Looks like it's been a good week for exciting announcements - this time: New Solder Wire!
We've been hearing that your experiences with hand soldering are sometimes less than ideal. Between the temperature constraints and the ink-specific hand soldering technique, it can be tough to get a good solder joint at that last crucial step of PCB assembly.
To help resolve this issue, we've decided to move to a new solder alloy - instead of the Sn62 wire we've been supplying so far, we will now be carrying wire in the same alloy family as the solder paste - Sn42Bi57Ag1.
What does this mean for you? Our testing has shown a number of improvements, which we're really excited about:
Significantly improved wetting. No need to carefully brush on the solder to tin a pad - the new alloy wets out immediately, and coats the entire pad.
Better temperature tolerance. We recommend soldering the new wire between 180-210C, giving you a wider temperature window to work with. If you forget to turn down the soldering iron on the first pad, no worries! As long as you work fast, the new solder wire will wet at temperatures up to 260C.
Reduced silver leaching. No more de-wetting when you re-melt the solder - the new solder alloy will continue to wet the pad, even if it's been melted for extended periods (within the recommended temperature). This makes rework much simpler, and gives you some breathing room if you're working with finicky components.
Lead-free! For prototypes need to comply with RoHS, the new solder wire is entirely lead-free.
This new solder alloy also comes with a few changes that our existing customers will notice:
You MUST use flux. Bismuth solder wire is impossible to manufacture in flux-core. This means you will need to use flux when soldering, to get an even coating on the pad. You can use whatever tacky flux you already have, or you can pick up a tube of flux on our online store.
New packaging. Since we're now working directly with a solder manufacturer for our alloy, we need to spool the solder in-house, rather than getting pre-packed tubes. The new solder spools are smaller, but we're taking care to ensure that you pay the same price for the same amount of solder.
For our existing customers who received a tube of the Sn62 wire with their V-One, you can receive a free sample of the new solder. We'll be sending out an email shortly - please reply as instructed, and a spool of the new solder alloy will be on its way to your door.
We're committed to continually improving your experience with the V-One, and we look forward to seeing how this new alloy will impact your PCB assembly workflow. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please let us know!