruptcy and most of the stores in my area are closing.

Problem is, I use their 62/36/2 0.022 diameter silver bearing solder. It's the best solder I've ever used and I'm afraid that my source for it is going away!  sad

 

I see many other brands of 62/36/2 solder online, but what I'd like to know, if possible, is EXACTLY what brand is the Radio Shack stuff?  I'm sure they simply resell Kester or Ersin or some other "big" brand, and I don't want to buy a $100 plus spool of solder and find it's not as good as the RS stuff.

 

Any info about this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

-- Roger

Gentlemen may prefer Blondes, but Real Men prefer Redheads!

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Email the big names and ask for a 3 inch sample of the one closest to the RS solder. Also ask if they supplied RS.

 

Rick

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Krupski wrote:
it seems that Radio Shack is filing bankruptcy

You've only just noticed that?!

 

https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/a...

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ant...

 

 

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Krupski wrote:

I see many other brands of 62/36/2 solder online, but what I'd like to know, if possible, is EXACTLY what brand is the Radio Shack stuff?  I'm sure they simply resell Kester or Ersin or some other "big" brand, and I don't want to buy a $100 plus spool of solder and find it's not as good as the RS stuff.

 

Ersin has gone too :(

 

I believe that rights to the former Ersin brands were acquired by Henkel Corporation, the solder range now has the LOCTITE or Multicore brand names.

Bob. Engineer and trainee Rocket Scientist.

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Hi,

 

I know this is an old thread, but I just used up my RadioShack  Catalog Number 64-035 Solder.

This is the .015 diameter 62/36/2 Silver-Bearing Solder

 

I'm with you on how that was nice solder to use.  

 

For what it is worth, I just ordered this:

Solder Wire 62/36/2 Tin/Lead/Silver no-clean .015 100g ULTRA THIN

[Part Number: SMD3SW.015 100g]

http://www.chipquik.com/store/pr...

 

 I liked the .015, so that seemed to really limit my options.

 

Did you ever find anything that you like?

 

 

 

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Welcome to the Forum, (Assuming you aren't really just trying to sell ChipQuik!).

 

I, too, like thin solder.

 

I have, on several occasions, taken a length of solder, grasped the ends in each hand, and stretched it out.

This gives me a much finer gauge solder to work with.

 

JC

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I assume that since this solder has lead in it this will not qualify for ROHS.

This might prove a problem in some scenarios.

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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DocJC wrote:

Welcome to the Forum, (Assuming you aren't really just trying to sell ChipQuik!).

 

I, too, like thin solder.

 

I have, on several occasions, taken a length of solder, grasped the ends in each hand, and stretched it out.

This gives me a much finer gauge solder to work with.

 

JC

 

Thanks!!

 

jgmdesign wrote:

I assume that since this solder has lead in it this will not qualify for ROHS.

This might prove a problem in some scenarios.

Jim

 

The RadioShack also had lead. It's for hobby work.

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jefferoonie wrote:
I just used up my RadioShack  Catalog Number 64-035 Solder.

This is the .015 diameter 62/36/2 Silver-Bearing Solder

stock restored as of today.

SnPbAg 62/36/2 Silver-Bearing Rosin-Core Solder 0.015" Diameter (1.0oz

Also a return to stock :

SnPbAg 62/36/2 Silver-Bearing Rosin-Core Solder 0.022" Diameter (1.5oz

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Stock restored on all but one of the solders with silver as of 23-Feb'19 :

RadioShack - Solder & Flux

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I was recently reading an Amazon review that said the formula for Radio Shack's "High-Tech" line of solder has changed, and that it sucks now. Has anyone else noticed this? I took some photos of my old Radio Shack solders for comparison.

 

63/37:

This solder is my oldest, and was probably purchased in the mid 1990s. Notice how it says "Assembled in the USA," which means it was probably made in China. I never thought this solder was anything special.

 

62/36/2:

This solder was purchased around 2007. Notice it says "Made in Taiwan," which is reassuring. Taiwanese stuff is Ferrari-grade compared to Chinese crap. This solder was the best dang solder I ever used. The Kester 44 is very similar, but the Radio Shack just seems... better. I don't know, maybe I'm imagining it, but I always thought the Radio Shack stuff was the best.

 

So now I'm looking at the latest Radio Shack stuff, and it all says "Made in USA" on it. That means the manufacturing HAS changed, and it's not just new branding/packing. I've never heard of a company moving manufacturing from Taiwan back to the USA, so I'm thinking maybe a whole new company is manufacturing it. Anyway, any input would be appreciated.

