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Author Topic: Soldering iron "leaking electricity"?  (Read 3868 times)

dirtycircuits

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Soldering iron "leaking electricity"?
« on: February 08, 2009, 06:20:26 AM »

I think my soldering iron might be "leaking electricity" -

I read something in a japanese service manual about this, but I don't really understand what it means. I have noticed that when I'm soldering onto circuit boards I can hear pops and crackle from my PC speakers (which I use to test stuff). generally the jack plug is lying around on the desk next to the circuit board, and not plugged in.

Obviously there are no sparks or other visible signs, but the oscillation/crackle/pops I'm hearing is only audible when the tip is in contact with the trace.

As well as my dead AMSTRAD keyboard, another machine has died on me. I'm wondering if this chip death could be as a result of a dodgy soldering iron?

I believe that the iron is quite an old model 'weller' as it says 240 volts 50/60 C P S.  C P S - that's cycles per second, old fashioned speak for hertz, right? It is apparently 24v temperature controlled so I presume it's good quality, and worth trying to repair....

SO, is there a safe way to fix this problem? Does this problem actually exist at all, or am I just mis-understanding a badly translated Japanese manual??
 
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breakbeatnazi

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Re: Soldering iron "leaking electricity"?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 07:13:29 AM »

I've had this occurrence too! I didn't know what was going on.  I've no idea what to do about it, but I've experienced it too, so I believe it's real.
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Gordonjcp

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Re: Soldering iron "leaking electricity"?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 01:37:49 PM »

The tip of the iron is earthed.  When you solder something, you are earthing the bit where the point is touching to mains earth.  If you're working on something that's battery-powered, then it goes from floating to... earthed!

No wonder you hear noises.  It's nothing to worry about, and in fact it's a well-known way of testing audio amplifiers - dab a point on the input and you get a buzz from the speaker.

It might be worth tightening up the screws in the plug and checking that there is continuity between the tip of the iron and the earth pin of the plug.
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SineHacker

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Re: Soldering iron "leaking electricity"?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 10:22:13 AM »


As well as my dead AMSTRAD keyboard, another machine has died on me. I'm wondering if this chip death could be as a result of a dodgy soldering iron?
 

You can kill some IC's if you apply too much heat to them, this might be your problem. They can be fiddly to solder - somebody posted on this forum (sorry for the ill-reference) that it's a good idea to apply a little extra solder to the pins of the IC before you attempt to wire anything to it. Also, (as always) strip, twist and tin your wires - you want to do a clean job as quickly as possible.
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nochtanseenspecht

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Re: Soldering iron "leaking electricity"?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 11:36:26 PM »

You can kill some IC's if you apply too much heat to them, this might be your problem.
especialy if you heat up one side while the other side remains cold, the tensions could crack the ic inside

btw, i scored an hot air station : higly recomendable ! perfect for tiny works, no touching , very nice weldings etc
only i blew a smd resistor of a board, but now i'm more carefull :)
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