Prevent key chatter when soldering

Anyone have any ideas on how to prevent key chatter when soldering zeal switches? Inevitably I end up with a few keys that register presses before expected actuation. I have to desolder, add a new switch, and try again. What temperature do these things melt at? How can I determine the lowest possible temperature to effectively solder at? Basically, I want to up my soldering game so I can prevent damaging these components.

I’ve never soldered a board so far, but I’m planning a build with zealios in the near future for my first build and I’m definitely curious about this and happy to know about this issue in advance so I can prepare for it.

60/40 solder melts at 370 °F so I enjoy 400 °F with that type of solder as it heats up the copper pad quick enough for me to move in/out. I don’t want to have my soldering iron lingering on the PCB any longer than that.

Just figure out the melting point of the solder you’re using and set your soldering iron a bit hotter than that.

I don’t know how much is this relevant but

“If you can change the temperature of your soldering station, I usually set it to 320°C. They sometimes suggest lower temps, but I wouldn’t do that. Low heat means you need to stay longer over the components and we want to go as fast as possible without risking a cold solder point.”

1 Like

I have worked a good bit with Zealios & never had that issue myself. Although I do know the clear bottomed Zealios are much less resistant to heat than the milky bottom 65g ones. The best advice I can give you is to use a good 63/37 or 60/40 leaded solder & set your temp on your iron to around 300C to 320C. That is the temps & types of solder I usually use & has worked best for me.

Also you need to work as fast as possible with Zealios, really only hold the iron to the joint for just as long it takes for the solder to melt & flash. Counting sometimes helps when doing this & a good rule of thumb is to never go over a 10 count on any single joint IME. The other thing would be too take extra caution that you do not have the iron too close to the piece of the bottom housing that protrudes through the PCB is visible on the back side. Since melting that will cause the stem to not be able to have full travel through it or travel crookedly & cause problems like you are experiencing.

If all else fails & you still are having issues with soldering Zealios you may want to pick up a btach of the milky bottomed 65g Zealios & swap in your spring of choice. The milky bottoms are much more resistant to heat than the clear ones. Hope this advice helps some! :metal:

I work with a Kester 63/37 .020 width solder. I usually keep the iron around 325. For most boards, it seems to work well. I’ve never had this problem with cherry switches or gateron smd switches. Really only with clear bottom switches. I don’t know if all clear bottom switches would have this issue, but I’ve only worked with Zeal’s products. I looked up the melting point of the solder and it’s 183 C or 361 F. That seems really high. It might make working faster, idk. The board I recently built had pads that took quite a long time to heat up. I had to bump the temp so I could get to the melt point faster, but I think I damaged more switches that way.

I appreciate the advice. Seems like I need to do some more experiments, but experimenting with Zeal’s switches is costly. I do love em, when I get them on the board correctly. How long I stay on a pad seems to be related to how easy the solder flows onto the pad and in the through hole after reaching the melt point.

Got any tips on how to make that work better? Use some solder flux on all the pads? Anyone doing that?

when i built my whitefox a while ago i had two zealios that chattered. i ended up desoldering and resoldering the same switches and they work fine. seemed to me like it was a poor joint that seemed ok visually. i wouldnt discard those switches until you are absolutely sure they have been damaged.

You know what??? I have never actually tried that! I’ve never actually thrown the switches away - springs and stems are always valuable. Thanks, I’ll try that.