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Thread: A few questions...Which LED is which color and how to clean the RGrB Tri Cree?

  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by bigkevin61 View Post
    I use this solder:
    Attachment 16672

    Only when I tin the star pads, do I turn my iron up to 800 f.
    Me too. I have 1/2 a spool left, can you still get the R/S stuff? I miss them a lot, none left here in town.


    "Let the past die."

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Tilmon View Post
    Me too. I have 1/2 a spool left, can you still get the R/S stuff? I miss them a lot, none left here in town.

    I miss them for a quick wire and resistor run! Not having to wait for shipping was nice. My soldering station is a RS model as well.

    I don’t think they have their own stores anymore (at least be me). They are still online (and sell that type of solder).
    Using their store locator gives “authorized dealers” which by me, happens to be some Ace Hardware stores, almost 50 miles away (which is weird, I live in Chicago).

  3. #13


    Thanks for all of the great replies, everyone!

    Just a quick follow up...

    After doing some further research, it turns out most of my troubles were due to a heavily oxidized soldering iron tip. I bought a new tip and that really helped get things flowing and during my research, I learned how to properly care for a soldering iron tip to prevent further oxidation issues.

    I was finally able to get my Tri Cree soldered up. First off, I didn't try to solder my star after being mounted to the heat sink. I just put the star in my helping hands. I found a tutorial online that showed someone heating the bottom of the star for a bit, using the "heat rises" principle to get the star up to temp a bit, and then I went to the top to tin the pads. Worked like a charm.

    I tested the LEDs using the methods suggested here. Got my 18650, soldered a resistor to a wire and then just touched the pads while pointing the star away from me. for cleaning the LEDs, I had a REAL problem. I used a Q-tip with alcohol and apparently it semi-melted the surface of the LEDs. That may have ruined my star, but so far its still working as it should. It was pretty frustrating at the time I did it, as I was expecting the surface of the diodes to be glass, but I have definitely learned more expensive "lessons" in my life. We shall see how it holds up over time. Note to the community DO NOT USE ALCOHOL to clean the LEDs. Now that I know how to properly keep oxidation off the tip of my soldering iron, I shouldn't have such a hard time on the next one and it also shouldn't require me having to clean anything.

    Live and learn.
    Last edited by G3-R6; 05-18-2018 at 03:07 PM.

  4. #14


    ~Melted~? Holy moly. I've read before that cleaning like that was safe... I'm now morbidly fascinated. I don't suppose you have a picture of the star now?
    Player: I feel your anger, master.
    Darth Baras: A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel MY ANGER!!

  5. #15


    That's very odd... Alcohol doesn't usually burn plastic... You sure you weren't using acetone?

  6. #16


    I've cleaned my LEDs with alcohol without any issue. What exactly happened?

  7. #17


    I just double checked the bottle I used and it is definitely alcohol. I have no clue what happened. Seems like alcohol should have been fine.

    I just took a Q-tip, wet it with alcohol and rubbed it on the surface. As I did, I noticed that it started to get a little "gummy" so I immediately stopped and wiped the excess off.

    I could take a pic of the star but I don't know if my cell phone camera will be good enough to actually show what happened. The LED still works, but the surface is a bit cloudy. I will try and remember to take a pic tonight. Either way, whats done is done. I will run the LED as is until if/when it fails.

  8. #18


    the only thing I can think of is that you were using pure alcohol instead of rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) . But I will defer to the more knowledgeable in this forum.

  9. #19


    I use Isopropyl all the time to clear the resin/flux from the PCBs. Never melted a diode lens.

    "Let the past die."

  10. #20


    Some LED's have a rubber like substance, not unlike hot glue, that covers the die and acts like a lens aside from the focusing lens you put over it.


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