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 Post subject: Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:15 pm 
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Im looking to get a new one, which one's are you guys using, or which would you recommend? I've got a cheap one now, but its exactly that, cheap...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:01 pm 
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HAKKO MACH-I....they are great irons...

http://cgi.ebay.com/HAKKO-MACH-I-922M-V ... 3359d7b912


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:14 pm 
"Loogie"
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Depends on what you want to solder. The one in the link above will fry just about any components at 85w!! For electronics, you want around a 15w iron. I have a decent weller adjustable temp iron I got at sears for about $50. It's a good iron and works well.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... ockType=G1

Then there is this one off parts express. It's cheap, but the reviews say it's a decent iron, but for less than $20, you can't beat it!

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdet ... er=374-100

Hope it helps!



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 Post subject: Re: Soldering Iron
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:10 am 
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jbob0124 wrote:
Im looking to get a new one, which one's are you guys using, or which would you recommend? I've got a cheap one now, but its exactly that, cheap...


I have a pretty close to new soldering and hot air station I could part with for not too much. Pretty nice, the iron is 60w. Shoot me a pm if you're interested. I could even throw in a solder sucker.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:09 am 
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I,ve got a Kada 852D+ which is a soldering station and a rework station. Got it on ebay like 3 years ago for 150$ shipped. It included 10 solder tips, and 5 nozzle for the rework station. Still work like new! You can adjust the heat from 110 to 480 degree, same for the rework station. It's a ceramic element, so it heat to full temp in less than 1 minute!

Definitly a good buy!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:26 am 
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eulogious wrote:
Depends on what you want to solder. The one in the link above will fry just about any components at 85w!! For electronics, you want around a 15w iron. I have a decent weller adjustable temp iron I got at sears for about $50. It's a good iron and works well.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... ockType=G1

Then there is this one off parts express. It's cheap, but the reviews say it's a decent iron, but for less than $20, you can't beat it!

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdet ... er=374-100

Hope it helps!


If you say so... works fine for me for years....surface mount and all


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:35 am 
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tonym wrote:
eulogious wrote:
Depends on what you want to solder. The one in the link above will fry just about any components at 85w!! For electronics, you want around a 15w iron. I have a decent weller adjustable temp iron I got at sears for about $50. It's a good iron and works well.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... ockType=G1

Then there is this one off parts express. It's cheap, but the reviews say it's a decent iron, but for less than $20, you can't beat it!

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdet ... er=374-100

Hope it helps!


If you say so... works fine for me for years....surface mount and all


Really? My iron only goes up to 40w, and if I turn it up to 40w it leaves browns spots on the board and things start to smell funny and make smoke :? I did this for fun to see how hot it got a couple of months ago after I first got it. I leave it at less than 1/2 temp to solder wires, and usually still have to turn it down because it will start to melt the insulation. When I am doing boards and what not, including surface mount stuff, I put the temp usually about 1/4 of the way up the dial, or stuff starts to smell funny, which it should not do...

In fact the radio shack 40w iron I had, I ended up converting into a vaporizor because it was totally useless on anything but plumbing (copper pipe), and THICK wires. I messed up a xbox modchip using that iron... and it was only 40w, I can only imagine what an 85w would do!

A good solder temp is about 700 degrees fahrenheit, so if your 85w doesn't get much hotter than that, good for you. But my 40w iron gets WAY hotter than 700 if I turn it all the way up.

So with that being said, get an iron with a temp of around 700 degrees and you should be good ;)



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:48 am 
"Loogie"
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Now if I was to go "all out" this is the iron I would get:

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WESD51-Dig ... B000ARU9PO

Digital temp control, keeps the tip at that temp at all times, takes less than a min to warm up, it's sweet. My buddy has one of these and I LOVE to use it. Beats the pants off my weller I have now.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:08 am 
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eulogious wrote:
Now if I was to go "all out" this is the iron I would get:

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WESD51-Dig ... B000ARU9PO

Digital temp control, keeps the tip at that temp at all times, takes less than a min to warm up, it's sweet. My buddy has one of these and I LOVE to use it. Beats the pants off my weller I have now.


My boss have one of theses, the element deterior very quickly and heat transfert is not super on theses. But sure the digital temp control is great, i have it on the kada and it's a must when doing board soldering! Also helps when higher temp flux was used to solder!!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:13 am 
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str3atwarrior wrote:
My boss have one of theses, the element deterior very quickly and heat transfert is not super on theses. But sure the digital temp control is great, i have it on the kada and it's a must when doing board soldering! Also helps when higher temp flux was used to solder!!


