Does anyone have any tips on soldering ws2812b strips? I got these from aliexpress,

Does anyone have any tips on soldering ws2812b strips? I got these from aliexpress, and they have much smaller contacts than others I’ve seen, and I’ve had limited success in scraping off the plastic coating to create bigger contacts. Thanks, Andy

I got some with similar size contacts, scraped them back like you have but make sure you take the coating off the copper aswell not just the white paint. I used a razor blade but it is quite tough stuff!

I add a blob of solder to each contact whilst they’re separate— then hold them together with something heavy so they don’t move— then add more solder and kind of “blob” them together

I’ve used Emery paper to “buff” off the white coating near the pads and make them bigger. It will also remove the coating that’s on the pads themselves. Go slow and gently. Take your time and you will end up with some nice pads to solder on. And remember to flux when you solder! That will help tremendously with these strips!

Unlike @Ashley_M_Kirchner_No I’ve never had success trying to scrape that coating off the copper, so don’t feel bad if you can’t make it work.

On my 144 LEDs/m strips (with similar sized pads, that’s all there’s room for!) I resorted to sacrificing one LED at the end of each strip I cut.

Emery paper is like sand paper, but very fine. Think of a stiff piece of denim. You buff off the coating. It takes time, but it works. I’ve used it to buff off the mask on boards so I can expose the traces. It’s not abrasive enough to ruin the traces (unless you really try), just enough to get the coating off.

Use a glass fibre pencil to remove the white solder mask and make the copper solderable.
Solder some thin blank copper wire to connect both strips.
Just using blobs of solder will break to easily.

Thanks for all the tips. I ended up getting a glass fibre pencil and its working great (although it is quite time consuming, but I guess I’ll get better with practice as I’ve got 17 strips to solder together.)

That’s why I suggested Emery paper. A fiberglass pen is fine, and I use one on very thin traces on a PCB, however for stuff like this, Emery paper gets the job done in a few seconds.