I was having problems at the start of the week, Couldn’t solder a pretty seam for the life of me and I’ve been soldering now for long enough that normally it’s like spreading nicely softened butter on bread.
This was more like spreading straight from the fridge where you leave crumbs and holes as you go !
I cleaned my flux dish and used some from a new bottle, cleaned my soldering tip and checked for damage, Not them…
Realised eventually after it took me 3 times as long to solder a piece together as I had expected and then had to rub and rub with my polish to get a shine that it was my solder !
The solder was a new batch I only started this week and it was the only solder I had left so nothing to compare it with.
I use Best solder K grade 60/40 tin / lead. I only use K solder.
I ordered some K solder from a different supplier so I could compare.
While waiting for that, ater a search around I found half a stick of curled up solder from previous good batch. Not too easy to compare visually because the new stuff is in straight sticks.so
I did an experiment. Curly (old) solder worked perfectly. New solder took twice as long and not as shiny or smooth.
Conclusion New, ‘bad’ solder is 50/50 not 60/40. (More tin = lower melting point, more shine)
Have sent a piece of it back to the supplier today for them to check but don;t think they believe me.
Has happened once before but in that case was more obvious as it was 40/60 and really quite obviously dull.
Today I received my replacement from other supplier and I used it. Like buttering bread with softened butter again… Thank goodness for that. It wasn’t me last week, was beginning to doubt my soldering competency. 100% the fault of the solder. I will be packing up that 2.5+ kg of 50/50 solder and returning it whence it came.
Just to double check. Here are two photos, both showing a piece of each, the solder I can’t work with and the replacement. Please tell me which is shiniest (and therefore correct K grade) in each photo. Top or bottom. ? Assuming you can see a difference.