Ya, I read that they had some QC issues apparently. My buddy's works great, but he hasn't had it for a while. But he said its the same one he has at work and they don't see to many problems with them. So I guess it's a crap shoot if you get a good one then :lol: Weller is a good name to stick with though. I have never heard of kada... doesn't mean it's not good, I have just never heard of them before. I have heard of HAKKO as well.

So you like your kada iron then? Have you used the weller before? Can you compare? Would be a good comparison :)



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:42 am 
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Geez, wasn't expecting to see that many replies lol...Not sure which im going to do just yet. Although based on reviews, the Stahl from parts express looks like a decent one for a decent price.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:51 am 
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Well as stated, the only weller i used is my boss's one. So it wouldn't be fair to compare it to my kada station, that never put me down in 3 years.

I had nothing but joy with my kada station, i was using it alot when dish/bell was still hackable to extract BGA from receivers and solder them back onto a waffer board. Never broke any balls on BGA with the heating station, and never had issues to resolder them with the soldering station. The soldering station heats up to a full 480deg in less than a minute. Best solders i've done were at about 300deg, makes a clean and quick solder. The different tips they gave me with it are great! You have the choice from .1mm tip for precision soldering to a big plate tip to unsolder big parts. Also it's not heavy, and easily portable in a tools bag. Only downside i had so far, the lenght of the iron wire is not long, but i managed to find an extention at a local electronic shop for less than 5$, to give me that extra lenght to work with more ease...

Like i said before, the weller i used had some heating issues, it's like the contact of the iron tip is not good over the element, so it's hard as hell to do the most easiest solder. But i know weller is a good company, lots of repair shop i went to use them, so that's why i said it's not fair for me to compare the one i used with the kada unit.

But one thing is sure, my kada unit that i bought for 150$ served his purpose long time ago, and repaid itself dozen of times since! And it definitly cost less than just a weller soldering iron, so for me, kada is the clear winner here!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:59 am 
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I don't solder on a regular basis, this is the first time that I've done it in a few years. Normally I would just buy the best thing I could find at a reasonable price, but once I finish my caps I probably won't touch it for another few years.

I found this one at my local home improvement store that I might go check out today. Its roughly $15-20

Image


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:05 am 
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jbob0124 wrote:
Geez, wasn't expecting to see that many replies lol...Not sure which im going to do just yet. Although based on reviews, the Stahl from parts express looks like a decent one for a decent price.


For the price, you really can't go wrong. I got the weller as a x-mas present, so I didn't mind, but if I was going to buy one now, I would get the stahl simply for price. If it breaks, I am only out $15! I would probably go and buy a decent after that, but from the reviews it really doesn't seem like that bad of an iron, even for being so cheap! Beats the crap out of the $10 rat shack 15w non-adjustable iron I used when I first started in electronics. If I only knew then what I know now...

str3atwarrior wrote:
Well as stated, the only weller i used is my boss's one. So it wouldn't be fair to compare it to my kada station, that never put me down in 3 years.

I had nothing but joy with my kada station, i was using it alot when dish/bell was still hackable to extract BGA from receivers and solder them back onto a waffer board. Never broke any balls on BGA with the heating station, and never had issues to resolder them with the soldering station. The soldering station heats up to a full 480deg in less than a minute. Best solders i've done were at about 300deg, makes a clean and quick solder. The different tips they gave me with it are great! You have the choice from .1mm tip for precision soldering to a big plate tip to unsolder big parts. Also it's not heavy, and easily portable in a tools bag. Only downside i had so far, the lenght of the iron wire is not long, but i managed to find an extention at a local electronic shop for less than 5$, to give me that extra lenght to work with more ease...

Like i said before, the weller i used had some heating issues, it's like the contact of the iron tip is not good over the element, so it's hard as hell to do the most easiest solder. But i know weller is a good company, lots of repair shop i went to use them, so that's why i said it's not fair for me to compare the one i used with the kada unit.

But one thing is sure, my kada unit that i bought for 150$ served his purpose long time ago, and repaid itself dozen of times since! And it definitly cost less than just a weller soldering iron, so for me, kada is the clear winner here!


Fair enough. Wouldn't be a fair comparison. I was curious if you had used any other wellers, but obviously not :) :hmm: I will have to look into kada when I decide to get an actual decent station. Thanks for the mini review!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:13 am 
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jbob0124 wrote:
I don't solder on a regular basis, this is the first time that I've done it in a few years. Normally I would just buy the best thing I could find at a reasonable price, but once I finish my caps I probably won't touch it for another few years.

I found this one at my local home improvement store that I might go check out today. Its roughly $15-20

Image


Can't really go wrong with weller. 25w should be fine as well. Good compromise for an all around iron, if you don't want to order/wait for one. If you notice things getting hot, just don't hold the iron down as long, and you should be fine!