Attachment(s): 

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PIC4Lyfe wrote:
and it all says "Made in USA" on it. That means the manufacturing HAS changed

 

Hummm, does this has to do something with "make America great again" ? ;-), anyone aware of any US company shifting manufacturing from China back to the US ?

 

I wonder how would this be cost effective wise... Freaks from US, your opinion ?

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Well, I can tell you one unfortunate fact - "Made in America" doesn't mean what it used to. The unfortunate reality is that a number of factors have led to the decline in American manufacturing quality. Many products that say "Made in America" are actually garbage now, inferior even to Taiwanese stuff. A few notable factors:

 

1. In the 1990s, the national education system shifted away from industrial/manufacturing and began promoting "Math, Science, and Engineering" above all else. The result is that high school classes like Metal-Shop and Wood-Shop became known as "dumb kid" classes, and started filling up with retards, druggies, burnouts, etc. It was only a matter of time before these courses were cut from the curriculum entirely, to save on costs. The result is that teenagers never learned how to use machines like mills, lathes, etc.

 

2. The "War on Drugs" locked up all the dads, so none of the kids ever had any male role models to teach them how to work with tools. The feminist push to have all women join the workforce meant that most kids were left at home, unattended, as latchkey kids. Most marriages split, and again, kids had no male role models.

 

3. At least 50% of American wealth has evaporated in the past 20 years. This is evident by the shift in the price of gold. For those who don't know, the price of gold doesn't actually change; it's the eternal, global constant. What DID change is that the value of the American dollar dropped by 2/3, which is why it takes three times as many dollars to purchase an ounce of gold now. The bottom line is that all the tools bought in America are crap now, because no one can afford good tools. In the 1950s, if you needed a hammer, you'd simply go to the store and buy one for $80. These days, most people go to Walmart and buy a Chinese piece of crap for $5. Pretty much NO one can afford a $2,000 drill press, so they resort to buying a $100 turd from Harbor Freight.

 

The combined effect of these factors is that no one has the knowledge, experience, or tools to make anything that doesn't suck. It's all garbage. And btw, the presidents in this country never change anything; American presidents have no power. The only thing that will "Make America Great Again" is if there's another World War, and Europe and Asia bomb themselves to pieces again. This country was great for 50 years after WWII because we were the only ones left standing, so we produced pretty much ALL of the worlds goods. That fifty-year high has been gone for two decades now, and the American Empire is in slow decline. How's THAT for an answer? Can you tell that I'm actively procrastinating my work? I just blew up a circuit board and REALLY don't want to dismantle it to fix it.

Last Edited: Mon. Aug 26, 2019 - 09:41 AM
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By the way, these factors are also why we have so many school shootings. The schools got rid of all the fun classes, and made the kids do nothing but book-work bullshit. Forcing kids to take nothing but math and English classes, and not letting them leave, is obviously going to make the kids crack. The schools were basically turned into prisons. If any kids escape, they're brought back to school in the back of a police car. And the schools are all surrounded by huge wrought-iron fences now, with razor-wire at the top. Some schools even have armed guards and metal detectors. School is no longer "like" prison, it IS prison. And when you treat kids like inmates, they're going to ACT like inmates.

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Something else I just thought of - my grandma used to tell me about how my grandpa took auto-paint, auto-body repair, and engine building classes in high school!! I can't even imagine having classes that fun in high school. I doubt if the kids would shoot the place up if they could do something that fun these days. I also remember when I was in Jr. High in the 90's, my P.E. teacher used to tell me stories about how they'd do ARCHERY every week when he first started working there, and how he was famous for being able to shoot arrows straight up into the air, on a parabolic trajectory, and have them fall straight down into gopher holes across the field and hit gophers in the head. I just... I can't imagine how quickly this country's drug problems and murder problems would evaporate if kids had something that fun to look forward to in school. I mean... fun as in archery, not killing small animals.

 

By the way, I just ordered some of that new Radio Shack solder from Amazon. I'll report back after I've tested it.

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Thanks for the review.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Intention : to lift Roger's thread away from the Sword of Damocles.

 

From the 3-Aug'19 RadioShack e-mail :

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Moe123 wrote:

Hummm, does this has to do something with "make America great again" ? ;-), anyone aware of any US company shifting manufacturing from China back to the US ?

 

I wonder how would this be cost effective wise... Freaks from US, your opinion ?

 

Well, I'm not from the US, but here is my opinion:

 

Solder is not made by hand, it's a capital intensive process, so labour costs are probably just a fraction of the cost.

