Soldering

The AMP Lab Soldering Certification is based on OSHA, IPC and NASA standard guidelines. In 2011 the ECE department stopped requiring students to be solder certified but the AMP Lab believes that there is a lot of value added in learning to solder. Soldering properly is a valuable skill in the workplace and fewer students graduate having never held a soldering iron.

 

There are 4 AMP Lab levels of proficiency: 

NASA: Almost flawless. Solder joints compare favorably with the NASA workmanship standards pictorial reference.
Those who achieve a NASA rating may certify other students.

Dell: OK, not everybody's favorite product, but they offer a 3 year warranty.

Sparkfun: If you have design experience, you know to stay away from bad connectors, poor documentation, and bad design advice that is unfortunately prevalent on their site. You can "play" and have fun making sparks. If you are serious about circuit design, you need some additional information. 

 

Walmart: Oh, it doesn't work? Here's another one; and another one; no, that one's not covered under warranty; I'm sorry it stopped working right when you turned it on etc..

 

NASA Workmanship Standards

According to NASA-STD 8739.6, NASA-STD-8739.2 and NASA-STD-8739.3 are cancelled documents as of October 2011. The NASA Inspectors Pictorial Reference has been removed. While NASA has published a Workmanship Problems Pictorial Reference, its contents pale when compared to the original.

The replacement standard is IPC J-STD-001ES, from ipc.org. Formerly, the ECE department utilized IPC videos for training, but they were not specifically suited to the level of soldering proficiency we desired. IPC does not provide an online pictorial reference, instead charging for printed copies.

Until we find a suitable document or generate our own, we will post a link to a cached copy of the NASA Workmanship Standards here.

 

http://www.cel.ece.vt.edu/AMP_Lab/NASA_Inspectors_Pictorial_Reference.pdf