Get some decent solder as well, along with some LIQUID flux. The past flux is annoying, but the liquid is fantastic! Get something like a 63/37 tin/lead mix for your solder, and get it fairly thin as well. With a decent iron and good flux/solder, you can do just about anything!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:27 am 
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I also got a BernzOmatic propane soldering iron, now that i think about it! Cost me 10$ and is wonderful to solder in a car or other places where current is hard to get!

I used mine to solder my radio's harness wires to my car, worked flawless! But keep in mind it gets hot quickly and takes some time to cold down! Got this one at Wal-Mart, and comes in handy once in a while!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:35 am 
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Here's some details on the one I just posted.

25-Watt, 8-Piece Short Barrell Hobby Iron Kit

* Fine quality consumer mini iron
* Featherweight iron with pencil handle
* Ideal for wood burning, hobbies, crafts, jewelry, model railroads, and micro electronics
* Develops 750°F/400°C temperature


The solder I have is lenox lead free electrical with a melting point of 235c/445f and 1.5mm in diameter (I could probably get something smaller for the caps) The flux I have is lenox sterling water soluble flux.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:42 am 
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Here's another one I found at a store near me. I might go for this one.

Image

Weller medium duty soldering iron kit. This soldering iron is ideal for electronic repair as well as many hobbies, and electrical applications.

* Indicator light allows you to see that the iron is on
* Ideal for electronics, electrical applications, hobbies, and kits, etc.
* Develops 900° F temperature
* Stainless steel barrel and heat and impact resistant handle
* MFG Brand Name : Weller
* MFG Model # : SP40LK


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:46 am 
"Loogie"
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str3atwarrior wrote:
I also got a BernzOmatic propane soldering iron, now that i think about it! Cost me 10$ and is wonderful to solder in a car or other places where current is hard to get!

I used mine to solder my radio's harness wires to my car, worked flawless! But keep in mind it gets hot quickly and takes some time to cold down! Got this one at Wal-Mart, and comes in handy once in a while!


:hmm: I never thought about using one of those! I just grabbed the iron and went to town. I just ran an extension cord, but the butane one would be very handy. I think I will pick one up, good tip!

jbob0124 wrote:
Here's some details on the one I just posted.

25-Watt, 8-Piece Short Barrell Hobby Iron Kit

* Fine quality consumer mini iron
* Featherweight iron with pencil handle
* Ideal for wood burning, hobbies, crafts, jewelry, model railroads, and micro electronics
* Develops 750°F/400°C temperature


The solder I have is lenox lead free electrical with a melting point of 235c/445f and 1.5mm in diameter (I could probably get something smaller for the caps) The flux I have is lenox sterling water soluble flux.


I hate how you really can't find lead solder anymore. Works so much better :? Sounds like you got it under control :) I would get some smaller stuff, but really it's not that big of a deal. If you don't solder that much, just use what you got :) 1.5mm is still pretty small, all things considered!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:52 am 
"Loogie"
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jbob0124 wrote:
Here's another one I found at a store near me. I might go for this one.

Image

Weller medium duty soldering iron kit. This soldering iron is ideal for electronic repair as well as many hobbies, and electrical applications.

* Indicator light allows you to see that the iron is on
* Ideal for electronics, electrical applications, hobbies, and kits, etc.
* Develops 900° F temperature
* Stainless steel barrel and heat and impact resistant handle
* MFG Brand Name : Weller
* MFG Model # : SP40LK


That one gets a little hot, so if you do get it, just pay attention to what your soldering, and you should be fine. Other than that, it looks good! Either one of those irons should do you fine. If you can find some different tips, I would grab and chisel and a pin point tip. Maybe even a spare of each, then you won't have to worry about that. The chisel tip is awesome for wires!

edit: Just saw that it has the tips in the pic, so if it does, your all set!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:57 am 
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Im going to head out in an hour or so to lowes and home depot to check them out. They are both about the same price, so which ever looks like a nice quality will be the winner :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:16 am 
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There is also soldering iron, looking like a glue gun that you have to press on the trigger to get it hot, works great for wires but don't even consider them for PCB soldering, they are way too big for theses!



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:07 am 
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I got the first one I posted. Although this one was tempting, but I couldn't find any specs on it at the store so I didn't get it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:09 am 
"Loogie"
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jbob0124 wrote:
I got the first one I posted. Although this one was tempting, but I couldn't find any specs on it at the store so I didn't get it.

Image


Nice, good choice :) The lower watt irons are easier to work with.

That butane one looks nice, but it's alot more difficult to control the heat I would imagine, especially trying to replace delicate electronic components.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:13 am 
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Yeah I figured having the butane would be a little trickier to use. The one I got comes with 4-5 woodburning tips and 1-2 sodering tips (chisel & point) Now I guess im back to soldering again.


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