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Here's a tip on what you can do to teach yourself how to solder properly.
Find a piece of wood and hammer in a bunch of nails outlining a square pattern. Then wrap wire around the nails to form a grid pattern. Here's a small example of what you want it to look like.
Tin the tip of your iron and place it where the wires cross to heat up the area to be soldered. It is very important to tin your iron before soldering. This improves the heat transfer from the iron to the joint to be soldered.
Now touch the solder to where the wires cross. This whole heating and soldering process should only take about a second.
The top 2 solder joints are examples of poor soldering. The ball of solder on the right is an example of a cold solder joint. This is because the wires weren't heated up enough to allow the solder to flow into the joint. The one on the left is another example of a cold joint that also had too much solder applied. The lower two solder joints are examples of good solder joints that were properly heated prior to applying the solder and with just the right amount of solder used to make the joint.
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