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Good soldering iron

Good soldering iron

Old 12-15-2009, 02:21 PM
  #31  
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Flux for the win. Regardless of the brand name or type of your solder. Cuts through the oxidation, pulls the solder to where you want it, temporarily lowers the melting temp reducing exposure to sensitive components, yada yada. It's just not a subjective thing, it's simply the correct way to do it.

Just be sure to use electrical flux, not plumbers flux. That has caused some problems and confusion.

Last edited by Dave H; 12-15-2009 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:28 PM
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Home depot has some for less than 20 bucks and they work great. They're only 40 watts and work great. Back in the day a station would be best but with lipo and brushless, you rarely turn it on.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:19 PM
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i know everybody seems to hate guns but i use a 325 watt weller gun and couldnt be happier..........
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:22 PM
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I have a pencil style soldering iron and it's a 80 watts and works great. Just go to Crappy tire and get one for around 40 bucks. Problem solved.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:23 PM
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I have a 400 watt Craftsman, but it just can't get in some of those tight areas where the pencil tip can. Not even close. I will keep it for automotive and around the house use, though.

Originally Posted by john stu
i know everybody seems to hate guns but i use a 325 watt weller gun and couldnt be happier..........
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:44 PM
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I know it's been worn out, but Hakko is the industry standard it would seem. They've been around a long time, are reasonable for a quality tool, accurate and do what they're supposed to.... Solder. Should be the last one you get.

+1 on the flux. I'm a plumber by trade. No flux, no flow. Plumbing flux is bad news. Too corrosive... Also the solder will flow toward heat, so keep that in mind when applying the iron. When heating, less is more. Use just enough to flow the wire then remove the iron. Too much heat will burn the flux. Bad deal. Will cause a cold joint.

A friend that's an eletronics tech said it's a good idea to wipe the joint with denatured alchohol before shrink wrapping to make sure things don't get crusty under.

Rob........
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:33 PM
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Ok, I'll buy into the flux thing but are all flux's equal....is one brand better than the other. I got some from Radio Shack a few years back but I never did think it was all that.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:46 AM
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i use a weller w60p and it works wonders for me
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackster
I have a 400 watt Craftsman, but it just can't get in some of those tight areas where the pencil tip can. Not even close. I will keep it for automotive and around the house use, though.
I think I got the same unit. I haven't had an issue though but I can see with its massive tip that some could have issues. But it has been excellent for me, couldn't be happier especially for the price.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by desertraton
Home depot has some for less than 20 bucks and they work great. They're only 40 watts and work great. Back in the day a station would be best but with lipo and brushless, you rarely turn it on.
+1 - the Weller 40W irons work very well - just make sure that you keep fresh tips handy...
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Robio
I know it's been worn out, but Hakko is the industry standard it would seem. They've been around a long time, are reasonable for a quality tool, accurate and do what they're supposed to.... Solder. Should be the last one you get.

+1 on the flux. I'm a plumber by trade. No flux, no flow. Plumbing flux is bad news. Too corrosive... Also the solder will flow toward heat, so keep that in mind when applying the iron. When heating, less is more. Use just enough to flow the wire then remove the iron. Too much heat will burn the flux. Bad deal. Will cause a cold joint.

A friend that's an eletronics tech said it's a good idea to wipe the joint with denatured alchohol before shrink wrapping to make sure things don't get crusty under.

Rob........
+1. But I disagree with the "industry standard" part. Metcal is the industry standard for soldering electronics... It's just for personal use, it's way too much.

Their SP200 systems are a bit more affordable. But for hobby-grade use, it's a bit too much...

The $40 Weller/Ungar stations are the best bang for the buck. I just chose the Hakko 936 because of positive experience at one of my previous jobs, and you don't have to take a credit loan to buy it!

Regarding flux, for electronics, get Rosin-based flux. Do not use plumbing flux, they are acidic and are meant for other solder.


Also, most always, use SnPb solder (tin/lead) with the 60/40 ratio/percentage...

The lead-free stuff is nothing but a nightmare and it was meant for the European ROHS compliance... The "lead free" flux and solder will corrode your solder if you don't properly gas it completely and fully...

They should only be used in a controlled reflow environment, where you can properly gas the flux off...

