How to solder on the beagleboard

I was wondering if someone can give me some tips on soldering on the Beagle/Panda. I tried to solder some connectors to the Beagle and it was not a good result, eventually the Board was gone (not sure if it was because of some damage made by the heat while soldering) and yesterday I tried to solder the LCD connectors to a PandaBoard and it was destroyed after that (it started the booting process normally but after a few boots, the board started to hang and then it never started again, not even the leds)

The Beagle seems that was affected by too much heat, while the Panda seems to be affected by the flux (maybe a short somewhere or something, even when the label on the flux states non-conductive)

So how do you solder on the board and keep it working :slight_smile:

I used a butane solder iron (as its the best of my soldering irons, uniform heat and controllable temps), but should I purchase a controlled temp electrical iron?

  • what wattage is recommended for the iron station
  • what temp is good while soldering
  • should I use flux, a little bit, none at all.
  • Is it ok to keep the iron tip a few seconds more on the board if the solder just don’t flow nicely the first time

Or should I use a hot air station to solder?

Any other tip that might help while soldering the LCD connectors (or any other part) on this boards, as I would prefer to not destroy a third board

*How people in those videos solder like that, they don’t even touch the pins and the solder flows in less than a second. I have to keep the soldering tip a few seconds for the solder to start flowing. Is it the heat (increased heat), the soldering iron quality, or what?

*I will post on both groups hopping to have more visibility

Use lead solder. It is almost impossible to solder with lead free without a special soldering iron. It takes a LOT of heat to melt leadfree solder and both these boards use lead free solder.


Or get a RF soldering Iron, I have used with success on BB OKI
smartheat and a MetCal but they are costly


Or get a RF soldering Iron, I have used with success on BB OKI
smartheat and a MetCal but they are costly

For something reasonably priced, get a Weller WES51 soldering station.
It's a very nice setup for a reasonable price (< $90 at Amazon USA).

It'll last a lifetime and you'll be able to get new tips almost
forever from places like Digikey. Weller stuff is used all over the
place and spare parts will always be available.

Thank you very much, guys

I am currently using 60/40 solder, so it has lead

For flux I tested with paste, cream and liquid flux from AMTECH. The liquid flux is better but the only issue is that is very conductive

The RF solder station seems nice, and not really expensive, the only issue is that I will have to wait a couple of months more for it to arrive here, so for the time being I will source a local solder station (there are only chinese cr@p brands), but at least they have temp control (300 to 340 degrees seems to be the right setting for 60/40). I will practice with the Beagle and PandaBoards that are gone, soldering and desoldering their components to find the right way to solder on these boards

The only odd issue is that on tests boards, when practicing I can solder as fast as a production line, but when moving to the real board, the solder just makes a blob, or doesn’t flow, or it becomes “sticky” and doesn’t solidify shiny.

Well practicing more I suppose


In my experience in modifying production boards, I found that once you do get the new solder in place, take the solder away and leave the iron in place for a few more seconds... Especially if it's still giving off fumes.. that means it's burning through the flux/resin found in the solder. Once the fumes taper off, you'll get the shiny solid.. I've found this happens at different points within certain solders.

Maybe I'm wacked, but at least that's what it seems to do..

Hope things work out for ya!

Take care with ESD, this may also kill your board while soldering. My opinion is that it does not differ much between lead/lead free, just increase the temperature (your solder tip will not like it). Weller is a friend forever!
Lead and leadfree don’t like to be mixed, sooner or later your joints will crack.

Practice practice!

Good luck!

BTW about the flux, I only use that to solder SMD ICs in eg QFP package. You can best clean afterwards with alcohol (let it dry long enough) if you use flux.
Wkr Joep