What soldering iron...

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auraslip   1.21 GW

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What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Aug 22 2010 3:44pm

My small abused soldering iron I got from lowes isn't cutting it. It sucks.
I want a decent setup in the $50-$100 that will last me through four years of electrical engineering school.

What are some good options guys?
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Metallover   10 kW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Metallover » Aug 22 2010 3:55pm

A ton of people recommend the Hakko 936 soldering station. It will probably be my next soldering iron, if I need something that fancy.

I use a cheap pencil-style Weller 40w iron. It gets the job done, but will need a new tip in the future, and that's to be expected. I also have a weller soldering gun but that stopped working awhile ago. It was great for small, quick things but the tip didn't hold enough heat to do anything big. (16-14ga max)
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TPA   10 kW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by TPA » Aug 22 2010 7:48pm

Every time this comes up it is always agreed that either of two choices are great:

Hakko
and
Weller

As long as it is a soldering station, like this for example:

Image

Which is $95 and shipped free here:
http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-Anal ... 644&sr=8-2

or this (which was mentioned by metallover):
Image

$80 and not free ship here:
http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-Soldering-S ... 888&sr=1-1

Your choice will be a little different if you plan on soldering cells together.
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auraslip   1.21 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Aug 22 2010 8:04pm

Your choice will be a little different if you plan on soldering cells together.
Care to elaborate boss man?
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TPA   10 kW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by TPA » Aug 22 2010 10:43pm

The soldering stations that are pictured have the ability to heat at a rate of about 50W or so. They are excellent at maintaining the tip temperature within a few degrees at all times. They are typically used for delicate up to mediumish duty work.

To solder cells together you need a big iron, capable of around 100W or so, with a big fat tip that can move a lot of heat to the solder surface. It would be a pretty dedicated iron though, because I'm not sure you can get a big one like that which is able to do smaller, delicate work with much precision.

I have to admit though that I am no soldering expert, and most of this info has been absorbed here from other conversations. I hope someone will correct my errors, if there are any. I own the weller station I posted above, and like it very much, but me using it is like a chimp playing a Steinway piano.
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Evoforce » Aug 23 2010 2:32am

Ahhhh....haaaa haaaaaa. That is funny. :lol: Chimp+ steinway
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Metallover » Aug 23 2010 6:15pm

I made a ghetto soldering station before.... Wire up a dimmer switch with an outlet and there ya go. :wink:

This isn't an excuse for a soldering station, and well, to be honest, I've never used it more than once.. It does work, however. :D

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Ypedal » Aug 24 2010 12:02pm

I have the hakko pictured above, love it.. works for all but the BIG stuff like doing battery packs.. it " can " do battery tabs but i have to set it to the MAX and it's not healthy for a precision tool ... get a station.. and a big cheap 100w then you are all set for a long long time.
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auraslip   1.21 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Sep 28 2010 1:19am

Do you think the hakko or weller station will get hot enough to solder 8 gauge wire?
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by heathyoung » Sep 28 2010 1:47am

The Weller WESD51 I use at work will do 8 Gauge, I've done it a few times before, along with soldering nickle strip on Konion cells with ease.
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by amberwolf » Sep 28 2010 2:06am

I forget the model number, but a Weller 80W (90W?) I was given recently, with a chisel tip the size of my pinky, easily and quickly solders 10g wire to the ends of NiMH F-cells, without having to be there long enough to make the whole wire and cell top hot. Maybe a second or two at most. :)

It's hot enough that when I needed to quickly lap solder two 10G wires together as a quick fix, and I had no way to hold the wires other than to press them against a steel top of a piece of equipment, that they soldered anyway, despite the steel carrying away some of the heat. :lol:

The iron handle is a pinkish red like a lot of Weller stuff, and it has a neon orange lamp in the clear base of the element section to warn you it's plugged in, just in case you don't notice the heat waves coming off the end of it. :P

I don't know it's price, but I'm sure it was cheap, and the friend that got it for me got it for half price, too, at a shutting-down ACE hardware store (while getting himself one, too).

