Pictures to come soon...
This guide will take you through every step required to solder a Deans connector to a battery or aeg.
The process is similar for most solder joins you might require in Airsoft Teching.
Make sure you have everything you need to hand:
Soldering station set to its maximum temperature with a chisel tip
Flux-core solder. Lead based solder has a lower melting point so is easier to solder whereas lead-free solder does less damage to the environment but is typically harder to work with
Sharp pliers/wire cutters
A well ventilated space with plenty of room to maneuver. Burning flux fumes are harmful, estimated to be on par with cigarette smoke
Turn soldering iron/station on. Wet the sponge - it just needs to be damp. Clean the tip on the sponge and cover the tip in a little solder. This is called 'Tinning' and helps heat transfer.
While the soldering station is heating up cut the positive wire on the battery leaving enough wire still attached to the battery - ideally at least a couple of inches. Cutting only one wire at a time prevents accidental short-circuits. It’s easier to solder the positive line first in the case of Deans connectors. If your connector is not fresh from the packet or has accrued any moisture, a flux pen may be used to coat the surface in flux. This helps create a solid, oxide-free joint.
Strip the wire back about 8-10mm. You'll trim it down later, this helps prevent the wire insulation from melting. Gently twist the exposed part of the wire to help keep the strands together.
Your iron 'should' be up to temp by now. This is where a digital readout of the temp really helps. Clamp the Deans connector in the helping hands.
If your iron has taken more than about 30 seconds to heat up, clean and freshly tin your soldering iron.
Touch the tinned part of your soldering iron on the tip of the deans connector and apply the solder to the far end of the connector. The solder should almost instantly melt and spread towards the source of the heat, the soldering iron in this case. You want an even covering about 1-2mm thick. It'll settle in a dome shape.
I usually tin the negative pin on the Deans connector at this point in the same manner.
Clean the solder off your iron and re-tin (step 2)!
Wrap a little tape around the wire insulation if it's soft so the crocodile clamps on the helping hands don’t cut through it. With the wire in the clamp, touch the tinned part of the iron to the end of the wire and apply the solder to the wire. The soldering iron will heat up the wire which should melt the solder that then travels towards the source of heat. Thicker wire requires slightly longer to heat up. Silver plated wire should suck up the solder instantly. You need to apply just enough solder to cover the wire. Once the solder has set naturally, trim it down to the same length as the connector it's being attached to.
Cut the heat-shrink to size - just enough to cover the joint - and push to the bottom of the wire. This is probably the easiest step to forget.
Repeat step 8! A clean soldering iron is one of the most commonly overlooked steps!
Bring the wire and the connector together with the wire sitting on the connector and apply the iron to the wire. It can help if you angle the wire so it is pushing down onto the connector slightly. I usually use metal tweezers to hold the wire and connector pin together and steady. This also acts as a heat-sink so any excess heat will not melt the connector or wire insulation. The solder on the wire and the connector should melt into each other after only a second or two. Any longer and your iron probably isn't hot enough or you have used too much solder. Make sure there is no movement as the solder sets as this will cause high-resistance crystals to form resulting in a dud connection.
You can test if the joint is good by using a multi-meter to measure the resistance. If you don't have one, the joint should be shiny or - if you're using lead-free solder - not a really dull grey. You can also give it a tug; a good joint is much stronger than most people think. If it breaks then something has gone wrong.
Once the solder has naturally set you have your connection. Repeat steps 3 - 13 for the Negative line. If at all possible you should try to twist the pairs of wires together. This helps prevent electrical noise and Induction Loops.
If you want to be really professional you can clean off any residue flux with some IPA (IsoPropyl Alcohol) and a lint-free cloth or cotton bud.
Slide up the heat-shrink over the joint and heat it. I use a gas soldering iron without the tip on it whilst gently pushing the heat-shrink towards the connector.
Clean your soldering iron tip and dip in the tin-dip. This stops it corroding and falling apart.
Turn it all off and admire your handiwork. Good soldering does take practice so don't worry if you don't get it perfect first time.