Solder Basics... If I needed to pick my favorite flux for hand soldering, it would easily be PoP Flux 030B. I know it’s probably never going to find itself in household soldering toolkits, it’s a semiconductor packaging material – most people never need that good of a flux around the house, but I said it was my favorite, not the most practical.
This is why PoP Flux 030B is the best choice around the house:
1) It has proven it’s solderability to ENIG, silver, oxidized copper, OSP, and nickel with Pb free and Sn/Pb alloys (which I’d choose any day for my personal soldering applications).
2) It is a halogen free, no-clean flux, so you can just leave it on the pipes, connectors, or stereo wires you’re connecting.
3) It is safe to use even if it isn’t completely heated and cured – this is rare for a no-clean flux.
4) The airless packaging process gives it a unique tack/viscosity ratio and a smooth texture that you just don’t get with cheapo off-the-store-shelf fluxes.
5) It activates at a relatively low temperature but can endure ~300degC reflow. Hand soldering is not accurate, so I like the widened process window.
6) I think it’s pretty cool to use such an advanced flux for low-tech soldering, it’s overkill at its finest.
This is a rare photo taken in the underground Structural Solder Joint Test Facility (SSJTF) nearly 5 miles below a small farming town in Central NY. The light that you see is not really just a cellar window…