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Soldering Technique Help

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I picked up a MiniVan kit and set about soldering the switches to the PCB, but had a really hard time keeping the switches straight while I soldered. A number of them are super crooked, and I'll have to desolder and then reset them. Can you recommend a method for keeping the keys straight while I solder them?
Thanks!
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Starius
695
Feb 28, 2018
While we're on the subject, anyone know of any good video tutorial sources for beginners in soldering?
bonbonelan
6
Feb 27, 2018
Thanks for the help, everyone. Ordered PCB mounted switches from Novelkeys. Will report back when it's redone.
LevelSteam
Feb 28, 2018
That's probably the best plan based on that picture. Do you have any experience desoldering contacts?
joshch
14
Feb 26, 2018
Yeah, and if you don't have a plate, you need to switch to pcb mounted switches
bonbonelan
6
Feb 26, 2018
I need an orthodontist for this thing.
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yanfali
1529
Feb 26, 2018
Sorry to tell you this, but you're doing it the hard way. Plate mounted switches without a plate are extremely challenging to align. Having said that, if you really want to do this. You can start by only soldering one of the two pins and then using that an anchor. Then carefully heat that single pin and get the switch aligned.
Skully over at clueboard has recommended using a ruler, clamped to the PCB to align all the switches in a row, but you'll still probably have to desolder at least one of the switch legs to get them straight.
The recommended way to build a keyboard without a plate is to use a 5 pin/leg PCB mounted keyboard switch. You can get them from Cherry, Gateron and Zeal. Outemu and Kailh pretty much only sell Plate mounted switches and so you either have to get creative or buy a plate.
Good luck.
bonbonelan
6
Feb 26, 2018
There's no plate with the kit I purchased directly from MinVan, and the prongs on these Kalih switches don't keep the switches in one place. I'll post a pic shortly.
LevelSteam
Feb 26, 2018
As far as I know the MiniVan uses a plate no? The plate itself should keep your switches pretty straight before you even solder. With plate mounted switches typically I mount and solder the corners first, then mount the rest of the switches and solder them in.
PCB mounted switches should grab the board with two prongs, which will keep the switch straight too, so I'm really not sure what's happening here. Can you post some pics?