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Thread: Soldering sockets with tubes on ,yes or no?

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    Soldering sockets with tubes on ,yes or no?

    I like to prototype circuits on a chassis with some sockets,point to point style,soldering components directly on sockets and pots,no tags and long leads.
    I wonder,when i make changes to try different values,does the heating of the 350 celsius soldering gun damage in some way the 12ax7 in the socket?
    Is it better or mandatory to leave them out or do they stand a 5 second soldering?(maybe repeated 3/4 times)

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    I never worry about it. I can't begin to think of how many times I've re-soldered board mounted sockets with the tubes still in.

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    Just because they don't have tubes doesn't mean they don't have feelings! - glebert

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    If you solder like a pro, and get in & out of the process in a couple seconds as you mention, no worries. Where it's a real problem is with those tough dog connections especially on octal or other large format sockets, where keeping the heat on for too long may melt the solder inside the tube pin and that's not a good thing. In those instances yes it's very much recommended to remove the tube whilst soldering the socket.

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    I have gotten sloppy in the past & had solder run down the socket into the pin holes... Then tube no inserty. Which I have heard as an argument to leave them in. But just don't get careless you should be fine either way.

    Of course, you could end up soldering the tube in...

    Justin

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    I have gotten sloppy in the past & had solder run down the socket into the pin holes... Then tube no inserty. Which I have heard as an argument to leave them in. But just don't get careless you should be fine either way.

    Of course, you could end up soldering the tube in...

    Justin
    I did that. On a new socket. It wasn't even a sloppy solder job. At first I questioned whether the socket was already hinky, but when I inspected things I could see a thin, silver line along the split in the socket pin, pin tube socket thingy. The wole unit got hot enough under normal soldering conditions to wick solder right down the split like a capillary. It never happened before and it hasn't happened since.

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    I don't like to solder on socket pins with the tube in... but I've done it.

    As already mentioned, get in and out fast.

    Good hot iron helps.

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    thanks to all for the replies,my only concern is about preamp tubes,i know about the power tubes,i had once to reflow a heater pin on a 6L6 used,with success,but if i need to reflow the sockets on a pcb i unplug all the tubes.

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    I did a practice soldering sockets wire all the time with the tubes in without to remark any by mentioned concerns, ever. The reason was to keep centered/aligned the socket pins with the tube pins as I used solid wire AWG 24 which is not flexible.In any sockets I used the pins have a little bit clearance and keep it tensioned will go out of axle. If use multistranded wires maybe is not a concern.

    I have no ideea how the electrodes are fixed in a tube but pretty sure they are not glued, soldered or whatever but welded instead. I will have more concerns about socket pins as I remarked some are made from rigid alloys to keep the contact more tight. That means better contact but less flexibility. Trying to bend this pins will go to broke it or at least severe cracks into material, no good at all.

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    Last edited by catalin gramada; 05-12-2019 at 07:43 AM.
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