Skip to content

YooFab PCBs

YooFab Soldering

Soldering YooFab Printed Circuit Boards: A Guide to Excellence#

Soldering YooFab Printed Circuit Boards, particularly those following the Limerick style inspired by the GQRP club's designs, demands a blend of precision, understanding, and the right tools. This article delves into the nuances of soldering these meticulously designed PCBs, ensuring that enthusiasts and professionals alike can achieve a high-quality finished product.

The Right Equipment#

A temperature-controlled soldering iron rated at 80 watts is paramount. This specification is not arbitrary; it ensures that the soldering iron heats up quickly and maintains a stable temperature, crucial for making consistent solder joints on the PCB.

The Soldering Approach#

YooFab PCBs utilize a unique approach that marries Surface Mount Technology (SMT) principles with through-hole component compatibility. This hybrid technique allows for the robustness and reliability of through-hole components without the need for specialized SMT equipment, making it accessible to hobbyists and experienced solderers alike.

Material Selection#

The choice of solder is critical. The recommended 60/40 tin-lead solder, as opposed to silver solder, requires less heat, reducing the risk of damaging sensitive components. This type of solder also aligns with the thermal characteristics of YooFab PCBs, ensuring strong, reliable connections.

Design Philosophy#

YooFab PCBs are crafted with RF design principles in mind, featuring ample ground planes and wide tracks. This design ethos not only facilitates easier soldering but also supports modifications and experimentation by providing a robust platform for swapping, changing, or modifying components.

Soldering Technique#

The layout of YooFab PCBs is intentionally open, eschewing the complexity of vias and tented thermals found in traditional through-hole designs. This openness simplifies the soldering process, allowing direct soldering of component leads onto the copper tracks and ground plane. However, it's crucial to manage the heat exposure to components, as they can only tolerate heat for a short time.

Temperature Matters#

A key insight for soldering these boards is the significance of temperature over time. The soldering iron should be set above the melting point of 60/40 solder, which is 188°C, to avoid "cold joints" — poor connections characterised by a dull appearance. A temperature of 233°C is recommended for creating high-quality joints without needing to apply the iron for more than two seconds.

Verifying Iron Temperature#

Despite the sophistication of modern soldering irons with temperature indicators, the actual temperature at the tip can differ significantly from the displayed value. Therefore, the use of a soldering iron temperature tester is advised to ensure the accuracy of the iron's temperature setting, aligning with the intended 233°C for optimal soldering.


Soldering YooFab Printed Circuit Boards is a rewarding endeavour that marries traditional soldering techniques with modern design principles. By adhering to the recommended practices, tools, and materials, anyone from the hobbyist to the seasoned professional can achieve a functional and aesthetically pleasing electronic device. The key to success lies in understanding the nuances of the PCB design, selecting the right soldering equipment and materials, and applying precise soldering techniques to ensure durable and reliable electronic circuits.