Which soldering iron?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which soldering iron?

    Which soldering iron are you guys using to solder the LED terminals and driver connections? This connections are so small and my iron tip is as big as the whole LED making it unusable! So I need a new soldering iron to avoid damaging the components.
    Suggestions? I found this dealextreme soldering thing https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.22262
    its temperature regulated with 40W, is it safe to use in the fine soldering?


  2. #2
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    It should work. There may be connection problems though. You may have to replace the plug. It's 220v to 240v, but it appears to have a Chinese standard plug. Kind of hard to tell what plug it has exactly. You might have to replace the plug with one that will work for you.

  3. #3

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    For personal work I use a Hakko 936. Cost about $90 USD 8 years ago. Still works great.

    You can get some much lower end temperature regulated Wellers for maybe half that.

  4. #4
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    Have you seen this new, Hi Tec instant heat up and cool down jobby runs of 4 AA batterys and has a LED to help you see what your doing

    http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages...id=ELECTRONICS

    Got 1 for 3 recently in a sale in a shop, haven't tried it yet though, nothing to solder

  5. #5
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    Try and get a 20w iron. The 40w is going to be to much especially if you are new to soldering

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    Have you seen this new, Hi Tec instant heat up and cool down jobby runs of 4 AA batterys and has a LED to help you see what your doing

    http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages...id=ELECTRONICS

    Got 1 for 3 recently in a sale in a shop, haven't tried it yet though, nothing to solder
    Those aren't any good for heavy duty stuff. They're also not particularly good for low power stuff either - and they can fry sensitive components.

    Not a fan.

  7. #7
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    I use an ANTEX 18 w with an assortment of tips, used it for over 5 years with no probs.
    And they don't cost the earth.
    http://www.antex.co.uk/default.asp
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  8. #8
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    Well, a soldering station beats hands down all those irons.


    I have a Chinese clone of a Hakko 936 and its like a Mercedes (a soldering iron is like a Lada): excellent temperature control, fast heat-up, no overheating.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the replies and ideas.
    Why 40w is too much for soldering when the iron has a temperature control? Isn’t it just a measure of power consumption? But I’m a noob at soldering so it’s better to be safe...

    @ vroom9
    They also have conversion plugs to whatever power socket we use. So thats not a big problem.

    @ uoficowboy
    90USD is a bit high just for occasional soldering. I like the idea of temperature controlling.
    Which Weller would you buy?

    AA battery powered soldering iron doesn’t sound like a good idea...

    The ANTEX looks to have good quality and they are not expensive.

    I’m still deciding which one to buy; it has to be something good, cheap and with temperature control.

    Zemike where did you buy your clone?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    Have you seen this new, Hi Tec instant heat up and cool down jobby runs of 4 AA batterys and has a LED to help you see what your doing

    http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages...id=ELECTRONICS
    These are junk! They use a special low temp solder that doesn't hold up.

  11. #11
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    Just buy a Weller WLC100 from amazon, it's been working great for me. I still could use a fine tip, but being able to adjust the power is quite helpful.
    We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace -Michael Franti

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergio_pt
    Zemike where did you buy your clone?
    I bougth my clone in Moscow, in a shop which specializes in tools for mobile phone repairs. The price was $40.

    Here it is: http://shop.siriust.ru/product_info....oducts_id/4706
    A same soldering station with analog temp. control is $25

    Soldering irons with "temp control" which I have seen have a fake "control" - there is no temp sensors near the soldering tip, and the temperature is regulated by PWM, so there is no feedback loop.

  13. #13
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    I have the Hakko 936 also. Buy a few tips and you're set. The main reason I don't like the "non temp controlled" is that they overheat the tip. This causes oxidation on the tip which makes solder not flow onto the tip, and sort of bead up.

    The key to good soldering, IMHO, is to use the "wet" solder on the tip to heat the parts being soldered. Using a "dry" tip heats the parts inefficiently, and requires too much time with the tip in contact with the work, thus overheating (and occasionally ruining) the parts.

  14. #14
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    wow I cant read a word of russian! its kinda hard to buy from there.

    Well I ended up buying the dealextreme soldering thing I posted. I was needing a pair of 18650 batteries and ordered the iron too so I can give it a try. But I'll test it on some old electronic components first, if it doesnt work then its trash it wasnt that expensive also...

  15. #15
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    in my college soldering class I used my POS $11 pencil iron to do some SMT stuff... not fun but it worked just fine... just had to be very carful to not put to much heat in there... the adjustable type solder stations where much nicer to use or so I found out after using the biggie... don't recall why but i couldn't use one of the stations for that project.

    anyway if you are new to soldering... get yourself some spare wire (and strippers) and spend some time getting some nice joints on wires... then pick up a few cheap soldering kits (projects)... if you have a friend that solders ask him to spend some time with you...