 

Probably other factors are important regarding where the solder is made:

- Environmental laws;

- Access to cheap raw materials (e. g. recycled solder)

Last Edited: Mon. Aug 26, 2019 - 11:50 AM
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I clicked on the solder & flux page, and I see that they have many offerings of 60/40, but only one small roll of 63/37.  I always thought 63/37 was the ideal mix.  What do they know that I don't know?

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I've used 60/40 all my life.  It works for me.

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PIC4Lyfe wrote:
Well, I can tell you one unfortunate fact - "Made in America" doesn't mean what it used to. The unfortunate reality is that a number of factors have led to the decline in American manufacturing quality.... A few notable factors:

 

1. In the 1990s, the national education system shifted away from industrial/manufacturing and began promoting "Math, Science, and Engineering" above all else....

That was more an effect than the cause: the decline started considerably earlier. If you want an enjoyable read, pick up a copy (e.g., from abebooks.com) of Seymour Melman's "Profits without Production", published in 1982. Melman was an old school, empirical economist, that is, he was actually perceptive and competent. He traces out the various causes that led to the shift away from manufacturing, the core being militarization and financialization. His first chapter, in which he explains how the U.S. lost its machine tool industry, alone, is worth the price of the book.

- John

Last Edited: Mon. Aug 26, 2019 - 08:43 PM
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kk6gm wrote:

I always thought 63/37 was the ideal mix.  What do they know that I don't know?

 

 

What they know is that the average person doesn't know the difference, and since it's cheaper to make, there's no reason not to keep selling it. As long as suckers keep buying it, they'll keep making it. But you're right - eutectic mixes are the best. The goal should always be to cool a solder joint as quickly as possible, to shrink and interlock the alpha/beta phases. Think of it as quenching a piece of carbon steel during heat-treat. Since the grain boundaries in tin/lead solder grow over time, which weakens the joint, you want to start with the smallest grains possible, to extend the life of the joint and prevent hairline cracking.

 

That being said, the one, singular benefit of 60/40 is that it will still be molten when the beta phase (Pb-Sn) begins to precipitate, so you get more "workable" time to move components around. This can be extremely helpful when dealing with ceramics like SMD resistors, because the slightest stress can (and usually does) detach the end terminations from the alumina substrate. You should never, ever hand-solder SMD resistors or capacitors, but if you have to, 60/40 can be more forgiving than eutectic mixes.

 

On a side note - if you're wondering why 60/40 is cheaper to make than 63/37, it's probably because you don't realize how valuable tin is. Most people think of "tin cans" and assume tin is worthless, but we definitely don't make cans out of tin anymore. They're actually made of steel (hence the magnetism), with an incredibly thin layer of tin electroplated on the inside, and only where it contacts the food.

 

Anyway, I just got a one-line response back from RadioShack: "The formula is the same, thank you." I suppose that's probably true; the "formula" is the same, but I'm sure the end product is different.

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jfiresto wrote:
That was more an effect than the cause:

 

Well that's the problem isn't it; the cause and effect are often one in the same. Students act like inmates because the schools are prisons, and the schools are prisons because the students act like inmates. The same goes for the War on Drugs - the more the government outlaws drugs, the more drug use goes up. Governments are always too stupid to move backwards, so instead of repealing the bad laws, they just keep stacking new ones on top. This is the mentality that brings down empires. This is why the whole Trumpism/MAGA/Nationalism movement is so threatening to the country. Every time a country tries to put themselves first, it always leads inexorably to their demise. This was a major cause of every World War and empire collapse of the past two millennia. Saying "America First" is like saying "Death to America," but since it's paradoxical, and counter-intuitive, the idiotic, uneducated masses don't realize what's happening until it's too late.

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I am trying to determine if the reason for the thread being brought up is about solder, or to inject some political turmoil.  Keep the politics out, and on the topic of how good the solder is/is not.

 

JIm - Moderator

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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I did find the political discourse interesting - especially the reference to Melman, however, i agree, it is getting a little too ‘hot’.

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Kartman wrote:
I did find the political discourse interesting - especially the reference to Melman....

"Profits without Production" is a good and prescient read. I probably should have written that, rather than "enjoyable". Melman's book could be a bit disconcerting in places, if you witnessed some of the events he writes about – or similar ones. I was just starting out when I visited the International Machine Tool Show he writes about in chapter one. I was a young tad and enjoyed it immensely. To this day, I bounce around trade shows like a kid in a candy store. smiley

 

To hark back to solder, is SN60Pb38Cu2 alloy eutectic? I would expect it is, because of its 183°C melting point.

