Electronic – Soldering iron struggling to solder to ground plane


I've got a 48W Soldering iron which I'm using on PCB's, which I'm designing with Eagle and getting made up for me. I'm a hobbyist, so needless to say, I may well have the wrong tool for the job here.

My designs use surface mount components and my soldering iron is really struggling to melt the solder when I'm trying to solder to a surface mount pad which is connected to the ground plane.

Is 48W a bit on the small side? Should I replace the iron with a more powerful one or is that not the problem? I'd be very grateful for any help.

Best Answer

You just need to heat the pad for a longer time. Use big flat tip on your soldering iron to maximize heat flow. If you still cannot solder you may try placing a hot plate under your board to preheat it.

And next time remember to use thermal reliefs:

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