EDIT: I think it is this one, but mine looked a bit different:
http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... Id=1340447

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auraslip   1.21 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Sep 28 2010 2:23am

damn that was quick
thanks guys
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AussieJester   100 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by AussieJester » Sep 28 2010 2:30am

I bought one of these after Liveforphysics said they were good, its
the best soldering iron i have owned by far pumps out the heat for the 8awg wires does em with ease.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=TS1554

KiM

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auraslip   1.21 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Sep 28 2010 6:29pm

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/pshowde ... 00&scqty=1

$15 and a ton of good reviews. Hrm.... I ordered a set of tips for $5 too.
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Drunkskunk » Oct 01 2010 9:13am

Get your self one of these as well. http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brands/C ... 7103060976

I went through school using one of these. better heat controll than a base station, better tip controll, and portable. I'm still using it 15 years later. Later when I was working for a company doing traffic cameras in San Antonio, it let me repair the equipment on location, rather than uninstalling things to move then where an electric soldering iron could be used.
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auraslip   1.21 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Oct 01 2010 9:13pm

frock parts express is fast. I ordered at noon, and the next day it came to my door. Other places I ordered from were sending me e-mails saying they were just shipping! With the cheapest shipping too!

The station looks nice. Nothing fancy, but it doesn't look cheap.


Drunkskunk how much does that butance tool run for?
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by oldhaq » Oct 02 2010 5:40am

AussieJester wrote:I bought one of these after Liveforphysics said they were good, its
the best soldering iron i have owned by far pumps out the heat for the 8awg wires does em with ease.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=TS1554

KiM
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by AussieJester » Oct 02 2010 5:53am

oldhaq wrote:
AussieJester wrote:I bought one of these after Liveforphysics said they were good, its
the best soldering iron i have owned by far pumps out the heat for the 8awg wires does em with ease.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=TS1554

KiM
Hey KiM, how long does it take to go from 20 to 130w? Is the turbo button momentary or push on/push off?

cheers, Rob

Its a push and hold button instructions IIRC said hold for 15seconds no longer or it will
increase the speed the tip wears out, it didn't give any other specs etc, i can say it
gets hot enough to solder 8awg size wire very quickly.

KiM

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Drunkskunk » Oct 02 2010 9:37am

auraslip wrote:
Drunkskunk how much does that butance tool run for?
I think just the Tool is $30. with the case and extra tips is more.
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auraslip   1.21 GW

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by auraslip » Oct 22 2010 3:50am

A small follow up about the $15 solder station from parts express.

It works fine. It's not amazingly high quality. The iron stand comes out to easily, and it only seems to melt solder at the highest temperature. It will solder 8 gauge wire, but it takes some time.


Considering that I saved $50 I am very happy. Would buy another.
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by TylerDurden » Oct 22 2010 8:16am

@Auraslip: You might also want to get a boost-iron for the heavy wire. Higher power will hit the joints faster, reducing heat conduction down the wire. A couple of hemostats (surgical forceps) for heatsinks will also help block heat conduction down the wire.


I use these two "economy" rigs:

For board-work: 50W (374-896°F)
Image
~$20
http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0234569


For wiring: 30W-130W
Image
~$20
http://www.amazon.com/Weller-TB100PK-Wa ... B000EMDFOM


The pair cover 99% of what I do.


Also:
Image
~$20
http://www.harborfreight.com/2-3-4-quar ... -3311.html

Image
~$3
http://www.harborfreight.com/helping-hands-319.html
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 22 2010 4:34pm

I wanted to buy a soldering iron locally if I could, if not I was going to order one online and wait for it to be delivered. I found a local hobby warehouse that had a 100W soldering iron in the stained-glass-window section.

Whats the difference between 50/50% solder and 60/40%..and which one do I want for connecting large capacitors to an ESC battery lead? (I recall I should avoid "lead-free", and I should have the vapors blown away from me...).

Is there a better solder than 60/40-50/50...and if yes, where can I order it?

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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by liveforphysics » Oct 30 2010 6:13am

auraslip wrote: It will solder 8 gauge wire, but it takes some time.

If it takes time, you're wicking the wire, and would be better off crimping it. No solder connection on wire smaller than 4awg should take over 5seconds to complete or you're not using the right tool for the job.
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by Ypedal » Oct 30 2010 7:17am

chekola wrote: What do you folk find best for cutting up bike frames , or anything of that general denisty / material ?
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Re: What soldering iron...

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 30 2010 9:25am

I didn't want to wait for shipping if I could avoid it. I found a 100W iron at a large craft-hobby supplies store in the DIY stained glass aisle. It has the large tip that I'm told is important so it will stay hot while transferring heat to the part you're soldering.

I didn't get the heat controller, I'm only going to use this one on "High", and I'll get a smaller iron with heat control for small jobs. The iron by itself was $18. I'm waiting for the cells to arrive so I can make my battery pack. I'll report back on how good/bad the iron does.

Edit: works well so far. I've been told that a fat tip is just as important as high watts, as its mass allows it to work without cooling off too fast for big jobs like battery cables and connectors. Of course, if you are doing small delicate pieces you would be forced use a small tip...

http://www.ecrater.com/p/7365371/inland ... emperature

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