- John

Last Edited: Tue. Aug 27, 2019 - 07:52 AM
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jfiresto wrote:
To hark back to solder, is SN60Pb38Cu2 alloy eutectic? I would expect it is, because of its 183°C melting point.

 

I doesn't really matter, the difference from the eutectic is very small and so difficult to measure, that I can't find in the literature the exact composition of the ternary eutectic.

 

The closest I found is 38.1% Pb, 1% Cu, 60.9% Sn melting at 182.2 ºC (source - closed, but sci-hub is your friend).

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Thank you for that!

 

I searched a bit more and found an old datasheet from Edsyn giving a melting range from 183°C (solid) to 190°C (liquid) – so Sn60Pb38Cu2 is non-eutectic.

- John

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I have some 63/37 solid core (no flux) solder.  It's no use to me because it won't stick to the soldering iron tip.

 

If you are soldering with one hand holding the solder and the other had holding the iron, you are doing it the hard, slow, clumsy, messy way.  Do it the way boards are soldered professionally.  They coat the board with flux and then hit the board with molten solder.

 

Many years ago I soldered with the solder in one hand and the iron in the other because the flux in the core was the only flux I had.  It's a lousy way to get flux on the surfaces to be soldered.  The main purpose of flux is to clean the surfaces to be soldered.

 

Now I put flux on the surfaces to be soldered first.  Then I get a lump of molten solder on the iron.  Then I hit the joint to be soldered with the molten lump.  The heat transfer is fast.  Soldering a small component like an 0604 chip resistor takes less than a second and gives a good soldering job.  Soldering bigger hunks of metal takes longer.  It takes several seconds to solder through hole header pins.

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Yeah I use the same technique, there are some solder tip shapes that are designed to store a bit of solder, so that it can be applied to the components easily.

 

Maybe because of my chemistry background, I like to make my own solder and flux recipes from time to time. For example I use Rose's metal to solder prototypes, due to it's low melting point (~100 ºC). There is not much danger of damaging sensitive parts, if you just set your iron to 140 ºC or so. Mechanically, it's as good as 60/40 or 63/37.

 

So, I also apply flux first, plenty of it, to the surfaces to be soldered; then the solder itself via the iron tip.

But I have observed that it's a lot harder to cook a good flux than a good solder. Rosin has great properties, but it's a pain to clean; oleic acid is easier to clean, but not so heat resistant, it boils off fast (with Rose's metal it's fine, not so good with regular solder)... more research is needed :)

 

Do you guys prefer eutectics (i. e. with sharp mp) or solders with a mp range? I don't have a strong opinion about that, TBH.

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El Tangas wrote:
For example I use Rose's metal to solder prototypes, due to it's low melting point (~100 ºC).
and Indalloy 42.

Bismuth alloys made by Indium Corporation

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I use a toaster oven, and solder paste as much as possible. I often burn myself with the iron, and it does thermal shock everything.  The eutectics look nice and shiny from the toaster, but the non-eutectics look bad (e.g., like tin pest). I guess the slower cool down allows the grains in the non-eutectics that solidify early to get big and become more visible. A eutectic with that sharp mp looks bright and shiny even though it cooled slowly.

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Whizoo has a servomotor on the oven door with a convection oven option.

Whizoo.com

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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That makes sense, in the case of slow cooling the eutectics will be more homogeneous.

 

Also maybe next time I'll make some indalloy 42 to see how it compares to Rose's alloy.

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I use ChipQuik tacky flux that is water washable.  SMD4300TF10.  I use Kester 60/40 rosin core solder.  When done soldering, I easily wash the flux off under the faucet.  I don't know what happens to the rosin in the core.  This tacky flux may be unfit for the higher temperature for lead free solder.  I use around 305 C. 

 

I use a bent conical tip for almost everything.  I think you can buy them but I bend my own with pliers.  The soft copper bends easily. 

 

I discovered bent tips when I dropped my iron on the kitchen floor.  My first reaction when I saw the bent tip was damn! Now I'll have to buy another tip.  Then I tried it and OMG!  Now I won't use anything else.

 

 

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I prefer eutectic solder to reduce the chances of moving the joint and creating a weak, localized alloy as the solid solution forms. My hands are not as steady as they used to be. I think I am going to try a low profile, drill press vise and resting the tool hand on the bench or vise.

- John

Last Edited: Wed. Aug 28, 2019 - 07:42 AM