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Old 7th Mar 2018, 5:21 pm   #1
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK.
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Default Flux dispenser recommendation requested

I would welcome a recommendation for a flux dispenser and flux that is to be used occasionally for removing and replacing simple surface mount components such as electrolytics, ideally available from a major supplier such a Farnell.

I am not sure whether I should buy liquid flux and apply it with an artists paint brush or to buy a stand-alone flux pen.

Is the flux required for lead free solder different to that for leaded?

Is it worth going for no-clean flux?

Up to now I have used cored solder and occasionally my Dad's tin of Fluxite, but need to catch up with more appropriate materials.


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Old 7th Mar 2018, 6:10 pm   #2
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Default Re: Flux dispenser recommendation requested

Don't buy liquid flux. Makes a right mess and it gets contaminated quickly. I use a flux pen. One of these:

If you go for a no clean flux pen, you don't have to clean it off, but it gets a little sticky so it's worth cleaning it off anyway. I use the above with standard 99.9% isopropyl alcohol applied with a natural hair paint brush (nicked from the wife) then wash that off with distilled water. You need to do that wash process 3 times normally to get rid of the sticky.

If you go for a flux pen which isn't no clean, you have to clean it off with solvents properly or it'll cause damage in time.
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Old 7th Mar 2018, 6:38 pm   #3
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Morden, Surrey, UK.
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Default Re: Flux dispenser recommendation requested

Fluxite is an acid based flux which is an absolute no no for electronic work.

I use a flux pen from Farnell 1663183, but there are lots of alternatives.
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Old 7th Mar 2018, 7:28 pm   #4
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Default Re: Flux dispenser recommendation requested

I use spray flux to cover my recently made boards, stops the copper tarnishing before I make the board. If I need a bit of separate flux a wee squirt in the lid does apply with a cocktail stick.
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Old 7th Mar 2018, 7:29 pm   #5
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Exeter, Devon, UK.
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Default Re: Flux dispenser recommendation requested

Fluxite. Following Barrymagrec comment.
He is quite right for modern Fluxite. Contains zinc chloride which gives of hydrochloric acid when heated and cleans copper and everything else very well. Easily recognised as the tin has a nice demon on it, and a red warning about dangers of eating it.

But original Fluxite is rosin based, and non-corrosive. Same as used in cored solder. An all green tin, and an amiable demon. I still have two large tins of it. Turn up from time to time in garage clearance sales and when hobbyists die off. If anyone wants to experiment before I lose interest, send me a PM and I'll make up a small package for you.

I have thought of experimenting with dissolving rosin in isopropyl alcohol which will give the same thing I think. When heated, smells like I used to get when stripping wartime radio sets. Get your rosin from a violinist or similar shop. I also use this as a paper adhesive. And non corrosive.
I also use a liquid flux ex Radiospares. Clean off with IPAlcohol

Half the fun of repairing old electronics is re-inventing the old techniques and materials.
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