Soldering question

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by dfor, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    The picture below is a strobe light that I use while snowplowing. It stopped working a couple of days ago. I took it apart and pulled the strobe tube out. You can see that it has 3 prongs. The fitting that the far right prong goes into also came out and is stuck to the prong. Anyone know if something like this can be soldered back into place (strobe tube and all).

  2. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    While some boards can be repaired.. I think this one is toast.. looks burnt bad to me. get a new one and install it with a fuse and relay to protect the system.
  3. CCWKen

    CCWKen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Yikes! Watch handling that board. The charging capacitor can still have a 1000+ volt potential. Make sure you short the cap before working on it. Yes, you can hard solder the lamp to the board. It was made with plugs so the lamp can be replaced more readily. You'll forfet that option. What you'll gain is the lack of corrosion that probably caused the burn problem in the first place.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Some things to note:
    1) How much a new strobe light cost?
    2) Plan for success, but be ready for failure.

    As for me, I recently had the pleasure of replacing Lithium batteries on the SI board of my bmw, which is inside the dashboard AND tends to fry parts of the dashboard when they are not replaced immediately. You can get used dashboards on ebay, but the odometer reading is wrong and that hurts the car's resale value. New dashboard on a bmw? I do not know the price, but I know I can not afford it.
    So I figured, what have you got to lose?...
    Alas the old batteries were tip-welded onto tabs and there was no way I could get new batteries with tabs and you can NOT solder tabs onto batteries due to heat. And yes, parts of the dashboard circuitry were fried as well.
    In your case, the heat presents a similar problem with the strobe light it is very near the circuit board and I don't know how fine the tip of your gun is but I use a butane flame-torch to solder and the tip of the flame is VERY fine but the temperature is 1500 degrees or more.
    What I did is I went to Radio Shack and bought single-strand 22-gauge plastic-coated spool of wire (actually I got 3, one black, one red, one blue). Then with a nail clipper, I'd strip an inch to inch-and-half of plastic off the wire, would heat the wire while inserting it into that hole on the circuit board, and gradually the heat would build up in the wire until it popped through.
    Flip the board on its back, I would then HOLD the entire inch-whatever of wire at the OTHER end of the hole with tweezers, heat the wire again and apply a tip of solder to it. Once the wire got hot enough, a drop of solder would nicely glide down the wire onto the circuit board. Hold steady and blow with mouth gently and pray, the solder usually seats at the hole.
    Once seated, I then cut the rest of the stripped wire flush with the board, and turned the board right-side up. Voila, I had plastic-coated wire soldered flush onto the SI board. Then I simply cut it to the right length, and stripped again and then applied the final tip to, in your case, the strobe light.
    You will likely have to use your imagination, it took me several days to 'get' it, in my case I ended up using battery holders and basically re-worked the entire board, also I bridged the fried gaps on the dashmobo with wire, and today my dash works great!
    I know it's not the same thing, but soldering circuit boards one way or another, to me, IS the same thing.
    Best of luck !

    it took a few hours to get everything just right, but I got that dashboard working great !
  5. arborguy

    arborguy LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 14

    While I'm sure soldering with a blowtourch is a blast, a $9 25 watt soldering iron might be a better choice for small electronics. Most solders melt at 600 to 800 degrees depending on percentages of lead, tin, and silver components.


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