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I wonder if solder paste might work as a good substitute for soldering wire for through-hole soldering. I imagine that it could make soldering a bit easier in some cases, for example by providing a better contact between the part, the pad and the soldering iron for heat transfer.

Has anyone tried this and was it any more convenient than wire?

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I've done it, and it is far messier than wire solder, with negligible advantages.

Basically, through hole soldering requires a lot more solder then surface mount. Therefore, you wind up building huge mounds of solderpaste on every component hole, which then gets pushed around as the rosin in the paste boils off during soldering.

The end result is solderpaste/solderballs all over your PCB, with little of it where you want, on the component leads.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about wire-to-pad soldering? Would that work? \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Atkins Apr 24 '11 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ It certainly works, but it's messy. I don't think the type of joint would really change anything. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Wolf Apr 25 '11 at 3:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ In my experience, wire to pad soldering is unreliable (long term) if the wire is going to move around. \$\endgroup\$ – Toybuilder Apr 25 '11 at 6:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ My plan now is to pot the joints in heatshrink filled with e2000. I just find wire to pad soldering difficult because I dont have enough hands for the wires, solder and iron at once. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Atkins Apr 25 '11 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Robert Atkins - Really? Then you are doing it wrong. Tin the pad, so you have a dome of solder. Then tin the wire end. finally, place wire end on pad solder dome, heat with soldering iron. Result - Nice solder joint. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Wolf Apr 25 '11 at 21:36
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This is called pin in paste. It seems to be useful when reflow soldering is done anyway for surface mounted components.

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