story about my terrible soldering


Apr 15, 2020
jack frost sanctuary
i don’t give a hee ho
so when i was about 9 years old, i became obsessed with building robots. so, i bought the cheapest firestick, solder, and arduino nano clone i could find and i started building. this year when i discovered bitbuilt, i realized that the tools i bought were terrible, so i got a decent iron, some tip tinner, and flux(the smelly paste kind). i neglected buying good solder to replace my bad lead free solder because i still had about 20 or 30 yards left.

recently i've been learning electronics, and i got bored of watching lectures about theory so i decided to make a circuit. i'd learned about capacitors so i wanted to try a circuit with a capacitor. unfortunately, i didn't have any through hole caps. i looked around for some old circuit boards, and i found the old arduino nano clone. i looked on the back and i found what looked like 2 tantalum capacitors. i looked them up and sure enough, they were smd caps. so, i took my iron and i crudely desoldered a capacitor. i used it in my circuit and it worked. once i was done i crudely resoldered the capacitor onto the board.

being the idiot i am, i thought that because i could de/resolder an smd capacitor, i though i could drag solder. spoiler alert, i was wrong. so, i decided to risk killing my arduino and try drag soldering. i got a blob of crappy solder on my iron, and tried to drag the iron over the pins of the atmega chip on the arduino. the solder was bridging the pins. i don't have any desoldering braid or iron tips(other than the included chisel tip) so i couldn't get the solder off. in panic, i tried dragging my iron over the pins again and again to no avail. then a thought came into my head. i had read that flux can help with desoldering. at this point i had lost all hope so i decided that flux was worth a shot. i applied some flux to the pins and dragged my iron, and the solder stuck to the iron. i removed all the solder and the chip was clean. i probably killed the board but i was happy that it didn't look like a piece of garbage.

but you may be asking, why did i make this post? i'm sure most of you have seen this piece of advice many times on the forums but i'd like to say it again. flux is your best friend when soldering! always use it, no matter what you're doing, even if it's the crappy kind that smells terrible!

also get good solder, don't cheap out and buy the bad stuff. paying $10 more for a good product is better than trying to fix problems caused by bad ones

EDIT: i tested the arduino and somehow it's alive!