I HATE RoHS solder.....

Discussion in 'Microphones, Speakers & Audio Processing' started by KL7AJ, Oct 4, 2018.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's often an ISO 9000 requirement: Nothing is allowed past the expiration date, and it matters not if the date makes any sense.

    We're an ISO 9001 company, and the ISO auditor will absolutely notice if we have "water" or "isopropyl alcohol" or anything else that expired yesterday...it has to be "gone" or you fail the audit.:p
  2. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    A few years before I retired from a rather large company, where my department was ISO-9000 et al, we had some extra office space. Several of us colluded and conspired to offer space to our East Coast Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Director. It was great having him in the next office. He used us as a training site for company-wide EHS. It also taught us a lot about on-time ordering of supplies. We were also almost completely chemical free in our assembly, test and engineering groups. Where we weren't chemical free, we had all the right equipment and facilities. It really was not all that onerous or expensive. The company and employees were pretty happy with it all.

    At home, I'm still using the old solder, flux pens, etc. :confused:
  3. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My company switched over to RoHS compliant methods early (maybe around 2002). It was a bit of a PITA to work with at first but with the proper tooling and a bit of training, everyone quickly got on board and things have been fine ever since. Somewhere around 2004, my partner and I decided to have all of our gear manufactured by contract with an ISO9000 compliant company in LA and that was really great. We crossed the rubicon in sales volume so we could not keep up with production demands and enjoy life. It turned out that they could build our stuff at a lower cost than we could. :)

    At home building my custom stuff? I use Kester 60/40 RA. It's still available and I like working with it better than lead free solders, especially while restoring older gear.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
    N0TZU likes this.
  4. K7NI

    K7NI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Medical devices are no longer exempt from RoHS. I went through the long and laborious process of documenting RoHS compliance at my former employer a few years ago.

    I kept a roll of leaded solder at my bench for test jigs, mods to engineering units etc. We had an OSHA inspector come through and I had to prove to her that I understood the risks of using it.
  5. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly the dilema for many of us rank and file hobbyist amateurs!
  6. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    ** Scrounger and Penny Pincher Alert **
    Busy saving money and DIY Building ...

    As Alan, W7NI noted — original RoHS exemptions (medical, military) are slowly disappearing.
    One consequence, Electronics and Electrical Distributors are further reducing Tin(Sn)/Lead(Pb) solder inventories — especially in California.
    WATCH Amazon, eBay, and Internet sites of California stores (like MarVac in Costa Mesa).

    Last month, I purchased Kester PocketPaks from MarVac at good discount, less than $3 each.

    Kester 83-4000-0000 : 60/40 Solder, #44 Flux, Pocket Pack, 0.031" (0.75mm) 21 AWG

    Kester 83-7145-0415 : 62/36/02 Silver Solder, #44 Flux, Pocket Pack, 0.020" (0.5mm) 25 AWG
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    K6LPM likes this.
  7. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    And that's a good thing! What the hobby is all about!

    Right? Maybe. Not always. My dad was king of the false economy.
  8. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's a pretty good deal for the silver alloy. That 60/40 is about 80 bucks a pound at marvac (but those cute little plastic holders are really nice in the field tool box). 60/40 RA is still $39 at DigiKey on 1lb spools but I don't know how much longer it will be available.

    Greg @W9GB, you always have your ear to the rail. Please tell us if you hear that the solder manufacturers decide to give up on Pb! Us die-hards will have to stock up. :p

    I go through 2-6 pounds a year depending on how many patch bays and console harni need to be replaced so my solder is always fresh around here.

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  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kester will manufacture both 44-Flux (RA) and 245-Flux (no clean) leaded solders in the foreseeable future. I recommend the Pocket-Pak for weekend hobbyists and field work tool boxes.
    ITW was going to discontinue, but NTE approached them to license.
    I see on Amazon and eBay that a few larger distributors have also licensed sample tubes (in 1960s Heathkit, Knight-Kit, and national hardware chains did this).

    Prices for the finer sizes (0.015” and 0.020”) have risen over past three (3) years.

    Kester was acquired by Illinois Tool Works (ITW) in 2006. ITW (Chicago based) has saved a number of historic USA manufacturing firms that have been “tossed around” since 1990.

    The Düsseldorf, German company, Henkel, did the same for Ersin Multi-Core solder in 2000.
    Henkel merged Multi-Core with their Loctite product portfolio.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    WA7PRC and KD2ACO like this.
  10. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Boy I wish I would have been more aware of this,,, I just bought a couple of rolls at JK Electronics in Westminster California and paid thru the nose!

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