Many of the electronics that are hand soldered, using lead-free stuff, have some of these ROHS-compliant flux on them, and it was nothing but a nightmare. A little trail of that flux can create a low enough resistive path that ends up shorting out your electronics...

Also, a little ultra-sonic jewelry cleaner works wonders when cleaning your electronics and solder jobs.

You do it in two steps:

1) Dunk solder joint in acetone. Cleans out the flux.

2) Next, dunk the solder joint in rubbing alcohol, it cleans off the film left behind by acetone.


Be careful with Acetone and plastics, most plastics gets eaten by Acetone.

Also be careful with motor spray, acetone, and rubbing alcohol in the jewelry cleaner. The plastic housing of the jewelry cleaner usually can't withstand harsh chemicals. So what I do is, take a baby food jar, fill up the jar with acetone/motor spray/rubbing alcohol, then close the lid. Then fill the inside of the ultra-sonic machine with water. The vibration induced by the machine will be transferred via the water into the jar. That way, the chemical never touches the jewelry cleaner...
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:45 PM
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About flux, I never! use flux. IMO I don't like it, I tryed it with 60/40 solder and my wire would come off my dean or what ever so I never used it agian and never had a wire come off agian. So unless your useing stright silver then use a little but if your useing 60/40 or with flux in the solder the I wouldn't bother.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:28 AM
  #43  
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i have had a lot of different irons over the years and finally bought a hakko 936 last year, it is the best i have ever owned, hands down well worth the investment!
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_chang79
+1. But I disagree with the "industry standard" part. Metcal is the industry standard for soldering electronics... It's just for personal use, it's way too much.

Their SP200 systems are a bit more affordable. But for hobby-grade use, it's a bit too much...

The $40 Weller/Ungar stations are the best bang for the buck. I just chose the Hakko 936 because of positive experience at one of my previous jobs, and you don't have to take a credit loan to buy it!

Regarding flux, for electronics, get Rosin-based flux. Do not use plumbing flux, they are acidic and are meant for other solder.


Also, most always, use SnPb solder (tin/lead) with the 60/40 ratio/percentage...

The lead-free stuff is nothing but a nightmare and it was meant for the European ROHS compliance... The "lead free" flux and solder will corrode your solder if you don't properly gas it completely and fully...

They should only be used in a controlled reflow environment, where you can properly gas the flux off...

Many of the electronics that are hand soldered, using lead-free stuff, have some of these ROHS-compliant flux on them, and it was nothing but a nightmare. A little trail of that flux can create a low enough resistive path that ends up shorting out your electronics...

Also, a little ultra-sonic jewelry cleaner works wonders when cleaning your electronics and solder jobs.

You do it in two steps:

1) Dunk solder joint in acetone. Cleans out the flux.

2) Next, dunk the solder joint in rubbing alcohol, it cleans off the film left behind by acetone.


Be careful with Acetone and plastics, most plastics gets eaten by Acetone.

Also be careful with motor spray, acetone, and rubbing alcohol in the jewelry cleaner. The plastic housing of the jewelry cleaner usually can't withstand harsh chemicals. So what I do is, take a baby food jar, fill up the jar with acetone/motor spray/rubbing alcohol, then close the lid. Then fill the inside of the ultra-sonic machine with water. The vibration induced by the machine will be transferred via the water into the jar. That way, the chemical never touches the jewelry cleaner...
Good info. Thanks....

As far as "the industry standard" comment, I was refering to the R/C industry.The 936 is a workhorse. In the electronic engeneering labs where I work I've seen the Metcal. Also the high end Hakko and Xytronic. But like you said, not necessary for what we do.

Do you know if certain types of solder have less resistance than others? Also is there a benefit to using silver solder/ wire?

On another note. I've heard that after the first of the year it will all be "lead free". At least in California. We've been using lead free solders in potable water systems for years now. It was horrible at first but it's better now. Has a higher melting point though.

Rob..............
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:10 PM
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I have a Weller station and have used the Hakko. I like the Hakko. It's a great unit. However, you can go to Lowes or Home Depot and for 8-15$ you can buy the Benzomatic butane iron and it straight rocks. All you need is it, a can of butane, like what you would use for a lighter, and something to light it with. It gets hot quick, its light and easy to use, cheap, and finally- it gets hotter than all the infernos of hell. The only draw back is using it outdoors in the wind....
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