    I took the class specificly so I could do a project called the "megasquirt" an adjustable computer to replace the stock car ECU... didn't take much time to learn a lot... my soldering is a lot nicer then my dads... and he was trained by the military ;-)
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  16. #16
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    Don't buy small/battery powered/bs soldering irons. If you are going to do lots of soldering, buy a soldering station. I have an old Weller WTCP. It is wonderful; temperature controlled, all parts are replaceable. New, it'll cost ya $125 or so. If you're lucky, you might be able to find a used one. I have had mine for 25 years. I love it. I would never attack these projects without it. The other point I must stress, don't practice on your projects. Learn how to solder FIRST. Practice on scrap, then do those projects. James

  17. #17
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    ...also as I recall the battery powered ones state right on there that they are not made to solder electronics... just wires
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  18. #18
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    New offer from Maplin here in the UK:

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...5-1&T=12554143

    48w solder station down to 39.99
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  19. #19
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    Looks good

    Nice iron for 48 pounds. You will need extra tips. NEVER file or sand the tips. Wipe off on a damp sponge every soldier joint and use quality soldier. My fav soldier is Ersin Multi-core. This has been my 1st choice since the 50's. Do Not use the ROHS crap. It is hard to soldier and doesn't "tin" well. I'll say this again; IMHO the Weller WTCP temp controlled irons are the bomb. All of the parts are replaceable. Mine has been used 8 hours a day for 35+ years. James

  20. #20
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    !I use a Metcal i borrowed from my old employer.
    600 apparently but it works by keeping a constant current ie constant heat at the tip when you are soldering.
    The tips are changable depending on how carefull/brutal you want to be.
    I would say cheaper ones are fine as long as you keep the tips in good order and well tinned.
    An essential purchase is a pot of tip restorer which will revitalise even the most burnt out/abused of tips.
    But for only soldering circuit boards/pcb's just pick the right size tip for the job and dont overheat the pads/components.
    Like OLDMTBFREAK says get hold of the fluxed up illeagal lead solder! and it makes life a hell of a lot easier!
    Failing that get hold of a flux pen and coat whatever your gonna solder with that first.
    Tommo.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    Nice iron for 48 pounds. You will need extra tips. NEVER file or sand the tips. Wipe off on a damp sponge every soldier joint and use quality soldier. My fav soldier is Ersin Multi-core. This has been my 1st choice since the 50's. Do Not use the ROHS crap. It is hard to soldier and doesn't "tin" well. I'll say this again; IMHO the Weller WTCP temp controlled irons are the bomb. All of the parts are replaceable. Mine has been used 8 hours a day for 35+ years. James
    Great tips! I thought I had learned to solder years ago, but only recently learned I was doing a couple things wrong. First, I found out that the chrome plating on the tip should never be filed off! It's crucial for proper tinning. Just replace it if you've gone this far.. Second, the soldering pencils will overheat if not used frequently, deforming the tips. OldMTB's tip to wipe down the pencil tip after every joint is golden. I found it tempers the heat of the pencil and maintains a well-tinned tip.

  22. #22
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    soldering

    I have found that keeping it all clean is the main concern. If the leads are nasty, scrape them with ur razor knife. If the solder blobs up, more flux (the joint is not clean). I think the trick for you nOObs, is DON"T use ROHS solder. It really sux. I've been doing this for 50+ years, and I have trouble with it. James

  23. #23
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    What sized tips are people using - different for LED joints vs power wires or same for everything? Thanks!

    Ian

  24. #24
    Five is right out
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    Same tip for both here... smallish conical tip.

  25. #25
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    I use 2 different tips. I use a long conical most of the time. When you need the heat, then the wedge tip steps up. Nice thing about the Weller iron is the quick change of the tip. If I was being persecuted, stuck with only one tip; thinking of it gives me shivers, I would prolly use a short conical. That'll about do all. James

  26. #26
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    The dealextreme soldering iron works very well. It has a mini red led indicating when it is heating up. Its better than the one I bought at a electronics shop. It just misses a flat tip.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by zemike
    Well, a soldering station beats hands down all those irons.


    I have a Chinese clone of a Hakko 936 and its like a Mercedes (a soldering iron is like a Lada): excellent temperature control, fast heat-up, no overheating.
    Is it this one:


  28. #28
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    The DE station looked ok. Jameco has soldering stations also. Me, I'm always thinking about the Weller stations. I must stress, the solder is the MOST critical part. Stay away from that RHOS $hit. Don't practice on your projects. Learn to solder on scrap PCB's or old pieces of wire twisted together(art). If you are using 63/37 solder (maybe you can even find 62/36/2% silver), a good joint is shiny and pretty. I have soldered many SMD projects (like LEDs), practice is the name of the game!

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