How to solder copper in cold climate like Alaska?


Cold weather or heavy wind is a problem as they to disrupt the work, especially with antennas or roof and wind shelter is awkward to use.

How to solder properly : soldering basics
When soldering in cold weather, the heat you apply on the solder might not be as effective as in a moderate region. To obtain an effective result:

  • Clean and cut the pipes as you would do in normal soldering and make the joints as well. Try to pre-assemble and solder the parts inside shelter as much as possible.
  • As an extra step wrap a aluminum foil over them.
  • The foil layers need not be more than one or two or else the heat transfer would slow down.
  • Now if you apply heat using the torch, you will get a perfect solder even in freezing temperature, don’t worry.
  • On a calm day or while working on thin wires a lighter torch would do the job. But in a cold and windy day or working with a thicker pipe, a blow torch may be required. The new electronic lighter will light in any wind.
  • You can tell it is at correct temperature when the flux burns orange as the flame heats the metal.
  • In Using a torch is the better option but make sure to follow the cut, clean, remove bur and flux the parts carefully. Also use lead free solders.
  • Coax Dielectric handles heat better than others but only in some cases.
  • Another suggestion is the usage of Andrew Heliax on the outside where possible. Andrew connectors need to be heated only on the centre pin and not the entire surface. A connector shield compresses against copper shield which was corrugated.
  • Use short RG213 jumpers on the last few feet on the ends and solder them indoors. Work your way to shelter them outside.
  • A heliax is considerably weightless and better in ladder line.
  • The rest of the process can be done the normal way, i.e. cleaning copper pipes inside and fittings, using a brush to remove burs and flux the outsides as well the insides of the fittings to solder them easily.

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