>    I am wondering why the need for the high temp solder? A specified
requirement? Since gold solders quite easily I can't picture the need for
the special solder.

It could be the new "lead-free" solders.  All of these I have heard of have
higher melting points than lead-tin.

Lead is THE best substance to use in solder.  All others I have heard of
have problems with embrittlement.  I shudder to think of the equipment
failures that will arise after boards built with lead-free solder have been
in use for 2-3 years.  What's worse is that since much of it is consumer
electronics, most folks will just take it in stride and throw it away and
buy a new one.

The EU has a requirement for lead-free solder starting in 2005, I think.
Some consumer electronics companies are already doing it.  I guess we will
have to get an exemption for industrial equipment, or stop selling to EU
countries - we will not compromise the reliability of our products for any
"feel-good" initiatives.  Now if it can be shown that there are no long-term
reliability problems with lead-free, we will consider it.  Problem is, this
is a tough thing to fight against, because these groups stand to benefit:

1) Electronics companies:  they get to sell more stuff, because it doesn't
last as long.  They also get the PR benefit from appearing to look good to
environmentalist concerns.
2) Solder manufacturers:  they get to patent new types of solder and charge
more $$$ for them
3) Gov't bureaucrats:  they get to accept bribes, er, I mean, campaign
contributions, from #2 to pass lead-free legislation, and they get votes
from the environmentalists.
4) EU:  they get to lock out competing products by erecting a non-tariff
trade barrier to foreign goods, at least until foreign suppliers make the
switch

Ironically, the groups that take it in the shorts are:

1) Consumers: paying more for less reliable electronics
2) The environmentalists:  landfills taking in more electronics refuse
betrays their cause.

Filling up the landfill with lead-free electronics - that doesn't sound too
environmentally friendly to me.  I'd rather use lead in my electronics and
have them last longer, than throw out lead-free electronics every couple of
years.  I've got a TV from 1989 and stereo equipment from the early 80's
that still work.  They've got lead in them, but they aren't in the
landfill...

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com



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