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Photo via oskay via Flickr CC Innovations that help us get the lead out of electronics is a really big deal. The heavy metal is a big source of pollution in soil and ground water tables due to electronics being tossed in landfills, and is a toxic substance in e-waste dumps. University of Maryland is working on what could be the first commercial replacement for the lead used in transducers, actuators, sensors and other components.
Through hole soldering is when you have parts that go through metal holes in the printed circuit board Nearly all my kits and other simple projects are done using through-hole parts. Practice and master this skill first, then you can move onto more advanced techniques! I could make my own tutorial but seriously, there's so many good ones out there already, it's probably a waste of my time! All of these are really nice.
There are two main classifications for the methods of soldering in use today: mechanical or non-electrical (using primarily acid flux), and electrical (using primarily rosin flux). This paper will address only the electrical applications of soldering. While advances in transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, and especially integrated circuits have revolutionized the world, these devices are of very little value as individual components. For these devices to be of use, they must be electrically connected to each other and to mechanical devices. The majority of these electrical connections are made by soldering. Not only does solder make electrical connections, it is also used to provide a physical connection between the component and its supporting printed circuit board.
Solder is a metal alloy with a low melting point that is melted onto 2 metallic items and allowed to re-harden. A tool called a soldering iron is used to provide heat to the process.