Lead free solder foolishness - Was:Releasing sources/schematics.

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sun Dec 19 12:50:19 CST 2010

> On 18 Dec 2010 at 19:08, Tony Duell wrote:
> > re you doing the repairs with lead-free solder, or leaded solder? I am
> > told you cna use the later to repair the former (technically), but in
> > the UK it's illeagal to do so commercially. But for your own stuff...
> I repair with leaded solder.  As yet, only New Jersey is the only 
> state working on regulations akin to the EU RoHS.  
> It works fine.   

Yes. I have been told that there are in fact several differnt lead-free 
solders, and in come cases it can cause (even more) unreliabilty to 
resolder with the 'wrong' one. On the other hand, lead/tin solder is 
compatible with anything :-). Quite how I am expected to know what 
lead-free solder to use on some item for which there is no chance of 
getting a service manual is beyond me, but I guess this is just another 
way of making things difficult to repair...

> > I see... A lot cheaper than the official repair of replacing the PCB
> > (in my expeirence car electronic modules are a form of legalised
> > robbery!), and doubtless much more reliable.
> You're not just whistling Dixie!  A headlight relay for the Volvo can 

Actually, many spares are legalised robbery. I used to joke that DEC 
stood for 'Darn Expensive Components' after some of the prices they 
quoted for spares for my PDP11s But that's by no means an isolated case.

> be had for no less than about $220.  Open one up and there's a relay 
> and a 4000-series CMOS IC and a few discrete components.

Your are lucky that they used a recognisable IC. A lot of automotive 
stuff usese custom parts :-(. Of course this doesn't stop you resoldering 

Actually, the woekshop manual (factory, not 3rd party) for our Skoda says 
that the Instrument Panel Insert must not be dismantled. Now, the 
Instruemnt Panel Insert is the unit that cotnaisn the 4 analogue 
instruments (including the pointers/dials, all actually electroncially 
controlled), a coupel of LCD displays, warning lights (LEDs), etc. It 
also contains the odometer (obviously) and the immobiliser controller. So 
I could understand why there might be secrutiy features in it. But I 
can't find any more details

> Highway robbery indeed.

Oh, and 'special tools'... I can rememebr when special tools were only 
needed fro rearely-done jobs, when they genuinely were needed, and when 
you got the drawings ot make them in the back of the workshop manual. Now 
you seem toneed them for just about every job on a modern car, even the 
annual service. And the only reason you need them is because it's been 
designed to need them, it could have been designed so you didn't need 
them.Jsst another way of exteacting money from you for a special drift or 
spacer or... that you could turn yourslef if they'd tell you the 

Oh well..


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